Hummingbird Cake {CrockPot Version}

Who doesn’t love cake?  Its my birthday this weekend and of course, I’m making my own cake, but you guessed it, in my crock pot!

When southerners think cake, our minds turn to red velvet (another of my personal faves) , coconut and of course  Hummingbird Cake!  Hummingbird cake is an all time southern fave and was introduced to Southern Living readers in 1978 by Mrs. L. H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. Her version was three layers tall and between each layer was a yummy cream cheese frosting mixture.  Recently Southern Living again posted about  Hummingbird cake when they posted their Top 10 Five-Star Layer Cakes and have even ginned up a lighter version of the cake, still with three layers mind ya and still with a creamy frosting.  Southern Living itself says the recipe for the original is THE most requested recipe in the history of the magazine. For those of us in the south, that’s sayin something!

Rebecca at Ezra Poundcake says ‘Eating a slice of Hummingbird Cake is like falling in love‘ and I’m with her on that!  She’s adapted the original recipe too, and her rendition is gorgeous! Just take a look!  Her whole blog just makes me drool!  I digress..

Here’s my version of Hummingbird Cake, adapted for my crock pot. If you’re looking for a holiday dessert that’s like  a fork full of happiness, give this one a try!

Hummingbird Cake {Crock Pot Version}
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped firm ripe banana
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
Instructions
  1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times.
  2. Add eggs and salad oil to the dry ingredients.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon (do not use a mixer for this one) until ingredients are moistened.
  4. Stir in vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup pecans.
  5. Stir in the bananas.
  6. Spoon the batter into a well-greased 3½ quart cylindrical Crock-Pot.
  7. Bake for 4-4½ hours.
  8. Cool for at least 30-45 minutes, then turn onto a flat cake plate.
  9. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting
  1. Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Gently top with pecans and toasted coconut.

Here are some helpful hints for baking cakes and breads in crock pots.

I’ve gathered these from trial and error and from friends and family. I’m sure some of you have your own tips!

  1. DO NOT OPEN THE CROCK POT DURING THE FIRST FEW HOURS OF COOKING! UNLESS YOU WANT A FLAT MESS!
  2. Loosely place a clean kitchen towel on top of your crock and cover with the lid. (several layers of paper toweling also work, but be sure to use plain white ones)
  3. Discerning when a cake in the crock pot is done can be tricky! You can check for by looking at the sides of the cake, which should be browning and separating from the sides of the pot. The top should be firm-looking. (STILL MOIST HOWEVER)
  4. You can also insert a knife or long skewer but it will always be a bit moist. If the top still looks gooey and the sides are still LIGHT, walk away and set your timer for another 30 minutes or so.
  5. Allow your cake to cool for a full 30-45 minutes before you attempt to remove from the crock.  Its going to stay warm for quite a bit, if the crock removes from the heating area, remove it carefully and set on a cold stove top.
  6. A flat icing spatula or good ole kitchen knife run around the sides of the crock will help you loosen it from the sides.
  7. Center a cake plate on top of the pot and flip it over so that the cake falls onto the plate. You may need to give it a little jiggle and a shake and when it has come out, slowly lift up the Crock-Pot.
  8. It’s important to make sure the sides don’t overcook, so done-ness will be a version of the middle being fairly dry and the side being well done but not over-cooked. Even if your cake is a little messy in the middle, don’t stress it. Crock pots are by nature moist environments and  your cake will be a little more moist than you’ve probably cooked before.

Enjoy!

Southern Christmas Fruitcake

This fruitcake recipe has been around our house since Noah was a first mate. More cake than fruit, and the added Grand Mariner makes it extra yummy. Might want to keep the cake away from the small ones. They’ll love the fruitcake cookies from earlier! Mind you, this ain’t ya mamma’s fruitcake and certainly not the one you’ll find in the grocery store. You know the one, the little bricks from the Claxton Company are southern staples, but this is the real deal and good enough to convert even the staunchest  anti-fruitcake member of the family!

Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup:

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 pound mixed dried fruits, such as blueberries, cranberries, cherries, raisins, and chopped apricots
  • 1/2 pound, (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces almond paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier, or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

Directions

Make a simple-syrup by combining the sugar and water in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat.


Combine the dried fruits in a large mixing bowl. Pour the simple-syrup over them, toss to coat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and reserve the syrup.


Cream the butter, sugar and almond paste together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at low speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat until the mixture is fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing in between each addition on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add 1/4 cup of the Grand Marnier and mix to incorporate.


Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium-size mixing bowl and blend well. Add this mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, each time mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter will be thick.


Add the warm fruit and all of the nuts a little at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Lightly grease a bundt pan with butter or non-stick baking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until golden brown and the top springs back when touched, about 45 to 50 minutes (turning the pan to ensure even browning after 30 minutes.)


Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan, then remove and continue to cool upside-down on wire racks.


Make tiny holes with a toothpick randomly on the rounded end of the cake. Combine the remaining simple syrup with the remaining 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier and the bourbon. Wrap the cake in a layer of cheesecloth and pour 1/4 cup of the syrup over the top of each cake. Store in a plastic zip bag for 3 or 4 days until the cake is slightly stale. Sprinkle syrup over cakes once every 2 to 3 days until all of the syrup is used. Let the cakes age for up to 3 weeks before eating.

For the Whiskey Sauce:

3 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup bourbon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Combine 2 3/4 cups of the cream with the bourbon and sugar in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium-heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.


In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Add this to the cream-and-bourbon mixture and simmer stirring often, until the mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm with the fruitcake.


The sauce may be stored, after it has cooled, in an airtight container for 24 hours. When ready to serve, warm over low heat.

Fruit Cake Cookies Recipe

These yummie goodies have been a Christmas standard since I was a child. My Aunt Betty, who loved to cook, discovered this recipe in a Southern Living magazine (I haven’t a clue what issue) But she made them and they were such a hit, they began making an annual appearance. We all looked foraward to the beautiful boxes of cookies from Aunt Betty! They’re rich, but oh so good and even the fruitcake haters in your house will love these Fruit Cake Cookies!

 

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Fruit Cake Cookies
 
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Even the fruit cake haters in your house will love these
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (8-ounce) package chopped dates
  • ½ pound red candied cherries, quartered
  • ½ pound candied pineapple,chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) package golden raisins
  • 3 cups chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, beating just until blended.
  2. Combine baking soda and milk, stirring until soda dissolves; add orange juice.
  3. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Combine ½ cup flour mixture, dates, and next 4 ingredients, tossing gently to coat.
  4. Add remaining flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gradually stir fruit mixture into batter.
  5. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  6. Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.
  7. Bake at 300° for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Notes
Cookies may be stored in an airtight container up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.