Fall 2022 R&D Batch: Hummingbird Cake


A jar of our '22 Q4 R&D Batch, Hummingbird Cake Almond Butter, sits atop a multicolored plaid background.


Our exclusive R&D Club recipe for this quarter was inspired by Hummingbird cake, a remarkable dessert introduced to Mark on Sea Island, GA.  


“For years, I thought carrot cake was my favorite cake, but when I tasted Hummingbird cake, everything changed. I think it offers the perfect flavor profile for Fall – toasty, nutty, and infused with tropical fruits and warm baking spices.” - Mark 


 Hummingbird cake was created in Jamaica, and is named after the island’s national bird, the scissors-tail hummingbird. The name of the bird came from the way its long beak probes flowers, like a doctor inspecting a patient. Locally, they call the hummingbird the “Doctor bird,” so it’s fitting that they call this cake “Doctor bird” cake.  Some say the cake got its name because it was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds, while others say that the yellow streaks of banana in the cake were evocative of the bird’s plumage. Either way, it’s delicious! 



Hummingbird nut butter on a spoon.



In 1968, the Jamaican tourist board sent press kits to the U.S. that included a few recipes from the island, including one for the Doctor bird cake. Over the next few years, similar recipes started to crop up in local papers and community cookbooks across the South under various names, including the prophetic “Cake that doesn’t last.”


Most food historians agree the first printed recipe for Hummingbird cake was by Mrs. L H Wiggin, who supplied the recipe to Southern Living magazine in February 1978. Wiggin’s recipe was a hit with readers and won the Favorite Cake Award later that same year at the Kentucky State Fair. It was later voted Southern Living's favorite recipe in 1990 and was noted as the most requested recipe in the magazine's history. 


For this batch of Hummingbird Cake Almond Butter, we blend fresh-roasted heirloom Mission almond butter with house-toasted pecans, freeze-dried banana and pineapple chunks, organic brown sugar, Jacobsen Sea Salt, cinnamon, and allspice. We’re very proud of it, and we can’t wait to get feedback from our R&D Club Members! 



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