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Cranberry Hummingbird Cake

cranberry hummingbird cake
Cranberry Hummingbird Cake

This Cranberry Hummingbird Cake is reminiscent of the traditional southern favorite, in that it includes fruit and spice. But this is not your Grandma’s Hummingbird Cake, y’all. This one skips the bananas, which I’ve found to be a bit gummy, and substitutes fresh cranberries. What a twist, right?! My version adds more spice and twang in every hearty slice. This Cranberry Hummingbird Cake is warm, sweet, fruity and tart, all at once.


It All Starts With a Box

If you’ve been following my recipes for any length of time you know that all of my cakes and cupcakes start with a boxed mix. I unashamedly sing the praises of most cake brands. In this case I wanted to start with something unusual. Sure, I could’ve reached for a yellow cake mix, but what would be the fun in that? With fresh ingredients going in–cranberries, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts–I needed something that would pack a punch.

So I went with. . .Spice Cake.

Ah, spice cake

Betty Crocker spice cake mix
Spice Cake Mix

Loaded with cinnamon and a host of other warm spices, I knew this would be the perfect base for my cake. But, what to bake it in? A loaf pan, maybe? After all, I wanted a heftier/firmer cake than usual. Nope. A loaf pan wasn’t impressive enough. What I wanted. . .what I needed. . .was. . .

A Bundt Pan

bundt pan prepared for baking
Bundt pan, greased and floured

This isn’t the first time I’ve reached for the bundt pan in recent weeks. It wasn’t so long ago that I came up with my Caramel Banana cake, after all. But in the case of this Cranberry Hummingbird Cake, a bundt pan was perfect! It could hold the heavier cake, no problem, and would slice up beautifully. But, how to go about it? I was, after all, making this up. Flying by the seat of my pants, as it were. So, I played it by ear. Let me talk you through it, starting with the ingredients.

Here’s what you’ll need to make my Cranberry Hummingbird Cake.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 boxed spice cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped (fresh) cranberries (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbl sugar (to coat cranberries)
  • 1 tbl flour (to coat cranberries)

So, there you have it! I put together a plan. Now, if you look at the picture of my cake ingredients, you’ll see that (initially) I included 1/2 cup water. I thought perhaps I might need it. But, I wanted until the end to decide, and after seeing the consistency of the batter with the pineapple added, I decided it had enough moisture. What I was going for here was something a little sturdier than a typical cake.

Here’s how I put the cake together. You can do it, too. In fact, you might have other ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator to add. (Baking is a lot of fun when you’re free to choose what goes in it!) And, hey. . .if you want to toss in a few mashed bananas, go ahead. Just pull back on some of the other liquids to accommodate.

How to make Cranberry Hummingbird Cake

Put the cake mix into a bowl and add the eggs and oil. Mix well.

spice cake with eggs

Add the pineapple (with its juice). Mix well.

Add the nuts and coconut. Mix well.

Chop the cranberries and coat in sugar and flour, then add them, as well. Mix well, then put in a greased/floured bundt pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 – 60 minutes or until cake pulls away from the side of the pan and springs back to the touch.

Remove from oven and cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto cooling rack to continue cooling.

Slice and serve. (You can drizzle with cream cheese frosting, if you like. To make cream cheese frosting use equal parts cream cheese and butter with enough powdered sugar to sweeten it to your taste. I opted to treat mine more like a hearty sweet bread, so I simply sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

This is a cake even your southern grandma would approve of! I would like to dive off of the dieting wagon and have a big slice but had to make do with a couple of nibbles. There was something pretty special about those tart berries against that spicy cake and sweet pineapple. Yum. (Definitely could have eaten a big piece if my hips would’ve allowed me. Ha.)

If you like these warm, spicy cakes, (and let’s face it. . .they’re great in the wintertime) you’re going to love my Cookie Butter Cupcakes. They’re a big hit with friends and family and have an amazing sweet warmth you won’t find elsewhere. (If’s from the Biscoff cookies, y’all.)

Folks also love my Carrot Cake Cupcakes. They’re warm, rich, and loaded with carrots, so they must be good for you! (Ahem. I have to tell myself that, right?)

And if you’re a fan of cranberries, why not try my Orange Cranberry Muffins? They’re reminiscent of this recipe, but without the pineapple and in cupcake form.

Oh! If you’re super hungry right now, check out one of my favorite sites, South Your Mouth. They’ve got a great Weekend Potluck!

One more good one! My friend Debby at Southern Home Express has a great recipe for 3-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce. I love a good homemade cranberry sauce. (I make a mean cranberry relish, too!)

Thanks for visiting, everyone! Let me know your thoughts on my Cranberry Hummingbird Cake!

Cranberry Hummingbird Cake

Cranberry Hummingbird Cake

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This Cranberry Hummingbird Cake, loaded with cranberries, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts, really packs a punch! It's not your Grandma's Hummingbird cake!

Ingredients

  • 1 boxed spice cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped (fresh) cranberries
  • 1 tbl sugar (to coat cranberries)
  • 1 tbl flour (to coat cranberries)

Instructions

    Put the cake mix into a bowl and add the eggs and oil. Mix well.

    Add the pineapple in its juice. Mix well.

    Add the nuts and coconut. Mix well.

    Chop the cranberries and coat in sugar and flour, then add them, as well. Mix well!

    That's it for the batter!


    Grease and flour a bundt pan then fill it with the batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. I started mine on the middle rack for the first 20 minutes then moved it up to the top rack for the final 20.


    Cake is done when it pulls away from the side of the pan and springs back to the touch.


    Remove from oven and cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto cooling rack to continue cooling.


    Slice and serve. (You can drizzle with cream cheese frosting, if you like. To make cream cheese frosting use equal parts cream cheese and butter with enough powdered sugar to sweeten it to your taste. I opted to treat mine more like a hearty sweet bread, so I simply sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

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    Barb Witt

    Monday 24th of January 2022

    This looks really awesome! Think I'll try it!

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