The Country Cook: Hummingbird Cake Bars

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hummingbird Cake Bars

I am sharing a classic recipe with a twist today! Hummingbird Cake is a well-loved and well-known southern recipe. It's a great way to use up ripe bananas! And it comes from one of my dear friends, Jennifer, who blogs at Bake or Break
She's originally from Mississippi and has since transplanted to New York. She inspires me with all of her creations. Seriously. Follow her on Instagram. Drool much? Plus, she takes some amazing photos of her area in Brooklyn. And bonus? She's a fellow crazy cat lady. Holla!
Jennifer has written one of my new favorite baking cookbooks. It's called Quick Shop & Prep 5 Ingredient Baking. So, the idea is that you have all of these basics already in your pantry and fridge. Jennifer calls it 'The Baker's Pantry'. You have items like eggs, milk, flour and butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and spices. When you always have these on hand, all you have to do is pick up a couple extra ingredients at the store to make the most awesome-est baked goods. 
Jennifer has broken down her book into 4 sections: +2 Ingredients, +3 Ingredients, +4 Ingredients, +5 Ingredients. So you start with your 'Baker's Pantry' of ingredients and then add 2, 3, 4, or 5 ingredients. Brilliant! This cookbook is perfection for any level of baking experience. Whether you want to learn how to bake and start slowly or whether you are an experienced baker who wants to try some new and different recipes, there is something for every skill level. These are unique recipes that will make you look like a baking supah star! FYI - the Salted Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars - to die for!
When Jennifer and I saw each other last fall, I asked (read: made) her sign my copy of her cookbook. I told her that people need to see how much she loves me so she better write a good note. And as you can see below, she has a hilarious sense of humor and she clearly loves me because she drew a heart for love. So that pretty much makes us BFF's.
Did I mention that this book stays open? It lies flat on the counter so you don't have to fuss with it while you're prepping. There are 80 recipes in this cookbook and each one is on its' own page with its' own photo. There is no page turning in the middle of a recipe. And if you are a messy cook and baker, like myself, this is a small but important handy little thing to note. 
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter to win a *SIGNED* copy of Quick-Shop-&-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking. Jennifer has allowed me to share a recipe from her book. It's her take on Hummingbird Cake. The recipe is called Hummingbird Bars. It's tender enough to be a cake but dense enough that you can easily eat it with your hands (no fork needed!) 
And the cinnamon cream cheese frosting? It is perfect for the flavors in the bars. Don't forget to enter to win a copy of this cookbook below (at the end of the post!) 
for the bars:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large Eggland's Best egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped pecans

for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
1/2 block (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
TO MAKE THE BARS: Preheat the oven to 350f degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. 
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well. 
Mix in the bananas
 And pineapple
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
Stir in the pecans.
Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Allow cake to cool completely.  
TO MAKE THE CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING: Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and vanilla until thoroughly combined. 
Gradually add the confectioners' sugar. 
And mix until smooth.
Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cooled bars.
Sprinkle the top with pecans.
Cut into bars and serve! Makes 24 bars.
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  1. The hummingbird bars look delicious! My hubby would love them. Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.

  2. My favorite dessert is... all of them! It depends on my mood really and the season. These look delicious!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing from my book! I remember these quite fondly, and yours look delicious! xoxo

  4. I am a huge dessert fan, and I always tend to grab a piece of pie. My favorite being homemade coconut cream!

  5. Hummingbird cake is one of my absolute favorite desserts, and I have never thought about making it into bars. Naturally the talented and lovely Jennifer McHenry would think of it! I am sharing this recipe on my social media pages. :)

  6. My favorite dessert is my mom's coconut cake. :-)

  7. Since I really like Hummingbird cake, I'd love to try the bars as it looks easier to make. I believe my favorite dessert is Mississippi Mud, the cake version.

