Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hummingbird Cake...and a history lesson

Hi! I promised the recipe for Hummingbird Cake, so here it is!

When I first heard of this cake, I had no idea what it was. It's very fruity with a cream cheese icing. It is very easy to make--you just stir the ingredients. I would, however, cut the amount of sugar down to about 1 1/4 cup instead of the two cups it calls for.  I served the cake on my Mikasa "Italian Countryside" as I love the crisp, creamy white on the red and green background.

Love this cookbook! My grandmother gave it to me years ago. She signed it and had it signed by the author. Hazel Creek is an area my mother's family once lived here in Western NC. They, along with hundreds of other families, were removed from their land by the government in the 1940s to build a lake to make power for the war effort. They were promised a road to get back. After bulldozing entire towns, houses, etc., the government has yet to build a road. It was started, never finished, and is now called the "road to nowhere." The money for the road was recently given the county where the property is. My grandfather was away in Europe during WWII when my grandmother was forced to move out. Ironically, my grandfather is of Cherokee descent and this story is very similar to his ancestors' removal in the infamous "Trail of Tears" in the 1830s. If only we could learn from history so the same old mistakes would not be repeated, but we never do, do we? I included a video, which included both my grandparents (Fred and Ruth Chandler) if you are interested.  

Back to the recipe...

I do not put the lemon extract in mine...

There's nothing like a piece of cake with steaming, black coffee on a rainy summer afternoon:-)

Let me know if you try this, or if you have another recipe for Hummingbird Cake! Thanks for stopping by! I do love visits.

I will be linking up to "Foodie Friday" over at Designs by Gollum. 



  1. Sad story, but not surprising, is it? Think it's sweet she signed your cookbook and you will always have that for a memory/keepsake.

  2. Being of Cherokee descent, I am very familiar with the trail of tears. My g-g-g-grandmother carried her twin babies in a wheelbarrow along the trail. Thanks for sharing the road to nowhere...I want my high schoolers to watch it.

    Hunningbird Cake was one of my grandma's specialties. Very yummy and nothing is better with hot coffee :)

    I always enjoy my visits to your blog, Anita!


  3. I would like a slice right now, it looks delicious. Cherish memories indeed.


  4. how wonderful to have your grandmother's
    autograph on your cookbook.

    the recipe looks delicious. i love fruit and
    nuts in a cake.

    i'm having a hard time imagining a rainy day
    in our scorching heat. :)

  5. Very nostalgic post, but the Hummingbird Cake is a special treat and I would love to make it! Yum!


  6. Anita, that is one of my husband's favorite kinds of cake. One of his customers at the bank makes him one every Christmas and shares some at the bank and brings home the rest. It is so moist and good. I will attempt making it one day.

  7. Hi Anita! Oh, my what a story! How sweet your grandma gave this cook book to you and your have her signature in it.
    I love hummingbird cake and had some at our last church's monthly luncheon. Yum, I'd love a slice now.
    Be a sweetie,
    Sheila ;)

  8. Looks yummy -- I've always admired the Hummingbird Cake recipes that I see -- but I've never made one or even tasted one. My son and dil met at Cherokee NC when they were both performing in "Unto These Hills".

  9. That cake looks divine! You had me at cream cheese icing! My MIL gets me a cookbook every Christmas and signs it. I love that tradition!

  10. I've been wanting to make a Hummingbird Cake. This recipe looks delicious. Love the history and that the recipe came from your grandmother.

  11. As Oklahomans, we are intimately acquainted with "The Trail of Tears." My daughter is a singer-songwriter, and independent artist with four albums. "Orchid," her latest features a song, "Redman," that I think that you would really like. You can find her at, and you can hear her music there or on iTunes. Thank you for stopping by my post. Cherry Kay

  12. Hi Anita!
    This cake recipe looks very familiar! My father makes one similar... He hasn't in a while, since it's involved...but loves his "Hawaiian" cake!
    I think he adds coconut to his mix...

    It looks Mmmmmmmmmmmm good!
    Your tablesettings always look so warm, Anita~ love the rich glow of the gold and reds...

    I will stop back tomorrow for the video... The house is so quiet, I have the volume off on the PC...

    Thank you so much for your sweet visits and comments, Anita~ Have a lovely weekend~
    ♥ Maria

  13. Oh anita what a tale to tell so sad on the flip side what a lovely gift from your Gradmother you have quit a family history to pass down by the way i love the piano music oh and the jazz:)

  14. oh and the cake looks yummy and i wanted to tell you the chairs look lovely you did a great job:)

  15. I love hummingbird cake! Any time I make one, people always love it!

  16. Oh this looks and sounds soooooooooo good. I would love a piece.
    Thanks also for your sweet birthday wishes. I had a super day. Hugs, Marty

  17. I have heard of it but never seen it or tasted it. It looks and sounds wonderful. I especially love the name! Anything would taste great with that frosting.

  18. Thanks for the recipe and the video of the road to nowhere!
    This is a lovely cake that must be so moist!
    You have a treasure in that passed down cookbook.

  19. That is a sad story---I can't believe they cut them off from the cemeteries. A very similar thing happened to my mom. She and her family lived up in Massachusetts. Back around l930 there were four towns that had to leave because Ma. needed to built a huge reservoir for Boston and surrounding areas. So 4 towns were demolished. However they moved all of the cemetaries to Ware and that is where much of my family is buried. A neat thing is that my Grandpa's farm land was mainly on the edge of the reservoir so we could go visit it often when I lived up in that area. We would take my grandpa for picnics. It is now called Hanks meadow after my grandpa's farm. But he relocated and had a successful dairy farm in another area because of the forced move. It was hard because of all the history and relationships that were affected. I think it took about ten years to build the dams and take out everything and accomplish the finishing of the reservoir.