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The Hummingbird Recipe

The Hummingbird Recipe

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1 rating

March 25, 2014


Jess Novak

Floral, light, and ideal for spring weather.

Click here to learn more about 7 Easter Brunch Cocktails.




Calories Per Serving

Related Recipes


  • 2 Ounces sparkling wine
  • 1 1/2 Ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • 1.5 Ounces club soda or sparkling water


Gently stir to combine in a champagne flute.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving189

Total Fat0.1g0.2%



Vitamin K0.2µg0.3%


Folate (food)0.6µgN/A

Folate equivalent (total)0.6µg0.1%



Niacin (B3)0.1mg0.6%





Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.


The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook Recipe FAQs

Unfortunately we can’t answer individual queries via the blog. Baking has many variables and it takes practise. Even at our bakeries, it doesn’t always go perfectly, so don’t feel disheartened if it doesn’t work first time. Making the perfect cake or cupcake is both a science and a skill – it’s not easy being this tasty.

Buttermilk Poundcake Banana and Chocolate Cupcake Black Bottom Cupcakes Blondies Blueberry Cake Blueberry Muffins Blueberry Pie Brooklyn Blackout Cake Carrot Cake Chocolate Muffins Coconut Meringue Cake Double Chocolate Cookies Gingerbread Men Ginger Cupcakes Hummingbird Cake Key Lime Pie Lavender Cupcakes Lemon Cupcakes Lemon Loaf Lemon Meringue Pie Marshmallow Cupcakes New York Cheesecake Nutty Apple Loaf Pecan Pie Pumpkin Pie Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie Red Velvet Cupcakes Spinach and Cheese Muffins Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Buttermilk Poundcake

I've cooked the poundcake for the time stated in the recipe and the middle is still raw. What has gone wrong?

If your skewer doesn’t come out cleanly after the baking times are over, this just means that your oven is baking slightly slowly and the poundcake needs more time – you haven’t done anything wrong. Just keep your cake in the oven until it’s done and a skewer comes out cleanly. Some readers’ ovens bake the poundcake within the guidelines and a few readers have reported that their ovens need double the time. This is a denser cake and can take more time to cook all the way through in your loaf tin. There’s less surface area with a more compact loaf tin shape, and the heat will take more time to get all the way to bake the very centre of the cake! The top will be quite brown and slightly more brittle than our regular vanilla sponges, this is normal.

Banana and Chocolate Cupcakes

My Banana and Chocolate Cupcake sponge is not as light as other cakes I’ve baked from your book. Is this correct?

Yes, our Banana and Chocolate Cupcakes are much denser and richer than regular sponge because of the banana. If you’ve ever had banana loaf you’ll notice how the fruit pulp makes the sponge much heavier. This is normal and it makes it taste rich, delicious and a teensy bit gooey.

The sponges are sinking after taking them out of the oven. What’s going wrong?

Nothing is wrong, just make sure your oven is the correct temperature (use an oven thermometer if needed) and leave the sponges in until they are done. Timings can differ from batch to batch as riper bananas will be moister and this will affect how long the sponge takes to bake. Keep an eye on them and only take out of the oven when a skewer can be removed cleanly from the sponge.

How ripe should my bananas be for the Banana and Chocolate Cupcakes?

We recommend using relatively ripe bananas as they will be easier to mash and incorporate into the mixture. Riper bananas also have a much stronger banana flavour and due to higher levels of sugar in the fruit will add a caramel-like sweetness to the final baked sponge. Adjust the baking times to reflect the ripeness of the fruits you are using – add a little extra time for riper bananas.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

The mixture for my Black Bottom Cupcakes is really thick and doesn’t pour easily. Have I made it right?

Don’t panic, the mixture for Black Bottoms is supposed to be thick. It almost resembles uncooked brownie mix and the sponge is much denser than our Chocolate Cupcakes. As we say, don’t judge a sponge until its baked! They should still be moist, so if they turn out dry and the ingredients are to the letter it will probably be due to overcooking. On the other hand, the cheesecake mixture is relatively runny. Wait and see how the final product turns out as it is very hard to tell in the early stages.

Should the chocolate sponge be gooey in the middle?

No, it should be cooked all the way through. Test your oven temperature with an oven thermometer and ensure that you cook the sponge for the appropriate length of time so that a metal skewer comes out clean.

Where do you put the cheesecake mixture?

Simply spoon it on top of the chocolate batter. There’s no right or wrong way it’s what it tastes like that counts. All our Black Bottoms turn out differently, but they look the same when frosted – it’s all about taste!

