A gluten-free hummingbird cake on a silver cakestand

Gluten-free hummingbird cake

I am a huge fan of carrot cake. That delicious moist cake with its comforting spiced flavor. And of course cream cheese frosting.

The cake I am sharing with you today, this gluten-free hummingbird cake, falls in the same category as carrot cake.

It is a lovely moist cake. Without carrots, but with pineapple and banana, which makes the cake moist and sweet.

Layers of delicious cream cheese frosting. And you add cinnamon to this cake, which is why it also reminds me of carrot cake.

Is it better than gluten-free carrot cake? For me, both are equally delicious, so don’t ask me to pick a favorite 😉

But if you like carrot cake, I bet you will love this cake as well.

A piece of a three-layer hummingbird cake

The ingredients of the gluten-free hummingbird cake

The main ingredients of this hummingbird cake are as follows:

  • Gluten-free baking mix: I like using Schär Mix It Universal or a similar mix, such as Doves farm freee plain white flour.
  • Cinnamon
  • Canned pineapple chunks
  • Bananas: if you eat low FODMAP, make sure you don’t use bananas that are too ripe as these are higher in FODMAPs. I usually use yellow bananas that don’t have too many brown spots yet.
  • Eggs
  • Sunflower oil: this is one of the reasons why this cake is so moist. I don’t recommend substituting this.
  • 2 kinds of sugar: brown and white
  • Pecan nuts

This cake is relatively easy to make gluten-free and low FODMAP because it mainly contains ingredients that already are gluten-free and low FODMAP.

The main change that you have to make is to use a gluten-free baking mix.

A gluten-free hummingbird cake with a piece cut out of it

Frequently asked questions

Where did this cake get its name from?

Hummingbird cake originated in Jamaica and is now a popular dessert in the South of the United States as well. The cake is named after Jamaica’s national bird: the hummingbird.

In Jamaica, this bird is also named doctor bird and that is why this cake is called Doctor bird cake there.

What does hummingbird cake taste like?

Hummingbird cake can be thought of as a mix between a carrot cake and banana bread. It is a soft moist cake with a sweet fruity flavor.

You can clearly distinguish the cake’s banana flavor and taste the cinnamon. Topped with that delicious cream cheese frosting.

How can you best store the cake?

Because of the frosting, you can best store hummingbird cake in the fridge. Put left-over cake in an airtight container, then you can keep it for 5-6 days in the fridge.

Can you freeze the gluten-free hummingbird cake?

Yes! It is best to first place the cake unwrapped in the freezer for about 3-4 hours, so it can set. Then wrap it tightly and freeze for up to 6 months.

You can also cut the cake into pieces and follow the same process as mentioned above for freezing.

Thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight when you want to eat the cake.

A gluten-free hummingbird cake on a cakestand
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A gluten-free hummingbird cake on a cakestand

Gluten-free hummingbird cake

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  • Author: Karlijn
  • Total Time: 90 min
  • Servings: 12 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A fruity gluten-free hummingbird cake! With pineapple, banana, pecans, and cream cheese frosting. A very festive cake. Low FODMAP.



For the cake

  • 375 g (3 cups or 13.2 oz) gluten-free baking mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 yellow bananas, mashed*
  • 227 g (8 oz) canned pineapple chunks (1 can)
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 160 ml (5.4 oz) sunflower oil
  • 200 g (1 cup or 7.1 oz) light brown caster sugar
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup or 3.5 oz) of white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 g (1 cup or 4.4 oz) pecan nuts + extra for garnish

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 450 g (16 oz) lactose-free cream cheese
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (7.1 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lactose-free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 cake tins – 8 inches or 20 cm in size


For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).
  2. Grease three 8 inches or 20-cm cake tins.
  3. Cut out circles the size of the baking tins from a sheet of baking paper and place them in the baking tins.
  4. Grease the baking paper a little and grease the edges of the baking tin. This way you can be sure that the cakes come out of the tin properly.
  5. Put the baking mix, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl and stir together.
  6. Mash the bananas. Save 2 tbsp of the pineapple juice from the can. Drain the pieces of pineapple. Place the mashed bananas, pineapple juice, and pineapple chunks in another bowl.
  7. Also add the eggs, sunflower oil, 2 types of sugar, and vanilla extract and stir together.
  8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until you have a batter.
  9. Coarsely chop the pecans and stir them into the batter.
  10. Divide the batter among the three cake tins. You can also bake them one at a time if you only have 1 cake tin of the right size at home.
  11. Bake the cakes in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
  12. Let cool completely.
  13. Remove the cakes from the tins after cooling and cut off a small layer from the top so your cakes are flat.

For the frosting

  1. Mix the cream cheese with the butter until soft.
  2. Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix this together gently.
  3. Then continue mixing on a high setting for a few more minutes until you have a creamy frosting.

To assemble

  1. Place a layer of cake on the cake stand or serving plate on which you want to serve the cake. Cover the top of the cake with a layer of frosting.
  2. Place the next cake layer on top. Cover this with frosting as well and finish with the third cake layer.
  3. Spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Use a palette knife for this and smooth the sides and top of the cake nicely.
  4. Garnish the cake with chopped pecans.


*Ensure the bananas are not overly ripe if you follow the low FODMAP diet. Even though this is often recommended in cakes like these, very ripe bananas are higher in FODMAPs and therefore less suitable if you are on the FODMAP diet. I usually use bananas that are yellow but don’t have too many brown spots yet.

  • Prep Time: 60 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: International

Will you let me know if you have made this recipe? I would love it if you would let me know what you think about the recipe by leaving a comment and rating below. You can also share your creations with me by tagging me on Instagram @karlijnskitchen or by using the hashtag #karlijnskitchen

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