Hummingbird Bread

Have you ever heard of Hummingbird Cake? Once, I heard about it on Paula Dean’s old show (remember her? she gone) but it had 18 pounds of butter in one cake, so I kind of forgot about it. But when I recently walked into my favorite breakfast restaurant Devil’s Food and they had samples of gluten free hummingbird bread. And if a sample includes the word gluten free in it, I’m trying it. Samples are my favorite past time. It’s not really a past time when I’m in Whole Foods in the bulk section, but you know what I mean. Anywho, their hummingbird bread was boooooomb. Like, so good. So I made it for myself. So here ya go.

Let’s talk about the weekend. Because it was filled with fun exercise. I get sick of being in my CrossFit gym sometimes. I loooove CrossFit Broadway, but sometimes my body needs a break from excessively painful workouts. I love how I feel after a CrossFit workout, but my hip flexors don’t always love it. So this weekend, I went to spinning class, ran Red Rocks, and biked around Denver. Those things hurt, but not nearly as bad as wall balls. Eff wall balls.

So this is what I figured out in spin class. I’m not motivated to work very hard in spin class unless a REALLY good song comes on. Spin class takes patience, because well, it’s an hour. An hour of straight pedaling is BORING. Especially when you’re staring at your miserable self in the mirror. That’s exactly why I don’t do yoga. I get much too bored. All I think about is everything else I could be doing. Like cutting my toenails. Or braiding my hair. And I don’t ever braid my hair. But out of the hour class, I got at least 7 minutes of hard work in with this song. I’m obsessed with this song now. If the instructor would have played this on repeat, I would have burned at least 800 more calories.

This is what I figured out about workout at Red Rocks. Those workouts are always finished with bloody mary’s. I don’t know why alcohol tastes so much better after running up and down stairs at a higher altitude…wait wait wait…slowly waddling up and down stairs at a higher altitude, stairs are hard…but it totally does. I feel like I only really LOVE bloody mary’s when exercise is involved. Or maybe I really only love exercise when I know I will be rewarded with a bloody mary. Either way, my poor waitress poured a glass of water down my shirt so I got a free bloody mary! She thought I would be upset, but I was just pumped to finally not feel sticky anymore. She actually cooled me down. But she was so embarrassed. I wish that happened to me more often.

Last but not least, this is what I learned from biking around Denver. You can never rely on a man to plan something. Sorry bros, but it’s true. A group of 3 guys and I biked to the other side of Denver to go to the GIANT REI to rent blow up paddle boards. As soon as we passed the river, I knew I was going to pass on the paddle boarding. People were wearing helmets and eatin’ sh*t every 5 seconds. That’s not my kind of paddle boarding. But luckily, REI doesn’t rent those paddle boards. And it started pouring rain. So we went and got tacos back on the other side of town instead. So even though I got more exercise in then planned, I figured out, you cannot rely on men to plan out your Sunday.

I’m learning so much as I age.


Hummingbird Bread

  • Yield: 4-6 1x




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add tapioca flour, coconut flour, coconut suguar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and mix.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients, folding in pecans at the end.
  4. Pour mixture into a loaf pan (I lined mine with parchment paper for easy removal) and smooth at the top
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until bread is completely cooked through (use the toothpick trick to check)
  6. Let cool slightly before serving.


Yields 8 slices

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PaleOMG Hummingbird Bread


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


149 thoughts on “Hummingbird Bread”

    1. Wow! Someone else who is allergic to bananas?! I thought I was the only one! Have you found a good “go-to” substitute for banana in recipes??

      Subbing sweet potato in this one seems like it would work really well – I’m assuming it would need to be pureed, yes?

      1. This may be a silly question, but I’ve never met someone allergic to bananas so what do I know! Lol. But are you also allergic to Plantains? They are in the banana family but not exactly bananas. Just curious

  1. My mom makes the non-Paleo version of this but she calls it “Dr. Bird Cake” She makes it in a bundt pan with about 2 cups of vegtable oil. In college she would send me back after weekends home with a WHOLE FREAKING BUNDT PAN full of this stuff. I blame her for about 10lbs of my freshman 15.

    Might have to try this so I’m no longer tempted to eat Mama Johnson’s oil/sugar laden bread.


  2. “coconut guar”

    You love GWAR!! Why don’t you join the band!!

    Sorry…seeing this typo reminded me of that scene from Empire Records. Now I am amused. 🙂

    1. I found my coconut sugar at the sunflower shop but if you don’t have any health stores in your area try They have everything and great prices too!

    2. If you can’t find coconut sugar locally, Amazon carries it. I love the Big Tree Farm brand. Their palm sugar’s glycemic index is only 38 and it’s also the tastiest I’ve found and is fabulous for baking.

  3. Have you seen the video of Martha and Paula making this cake? Was like battle of the baking broads! And God bless you for baking with coconut flour and tapioca blends! I’m liking them way better than almond flour 🙂

  4. I love humming-birds and I love bread so I’m gonna say that this will be amazing. I have a friend going through Chemo right now and she’s eating like shit unless I bring her healthier sweet treats. I think this one is going to make her really, really happy. She’s still not convinced cleaner foods can taste good.

    Even though it’s 102 here in Austin I’ll make it and take one for the gipper. I’ll let you know if my kitchen spontaneously combusts.

    1. I’m feeling your pain here in Houston. It’s hard to get motivated to cook when you’re sweating inside and outside your house constantly…

  5. I also am obsesses with the Greyhound song! It was my “go-to” when I was doing half-marathons (like an idiot) last year. It’s still great for interval running, though. This recipe will be next on my list to try…

  6. Have you been watching Duck Dynasty?! LOL. “She gone…” And yes, EF wall balls and I love seeing nut free recipes!

    1. Hate to break it to you, but if it has sugar, it’s not 21DSD compliant. To make this recipe compliant you’d have to ditch the sugar completely and sub the bananas for something else. I’d just wait until your 21 days are over.

      1. You can! I just made this last night with the same amount of arrowroot flour and didn’t add any sugar at all and it turned out great. The bananas and pineapples keep it sweet enough and the texture was moist and delicious.

  7. I’m new but learning a lot about flour/sugar substitutes for breads, etc. which I really thought were relegated to my past life… Pumped for Duck Dynasty premiere tomorrow night!!! It’s on like bing bong and Donkey Kong!

  8. This looks divine. Unfortunately, I need help with portion control. Do you think this could be made into muffins? If so, how long would you bake them? Thx!

  9. Aurora@Fitness is Sweet

    OMG I was getting some type of delicious bread at a cafe every week with no clue what it was, and I think this is it! I’m definitely making this!

  10. I just finished with my baking. I leave it for over 60 minutes and when did the test to be sure it was done it apparently it was but it was not when I cut it. I followed the recipe and I’m a very good baker. What happened?

    1. Hi, after checking the bread again I turned my oven down to 250 degree for extra 20 min and it cooked thru it. It’s delicious!!! I took some pieces to work and non Paleo people asked me for the recipe. Thanks….

  11. eff wall balls, ROFL, just what I was thinking this morning after doing Fight Gone Bad yesterday.

    This looks yummy like every recipe on your sight.

  12. just so happened to have all these ingredients.. it just finished cooling.. recipes like this convince me I don’t ever need to make non-paleo treats!! (although I still do.. shh!) so yummy!

  13. OMG! This was my wedding cake! Although, the wedding cake was TOTALLY not gluten free! Second anniversary is coming up in 1.5 months and I can’t wait to try it! Do you think whipped coconut milk would make a good icing?

    1. It was our wedding cake too! Our 1 year is this weekend so I’m making this and topping with cream cheese frosting (w maple syrup) … So excited!

  14. I totally get it about the spinning. I do it sometimes and hate how bored I get with spinning for an HOUR. And I also think about the million other things I could be doing other than yoga, which I like less than spinning. Also, stupid question, but what’s the bulk section at Whole Foods? I’ve been to like, 8 Whole Foods and never seen a bulk section! Is it hidden? Is it not REALLY bulk?

  15. I wanna substitute coconut sugar for truvia bc that’s what I have. Would you happen to know how much is equal to coconut sugar?? Thanks for all of your help!

    1. I’m new to Paleo and really appreciate your site!! Love your sense of humor too!! I have Ulcerative Colitis and going Gluten free because of it. I made your Chocolate muffins and they were wonderful! I’m .making the Hummingbird cake into muffins. I didn’t have the Tapioca powder, so used more coconut flour…….anxious to see how they turn out!!

    1. check out some of the comments, i know people talked about using arrowroot (but i’m not sure if you can have that). almond flour would probably work as well but i’m not sure how much

  16. Hi Juli, do you know if I could I sub the tapioca flour for more coconut flour and/or almond meal? If so, how much more should be added? Thanks, Sarah

        1. I just made this last night with 1/2 c. of arrowroot flour and it turned out great. I might try it again with 1/4 c. just to see if it’s different but I’ve found in multiple recipes that you can substitute arrowroot 1 c. for 1 c. with tapioca flour.

  17. Juli: i too love that you use coconut flour instead of almond flour in most things! Your recipes are awesome and so are you! Thanks 🙂

  18. This bread looks soooo delicious! I’m cursing our good grocery store (HUGE health food section) for being all the way across town right now!

  19. YUMMY! I didn’t have tapioca flour so I used 1/4 cup arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup almond flour instead, and it turned out great! I have never heard of hummingbird bread/cake before this, so when I first saw the title, I was horrified. haha! Thank goodness I kept reading! Love it.

  20. I just made these. Followed the recipe exactly – I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and I live in Hawaii, so a fresh pineapple was sitting on my table waiting to be eaten. 😉 Holy crap balls this recipe is amazing. I made them in muffin form (my paleo-ish bread always ends up too mushy in the middle). Really truly delicious. Possibly the best paleo muffins I’ve had. Going to be my breakfast for the week (if they last past this afternoon). Thank you!

  21. Yay! A recipe without almond flour. My kids are allergic to nuts and I’m sensitive to it. Can’t wait to try

  22. Soooo good- just made it as muffins and they are amazing! Prob could frost them and turn them into cupcakes :). This is some of the most moist paleo baking I have had. I was skeptical when I saw 1/2 c coconut flour, Butkus fears were proven wrong 🙂

  23. So I made this yesterday only because I had leftover pineapple from another paleo recipe. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited for this (I made muffins instead of bread)… and to be honest, I must be really stupid for not being excited – cuz these are some of the best paleo muffins I’ve made yet!
    Woot – add pineapple to a staple I keep in the pantry – cuz these are being made again!!
    Thanks Juli!

  24. Have made this twice–once as a loaf and yesterday I made muffins! Really delicious! Have passed the recipe on to a friend and he made cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! Delicious! Thank you!

  25. Made this and it turned out great! It was gone in a day with my family! All of your baked goods that I have tried have turned out perfect! Thank you!

  26. I had just about given up on baking any kind of Paleo bread. Everything I made came out dry and gross and I loathe almond flour, so that limits you a lot with Paleo baking. This recipe was so easy and it came out amazing. The banana and the pineapple really make the bread. Sooo good. Will sub arrowroot next time, as it’s technically more Paleo than tapioca (even though tapioca flour is the best for baking!). I didn’t find that having a 1/2 cup of coconut sugar made it too sweet, and the loaf is big so you’re not eating a ton of sugar if you have a small piece (which is filling). I would like to try with maple sugar for a different flavor (they sell it at Trader Joe’s, but I also saw it at my local Stop & Shop if you don’t have a TJ’s). Thanks so much. I was saying to my husband that every recipe I try from your site is a winner. Please keep up the good work! You make planning dinners fun!

  27. Have you ever considered using an INULIN sweetener, like SwwetPerfection? It’s derived from chicory root, so it’s pretty much pure fiber – virtually no net carbs – but adds sweetness and measures like sugar. Virtually zero on glycemic index, and considered by most to be paleo, along with being great for diabetics, etc. I have found it works great in “baking” – and just about everything else!

  28. Juli! I love your blog, duh! I made this bread yesterday, substituting the palm sugar with honey (I don’t like the flavor of the palm sugar) and it turned out great, although a little sweet. Thank you for creating bread with something besides Almond flour.

