Simple Hummingbird Hole-Punch Cake

Happy Fourth of July!!! Do you need a simple and quick dessert for your holiday celebrations today? Make this cake which was devoured by some family members. Because of the banana pudding it tasted like banana bread and some don’t care for a banana flavor. You could substitute pineapple or vanilla pudding which is what I will do the next time I make it – then everyone will be happy 🙂  You also need to chill the cake/pudding mixture for about 4 hours before adding the whipped topping.

This is another dessert I have always wanted to make and finally decided on this simple one from the Southern Lady using a cake mix, pudding mix, crushed pineapple and of all things Cool-Whip. I cannot remember the last time I bought a tub of this light and fluffy topping.

Normally, I do not use cake mixes (except for the many decorated birthday cakes I use to make) as  I enjoy creating desserts from scratch. However, when you have many things to make for a lot of people it is nice to have something easy that is quick to put together.

The Hummingbird Cake was created on the island of Jamaica, after the island’s national bird, the Red-billed Streamertail, nicknamed the “Doctor Bird Cake”. It was so named because of the way a hummingbird gets the nectar from flowers, kind of like the probing a doctor makes with his patients. The cake recipe was used in a tourist promotion in 1968 by Air Jamaica aimed at American consumers to get them to come to the island.

The first known publication of the recipe in the United States was written by L.H. Wiggin which she shared with the February 1978 issue of Southern Living (a great magazine). It was Southern Living’s favorite recipe in 1990 and the most requested recipe in the magazine’s history.

So, for almost 40 years this has been a favorite Southern cake and it is made so many different ways and with many of the same ingredients. I do hope to do it justice by making a more traditional version…

Hummingbird Hole-Punch Cake

  • 1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped and more for garnish, optional
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) box instant banana cream-flavored pudding mix (you could also use vanilla or pineapple)
  • 2 cups whole milk (I used a combination of 2% and whole)
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 (12 oz.) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. Or just use a plain spray and then coat the pan with flour.

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and add the 1 cup pecans in a large bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes (I did cook it for an additional 5 minutes). Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Take a wooden spoon and using the end of it poke 1/2-inch deep holes at 1-inch intervals. I will make the holes deeper next time, maybe 3/4″.

In another bowl, whisk the pudding mix and milk about 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed pineapple and pour mixture evenly over cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to serve spread whipped topping over cake and sprinkle with chopped pecans, optional.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju

DSC_9310 DSC_9311


There are many different versions and ways to make this cake. You can make cupcakes, bundt cakes, 2 layer cakes or a cake pan like I used. Frostings vary from salted caramel, cream cheese, glaze or even Cool-Whip. They all sound delicious to me!

Linking this yummy dessert to Fiesta Friday.

10 thoughts on “Simple Hummingbird Hole-Punch Cake

    • Hi Fae – I added a few more paragraphs to this post explaining the history of the Hummingbird Cake and how popular it is all over the US, especially in the South. I will take the time to make a traditional version at some point…


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