Hummingbird Cake, lightened up
(aka: Better than Sex cake for skinny people!)

For cooking club this month, our theme was Southern Food, Lightened up.  I decided to make the banana pineapple spice cake, Hummingbird cake. It is typically served with cream cheese frosting, but the pudding and whipped topping are there to lighten it up.
(Now, I tried to add the Paula Deen part of her “Better than Sex Cake” where she pokes holes and puts a sugary pineapple mixture before the pudding stage.)

Cooking spray 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups mashed banana (about 5 to 6), the riper the better – Think freckles!
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 box French vanilla pudding
2 cups fat free milk
1 container low-fat whipped topping
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (use toasted if you can find)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. 

Stir together eggs, applesauce, and oil; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) 


Stir in mashed banana, vanilla extract, and 8 ounces pineapple. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.  


Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  


(Note: If you are making it ahead of time. Bake the cake and allow to cool. Keep covered. Finish these steps the day of.) 
Cool cake in pan for at least 10 minutes. 


While cake is cooling, toast coconut. Turn oven down to 325 degrees. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to even out color/toasting.

Prepare pudding according to the package.


Poke holes in the cake. Spread  20 ounces crushed pineapple over cake.


Spread pudding over the cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.



Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with toasted coconut on top. 



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