Thursday was my dear sweet hubby’s birthday, and I wanted to surprise him with a pretty cake that I knew he’d love! He loves anything with bananas and pineapple, so this classic, and personal favorite, was sure to be a winner!
I’ve been making this wonderful cake for quite a few years after seeing it in a Southern Living cookbook! (Sometime during the mid or late nineties?) It’s been so long, that I can’t remember exactly when, but it instantly became a favorite that I would never forget! This would be the first time making it for my hubby, so I was just a little bit nervous making it for him, and I struggled with the decorating quite a bit, but at least it’s not as ugly-looking as the last cake I made! Ha!
I only make a few small changes to this national favorite, ever since Southern Living shared it after it was sent in by Mrs. Wiggins from North Carolina! Our teeth aren’t what they used to be, so we don’t care for too much nuts in or on top of anything anymore.
So I just simply reduce the pecans, chop them smaller, and make up the difference with some sweetened flaked coconut! Not a bad trade! 😉 😀
I also like to add in a little applesauce, for just a bit more moistness, and then top the cake with more finely chopped pecans and toasted coconut instead of large pecan halves. (That’s just too much nut for us).
And it really does come out delicious!!!
Tender, moist, and chock full of goodies! And the frosting?….oh my heavens….truly none better!
Needless to say, my hubby was THRILLED over it!! And it is now his favorite cake! (Needless to say, I was thrilled, too! 😉 ) Just follow the directions, and yours will be just as good! Make sure you do everything the old fashioned way, just like Mrs. Wiggins and I do, and use shortening and flour on your pans. Chop the nuts to your own personal liking, and you, your family, friends and guests will think it’s about the best cake you all have ever tasted! I’m sure this amazing cake will fast become one of your favorites, too!
Do be sure to make this soon! And enjoy!! 😀
Adapted from the original recipe by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins from Greensboro, North Carolina.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
- ⅔ cup finely chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly packed
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- *Garnish top with ⅛ - ¼ cup finely chopped pecans and ¼ - ⅓ cup lightly toasted coconut if desired, as much as you'd like, (or you can decorate the top with pecans halves as traditionally done)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs, oil, and applesauce, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, pecans and coconut well, until nicely mixed and batter consistency.
- Spoon batter into 3 well-greased (with shortening) and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
- Bake at 350° for 30 - 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
- Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup Cream Cheese Frosting over cake layer. Top with second layer, and spread 1 cup frosting over cake layer. Top with third cake layer, and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. *Some frosting can be saved for decorating if desired. Sprinkle top of cake with toasted pecans and coconut, (or pecan halves).
- For Frosting:
- Beat cream cheese and butter at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high,and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy.