This version of the classic hummingbird cake cuts well and remains lovely and moist for days.

This recipe includes cooked quince. Knowing there are so many different ways to do that, I’ll leave it to you to choose a favourite method.

I like poaching a big batch of quinces when they’re in season by simply packing them in a large pan with sugar, water and a vanilla bean, and cooking slowly for an hour or so, until they’re tender all the way through and beautifully deep in colour. I cut the pieces of quince from the core once they’re cooked, then freeze any leftovers for future cakes, or to serve over granola. Do keep the poaching liquid for this recipe, too.

The fragrance of a quince is something I would happily wear as a perfume, it’s so intoxicating. I know you’ll enjoy having that beautiful aroma filling up your kitchen as you’re baking this hummingbird cake.

Makes: A 26 cm bundt cake or 6 baby bundt cakes


  • 375 g plain white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 390 g rapadura sugar
  • 10 g bicarbonate of soda
  • 7 g baking powder
  • 5 g salt
  • 6 g ground cinnamon
  • 480 g mashed banana (from about 3 bananas)
  • 110 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 180 ml quince poaching liquid, at room temperature
  • 8 g vanilla bean paste
  • 60 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 150 g poached quince, chopped into 1–2 cm pieces
  • 75 g pecans, chopped

Tahini caramel

  • 75 g maple syrup
  • 35 g tahini
  • 35 g extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3 g vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Grease a 26 cm bundt tin (or six baby bundt tins) with olive oil and lightly dust with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to blend well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the banana, quince poaching liquid, olive oil and vanilla paste together to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until completely mixed through, with no dry pockets of flour.
  4. Whisk in the vinegar until bubbles form. Mix in the quince pieces and pecans.
  5. Transfer the cake batter to the cake tin/s. Bake the baby bundt cakes for 30–35 minutes, or the large bundt cake for 40–50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin/s for 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile, melt all the tahini caramel ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until completely emulsified. (I make the same amount of tahini caramel, whether I’m baking one large bundt cake or six smaller cakes.) Remove from the heat. Depending on how hot the weather is, you may need to let the caramel sit for 5–10 minutes to get the right consistency for drizzling. You want the caramel to run—but not sprint! It should be similar to runny honey.
  8. When the cake/s are completely cool, drizzle the tahini caramel over the top to run down the sides. Decorate with flowers or foliage of your choice and serve immediately.
  9. Any leftover hummingbird cake will keep in an airtight container for 2–3 days.

Other recipes you may be interested in:

Images and text from A Plant-Based Farmhouse by Cherie Hausler, photography by Lean Timms. Murdoch Books RRP $49.99.

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