Hummingbird Cake That Will Make Your Dairy-Free Taste Buds Flutter


Hummingbird Cake was first submitted to Southern Living in 1978 by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina. And it has since become the magazine’s most popular Southern cake recipe of all time. Interestingly, they credit the cake’s amazing texture to the fact that it is dairy free! “… oil is used instead of butter to get the moist, quick-bread-like texture of the layers.” They use vegetable oil, but you can use your favorite neutral baking oil with equivalent results. We love rice bran oil or non-GMO canola oil in recipes like this one.

But to make this a truly dairy-free Hummingbird Cake, a vegan cream cheese frosting was in order. We’ve modified the recipe a touch to use one of our favorite quick frostings. As a heads up, we typically use Daiya for the cream cheese alternative, which is both dairy-free and soy-free. Dairy-Free Hummingbird Cake Recipe - A classic, popular dessert from Southern Living

Special Diet Notes: Triple Layer Hummingbird Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

Triple Layer Hummingbird Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was originally shared with us by Cate of Just Baking, but it is a classic that she modified slightly from Southern Living. We've made a couple of additional helpful modifications.
Serves: 12 to 16 servings
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups oil (your favorite for baking)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts, divided (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Double batch of Dairy-Free “Cream Cheese” Frosting
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF
  2. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Add the oil and eggs and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened/
  5. Stir in the pineapple with juice, bananas, 1 cup nuts (if using), and vanilla.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  8. Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto racks to cool completely.
  9. Once cool, place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Evenly frost the top. Top it with the second cake layer, and evenly frost the top. Top it with the third cake layer and evenly frost the top and sides of the cake.
  10. Optionally sprinkle the cake with the remaining 1 cup nuts.

Key Pantry Supplies: Dairy-Free Hummingbird Cake

Want More Dairy-Free Recipes? Enjoy My Books:

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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