The Redbird Cake Xmas 2023 8.5/10

10 servings


4 hours 45 minutes

total time



Baking spray

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

11/4 cups canola oil

2/3 cup mashed ripe bananas (from 2 medium bananas)

1/2 cup whole buttermilk, at room temperature

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or


1 (16-oz.) jar stemless maraschino cherries, drained, finely chopped, and patted dry (about 3/4 cup)

2/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans


2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 (32-oz.) pkg. powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste or extract


Garnishes: Rosemary sprigs, sage sprigs, fresh bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks

Marzipan Pinecones (recipe follows)

Frosted Redbird Cookies

Powdered sugar (optional)


Prepare the Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray; line bottoms using parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and allspice in a large bowl until well combined; set aside. Pour pineapple through a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl, and press solids to extract juice. Transfer pineapple to a cutting board, and finely chop. Add pineapple to strained juice in bowl. Whisk in eggs, granulated sugar, oil, bananas, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla until well combined. Add pineapple mixture to flour mixture; whisk until nearly combined. Fold in cherries and pecans.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans (about 2 2/3 cups per pan). Gently tap bottoms of pans on a countertop a few times to remove air bubbles.

Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in centers of Cake Layers comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and transfer, parchment side down, to wire racks; let cool completely, 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Prepare the Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened butter, salt, ginger, and cinnamon with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add powdered sugar, beating until combined after each addition. Add vanilla, and increase mixer speed to medium-high; beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, trim domed tops of Cake Layers; discard trimmings. Remove and discard parchment paper. Place 1 layer, trimmed side up, on a cake plate, and spread top with 1 1/4 cups Frosting. Top with second layer, trimmed side up, and spread with 1 1/4 cups Frosting. Top with third layer, trimmed side down. Spread a very thin layer of Frosting over top and sides of cake to form a crumb coat. Chill, uncovered, until Frosting is mostly set, 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove cake from refrigerator. Spread remaining Frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange rosemary, sage, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks around top and bottom of cake. Add Marzipan Pinecones and Frosted Redbird Cookies to top and sides of cake, and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Frosted undecorated cake may be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days; let cake return to room temperature before decorating and serving.

10 servings


4 hours 45 minutes

total time
Start Cooking