Hummingbird Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello all– How’s your weekend going??  I’m excited to say today is the first day in over a month that there is not a thing on our calendar!!  Larry headed over to Cal State for their tomato plant sale this morning and I’m going to dig into some heavy duty trip planning for our travels to Vancouver & Seattle in a couple weeks.  I may spend the whole day here on our couch!  So happy for the lazy quiet.

And I wanted to send out this recipe too for you all–  a southern specialty– a quick bread version of Hummingbird Cake.  Dense moist and flavorful from bananas, crushed pineapple, coconut and pecans!!  So many goodies tucked inside this sweet bread!


4 bananas, smashed
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2  1/2 flour
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. crushed pineapple, with the juice
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 3 tab. milk
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork.  Then stir in the oil, white sugar, brown sugar and eggs.  Next stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally stir in the vanilla, cinnamon pineapple, coconut and pecans.

Spoon the thick batter into two standard loaf pans (8″ x 4″) that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until they are cooked through (test with a sharp knife to see if it comes out dry).  Let the bread cool before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Then add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it is the consistency that you like.

Drizzle the frosting over the cooled bread and sprinkle on the pecans.  Done. And delicious!


Pina Colada Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting


Hi there–  I have to say when we pull out a cake fro friends after a big long meal, most people say– “oh oh, just the tiniest slice” or they might even skip dessert.  But this cake almost disappeared!  People took big slabs and then asked for more!  I had one ragged piece left to send you off a picture a slice.  They liked it! I think you would too…



1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tab. rum
1 cup shredded coconut

Toasted Coconut:
2 cups shredded coconut

Pineapple Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. conrstarch
14 oz. can crushed pineapple

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (3  3/4 cups)
2 tab. rum
garnish: stemmed cherry!



Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the package (mine used 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oil & 3 eggs).  Then stir in the rum and 1 cup shredded coconut.

Spoon the batter into three 8″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until it is firm to the touch.   Let the cake layers cool completely before you frost them.

While the cake is baking, spread the 2 cups of coconut on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil (for easy clean up) and put it in the oven along with the cake.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes until half of the coconut has started to brown (be careful, it’s easy to burn coconut!)

To make the pineapple filling,  combine the sugar and cornstarch in the small sauce pan.  Stir them together until there are no cornstarch lumps.  Then dump in the crushed pineapple and stir on medium heat until it simmer for a 1 or 2 minutes and thickens.   Set aside to cool.

To make the frosting, Put the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and rum into a mixing bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until it is smooth and creamy.  If it seems too dry, add another tablespoon of water.  (Be careful, it’s easy to add too much water and it turns to mush!)

To put it all together, set one cake layer on a plate and top with half of the pineapple filling.  Add the second layer and pile on the rest of the filling. Next set on the 3rd layer.

Then frost the cake top and sides with the cream cheese frosting.  Pat the toasted coconut around the sides of the cake (this is a little trickier than it sounds– be persistent!)  And pop the cherry on top.  It’s ready to serve!!


Sunshine Cake


Hello there Sunshine– We’re on the edge of summer– and I think we’ve just launched into pot luck season here.  Bar-b-que suppers with tables full of Sue’s Three Bean Salad and Gram’s crunchy cole slaw…  John at the grill flipping burgers.  Last Friday was the  year end pot luck with the school friends (thanks Kim for having us all –and I mean all!).  And this sunny little cake was my pot luck contribution.

It tastes as bright as sunshine– with all that citrus and pineapple laced whipped cream.  It’s really pot luck worthy.

1 yellow cake mix
20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 orange
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. package instant vanilla pudding mix


First grate the peel off the orange and set aside.  Then cut the orange in half and extract the juice.  Save that too.

Spoon half of the pineapple from the can into a stainer, and let the juice drain off.  Save the rest of the juice and pineapple in the can and set it aside.

To make the cake, first pour the juice from the orange into a 1 cup measuring cup.  It will probably be less than a full cup, so add water to fill the cup to exactly one cup.  Then mix up the cake with an electric mixer, using the cup of juice & water, 3 eggs and 1/2 cup canola oil.  Beat it on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Then fold in the drained pineapple to the batter.

Spoon the batter into a 3×13″ baking dish or a 10″ springform pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is light browned and firm to the touch. Let the cake cool completely, before you put on the frosting.

To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together the whipping cream, 1/2 cup powder sugar and vanilla pudding mix until it thickens.  Then use a spoon to fold in the pineapple left in the can (along with it’s juice) and the grate orange peel.

Spoon the frosting over the cake and let it sit int he fridge for 20 or 30 minutes for the frosting to set well.



Coconut Topped Pineapple Cake

IMG_3220Hi all– I sure like this friendly old fashioned cake.  It tastes a lot like a cake my mom would make that involved a can of fruit cocktail– if you’re unfamamiliar– fruit cocktail is a thoroughly alcohol free mixture of cut fruit in a can.

