A Tribute to Mothers: Hummingbird Cake

I never knew how hard being a Mother would be. The late nights, early mornings and middle of the night sick kids are hard. But that part of motherhood isn’t the hardest part of motherhood. Not by a long shot.

Balancing dance and soccer schedules, doctors appointments, working from home, the kids school schedules along with my school schedule is hard. But it’s still not the hardest part of motherhood.

When I see an older sibling say something that could be seen as bullying her younger sibling, I wonder if I’ve taught them enough about being bullied, or being a bully. When I let my son walk a few doors down by himself to play with a friend, I wonder if I’ve taught him all I need to about strangers. When I round the corner of the kitchen and find my daughter on the internet, I wonder if I’ve taught her all I need to about internet safety. When I say “I love you” before the kids run out of the car to school, I wonder if I’ve given them the tools they need to  be a good friend, study hard, listen and respect authority and show respect to property. That is one of the hardest parts of motherhood. But it’s still not the hardest.

The hardest part of motherhood has to be watching your kids try and fail or suffer. It’s so hard to see them not make that soccer goal, not get the part in a play, or try so hard to do well on a spelling test and fail. It’s hard to see them when they are sick, struggling with a friendship, or trying so hard to accomplish a new skill and not be able to do it. It’s also hard to see them get frustrated when one sibling is able to accomplish something so easily and they are not able to.

No one ever warns you how much you will worry. How much you will try. Or how much you will give up in order to make sure that the children you love so much are able to learn and become responsible adults. I don’ t know if I will ever stop worrying that I will fail.

Luckily, motherhood has so many blessings that come with it. Watching them finally get that good grade, perform perfectly at their recital, or finally get that goal he’s practiced so hard for. It’s wonderful to know that I have a hand in it, but can sit back and watch the joyful look on their face. It’s fun to have a second chance to do kid things again, but not BE a kid again.

I love being a Mom, and I know how hard that we as Mom’s work. There is never a day off, so I think that’s why God created chocolate. And cake. So instead of a day, we get a minute to indulge.

hummingbird cake

This beautiful hummingbird cake will show Mom how much you love her this Mother’s Day. Just in case you forgot, it’s SUNDAY!! 🙂 Traditional hummingbird cakes use a lot of oil, but with the addition of bananas and pineapple that keep the cake moist already, I was able to cut back significantly on the amount of oil used but not sacrifice flavor with this hummingbird cake recipe.

hummingbird cake recipe

Mom will love it when you tell her that this cake is much lighter than it’s original counterpart. And you will love this hummingbird cake recipe.

Lightened Up Hummingbird Cake

2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (about 3-4 bananas)

1 can (8oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup oil

2 eggs (can use egg substitute, egg whites or flax eggs)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour or almond flour

1 cup sugar (can substitute 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar or fine raw sugar)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan.

In a food processor, place the bananas and pineapple. Pulse several times until the bananas and pineapple have reached a thick, chunky consistency. Pour the pineapple and banana mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the applesauce, oil, and vanilla and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Slowly mix the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and stir until well blended. Fold in walnuts if desired.

Pour mixture into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Check the cake to see if it is done before removing from oven. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

(Frosting on the cake is part of a traditional hummingbird cake, but you can sprinkle some coconut and walnuts over the top of the cake and omit the frosting if desired).


1 8 oz pkg fat free or reduced fat cream cheese (reduced fat is better for a more whipped consistency to the frosting)

1/3 cup butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well incorporated, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until frosting is smooth. Spread frosting over cake evenly and sprinkle walnuts on top of cake if desired.

Makes 16 servings.

Related Links:

Hummingbird Cake by Joy of Baking

Vegan Hummingbird Cake with Orange Buttercream Frosting by Vegan Thyme

Gluten Free Hummingbird Bundt Cake by Premeditated Leftovers

Hummingbird Cupcakes by Annie’s Eats


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