A banana pineapple pecan cake with a honey orange cream cheese frosting. The secret ingredient to lighten the dessert: greek yogurt in both the cake and frosting. The perfect guilt-free cake for your Easter table.
I am so excited to FINALLY share this recipe.
I have been working on perfecting this recipe since last Easter.
I brought this cake to Easter last year to my in law’s Easter celebration. My in law’s got me the bundt cake pan for Christmas and I wanted to show my appreciation by baking and bringing my very first bundt cake.
It was a get together of around 30 people, so it was also the perfect opportunity to show case my dessert (and get legitimate feedback).
Our family loved the cake portion. But the cream cheese frosting didn’t quite work. It was a bit too thick and decadent for the cake. I knew I had to go back to the drawing board on that portion of it.
This year, I decided to give this cake another go. I made it two weekends ago and changed the frosting recipe. I used less butter in the frosting so it would have a more pourable consistency.
However, this time I decided to make a two layer cake instead of a bundt cake. I had been looking at cake recipes all week on Pinterest and got this idea in my head I needed to make a beautiful, impressive two layered cake. But this recipe really was meant to be made in a bundt cake pan. Plus, I only had two 9 in cake pans, which were too big for the amount of batter this recipes makes. It led to two thin layers. Also, the icing was now too thin for properly icing a two layer cake.
It turned out a mess. The top half kept slightly shifting forward and the cake looked like the leaning tower of Pisa. Second, fail.
But don’t worry! I didn’t let the two layer cake go to waste. I brought it to work and again got great feedback on the cake AAANNDD the frosting this time. I knew it was worth trying this one more time.
So I made it again last weekend. I baked the cake in a bundt pan, like originally intended. I added a touch more greek yogurt to the cake to add more moisture and an additional spice, all spice, to give the cake more flavor.
I also tinkered the frosting recipe sightly to eliminate the butter and try greek yogurt instead. I also added orange zest to the frosting to give it a pop of flavor.
The cake turned out moist and delicious. The frosting was light and creamy and poured perfectly over the cake.
I’m proud and excited to share this recipe with all of you. After three tries baking it, I can confidently say the recipe works and tastes amazing.
Let’s get to baking.
First, you might be asking yourself, what is a hummingbird bird cake?
It’s a traditional southern cake with bananas, pineapple and pecans and topped with a cream cheese frosting.
According to Martha Stewart, this delicious cake got its name because every bite makes you hum with delight.
I can verify that is true!
They key to achieving great banana flavor and adding additional moisture to the cake is roasting your bananas in the oven before adding them to the batter. Yes. I said roasting. Trust me, it is necessary.
Line a baking sheet with parchment, place your bananas on the baking sheet, and roast for about 20 minutes.
The banana skin will turn almost completely black. But don’t worry, that’s normal. The flesh of the bananas soften and turn deep yellow. The sugar concentrated from roasting will actually start to seep out of the bananas (which is why you need to use parchment paper) and adds the perfect touch of rich banana sweetness.
You also want to roast the pecans to bring out their natural nutty flavor. Remove the bananas and add the pecans and toast for 8-10 minutes in the 350 degree oven. You will know they are done when you can start smelling their nutty aromas perfuming your entire house. It’s magical!
Now that the pre-baking steps are complete, we can start making the batter.
First, shift all of your dry ingredients together (except the toasted pecans).
Next, in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and coconut sugar until light and frothy. Add in honey and vanilla and beat for another 1-2 minutes. Finally, add in remaining wet ingredients and blend until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and gently beat until it is well incorporated. Fold in the pecans.
An important step in making a bundt cake is properly greasing the bundt pan. The bundt pan has a lot of nooks and crannies that could cause your cake to stick. I use a baking spray mix that already has flour in it. If you do not have that spray, you can use a regular spray or oil and regular flour to grease and flour the pan.
Pour the batter in the greased cake pan and bake for 50-60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The cake is done when a fork or toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for about 20 minutes and then flip it out of the pan. You want to let it cool slightly before slipping so the cake can start to stabilize. You also don’t want to let the cool completely cool in the pan or it will overcook from the residual heat from the pan.