The chocolate sponge doesn’t taste very sweet. Have I made it right?

Yes, our recipes are correct as written. The richness of the dark cocoa sponge is meant to work well with the slight sourness of the cheesecake and the sweetness of both the chocolate chips and the cream cheese frosting.

The recipe doesn't include water in the ingredients list but it is included in the recipe. Is this correct?

Including water in the ingredients list is a choice made by the publisher and will depend on their house style. When it comes to cookbooks, many publishers don’t class water as an ingredient and choose to omit it from their ingredients lists. We agree, it can be a little confusing, but it’s one ingredient most home bakers will have in abundance!


My Blondies have a sponge-like texture. Have I messed them up?

Brownies and Blondies can be overbeaten and this can incorporate a lot of unnecessary air into the mixture. Lots of air gives a sponge-like texture so be sure to only beat for as long as the recipe states and don’t get too carried away!

Blueberry Cake

My blueberries all sank to the bottom. What’s going wrong?

Nothing, so long as it tastes amazing, no one will notice the precise coordinates of your blueberries! If you see the photo of our Blueberry Cake, nearly all the blueberries have sunk through the cake to the top when the cake is turned out. This is perfectly normal as heavy, moisture-laden fruit will sink through a light batter. Even the power of cake can’t stop gravity! Coating the blueberries in flour, preheating the oven so it is ready to go and adding them just before baking can help to set the blueberries in a more evenly dispersed fashion, but there’s still a chance they’ll sink.

Blueberry Muffins

I made blueberry muffins and the fruit sank to the bottom. What is going wrong?

A smooth and runny batter makes for a light and moist sponge, so we try to ensure the muffin texture is right rather than worry about the distribution of the fruit. Heavy fruit will always sink to the bottom and there are a number of variables (mixing, oven temperature etc.) that can play a part in how the muffin turns out. Make sure your oven is at the correct temperature and try giving your muffin mixture a quick stir to agitate the berries from the bottoms of the cases. Some bakers swear by covering the fruit in flour before baking, but we don’t with our muffins. So long as they taste good, that’s all that matters!

Do you use fresh blueberries?

Yes, we always use fresh blueberries in our muffins.

Blueberry Pie

Why does the recipe ask for two quantities of Basic Pie Crust dough?

The recipe is doubled so that you can make the base of the pie and the top.

Can I substitute blueberries for cherries using the Blueberry Pie recipe?

Changing the fruit will be an experiment, so it’s better to use a recipe specifically for Cherry Pie. If you wish to use cherries to make a pie we recommend you use the variety of sour cooking cherries rather than the sweet eating cherries.

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

The custard for my Brooklyn Blackout Cake is lumpy. What can I do?

When it comes to making any custard, constant whisking is crucial. We have heard of home bakers achieving good results with an electric hand whisk. It will take some elbow power if you are whisking by hand, but your custard should come out smooth with plenty of vigorous whisking. The consistency of the cornflour/water mixture should be thick like wallpaper paste. Whisk vigorously while adding the water little by little. Adding 50ml extra of water may help to smooth out lumps in the cornflour mixture. When cooking the custard, it should be whisked constantly and heated for the required time. Allow it to cool fully in the fridge before spreading it onto your sponge layers, it should have a margarine-like texture.

This cake is difficult to make. What is going wrong?

Don’t worry, the Brooklyn Blackout Cake is technically one of the most advanced recipes in the book. Some recipes require more practise to get right, so don’t feel disheartened!

Are cornflour and cornstarch the same thing?

Yes, cornflour is the UK name and cornstarch is the American name.

How do you get the cake crumb topping so fine?

We use a food processor to blitz the crumbs. It’s very hard to achieve the same texture by other means!

Should I keep my Brooklyn Blackout Cake in the fridge after it has been made?

We suggest keeping it in the fridge if you don’t intend to eat it on the same day. But we recommend it is taken out of the fridge at least an hour before serving to return the sponge and custard frosting to the right texture.

Can I use this custard frosting to finish my cupcakes?

By all means experiment and if it works, let us know! If you think it tastes good, then it is a success. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to trying new combinations.

I have left over chocolate custard. Can I freeze it?

We have never tried to freeze our recipes so we can’t say whether something will freeze well or not. Kept in a fridge in an airtight container it should last a few days, although we always recommend eating your goodies as soon as possible. One good tip for leftover custard is to microwave it for a few seconds and pour it over ice cream – delicious! It can also be poured over various other desserts, so have fun experimenting.