  29. Yum! I made this recipe today before my kids were home from school. They couldn’t wait to try them. Of course they passed the taste test for a 7 & 9 year old. I, too, loved them but after putting the recipe through My Fitness Pal, decided these are very much a treat at 126 calories per mini muffin. My batch made 24 mini muffins. I’m curious about a few things: I measured the coconut oil by weighing it, then melting it. I even double checked that I used 1/2 cup; the overall muffin was very oily and seemed to fall apart easily in spite of the yummy taste. Has anyone noticed this? Thank you for all the fabulous recipes!! I just found your blog last night and have made this hummingbird bread and have the sweet pulled pork ready for dinner tonight!

  30. This recipe is PERFECT. It came out amazing. Any idea what the nutrition facts are, or at least the amount of calories per serving? Thanks!

  31. OMG these are delicious! I made this tonight and half the loaf is gone already! Even my husband who does not generally enjoy paleo baked goods said it was very good. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe! Gonna make muffins for my son next time.

  32. Made the bread, but I think I will switch to muffins next time. Texture in the center is still a little too moist. Could have been the frozen bananas I used?

  33. Just made these into muffins last night, worked out great. I didn’t have tapioca flour so used almond flour instead and baked cupcakes for 35 minutes and were delish. Thank you for all your great recipes!!!!!

  34. For those who are interested, Each slice has about 330 calories, 22 g fat, 32 carbs (total). For those who are wondering … Hello we’re all paleo here why the heck are you telling us about fat and carbs? … The answer is my hubby is not paleo and cares about this stuff, so I’ve gotta calculate it for him. Yes, marriage is about compromise.

  35. Hahaha, I saw the title of this post and thought, “Oh weird, the only time I’ve ever heard of hummingbird bread is at work. I wonder if this one’s the same.” Yeah, I work at Devil’s Food! How funny!

  36. Health issues are driving me away from carbs & sugars and I’m interested in the solutions offered by paleo foods. Please forgive me if I break any rules or tread on any toes with a question about what seems to be an obvious omission here. Paleo breads aren’t bad at all and some, like this one, are actually quite good but they all seem to be so dense. Is there some cardinal rule which forbids the use of a rising agent – yeast or baking powder – to lighten up the loaf? Would they even work here? Or is that those are two ingredients that the paleo diet attempts to avoid.

  37. Juli,
    This recipe rocks!

    When we all go back to Crested Butte, we’ll have to make this together. Too bad we will not be able to rent out that awesome yellow house that Amy & Travis got married in. Love you! Love your site! You ROCK!!!

  38. Love your site.. as a celiac and fellow Crossfitter (Cross Fit Wash Park) your recipes rock but I know they’re going to work in Denver!

      1. I made this with coconut flour and almond flour and it turned out perfect! Except that I teetered on the edge of putting in too much honey, Right now it’s very moist, which is delicious, but any more and it would have ruined the cake. Thanks so much for this, used walnuts instead of pecans and it is amazing!

  39. Juli,

    I am new to paleo and LOVE this recipe!! Also love love love your website and tell all my friends/family about it. Can’t wait to try another recipe of yours.

  40. OMG! This was absolutely the most delicious thing ever! I found you about a week or two ago, and I’ve been trying out some of your recipes. I’ve loved them all, but this. Is. Amazing!!!! I actually subbed honey instead of the coconut sugar, and left out an egg. It was nice and moist but not too much so, and just absolutely delicious. LOVE your website and your recipes! We also just bought your book! Thanks for all the awesome recipes!

  41. ” remember her? she gone” I lol’d. Love your post. When I get to my goal weight I be on this like white on rice-that-I-don’t-eat-anymore (Paleo no0b, right here)

  42. I’m trying to reduce sugar,
    can i use maple syrup? also , can i reduce the amount? don’t the bananas give a lot of sweetness?

  43. Can I use all coconut flour instead of coconut and tapioca? Should I jut put in a cup of coconut flour or reduce the amount of coconut flour?

