Looking for an unique dessert that will both impress and please a crowd? This humming bird cake roll is it! This moist spiced cake is packed full of coconut and pineapple, then filled with pineapple cream cheese frosting and pecans, then sealed in a creamy white chocolate shell smothered in toasted coconut!
At first sight this cake seems more complicated than it actually is due to the rolling of the cake. The key to getting this to roll well is to roll it right when it comes out of the oven and to put it in the refrigerator to chill. Use a kitchen towel that doesn’t give off lint as this will not only stick into the cake but also make it harder to unroll when it’s time to assemble this cake. This cake can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 medium banana mashed well
- 8 oz crushed pineapple well drained (reserve juice)
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup shredded coconut do not toast
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 cup shredded coconut toasted
- ¼ cup pecans toasted whole pieces
- ½ cup pecans toasted and finely chopped
- 1 cup white chocolate
- 1 tbsp shortening
Garnishes: Toasted Pecans & Coconut
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add pecans and 1 cup of shredded coconut on opposite sides of the baking sheet and toast about 9-11 minutes, until the coconut and pecans starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. ¼ cup of pecans is for the top of the roll. The rest of the pecans should be cooled then finely chopped as they will be part of the filling of the roll.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare baking sheet sides with baking spray (or butter and flour pan), then line with parchment paper.
- Drain 8oz can of crushed pineapples, reserving the liquid. You want to drain out the pineapple as much as you can so you don't have extra liquid in your cake batter as this will make it difficult to roll later on. Weigh out 2½ oz of pineapple (a little more than half) for the cake roll, setting aside the rest of the pineapple and the juice for later.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add pineapple, banana, and vanilla extract and combine. In a separate mixing bowl shift flour, baking soda, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Mix in shredded coconut.
- Pour batter onto prepared baking sheet, making sure to smooth it out with a spatula for even thickness. Bake 8-10 minutes, until cake is baked through and springy to the touch.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven (do not let it cool) sprinkle top of the cake generously with ¼-½ cup of sifted powdered sugar. The invert the cake onto a clean kitchen towel. Carefully roll the towel until you have your cake roll form, this will "teach" your cake to stay in that form. Let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour (do not exceed 1 hour of you will have trouble unrolling the cake later). While cake is cooling, you can make the frosting.
Filling and Outer Layer
- In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and unsalted butter. Blend in remaining crushed pineapple, then add shifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Once all powdered sugar is fully incorporated, add remaining ingredients. Blend well. If you need a little more liquid in your filling to make it spreadable, add up to 1 tbsp pineapple juice, if you need it a little more solid add up to ½ cup powdered sugar. All done! Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a double boiler, melt chocolate and shortening together until completely melted. Make sure not to get water in your chocolate as this will make it seize up and difficult to use. This step should be done right before you are ready to assemble your cake. You can also microwave your chocolate/shortening mixture 30 seconds at a time, stirring between heating until you've melted the chocolate through.
- Once cake is cool, gently unroll cake. Lightly brush the inside of the cake with pineapple juice. You don't want to soak the cake, but rather just add a little moisture and flavor. On the portion of the cake that is the beginning of the roll, make sure to add filling generously. Then spread filling in uniform layer across the cake, leaving 1½ inches of room at the top and 1 inch on the sides. This will make it so when you roll the cake the filling doesn't go everywhere. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans and gently reroll cake. Take your time with this step to avoid cracking the cake. Don't worry if small cracks form as the chocolate coating will hide this. Garnish with toasted pecans on top. This cake can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
- Put a clean cooking rack into a baking sheet. Gently place cake on cooling rack (two large spatulas under the cake is the easiest way to move the cake without damaging it). Pour chocolate over the cake to uniformly coat the entire cake. Quickly sprinkle with toasted coconut so it sticks in the chocolate. Then garnish the very top with toasted pecans, I like to line them up in a line so each slice of cake gets 1 pecan. Put in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving so chocolate can set. When serving, warm knife in water before cutting to easily cut through chocolate layer. This cake can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days. Enjoy!