Carrot Cake

Can I use Carrot Cake batter to make cupcakes?

Yes, use the batter as you would in the Vanilla Cupcakes recipe and bake for a similar amount of time. Keep an eye on it and only remove from the oven when a skewer comes out clean.

Chocolate Muffins

The recipe seems very light compared to other muffin recipes in the book in terms of flour. Is this right?

All recipes are correct as written and we adjust the flour amounts to give a different texture to our fruit muffins.

Can I make the muffin batter the night before?

It should be okay to make it in advance, although we think that baking them from fresh will always produce the best results. However, bear in mind that any raising agents will lose some of their power the longer they sit around in a batter. This is why it is okay to make pancake batter in advance, as they don’t need the boost from the raising agents.

Coconut Meringue Cake

Can I substitute fresh coconut for grated coconut?

Please try to use the exact ingredients stated by the recipe or you risk it going wrong. Using different ingredients will affect the outcome, so do try to get fresh coconut for this recipe rather than substituting. Also, cracking into a coconut is a lot of fun! Most supermarkets will have fresh coconuts available or you can try local specialty stores.

How do I take a coconut apart?

Use a screwdriver to carefully pierce the eyes of the coconut and then strain the coconut water into a jug. Making two holes will allow the juice to pour out of one hole and air to break the seal. You can then place the whole coconut into a preheated oven and after around ten or fifteen minutes the coconut will crack! Open it up, scoop out the coconut flesh and grate it. Ideally, if you wish to substitute ingredients it is always best to bake the recipe first with the ingredients as written so you have a benchmark for how it should turn out.

How can I remove the coconut flesh carefully?

Having the coconut in smaller pieces will make scooping out the flesh much easier but make sure to use a dull table knife or a spoon and to take your time. A tool called a coconut shredder can be purchased from specialty shops and markets – it looks a little like a meat grinder and will clean out a coconut in no time flat.

What is the difference between the juice in a coconut and coconut milk?

Coconut milk has been processed, the oil has been extracted and the flesh has been ground up. The juice found naturally in a coconut is not coconut milk, it’s sweet water.

Double Chocolate Cookies

Why are my cookies so thin?

It’s very important to whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla for at least 5 – 7 minutes on a medium-high speed, allowing the mixture to thicken and lighten in colour. This gives a nice thick mixture which allows the resulting cookies to be chewy and about 1cm thick. Also, please make sure you’re using good quality, 70% dark chocolate for this recipe, as milk chocolate or a weak chocolate won’t give good results.

Gingerbread Men

How long does the gingerbread dough need to relax?

Ideally, the dough should be left overnight, but if you have less time then at least 2-3 hours in the fridge should do the trick. This allows time for the strands of gluten to adjust to their new shape and for moisture to spread more evenly throughout the dough.

Ginger Cupcakes

What is ground allspice and is there a substitute?

Allspice is the ground powder of a single dried fruit (pimenta dioica) which was given its name as it was thought to taste like a combination of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. There isn’t a substitute for it as it is not a spice mix but an ingredient in its own right.

Can I use fresh ginger?

Fresh ginger will probably give a very harsh taste if you use it raw. Our Ginger Cupcakes are made with stem ginger soaked in syrup which gives a lovely sweet, mellow ginger flavour. We always recommend using the ingredients listed in the recipe – they’ve been chosen for a good reason!

Hummingbird Cake

Is Hummingbird Cake anything to do with The Hummingbird Bakery?

We’d love to say this delicious recipe of crushed pineapple, bananas, pecans and cream cheese frosting (think of a Carrot Cake on a tropical holiday) is something to do with The Hummingbird Bakery, but alas, no! Hummingbird Cake is thought to be an authentic Southern American recipe. The exact origin of the name is unknown, with some believing it to be because the cake is sweet like the nectar that hummingbirds feast on. However it came about, the delectable Hummingbird Cake has made its way into our cookbook and has even featured as a Daily Special Cupcake!

Key Lime Pie

The lime filling isn’t as green as the picture. Have I made it wrong?

So long as you’ve used the recommended amount of lime juice and zest, it will be just the right colour.

The recipe asks for condensed milk. Is this sweetened or unsweetened?

Condensed milk is sweetened. ‘Unsweetened’ condensed milk will be labelled as such.

Is condensed milk the same as evaporated milk?

Not necessarily – it mainly comes down to differences in the sweetness of the two ingredients. Condensed milk will be sweetened as standard unless labelled as ‘unsweetened’. Evaporated milk, on the other hand, is not sweetened.

Lavender Cupcakes

The recipe specifies using dried lavender flowers. Can I use fresh lavender instead?

Yes, fresh lavender should work beautifully. Be sure to wash the flowers thoroughly if they are just-picked!

Lemon Cupcakes

I made some lemon cupcakes and they don’t rise as much as my other cupcakes. Why is this?

Any cupcake mixture which has fruit, fruit puree or fruit juice in it will generally not rise as much as other mixtures. When we make our Lemon Cupcakes they tend not to rise much and they rarely come out of the oven domed, they may even sink a little in the centre. Just remember, it’s all about how they turn out once frosted and the taste and texture will vary between different recipes

Lemon Loaf

How long do I need to mix the flour and milk for until it becomes light and fluffy?

A couple of minutes should be fine, try not to overbeat or the gluten in the flour will become overworked. Always make sure your electric mixer is on the right setting for the task, as overzealous beating is the enemy of a light and fluffy sponge!

Is the Lemon Loaf supposed to be dense?

Yes, the Lemon Loaf is a denser cake than our cupcakes.

Lemon Meringue Pie

The lemon filling for my Lemon Meringue Pie is turning out runny. What’s going on?

A common mistake is undercooking the filling. Also, make sure you allow the filling to cool down and set completely before baking it a second time with the meringue topping. If possible, you can prepare the base the night before to allow it to cool completely in the fridge before adding the topping the next day.

What sized lemons should I use?

Regular medium sized lemons should be fine, as large lemons might add too much liquid and prevent the filling from setting completely. We don’t specify a particular quantity (millilitres) of lemon juice in the recipe, but be sure not to choose particularly small or oversized lemons.

The lemon filling for my Lemon Meringue Pie is turning out runny. What’s going on?

A common mistake is undercooking the filling. Also, make sure you allow the filling to cool down and set completely before baking it a second time with the meringue topping. If possible, you can prepare the base the night before to allow it to cool completely in the fridge before adding the topping the next day.

The lemon filling isn’t as yellow as the picture. What’s the secret?

We don’t use any colouring when making our Lemon Meringue (or Key Lime) Pie. The colour of the egg yolks will affect the colour of the lemon mixture, but it won’t be sunshine yellow.

Should the meringue be completely crispy?

This meringue is not as crisp as the meringues you can buy ready made in shops and you should only be aiming for a very light, golden crust. The meringue itself will be relatively soft and fluffy.

What kind of meringue do you use on the Lemon Meringue Pies you sell from your bakeries?

We use the Simpler Meringue topping rather than the Italian Meringue topping.

The recipe calls for condensed milk. Is this sweetened or unsweetened?

Condensed milk is sweetened unless labelled as ‘unsweetened condensed milk’. Both sweetened and unsweetened condensed milk are widely used in baking but it is important to use the appropriate variety as called for by the recipe.

Is evaporated milk the same as condensed milk?

Evaporated milk is unsweetened, whereas condensed milk will be sweetened. Unsweetened condensed milk is also used in baking but it will be labelled ‘unsweetened’.

Marshmallow Cupcakes

My frosting came out pale yellow and not off-white as pictured in the book. Why is this?

The yellow colour will come from the type of butter you use, so don’t worry! Sometimes very small variations in ingredients will have an affect on the outcome, but so long as they taste great that’s all that matters.

New York Cheesecake

Should the cheesecake be brown on top?

It should be a light golden brown colour when fully baked, so don’t worry about it seeming overdone. The colour may be patchy with some areas going browner than others. This is normal and cheesecakes rarely have a perfectly uniform top colour.

Do you have any tips to help get my cheesecake right?

Make sure that the base is completely cool before putting the cheesecake mixture on top of it. Cracks across the top can happen, but the water bath is there to help prevent this. Run a knife around the edge of your cheesecake as soon as it comes out of the oven and this will help to prevent cracking as it shrinks away from the tin.

Nutty Apple Loaf

My Nutty Apple Loaf is very crumbly. Is this how it’s supposed to be?

This recipe is meant to give a very crumbly loaf. We used to serve this in our shops and it never sliced neatly! It’s a tasty, wholesome cake that requires serving on a plate (as shown in the recipe book picture). We think it tastes delicious and it’s worth a few crumbs!

Why do I need to leave the batter in the fridge for a few hours/overnight?

Always follow the recipe as instructed as there will be a good reason for every stage. Leaving the batter for a while will allow the ingredients to get to know each other and will make the end product taste delightful.

Pecan Pie

The filling of my Pecan Pie hasn’t set properly. What is going on?

