Eat & DrinkFeaturesThe Dish


By Debbie AndersonMarch 31, 2022No Comments

The Fitzgerald Hummingbird Cake

By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler

In addition to fresh Gulf seafood, Ben Merritt’s menu at The Fitzgerald, his newest restaurant in Fort Worth, features a fruit-fueled Southern cake we don’t get to enjoy often enough.

The chef fell in love with a hummingbird cake he tasted recently, noting the similarities to its cousin, the carrot cake. “I tweaked my recipe till I found the perfect balance between banana and pineapple,” he says. Textural and moist, it’s not overly sweet, which makes the rich cream cheese frosting a perfect finish. It’s a happy ending to a spring supper.

The Fitzgerald Hummingbird Cake

Makes a 3-layer cake

  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 4 cups unsifted cake flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 bananas, pureed
  • 1 cup chopped pecan pieces
  • ½ fresh pineapple, finely chopped in food processor
  • Cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
  • ½ cup lightly toasted pecan pieces

Hummingbird cake

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 3 (9-inch) cake pans with nonstick spray followed by parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla extract to the consistency of a smooth paste. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, pureed bananas and pecans until incorporated. Add pineapple, mixing well. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake on center rack of the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool. Remove cake from pans, cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Cream cheese frosting Using a mixer, combine 16 ounces softened cream cheese and 1 pound (4 full
sticks) of room-temperature unsalted butter with 1 tablespoon vanilla extract until very creamy and smooth. Gradually add 8 cups sifted powdered sugar until smooth.
Set aside.

To assemble Spread frosting about ¼ inch thick on top of bottom cake round. Stack with next layer and frosting. Top with third cake layer. Frost entire cake with a thin layer, retaining some frosting; don’t worry about crumbs. Refrigerate cake for
15 to 20 minutes. Finish with remaining frosting and top with toasted pecan pieces.


The Fitzgerald Serving seafood and steaks, it is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner nightly. The Regal Room Lounge, a separate bar at the rear of the restaurant, opens at 3 p.m. daily. Make reservations online. 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-349-9245,