Hummingbird Cake Recipe

"When the Hummingbird Cake was first submitted to Southern Living in 1978 by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, we had no idea the cake would become our most popular and beloved Southern cake recipe ever. Without a doubt, the cake is a beauty with its three moist layers topped with cream cheese frosting and pecans; but it’s the taste that really keeps us coming back. There are a few rules for success in this recipe that make it truly stand out. First, vegetable oil is used instead of butter to get the moist, quick-bread-like texture of the layers. Second, you need a can of crushed pineapple in its juices (such as Publix Crushed Pineapple in Pineapple Juice), which you will NOT drain. The juices add so much flavor to the cake batter and keeps it incredibly moist. Lastly, always take the time the toast your pecans. It’s a game-changer. Forty years may have passed since we discovered this Southern gem, but we keep making it year after year!..."

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups granulated 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-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained (such as Publix Crushed Pineapple in Pineapple Juice)
2 cups chopped ripe bananas (about 6 bananas)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Vegetable shortening
2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened
2 (16-oz.) pkg. powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
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