A common mistake is to substitute dark corn syrup for another ingredient such as golden syrup. Although another similar ingredient may work, we recommend that you follow the recipe to the letter and use the ingredients stated or you risk a potential Pecan Pie catastrophe. Timing is also vital when it comes to pie fillings, whether it’s our Pecan Pie or our Lemon Meringue Pie, so always ensure you bake it for at least the recommended time.

When can I serve my Pecan Pie?

We recommend allowing the pie to cool fully before slicing and serving.

Pumpkin Pie

Can I use my own pumpkin puree?

We recommend that you always use the ingredients stated in the recipe, but if you feel brave enough to adapt them and it works, by all means do what you find easiest or tastiest.

Where can I buy pumpkin puree?

Stockists will vary, but lots of supermarkets and online shops do stock tinned pumpkin puree.

Is there a difference between tinned and fresh pumpkin?

There is less moisture in tinned pumpkin, which will mean the pie takes less time to set.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie

The raspberry cream on my Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie is not the same colour as the brownies in your bakery. Why is this?

We always use fresh raspberries in our Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies, but the colours can vary from bakery to bakery. The reason for this is that the juiciness of the berries can change throughout the season, depending on how fresh they are and this will alter the amount of raspberry juice released into the cream topping. Also, beating will break down the fruit and release yet more lovely juice, so the colour and consistency of the cream will vary according to how much the fruit is mixed around. But as we often say, if it tastes good, then it’s right!

Do I bake the brownie layer first?

No, be sure to follow the recipe instructions to the letter. In this recipe the brownie layer and the cheesecake layer are baked together.

When I make this at home the brownie layer can rise up through the cheesecake layer at the edges. Is this normal?

Yes, this is to be expected. In our bakeries we trim the edges off (cook’s treat!) and don’t actually serve them as it improves the presentation. But this is purely a matter of preference and they taste just as delicious left au naturel.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For questions relating to red food colouring, please see the section ‘Food Colouring’.

My Red Velvet Cupcakes are turning out brown. What have I done wrong?

Using ‘natural’ red food colouring will often cause the sponge to come out orangey brown in colour rather than red. Make sure you use a good quality red food colouring that isn’t natural. A variety of colour gels, pastes and liquids can be found online.

My sponges are coming out with high peaks. Is this to be expected?

Yes, Red Velvet Cupcakes are notorious for rising into high peaks. If you wish you can use a sharp serrated knife to remove the peaks before frosting, or you can simply frost around the peaks. The discarded peaks can even be whizzed up in a food processor and used to make the Red Velvet crumbs used to decorate your cupcakes.

Do you use white wine vinegar in your Red Velvet Cupcakes that you sell in your shops?

We use distilled white vinegar in our shops when making our Red Velvet sponge (this contains no alcohol).

Can I use a different kind of white vinegar instead?

If you have white malt vinegar or white cider vinegar, they can all be used instead of white wine vinegar. We recommend following all our recipes as instructed, but this is a relatively small substitute. Whatever you do, don’t use a dark vinegar as this will affect the taste.

Spinach and Cheese Muffins

What consistency should the muffin dough be?

Muffin mixture is a thick batter but should not be a dough. Over-mixing your muffin mixture will cause the gluten to become overworked and will lead to denser muffins. This is why we knead bread dough before baking. The batter is little more than ensuring that the ingredients are combined, it doesn’t need vigorous mixing. Using an electric mixer makes it very easy to overwork cake and muffin batters.

Can I bake muffins in advance?

Our muffins are best eaten fresh as leaving them a while will cause them to harden. Indeed, in our bakeries we only sell them in the mornings and usually on weekends. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container, but allow them to cool down completely first.

Can I freeze these muffins?

Fresh is always best. We’ve never tried to freeze our recipes, so see what works for you. As muffins are quite dense compared to our cupcake sponges they may need to be reheated a little to perk them up, but we’re not sure if this would impair the taste. The spinach in the muffins may go stringy or mushy if it is subjected to so much mixing, baking, freezing and reheating!

Can I loosen up the mixture as mine seems a little too stiff?

A few splashes of milk will help if you think your muffin batter needs loosening up a little, but the recipes are correct as written so should be followed wherever possible.

This mixture is really stiff. How do I mix it?

The recipe suggests using a wooden spoon as it simply becomes much too firm for an electric mixer to handle.

These muffins are a little too hot for me. Can I reduce the amount of cayenne pepper?

Yes, by all means reduce or omit the cayenne pepper if you aren’t a fan of hot spices. We think it gives our muffins the perfect kick, but it won’t harm the recipe to leave it out.