  8. I saw a great idea for holding a cook book ( such as this one) out of the way...use a skirt or pants hanger and clip that to the book and hang it over the cabinet door knob.
    Good recipe for this cake - thank

  9. Anything chocolate. seriously!!

  10. I have seen Hummingbird Cake recipes on Pinterest, so these look delish. Can't wait to try!

  11. This looks super yummy! My favorite dessert is chocolate pie!!!

  12. Unbaked Cherry cheesecake. Growing up, always for my birthday! Since then? Always a favorite for church get-togethers!

  13. Looks delicious, will give it a try!

  14. This cookbook looks fabulous! I want to try the Salted Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars! Butterscotch is my favorite!

  15. Love your recipe, and I have the original Southern Living recipe from 1979, I believe. It was the first copy I ever saw and bought and I made the cake over and over from special occasions. Now I can enjoy your bars at our pot lucks where I live. My all time favorite dessert has to be homemade ice cream. Thanks for a chance to win the cookbook.

  16. Sounds and looks so delicious...Some people in my household are not nut lovers. Was thinking of replacing the nuts with coconut. Do you think that would work? Thanks...

  17. This sounds like a terrific book. The recipe you posted must be yummy. What a genius idea to have a cookbook that lies flat while you are using it! And I am one who needs to have a photo to inspire me to cook, so this is something I would love to have. Thanks for the opportunity!

  18. Not to sound cranky - but I LOVE your blog. I love the recipe posts and the link-ups. But all of the ADS in the posts are SO DISTRACTING and make it VERY hard to read and follow the recipes - especially on a portable device like a tablet or phone. I know it's necessary to support blogs and you are certainly not the only one... it just makes it really hard to read and I find I'm less inclined to try to read or click through a post because of the ads...

  19. My favorite dessert is home made chocolate chip pecan cookies warm from the oven!

  20. Love this recipe. Of course I had to make it as soon as saw the recipe. My grandkids actually started to lick their plates when they were finished. Remember my grandma making this when I was a kid. Would love the cook book.

  21. My favorite dessert, believe it or not, is Hummingbird Cake. I make it every year for my daughter's birthday. Would love a copy of this cookbook.

  22. I LOVE cheesecake. Or, any variation of cheesecake. So, so rich and delicious!

  23. Brownies! I am super excited to make these bars. They sound and look delicious!

  24. Can this be baked in a jelly roll pan ? 10 by 15 inches. How long to bake if we can?

  25. My favorite dessert is any kind of fruit crisp. I love the oatmeal, brown sugar & butter topping! This cake, however, looks amazing and might be my new favorite!

  26. My favorite dessert is a Danish dessert that I absolutely love. It's called Citron Fromage which translates from French to Lemon Cheese. It's a very light dessert and everyone loves it. I make it for my husband's birthday as it's his favorite too!

  27. Would love to win this cookbook! I'm all about few ingredients & easy to prepare =)
    Love following The Country Cook and I think my most favorite dessert is strawberry pretzel salad! Is that a dessert or salad? Either way, it's the yummiest!!

  28. My absolute favorite dessert is coconut cake and chocolate cake.

  29. I'm a pumpkin fanatic so I'm going to say anything pumpkin...pie, cake, cookies, DOUBLE LAYER pumpkin pie, etc., etc. Thanks for the giveaway!

  30. brownies:) thank you for this chance:)

  31. My favorite dessert is anything with coconut! A bakery in my area makes an awesome Hummingbird Cake -with coconut added. �� I would love to win this cookbook and add it to my collection.

  32. German Choc cake is my favorite all time dessert but boy do I love Hummingbird Cake too. Can't wait to make these bars! Already started a grocery list!

  33. My favorite dessert would have to be anything sweet. Sorry but i can't pick just one.

  34. Nothing better than vanilla cake and chocolate frosting...yum!

    Vienna R.

  35. These Hummingbird bars look amazing!!! from Pam McGlone

  36. love the original cake, but these look much simpler to whip up, and delicious!

  37. Love simple chocolate cake and whipped cream

  38. Pinpointing your favorite dessert is like choosing your favorite child. I just can't do it! I love them all.

  39. Warm cookies from the oven are always my favorite. There are SO many others that I love though. =)

  40. Looks delish! Enter me for the cookbook please?!


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