Vegan Hummingbird Cake

A wonderful little banana based cake filled with Caribbean flavours - pineapple, coconut and lightly spiced with cinnamon and allspice. This yummy cake recipe can easily be doubled to make it as it’s classically made - stacked into a layer cake or leave as is to enjoy as a single layered snack cake.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake completed

What kind of a cake is hummingbird cake?

As I mentioned above it’s a banana based cake that is nicely spiced and a cake that is as popular and beloved as carrot cake. It comes as no surprise as they both have very similar textures, they both have the same amount of variations out there (so many variations), they both get their moisture from fruits or veggies and they also both go really well with cream cheese frosting. Hummingbird cake is said to originate in Jamaica named after the island’s national bird. It became extremely popular on this side of the world when a recipe for it was published in Southern Living magazine - that was in the late 70’s. Since its welcome it’s become a favorite cake in many homes.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake sliced

Ours included. I love any cake with pineapple and this cake not only has pineapple in it but it’s also loaded with pecans and spiced just right. Because it tends to be on the moister side of things I thought it would be a great cake to make into a gluten free one. Something I think a lot of gluten free all purpose flours translate well in. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-1 Baking Flour in this recipe and I was happy with the result. It easily fits into any baking recipe without any add ins to worry about. I get away with using it unnoticed in a lot of my baking as a 1-1 substitute for all purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill has you covered when it comes to all of your baking needs while catering to those in your family who have specific food allergies. Their flours come in stone-ground, whole grain, organic, gluten free, paleo, and vegan options, perfect for any spring recipes.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake with pieces cut

The leavening agents along with the apple cider vinegar help give the cake that lift that eggs give a cake also making this cake vegan. This cake is made moist from the banana and pineapple. Many prefer their Hummingbird cake quite moist and almost heavy, dense or on the wet side. That is not the way we like it. So this version has all the flavours but with a lighter texture. You can easily change that by adding more pineapple. I reduced the amount of pineapple and pineapple juice in the recipe to get a lighter less dense cake. It has just enough pineapple for this size cake I think but feel free to increase the pineapple by ¼ cup and the pineapple juice by a couple of tablespoons.

I also added some shredded coconut in mine too as I think pineapple and coconut are perfect together. I went with a vegan buttercream that can easily be made with any vegan/plant based butter. It’s a lot lighter than a cream cheese frosting and it goes with everything. I used coconut extract instead of vanilla for extra coconut flavour in the frosting and I simply decorated the whole thing by sprinkling it with toasted coconut slices.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake ready to serve

It’s a really easy cake to make - as easy as any banana bread recipe out there and requires just a bowl and whisk. You will enjoy this cake as is or doubled and made into a layered Hummingbird cake. I hope you enjoy this vegan and gluten version free classic.

I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.


Yields: Makes one 8x8 cake and two 6 inch round cakes and the recipe can be doubled to make two 9 inch round cakes
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cook Time: 25-27 mins


For the cake

  • 1½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-1 Baking Flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp all spice
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2 medium ones, 3 small)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice 
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped pineapple
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup shredded coconut

For the Vegan buttercream frosting

  • 1 stick vegan butter (½ cup)
  • ½ tsp coconut extract (vanilla extract optionally)
  • 3 - 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp full fat coconut milk (only if needed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl mash bananas well with a masher or a fork and then whisk in the sugar until light and frothy and then whisk in the oil, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract until incorporated.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet until incorporated. Then mix in the cider vinegar until frothy.
  5. Fold in the pineapple, coconut and pecans.
  6. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes.
  7. Cool cake in pan on rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely on rack. In the meantime make the vegan buttercream frosting. Add softened vegan butter and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy.Add powdered sugar in ⅓ cup at a time and continue mixing until well combined and fluffy, scraping down sides as needed.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp of coconut milk at a time if needed and if it’s too thick, until you have the desired consistency. Use immediately or store frosting in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow it to come to room temperature before trying to spread it.
  9. Spread over cake evenly and garnish the cake with either chopped pecans or toasted coconut slices. (Garnishes are Optional)
  10. Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Vegan Hummingbird Cake top view