Can I make the muffin batter the night before?

It should be okay to make it in advance, although we think that baking them from fresh will always produce the best results. However, bear in mind that any raising agents will lose some of their power the longer they sit around in a batter. This is why it is okay to make pancake batter in advance, as they don’t need the boost from the raising agents.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

The recipe asks for lots of digestive biscuits. Are you sure this is the right amount?

Yes, the recipes are correct as written. We frost and decorate our cupcakes very generously as this is the American-style, so we recommend our home bakers use as much of the ingredients as specified.

The strawberries are sinking into the batter. What has happened?

Not all sinking is a sign of failure! If you put heavy fruit with a high water content into light sponge batter it will more than likely sink. We bake various fruit cupcakes in our bakeries and we are happy to serve ours with fruit that has sunk. If you take a look at the photo of the Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes you will see a dark red layer at the bottom – this is the fruit settling. It’s all about taste and we don’t think it makes a difference to the deliciousness or visual appeal of these little beauties!

The strawberries have gone a bit mushy. Why is this?

Under the heat of an oven a little piece of strawberry doesn’t stand a chance, so it is perfectly normal for them to go a bit gooey and jammy. This is how they are supposed to be. If your oven is at the right temperature and you’ve baked the cupcakes for the recommended time, they should turn out as expected.


If you live in the eastern half of the U.S., plan on hanging your hummingbird feeders in early May. In the west, aim for April. If you live on the West Coast and regularly spot Anna&rsquos hummingbirds in your area, you can leave your feeders up all year. Elsewhere, take feeders down in late fall so migrating hummingbirds have a spot to refuel before making their journey south.

You need to concentrate on the following tips to make perfect nectar for hummingbirds.

Purified Water:

Sometimes normal water contains some harmful chemicals and has a strong taste, so you need light purified water to make perfect nectar. You can also boil the water for that purpose, but make sure you don’t reduce water volume during boiling. It may increase the sugar concentration in the water. If you are a little confused, buy this cheap purified water or any other of your choice.

Refined sugar:

Sometimes you use the unrefined sugar in place of regular white sugar and think that it’s ok. But unrefined sugar is very heavy compared to regular white sugar, which may cause harmful effects on birds. So always use refined white sugar to make perfect nectar-like natural nectar obtained from flowers. We are recommending you one that works best, but you can buy any white sugar.

The ratio of sugar and water can be slightly adjusted but always try to maintain the perfect ratio of 1:4 ratio of sugar and water. Less sugar water is not attractive for birds because they get sweeter nectar from flowers. The more sugar-concentrated water is not easy for birds to digest. So always try maintaining a perfect concentration 1:4 ratio of sugar and water.

Cool before use:

Always try to cool the nectar before use because hot nectar is very harmful to birds. Warm nectar also damages your feeder and attracts the bees and other insects. Using hot water, you will observe that the birds can’t back to your feeder after the first visit.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1 cup chopped black walnuts
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ pound butter, softened
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs, pineapple, bananas and nuts. Add flour mixture, and mix together by hand.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in center of each pan comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool on racks.

Prepare the frosting by blending together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Evenly spread frosting on middle, sides and top of cake.

When to Change Your Hummingbird Nectar

Hummingbird Nectar Needs to Be Changed if Not Eaten With in a Few Days!

Many people fail to realize that hummingbird nectar needs to be changed if it is not eaten with in a week or so. The sugars in both homemade and store bought nectar can grow bacteria and yeast. This can be harmful and prevent your hummingbirds from coming back.

Change Your Hummingbird Food During Hot Weather

During normal temperatures below 70 degrees F you should change your hummingbird food every 7-10 days. Hotter temperatures will result in needing to change the food more often.

High temperatures Change nectar after

If you live in hotter regions that require your food to be changed every few days consider only filling your feed with one cup of food each time. This will prevent waste and the need to make a new batch every other day.

Change Your Hummingbird Food if it is Cloudy

Cloudy hummingbird nectar is a sign that something has gone wrong. Either it has gotten two hot, has bacteria in it or fine particles have caused an algae bloom.

Anytime your hummingbird food becomes cloudy you should was your hummingbird feeder inside and out and refill with fresh nectar.

Below we discuss in detail about the natural flower nectar that hummingbirds feed on and how it compares to homemade hummingbird food.

Natural Nectar Composition

Hummingbirds are specialized nectarivores that feed on dilute solutions of sugars with trace amounts of amino acids and electrolytes.

