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
Directions: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.
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.
Mix in the bananas
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.