Next, the frosting. The greek yogurt honey orange cream cheese frosting (whew, I know a mouthful) MAKES this cake.
I used greek yogurt to replace the butter in the recipe. It works beautifully. It adds a little tang to the frosting and also makes it lighter and more pourable. I also added a touch of honey, to give it that robust, floral flavor, you can only get from honey
Orange zest is the perfect addition to this flavor party. Its bright and acidic, which helps tame the richness of the cream cheese frosting.
And let’s be real, orange, pineapple, and banana are a tropical match made in heaven.
Now that the cake and frosting are done, it’s time to decorate. Pour that luscious, beautiful frosting all over the cake.
To complete the dessert, I added a little extra orange zest all over the cake to give it an additional pop of flavor and some needed color.
How this cake is lightened up?
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is the star ingredient in this cake. I’m obsessed with substituting greek yogurt for oil in dessert recipes. The greek yogurt is thick and creamy so still adds a lot of moisture to the cake, but is a lot less calories and fat than oil. Win-win!
In my pursuit to perfect this cake, I have tested fat free greek yogurt and full fat greek yogurt. I didn’t find a significant difference using the full fat greek yogurt, so I believe both are suitable for the cake.
I also used greek yogurt in replace of butter in the frosting. It’s genius! It reduces the fat and adds a beautiful tang to tame the richness of the cream cheese. Usually, cream cheese frostings are super decadent. The greek yogurt cream cheese frosting actually has this lightness to it that pairs wonderfully with the dense, luscious bundt cake. I could literally eat it by the spoonful. In fact, I’ve been doing that all week 🙂
Roasted Bananas: The bananas do more than add flavor. They also add moisture, so you can lower the amount of fat needed (in this case, greek yogurt). They also add sweetness, so you can lower the sugar content.
Whole wheat and Oat flours: Instead of traditional white flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour and oat flours. It leads to a sturdier, denser cake, which I think is perfect for a bundt cake. They also add a nice nutty flavor, which pairs well with the pecans. These flours also add nutrients and fiber to the cake.
Honey and coconut oil: This cake is refined sugar free. Instead of white sugar, I used coconuts sugar and honey. Both add a robust flavor to the cake that pairs well with the bananas and pecans.
The multiple efforts it took to perfect this cake were well-worth it. The cake is dense and moist, almost like a super decadent banana bread. The cake is also studded with chunks of banana, pecans, and pineapple, making every bite different and fun.
The honey orange cream cheese frosting brings it all together. The orange plays perfectly with the flavors in the cake and provides a refreshing pop of acidity and freshness. The frosting is light, but still decadent and delicious.
Trust me, you need this at your Easter table. It is sure to be a showstopper!
Lightened Up Hummingbird Bundt Cake
A banana pineapple pecan cake with a greek yogurt orange honey cream cheese frosting.
- ¾ chopped toasted pecans
- 2 cups oat flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup raw honey
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 4 bananas roasted
- * 8 oz crushed pineapple in juice do not drain
- * ¾ cup greek yogurt full fat or fat free, room temperature
- * 1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
Greek Yogurt Honey Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz low fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt room temperature
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean pasta
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- Zest of whole orange
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a bundt pan.
Roast the bananas on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until skins of the bananas turn black. Let cool.
Toast pecans in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and start to slightly brown. Let cool.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Beat eggs and coconut sugar until light and frothy. Beat in honey and vanilla pasta. Add in remaining wet ingredients.
Gently fold wet ingredients until dry ingredients until well incorporated. Fold in pecans.
Pour batter intro prepared buddy pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes then flip out of bounds pan. Let cool completely before frosting.
Pour desired amount of frosting over cake.
Serve and enjoy!
Beat greek yogurt and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
Add in honey, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla and neat until well incorporated.
Add in powdered sugar and mix until frosting is stable and fluffy.
May need to add more orange juice or almond milk to thin out frosting in order to properly pour it over cake.