I made this Hummingbird Cake for my mom and grandmother's joint birthday celebration this year (their b'days are on the 13th and 19th of January). I would definitely describe this as a "special occasion" cake! It's not particularly fancy per se, but it feels a bit more special, I think, because of the double layers, the filling, the frosting, the fun topping, the great flavors....well, it's special because of everything I guess! :) Not to boast, but the cake did get rave reviews from the whole family. I would make this again without any hesitation! It was quite flavorful and also very moist. It is a little bit on the rich side, likely because of the cream cheese frosting, so serving smaller slices is key.
This is another recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook that I've mentioned previously in my blog. I'm going to be lazy and provide a link to the recipe here, rather than type it out from the actual cookbook. Hope you don't mind! I checked, and it's exactly the same as in the book. And this is the recipe for the cream cheese frosting. Here are some pics of the process (I know, the one of the batter before it's mixed doesn't look all that appealing)...
Now, I did vary just a tad from the original recipe... I almost never follow a recipe exactly as it is! Maybe that should be a motto of Barbershop baking...something about improvising. Hmmmm. I'll have to work on that one. Anyway, the recipe calls for spreading some of the cream cheese frosting in between the two cake layers. Instead of doing that, I was inspired by Kraft Foods to spread pudding between the two layers, as is done in this cake from the Kraft Foods Kitchen. I used one box of Jell-O banana cream pudding, mixed with about 3/4 cup of skim milk. I also mixed about 1/3 cup of drained crushed pineapple with the pudding. Mmmmm mmmm good! I thought that would be a nice touch to tie in the banana and pineapple fruits that went into the actual cake.
You'll see here that I have the cake in the fridge before it was frosted! It's easier to frost a cake that's cold, so popping it in the fridge for a bit actually helps! Thanks to my sister for taking the picture of me frosting the cake... I don't usually have someone else around to take a pic of me at work!
All in all, the Hummingbird Cake was definitely a hit! Try it for your next special occasion! Oh, and I should mention that no hummingbirds were harmed in the making of this cake. ;-) Also, I was curious about the origin of the cake's name, and I found this explanation online in several places. Neat!