Hummingbirds

Tonight multiple hummingbirds buzzed around the agapanthus as the sun struggled to stay awake in the sky.  It so wanted to settle into sleep behind the mountains.

Paul and I invited both sets of our parents over to celebrate my parents’ 48th wedding anniversary.  At the same time as honoring an amazing marriage, we wanted to share our pictures from a once in a life time Peruvian trip (from which we just returned).  While in Peru, we saw a variety of hummingbirds which mystified us with their long tail feathers and vibrant colors.

So when I saw a “hummingbird” cake recipe, I was all in!  Can I just say this is a super simple, yet stunning cake?  It’s southern, down-home, and old-school wonderful.  If serving this to a group of people, you’ll be touted as a 4-star baker and you should soak up every compliment (even if it is a ridiculously easy recipe to follow).

Now, as y’all know I’m not the most organized baker on this side of the Mississippi.  However, I was proud of myself for loosely looking over the recipe and creating a shopping list.  Oh, so naively arrogant.

This is where I went wrong…  (1) I only had two 9″ pans, not three  (2) I only had frozen chunks of pineapple, not canned crushed pineapple  (3) I was short 3/4 cups of vegetable oil so I subbed in olive oil  (4) I was about 1 cup short of powdered sugar for the frosting

Even with all of my slip-ups, the cake rocked!  It was a huge success amongst our folks and seconds were served.  In other words… make this cake because it’s awesome!

Photo credit:  My little niece, Gwen, came over to help frost and decorate the cake (rose chosen by Gwen), prep dishes for the grandparents’ dinner, set the table, etc.  She was a huge help with wonderful ideas as suggestions and deserves serious accolades.

Hummingbird Cake (care of Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, via myrecipes.com)

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INGREDIENTS:  3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3 large eggs (beaten),1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (undrained), 2 cups chopped bananas, 1 cup chopped pecans, Shortening, Cream Cheese Frosting, 1/2 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, and 1 cup chopped toasted pecans. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes our clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).  Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup Cream Cheese Frosting over cake layer. Top with second layer, and spread 1 cup frosting over cake layer. Top with third cake layer, and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Arrange toasted pecan halves in a circular pattern over top of cake.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:  2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (softened), 1 cup butter or margarine (softened), 2 16-ounce packages powdered sugar (sifted), 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

FROSTING DIRECTIONS:  Beat cream cheese and butter at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high,and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy.

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