Vegan version of a traditional Southern cake, which was never filled with actual hummingbirds, but rather light and lively with a myriad of flavors. This vegan hummingbird cake is filled with flavor, from the fruit notes of mashed ripe bananas, apples, and pineapple to warm notes of cinnamon and pecans. It’s easily become a favorite for company. This vegan version comes from the beautiful Mississippi Vegan Cookbook. A few years ago, my veg cooking group cooked a whole meal from this book. Every recipe was stunning and this cake was phenomenal. You don’t need to be vegan to enjoy it. I especially love that this version bakes in a loaf pan, making it easier to assemble and enjoy.
vegan hummingbird cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vanilla sugar or regular sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, undrained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
vegan cream cheese glaze
2 ounces vegan cream cheese
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
edible flowers or toasted pecans for garnish
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the vegetable oil, applesauce, mashed banana, crushed pineapple, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the applesauce mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and mix with a fork, scraping down the sides as needed, until everything is incorporated. Fold in the pecans. Please do not overmix. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
Bake in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is springy to touch. Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before glazing.
While the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese glaze. Mix together the vegan cream cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar, mixing constantly. Depending on the desired thickness, add more lemon juice to loosen. Using a large spoon, drizzle desired amount of glaze. Garnish with edible flowers like lavender, or with a sprinkling of toasted pecans.