Hummingbird Cake

C.J. Durbin-Higgins grew up with good cooks. Early on, her grandmother would let her climb up on a stool and help cook bacon and eggs for breakfast. Her mother continued her Texas culinary education. Durbin-Higgins lives in Tom Bean, works for TCOG, makes a killer pie crust and said, “I enjoy cooking and feel fortunate that I had special people in my life that took the time to share their knowledge.”

– 3 cups flour
– 2 cups sugar
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 3 eggs
– 1¼ cups vegetable oil
– 1½ teaspoons vanilla
– 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
– 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
– 2 cups ripe bananas, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch pans.

Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Add eggs and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with spoon until ingredients are moistened. Stir in the vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup of pecans. Stir in the bananas. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting

– 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
– ½ cup butter, softened
– 2 pounds confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Using an electric or hand held mixer, combine cream cheese, and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating until fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix well. Frost cake layers one at a time, before stacking them. Frost the sides. Sprinkle the top evenly with the toasted pecans.