Black Walnut Hummingbird Cake

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3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

3 large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

2 cups diced bananas

1 cup chopped Black Walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 pound powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup Black Walnuts

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For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (with shortening) and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the eggs and oil, and stir only until the dry ingredients disappear into the batter; do not beat. Stir in the vanilla, pineapple, walnuts and bananas. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Gently tap the pans on the counter to remove the air bubbles.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the pans on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out the layers and cool completely on the wire racks for 1 hour.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth with an electric mixer at medium speed. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Quickly beat in the vanilla.

Spread 1 cup of frosting between the cake layers, stacking them as you go. (For the most attractive layer cake, place the first cake layer bottom-side up and place the final cake layer top-side up.) Spread the remaining frosting over the top and around the sides of the cake. Pat the Black Walnuts over the top. Store refrigerated in an airtight cake carrier.

Cook’s hint: The bananas are diced, not mashed. For the best texture and flavor, use ripe bananas that are evenly freckled with brown spots.

Recipe Credit: Our State Magazine

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