There’s something about a family recipe that’s unlike any other plain old recipe you’ll find in a cookbook or while strolling on Pinterest. Those recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, even if they use the same ingredients as any other, have an incredible way of bringing you back to a certain time and place, with just one bite.
I recently came upon a few recipes from my maternal great-grandmother (we called her Grammie), some that I remember eating while seated around her Lazy Susan-centered dining table, and other desserts I’ve never made before but thought sounded delicious. Grammie passed away when I was just 5 years old, but I will always remember her as a strong and loving woman from New Orleans, one who could often be seen whipping up flavorful dishes in the kitchen. She was known for her sweet spaghetti and meatballs and her meringue-topped key lime pie (she later lived in the Florida Keys, until she passed), but no matter what Grammie was cooking, you could tell in that first bite it was filled with lots of love.
I baked up Grammie’s recipe for Hummingbird Cake yesterday for some friends who are coming into town for the weekend, and after having a bite last night, I was immediately taken back to fond childhood memories in Grammie’s kitchen and around her dinner table. Not to mention, this delicious moist cake offers the perfect mix of spice from the cinnamon, freshness from pineapple and banana, with a bit of crunch from the walnuts and pecans.
Grammie’s Hummingbird Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs beaten
1 ½ cup oil
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple (undrained)
2 cups chopped bananas
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) **Note: I used a bit of both in the cake and on top for decoration
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moist. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas and nuts. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or put in 9×13 pan and bake about 50 minutes.
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (softened)
½ cup butter
2 cups (16 oz) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Nuts for top
Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer. Spread a thin amount of frosting on each cake layer and then generously spread the rest on the top and outside of the cake. Sprinkle nuts on top of cake. **Note: If you like more frosting inside the layers, I would suggest doubling the frosting recipe.