I don't know what a hummingbird cake really is.
I've seen recipes with pineapple, banana, pecans, carrots, zucchini... all different versions.
Well, my two cents: pecans are expensive and should exclusively be used for nanamino bars. Fact.
I seriously dig pineapple, but it's a bit tricky to use. I mean you gotta cut it, maybe shred it... I don't know. I just get distracted and start to eat the pieces before they make it into baked goods. DANGER.
So - here we are left with the rest of the options... bananas, carrots, zucchini AND MORE!
My friend from Durban, South Africa visited me in Paris (over excited human!), and after walking for kilometres, stuffing ourselves with falafel (I've tasted AND heard that L'as du Fallafel is the best, but Pitzman is really where it is at...), and enjoying one or two glasses at wine in tiny French bistros, we were ready for CAKE!
Hummingbird cake - what you need:
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 packed cup shredded zucchini
- 1 packed cup carrot
- 1/2 cup mashed bananas
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Humming bird cake - what you do:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F). Prepare two 23 cm (9 in) cake pans by greasing them with (vegan) butter, and then coating them with flour.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar.
Beat in the bananas, apple sauce, vegetable oil, water, and vinegar. Combine everything together very well.
Fold in the carrots and zucchini.
Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans. Tap them on the counter to pop any air bubbles.
Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Coconut frosting - what you need:
- 225 grams of (vegan) butter, softened
- 4 cups of confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 cup of coconut milk (+ a few extra tablespoons if need be)
- 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
Coconut frosting - what you do:
In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy and soft. One cup at a time, add the confectioner's sugar. Beat until everything is well incorporated ... you will need to scrape down the bowl with a spatula after each cup.
Add the coconut milk and beat again until creamy. If you prefer a thinner frosting, add another tablespoon or two of coconut milk.
Keep the shredded coconut aside.
For the preparation of this cake:
Set one cake down on a large platter or cake stand. Frost the top and place the next cake on. Frost a crumb layer around the entire cake. This means put a very thin layer of frosting around the cake to serve as a base for the prettier layer of frosting that goes on at the end. Stick the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow the crumb layer to harden.
Fold the reserved shredded coconut into the frosting.
Frost the cake completely.
I wanted an autumn-style cake, but in the end decorations ended up to be kind of Christmas-y. Basically, I'm just planning my December cakes waaaay in advanced!
In any case, I'm a pretty big fan of decorating cakes recently with all these natural ingredients... I think it looks so pretty!
We packed two pieces of this cake and made our way to the Champ-de-Mars. We snacked on this cake under fairly blue and clear skies (amazing for Paris in November!) and looked at the Eiffel Tower. It was a pretty super afternoon! After we continued to the Picasso Museum, which just opened up after being closed for 5 years (!!!) ! If you're in Paris, this is definitely worth a visit.
Baking soundtrack - tunes to inspire your inner baker:
I feel like this song may have appeared here before... but it's fiiiine.