Hummingbird Slice

“Summer is a State of Mind” read the slogan on an icecream advertisement in Edinburgh. It still makes us laugh, because the few days of “summer” we experienced in Edinburgh were a lot like Sydney in winter. The sentiment is understandeable though. As we wind down to the solstice, and our longest, darkest night, I find myself longing for a taste of summer. Eating an icecream at the beach, even when the wind is icy, can let you pretend for a moment that the seasons have changed. Even summer in a can is better than no summer at all, so a recipe calling for crushed pineapple simply calls out to be baked.


Hummingbird slice is a colourful name for a fruity cake. With crushed pineapple, banana and grated carrot, the version in this month’s Donna Hay magazine sounded beautifully moist. If you want to create a gluten free cake, recipes with lots of moisture are best. Cakes that don’t rely on flour for their texture also turn out well gluten free. Being full of fruit for moisture and texture the hummingbird slice sounded like the perfect candidate for a gluten free cake.


The hummingbird cake is similar to a carrot cake, with pleasant hints of pineapple, and some cinnamon for fragrance. For the gluten free version I used a combination of almond meal and a commercial gluten free flour blend, which worked out quite well. When James said, “How did you get this to taste so un-gf?” I knew I’d be making this one again.

Hummingbird Slice
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 45

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple (drained)
1 banana (mashed)
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.
Put sugar, oil and eggs in a bowl and combine
Add pineapple, banana and carrot and mix again.
Then add almond meal, sifted gluten free flour, baking powder, bicarb-soda, cinnamon and coconut and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a lined 20 by 30 cm lamington pan.
Bake for approximately 40 mins, or until it springs back when you touch it.


18 thoughts on “Hummingbird Slice

  1. We will love the cake here in Santa Barbara, California, were it’s always (sorry) summer? actually we do have a month or so of grey skies. You all need to pack up and come visit?

  2. I’m in for a slice of Summer!! With hints of pineapple and cinnamon…. hmmm… I’ll close my eyes and think of some nice weather 🙂

  3. I LOVE hummingbird cake! I’m such a tropical boy! 🙂 It’s even better with a slather of cream cheese frosting on top, but I’m just unhealthy that way 🙂

  4. I love the quote, I wish I could addapt it everytime 🙂

    Hummingbird cake is to adore, but to make it slice-easy and un-frosted, leave a room for excuses to eat it more 🙂

  5. If it pasted the James taste test it must be good. You know, I dont think I’ve had hummingbird cake before. Sounds like something I would love, so I dont know why I haven’t eaten one yet!

  6. Mmm, hummingbird is one of my favourite cakes, and it’s very clever of you to come up with a gluten-free version. It may not be as risen as the cake, but your slice looks absolutely scrumptious!

  7. It looks so moist! I’ve always thought that Hummingbird is a very cute name for a cake 🙂 I like the quote, it suddenly gives me to urge to throw a summer-themed party in the middle of winter, haha!

  8. Oh it looks good! And I know how James must feel about gluten free goods. I can’t say it’s my favourite. There is a dedicated gluten-free bakery on Victoria road in Rozelle called Roberto’s cakes. Have you tried them yet?

  9. I’ve heard a lot about Hummingbird cake. I thought it was just carrot cake in a different name, because often carrot cake includes pineapple pieces in it, as so I used to make. My kids always love carrot cake and it doesn’t matter even if it’s a GF hehehe… Would love a piece for my cuppa, pls…

  10. I like the idea of something carrot cakeish but with pineapple for a little something extra (carrot cake can be a bit disappointing sometimes).

    Donna Hay magazine is one of my guilty pleasures – it costs a fortune in the UK once it has been imported, and it’s always the issue for the wrong season but I just love the photography.

  11. That sounds AND looks gorgeous. I’ve made a similar cake (non g-f) and didn’t realise it was called a hummingbird cake.

  12. Gorgeous! I want summer in a can today – it’s wild and woolly in Melbourne and a slice of this, with a nice cup of tea, would make me a very happy woman!

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