Flower nectar is digested and quickly converted into energy, supplying a hummingbird's carbohydrate requirements.

The sugar in flower nectar is primarily sucrose, like that of white sugar.

Artificial Nectar Concentration

Using the normally accepted hummingbird feeder solution ratio of 1:4 (i.e., 1 cup sugar dissolved in 4 cups water =

37 oz of nectar) produces a solution with an approximate sugar concentration of 20% (1/5 of the solution is sugar)

This sugar concentration is what is naturally found in flower nectars preferred by hummingbirds.

We say approximate because in reality sugar and water molecules have different atomic weights, which means you can't simply divide to get your percentage by volume alone.

A refractometer* (which McDade and Weeks used to measure sugar content of flower nectar in their study) would measure our 1:4 feeder solution as being 18.6% sugar.

Long story short, you can't go wrong with the 1:4 ratio because the concentration is close to the natural sugar concentration of hummingbird-pollinated flowers (20%).

Higher Concentrations of Hummingbird Food Recipe

Are higher concentrations harmful?

No research has shown that higher concentrations are not harmful to hummingbirds.

In fact, Blem et al. (2000) found that Rufous Hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) preferred a sugar concentration of 50% when presented with solutions varying in concentration from 10-70%.

Janet Asked: I messed up and did three water and one sugar, is that going to hurt them?

Answer: No, it will not harm them. The higher concentration of sugar will just give them an extra boost of calories.

Higher nectar concentrations (up to 1:1) can be made, especially during cold migration periods.

But if you are feeding during the warmer months, just go back to the 4:1 ratio on the next batch.

Lower Concentrations of Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

And what about lower concentrations?

The more diluted the nectar, the more consumption of nectar is needed to satisfy a hummingbird's energy requirements.

McWhorter and Martez del Rio (1999) found that, depending on sugar concentration, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds (Selasphorus platycercus) consumed volumes of nectar ranging from 1.6 to 5.4 times their body mass per day.

Weaker concentrations are less attractive to hummers & you'll find they may just stop coming to your feeder to find a better, concentrated source.

In addition, because hummingbirds will have to consume more of a dilute nectar to get the same energy from a concentrated one, their bodies will have to work harder.

The rate of energy assimilation may be constrained by excess water elimination.

So when making your hummingbird food recipe solution, don't go weaker than the 1:4 ratio of sugar to water.

Honey and Artificial Sweeteners

The sugar in flower nectar is primarily sucrose, like that of white sugar.

So don't use honey in your feeder, which is primarily composed of fructose & glucose. Hummingbirds can't digest it as efficiently.

Fermentation & mold growth also occurs faster in honey solutions than those made from granulated sugar. This mold (fungus) can give the hummingbirds a fatal tongue infection.

Do not use artificial sweeteners either which provide no calories (no energy).

Lee's Kitchen: Hummingbird cake to celebrate spring

Published May 18. 2021 9:00AM

By Lee White Day staff writer

When we had our house in Old Lyme, we fed all our outside wildlife. In terrible weather, I went out into the screened back porch and fed all the creatures out of 50-pound sacks of wild bird seed, sunflower seeds, dried corn and peanuts.

After larger animals broke into the screens and ate the goodies, we had a large lidded galvanized can on the porch but we kept the 50-pound sacks in the dining room.

In the late summer and until early autumn, I cleaned out the big bird feeders and hung the hummingbird feeders. As tiny as they were, I could hear the flutters of their wings and loved to see how territorial they were.

I sold the house in 2014 and moved into a condo, I still feed all the birds, but I never got a single hummingbird. This spring, my seventh year, I told the hummers that their sabbatical was over and that this would be their last chance. I bought two big fuchsia plants and made my own sugar water. (Thank you Beth Utke: 1 cup sugar, 4 cups water. Boil 1 cup of water, add the sugar, spoon the mixture until clear, add the rest of the water and change the sugar-water every other day.)

I think they got the memo. I now have hummers. So, I thought, how about the hummingbird cake. Haven’t made it in years, but it is delicious. This makes a three-layer cake.

Hummingbird Cake

Adapted from Southern Living, 1978

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 8-ounce crushed pineapple in juice (use the juice in the recipe, too)

2 cups ripe bananas (about 3 bananas), mashed

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened

1 cup salted butter, softened

2 16-ounce packages confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup pecan halves, toasted

Prepare three 9-inch layer cake pans with Pam. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl add eggs and oil, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas and toasted pecans.

