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Jerkins' Family Favorites, Part 4

As Christmas approaches and we put together our menu for the Jerkins family dinner, I can’t help but think of dessert. Our family loves dessert and it is always the hardest part of the menu to choose. This year, we’ve decided on Hummingbird Cake. I am thrilled to share this recipe with you because it was one of my grandfather’s favorites that we have been cooking for almost 40 years. Plus, it offers many great opportunities to incorporate children into the preparation!

This recipe calls for lots of chopping, stirring and frosting. Those are good exercises to develop young children’s muscle control and hand-eye coordination.



Cake Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 beaten eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

2 cups chopped bananas

1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1 8-ounce cream cheese

½ cup butter

1 16-ounce box powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup whole pecans or other food decorations


Combine the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 greased 9” round pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool.

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Frost cake and decorate with ½ cup whole pecans or other food decorations.


Kindergarten: MAFS.K.G.1.2

  • What three-dimensional shape is the can of crushed pineapple?

  • Can you find two more items in the kitchen that are also cylinders?

  • What is similar or different with all three of these cylinders? What shape is the base?

  • What shape will the cake be if we pour the cake batter into a 9” round pan?

First Grade: MAFS.1.G.1.2

  • What shape is a penny? What three-dimensional shape would form if we stacked 10 pennies?

  • What two-dimensional shape is the base of all cylinders?

  • What shape is a playing card? What three-dimensional shape would form if we stacked 52 cards?

  • Are any of the ingredients in a container that is a rectangular prism?

  • The box of powdered sugar is a rectangular prism, would it still be if the base was a square and not a rectangle?

Extending your questioning to include different shapes and properties of these shapes is great for your children. Don’t shy away from discussing squares and rectangles. Squares may be a special type of rectangle because the sides have the same length but are still a quadrilateral with all four right angles. For more practice with geometry, check out these Khan Academy resources:


I hope you are enjoying the Jerkins’ Family Favorites. Check out all four posts for family friendly recipes and quick tips for bringing learning into the kitchen. What is your favorite family recipe? How do you engage your children while cooking? Comment below so you don’t just #LEARNWITHME, but I can learn with you!

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