  44. This is amazing! I just whipped some up, and my husband and I loved it. I was tired of pumpkin muffins – his favorite – and wanted something different. So glad I found you and your tasty recipes. I didn’t have coconut oil, so I used extra-virgin olive oil. Also, thanks for the parchment paper tip. I use it for so many things, and the bread came right out of the pan. Makes for an easy clean up.

  45. I just made this loaf today – put pumpkin puree in place of bananas and skipped the pineapples (my kids love pineapple on its own but will not touch cake/muffines etc. with pineapple chunks). WOW – delicious!!!!! Next time I would like to make it without sugar…..anyone try that? What about honey or maple syrup in place of sugar? Would that make it too moist?

  46. Very yummy! Used agave nectar instead of the coconut sugar, 1 banana and two eggs as that was all I had. Will definitely make again.

  47. Made this once & it was loved. About to make it again subbing applesauce for coconut oil – hope it’s not a disaster!

  48. Dude. This recipe is so damn amazing, I would like to find you and give you a big hug. I just made into muffins and um….wow. Amazing. Thank times a million!

  49. From one female to another…. Thank you for this…. This has comforted me when my monthly friend has been a huge B! Freakin delicious!!!

  50. This was sooo good! I made it last weekend and my husband posted it to facebook and requested that I make it again for a party we are going to this evening. Thank you!

  51. This recipe turned out pretty good. I added more tapioca flour and less coconut flour because I am not a huge fan of the taste of coconut flour. I also did not add bananas because my husband does not like dishes that include bananas. Overall the dish came out good. I think this would be better cooked as a muffin because it seems to be a bit gooey.

  52. This is one of my first paleo baking projects and it’s perfect. I can’t wait to try more baked goods from here!

  53. Juli, I would love to try this bread however, I’m allergic to pineapple. Any ideas what I could substitute for the pineapple ?

  54. The recipe works best if you…. separate the eggs from the whites. Beat the yokes on high for about 3 minutes. they should turn yellow and be airy. Next beat the whites with a litttle cream of tarter until stiff peaks. Add the yokes to the dry and fold in the whites. Squeeze out some of the pineapple juice and use natural sugar cane also called Succanat instead of coconut sugar. The the will be light and impressive. Enjoy! Hope I am the ONE guy that gets a comment posted.

  55. I made these into muffins last night and used Arrowroot starch instead of Tapioca. They came out fabulously!! I only baked them for 35 minutes. Great texture!

  56. I made these in my oven which is a bit dodgy as it’s really old but the problem I had seems to be the one a few commenters mentioned so I wonder if it was just my oven. At the 40 min mark on 350F, my Mum put the knife in and it came out clean so we took it out then we discovered it was uncooked/way too moist in the middle of the cake (not the top which was nicely browned, not the bottom but the middle) so I put it in for an extra 20 mins or so on 350F (so an hour in total) but in my opinion I still think it is too moist in the middle although my Mum wasn’t too fussed (maybe she likes that texture) and my kids snaffled it. I liked the flavour but I did want a cake texture all the way through. After I pulled it out, I read another commenter put it on for another 20 mins at 250F after an hour on 350F so maybe I should try that next time. I did add 2 grated carrots to the mix to get my kids to get some hidden veg so maybe that was also a factor & I used arrowroot instead of tapioca flour but otherwise I think I followed the recipe pretty closely.

  57. I just made this and it is so good! Super easy to make and it tastes like a treat when it comes out. I have a thing for bread/cupcakes/muffins etc and this definitely hit the spot.I will be making again!

  58. I have been scarfing down your gingerbread banana bread like crazy! Do you suppose you could mix all these in a food processor as well?

  59. What size pan are you using? I want to make sure it bakes right. For most of my paleo breads is use 8×4 but I have a 9×5 if this recipe requires it.

    1. I believe this bread was made in an 8×4. i can’t say for sure since this bread was made so damn long ago haha but i’m remembering 8×4

  60. I have tried and loved many recipes from paleomg but I have been making this recipe for years now! I sometimes replace the bananas with butternut squash or do half and half. I sometimes add flax meal and chia seeds, sometimes dried cherries or apricots, what ever I have on hand. This is the most versatile and always amazing recipe, my go to muffin recipe. Thank you for sharing all these with us.

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