But this little cake is chocked full of crushed pineapple and topped with the kind of coconut topping you usually find on German chocolate cake.  It’s super moist and a little dense –fruity good.

I baked it up for teacher goodie day at school– Students  sometimes wonder what goes on in the kid free “teachers’ room.”  The truth is it’s pretty dull in there, just a lot of grading papers and lesson talk…  But Fridays!  Well, Fridays there is a table well stocked with treats.  And this was my recent contribution.  I think it gets an A+!


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup coconut
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

IMG_3231To make the cake stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple with the juice.

Scape the batter into a 9″x13″ baking dish (or an 11″ spring form pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Put it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is lightly browned around the edges and firm to the touch.

To make the topping, drop the 1 cup sugar, butter and evaporated milk into a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil and reduce heat and stir for about 5 minutes while it simmers on low– just until the mixture thickens.

Stir in the coconut, nuts and vanilla and pour the topping over the warm cake.  Delicious eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!


Hummingbird Cake

IMG_8800Hi friends– Made this cake for Mothers Day with the whole big family clan– lots of aunts and uncles, great grandparents and those little cousins running around underfoot.

I enlisted my grand-girls, Charlotte and Maryann to help me bake.  They got really excited when they heard it was a “hummingbird cake!”  I’m not sure why.  And don’t worry.  No hummingbirds were harmed in the making of this cake.

It has the fruity banana taste, sweetness of the pineapple and all those pecans!  It’s an old southern recipe and the Mothers loved it (and other people as well).  I think you would too.

3 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup pecans

Smash the bananas in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.  Then stir in the oil, 2 sugars, eggs, pineapple and vanilla.  When that is blended mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pecans.  Stir until blended.

Spoon the batter into 3 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for xxx minutes.

12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tab. milk
1 cup pecans, chopped

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together.  Then with the mixer on low (so you don’t get a cloud of powdered sugar in your face), add the sugar, vanilla and milk.  Beat until it’s all well combined.

Spread between layers and around and about the cake.  Then carefully attach the pecans to the sides of the cake, patting them on by small handfuls.

You can top with flowers if you like.–I used these nasturtiums, that are currently running riot in the yard–any non-toxic flowers will do.

Serve it to moms or anyone else you’d like to share cake with…





Pineapple Cole Slaw

IMG_4557Hey there– If you search for cole slaw in that little search box over there, you’ll find we’ve eaten quite a few around here.  I do love that cold, crunchy, sweetish stuff!  And here’s a version that’s bright and has a lovely light flavor.  We had it with curried pork burgers last week– enough sweet to balance out the spicy.  I liked it a lot.  Hope you do too.


1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup lite mayonnaise
2 tsp. vinegar (I like tarragon)

Mix is up in the bottom of a large bowl and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Crunchy parts:
8 cups cabbage, chopped to small bits
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup orange bell pepper, chopped fine
16 oz. can pineapple rings, drained well and cut to bits

Cut these ingredients all up and dump them in on top of the dressing.  Mix it so everything is coated with the sauce and set it in the fridge to get nice and cold.

When you’re ready to serve it up, stir up that bowlful again because the dressing tends to settle at the bottom of the bowl.  Enjoy!

Pineapple Streusel Muffins

IMG_1706Hello there–  It’s just about this time of year by desert monitor shifts from chocolatey and rich over to fresh and fruity.  I mean you just can’t beat chocolate cheesecake in the dead of winter.  But now there’s berries in the side yard and nectarines at the market.  So there’s muffins chock full of crushed pineapple baking up right now– ready for my Monday night ladies who’ll be here in a couple hours.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, not drained
2 eggs
1 tab. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the pineapple, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Next fold in the nuts and spoon the batter into muffins cups lined with paper liners (makes about 16 standard muffins)

2 tab. flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
4 tab. butter, melted

Mix together the first 5 ingredients and then top each muffin with about 1 tsp. of the streusel.  Then drizzle the butter over all the muffins.  Pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.

Thanks to Kirsten at for this scrumptious recipe and all the others I’ve made from her blog.  I think you’d love to see all the beautiful things she’s baked up!

Pineapple Cream Cake

IMG_0258Hi friends– Honestly, I’m trying to not eat all the leftovers of this cake that are calling me from the fridge. But it is tempting. It’s tender and fruity and not too sweet.  I think you’d love it too…

1 yellow cake mix
20 oz. can crushed pineapple, divided
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3oz. package vanilla instant pudding

IMG_0210Spoon out 1/2 of the pineapple from the can into a strainer to strain off he juice of just that half.  Save the rest of the pineapple for the frosting.  Make the cake according to the directions on the box with the eggs, oil and water.  Stir in the drained pineapple into the cake batter.  Bake it up  in a 9″x13″ pan (or a large springform pan for a round cake) and let it cool completely.  Then beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar together until it is stiff.  Thoroughly stir in the vanilla pudding and the rest of the pineapple, undrained,  waiting in the can.  Spoon the topping onto the cooled cake and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to make sure it’s well set.