Humming Bird Cake with Mascarpone Icing


3 cups plain flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup roughly chopped pecans

3/4 cup castor sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

225g tin crushed pineapple, juice reserved

2 cups mashed ripe banana

1 cup olive oil

2 tsp vanilla extract


300g mascarpone cheese, softened

300g cream cheese, softened

zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar

(optional, walnuts or pecans, fresh berries or flowers to decorate)


Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line one 8 inch round tin with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the chopped pecans and stir through, set aside.

In an electric mixer or with hand held beaters, beat the castor sugar, brown sugar and eggs until smooth and glossy. Add the pineapple and its juice, banana, olive and vanilla, beat again until combined. Fold through the dry flour mix until lovely and smooth.

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes. I occasionally rotate the tin to make sure cooking is even. Cake is ready when the top is springy when pressed with your finger. Allow to cool completely

For the icing, using a paddle attachment in a electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Add the icing sugar and lemon zest and beat until smooth and creamy. Chill for 30 minutes before using.

To assemble, place the cake on your favourite stand or platter. Using a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle, pipe the icing into smooth peaks, otherwise just spread generously with a flat bladed knife. Scatter with nuts, berries and flowers.

Sian Redgrave