Hummingbird Cake

Criterium Cycles - Humming Bird Cake - 1
Jul 15 2021

Hummingbird Cake

Words: Madeline Bowker

I’m going to confess that one of the great joys of cycling, for me, is the justification for replacing the calories worked off by pedalling up endless hills (I sometimes dream of living in the Netherlands).  Richard (or Grand Poobah as we sometimes call him…though not to his face) thought I could start earning my keep by sharing some of my favourite recipes for cycling treats. So, this is the first in what may be a series of recipes: some are things I like to take to eat on a ride, some are more in the way of a reward when I get home – if Grand Poobah and the kids haven’t scoffed the lot whilst I’m out.

Criterium Cycles - Hummingbird Cake - 7

This first recipe is for Hummingbird Cake, which comes from an ancient Australian Women’s Weekly recipe book which I have.  I’m not making any claims about being a nutritionist – I’m far more interested in how good something tastes – but this cake is full of all sorts of things which should be good as cycling fuel.  The cake is deliciously moist and tasty by itself, but the cream cheese icing is scrumptious and definitely takes it to another level.  So you could pack up some cake without the icing and take it on a ride (you could take it with the icing on, but it might be a bit messy), but I prefer to put the icing on and have it as a reward when I get back.  It will keep for a few days in an airtight container apparently –  it has never made it that long in our house. Particularly good with a cup of tea!

Criterium Cycles - Humming Bird Cake - 6
Greasing the cake tin is important as is sifting the ingredients carefully into a large bowl


Criterium Cycles - Hummingbird Cake - 8
Lucy demonstrating her superlative sifting skills


  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • ½ cup tinned pineapple, crushed (I use a stick blender)

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 60g cream cheese
  • 30g butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar
Criterium Cycles - Humming Bird Cake - 3
Gently pour the mixture into a prepared cake tin


  1. Lightly grease a 23 cm square cake tin; line base with paper and grease paper.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon and soda into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, nuts banana and pineapple; stir until just combined  (I like to mix all the wet ingredients together before adding to the dry ingredients – like a muffin mixture, the less you stir the mix the better).
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake in moderate oven for about 1 hour. Stand cake 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.  Wait until cold before spreading with icing.
  4. for the Cream Cheese Icing: beat cream cheese, butter and essence in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar.
Criterium Cycles - Humming Bird Cake - 1
Perfect with a cuppa after a long ride
Scroll to Top