Loaded with rhubarb, pineapple, coconut and pecans, this Rhubarb Hummingbird Bread is a delightful twist on traditional hummingbird cake. An optional hibiscus frosting tops this quick bread to attract both people and the hummingbirds! How can you have hummingbird cake without something red or pink in it? I think the hummers would approve.
Let’s get a closer look…
I am a big rhubarb fan, always have been. It’s probably a Midwest thing. My grandma grew rhubarb, my parents grow it and now I’m growing some too. It’s easy to become overloaded with it, but it’s also freezable. So you can enjoy rhubarb all year long. In fact, this bread was made with frozen rhubarb slices!
See how happy rhubarb is mingling in this Rhubarb Hummingbird Bread with the pineapple and coconut? You get bites of sweet pineapple mixed with tart rhubarb and it all balances out for a delicious sweet treat!
This bread is topped with an optional hibiscus drizzle, but it’s so darn pretty, I just needed to do it! I keep hibiscus petals around all year long because it makes a great natural food coloring, it has a tartness that balances the sugar in frosting and most importantly, you can make jamaica – an incredible Hibiscus Lime Iced Tea – recipe here.
For this recipe, we just boil the petals until you get a nice red liquid – it only takes a couple minutes and easily done while the Rhubarb Hummingbird Bread is baking.
How to Make Rhubarb Hummingbird Bread
Traditional hummingbird cake has bananas, pineapple, coconut and pecans. This Rhubarb Hummingbird Bread also has all those ingredients along with chopped rhubarb.
The dough is thick – mix it until just combined – and get ready for a quick bread that is full of bright, tropical flavor!
If you can practice restraint, wait until the bread has cooled to frost and/or slice it. I can’t promise I follow my own directions. However, I do strongly believe that both the pineapple and rhubarb flavors are much better when the bread has cooled.
Loaded with rhubarb, pineapple, coconut and pecans, this Rhubarb Hummingbird Bread is a delightful twist on traditional hummingbird cake. An optional hibiscus frosting tops this quick bread to attract both people and the hummingbirds!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid at room temp
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas about 3-4 medium bananas
- 1 cup rhubarb*, chopped fresh or frozen
- 1 cup pineapple chunks (20oz can), chop even smaller than they come in the can
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice from can of pineapple chunks
- 1 tsp coconut extract or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans more to top bread
- 2 Tbs hibiscus petals
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8x4 pans.
In a large bowl, cream coconut oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add in eggs and coconut extract; beat until mixed.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Add pineapple, pineapple juice, banana, rhubarb, coconut, and pecans. Mix until just combined.
Spread evenly between two baking pans. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool. Note: if the center of the bread is taking longer than the rest of the bread, try covering it with a little foil.
When bread has cooled, make hibiscus frosting - drizzle on bread and add finely chopped pecans and more coconut.
In a small saucepan, heat hibiscus petals and water. When the water has reduced a little and turned dark red, turn off heat and set aside until ready to mix with powdered sugar. Strain petals before using.
When ready to frost the bread, combine powdered sugar and 1 Tbs hibiscus tea. Mix until smooth - adding more tea by the teaspoon until desired texture is achieved.
*You can play around with the pineapple - rhubarb ratio. Instead of 1 cup of each, try 1 1/2 cups rhubarb and 1/2 cup pineapple. It just depends how much tart rhubarb you'd like to taste!
*I briefly thought about mixing the hibiscus tea and powdered sugar with mascarpone cheese to make a nice thick cream cheese frosting. There's always next time.