Classic Hummingbird Cake
1 hour + cooling time to prepare serves 8-10
2 cups pecans, roasted and chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
3-4 medium bananas, chopped
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 3 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottom of each pan with parchment paper and cover with cooking spray.
Spread pecans evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until just toasted and fragrant. For even results, toss pecans halfway through baking. Once cooled, rough chop and set aside.
Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, stirring until just moistened.
Gently fold in bananas, pineapple, and 1 cup toasted pecans until batter has thickened. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pan and cool completely. Once cooled, discard parchment paper.
Prepare cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese, softened butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing on low speed until blended. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy.
Place 1 cooled cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with ¼ cream cheese frosting. Top with second layer and top with ¼ cream cheese frosting. Top with third layer and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with reserved pecans.