Divide evenly among the pans.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Prepare the cream cheese frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer on medium-low until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating on low until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

After you spread the frosting between each cake and the top and sides, top the tops with pecan halves.

This cake can be made in a very large Pyrex pan and baked for at least 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. To make cupcakes, bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, also until a wooden pick inserted until it comes out clean.

WATCH: We Cracked the Case of the Hummingbird Cake

In the February 2018 issue of Southern Living, you may have seen an article entitled "The Mystery of Hummingbird Cake," in which Kathleen Purvis traced a dessert-based puzzle that has perplexed Southern Living for decades. You see, in 1978, a Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina, submitted a recipe for hummingbird cake to the magazine. Her recipe was so flavorful and tender that it became not only our most popular dessert recipe, but also the most popular recipe of any kind published in the magazine&aposs now-52-year history. Over the years, we&aposve published over 10 variations of that original cake. It&aposs evident that we owe a great debt to the generosity of Mrs. L.H. Wiggins𠅋ut who was she?

This is the question that has confounded us. To revisit this beloved Hummingbird Cake is to reopen a decades-long mystery, because, as Purvis wrote in the February issue, "Only a little is known about Mrs. Wiggins: She was a widow from Virginia who evidently worked as a housemother at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and she died in 1995 at the age of 81. But we don&apost really know much more than that." Over the decades, with just a few kernels of information, we tried to identify Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, but to no avail. Each attempt at locating her unearthed more questions and no answers.

So the mystery endured—it endured exactly 40 years.

That&aposs right. An intrepid sleuth in the Southern Living offices has solved the case. What follows is the unraveling of the mystery by Southern Living office manager Nellah Bailey McGough, who followed lead after lead, finally locating the identity of Mrs. L.H. Wiggins and revealing the details of her life that have helped us get to know the person behind the famous Hummingbird Cake.

The first clue was rather serendipitous. As McGough explains, "We put out a call for anyone who might have known Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, and we got a bite." It came in the form of an email sent to Southern Living editor-in-chief Sid Evans. It reads: "A friend called me last night and told me I had to contact you. She had received her recent issue of Southern Living and read the article about the Hummingbird Cake […]. She called me because I had mentioned a few years back the story of Mrs. Wiggins and her delicious cake. I understand you are looking for some information on this dear soul."

The writer of the email was Joan Steele, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who said Mrs. Wiggins had been a nanny to Steele&aposs three young children when they lived in Roanoke. They called Mrs. Wiggins "Wiggy," and Steele remembers Wiggy&aposs "warm nature, sweet smile," and her delicious Hummingbird Cake. Steele recalls that Wiggins always wore "a skirt, blouse, sweater, and low heels𠅊nd she giggled when she talked."

In this letter, the first clue to the story of Mrs. Wiggins, Steele shares, "[Wiggins] told me she had sent her recipe to Southern Living, and she was so excited that it had been published by you. This was her claim to fame, and she loved that your staff loved it so much. I&aposm sure she had no idea that 40 years later it would be your number one recipe!"

You need to pick a good location for your hummingbird garden and if at all possible you will want to place it near a window so you can observe the birds feeding on the flowers from inside the house.

Keep in mind that you need a area that is well drained and it needs to be in a area that gets 6 - 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. You should also deside on the size of the garden. You can always start with a small garden and add to it the next year or in the years to come if you wish.

Plants that you can plant in your garden to attract hummingbirds are.

1. Bee Balm.

2. Fushia and Lantana.

3. Hollyhock.

4. Rose Of Sharon.

5. Butterfly Bush.

6. Trumpet Vine.

7. Japanese Honeysuckle, Plant in container to keep it from spreading.I have mine in containers and they are against a wall that the Japanease Honeysuckle spreads over. I have latice put up over the wall to help the honeysuckle grow up the wall.

8. Cardnial Vine.

9. Silk Tree, Plant in container to keep it from spreading.

You can plant a combination of these flower plants in your garden and while the flowers are blooming you should have a large population of hummingbirds in your hummingbird garden. As a side benefit you&aposll see that you will have a huge population of butterflies also.

You can place several hummingbird feeders up around your garden about six foot apart and attract hummingbirds when the flowers are not in bloom. Its important to place your feeders at least six foot apart to create separate feeding areas for the hummingbirds coming to the feeders. The reason for this is that hummingbirds can be very territorial and will chase other hummingbirds away from what they consider to be their feeder. With a little time and effort you can create a hummingbird paradise.

Watch the video: Торт Колибри - самый вкусный рецепт. Американская классика. Hummingbird cake (July 2022).


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