Over the years, we’ve published our fair share of both banana bread and coffee cake recipes for TheKitchn.com. There’s everything from classic banana bread and Nutella swirl banana bread, to carrot cake coffee cake and coffee cake in a mug. And one day it occurred to me — a mash-up between the two baked goods could quite possibly be a match made in heaven.
Banana bread has that perfect moistness from the overripe bananas, and coffee cake offers all of the crumbly, textural goodness that one could want from a dessert. I wanted to inject some warm flavors into this dessert, so the streusel includes cinnamon and nutmeg.
People are also reading…
I also included walnuts in the streusel, which I’m always going to do with streusel from now on. I don’t always love walnuts inside of my banana bread, but adding it to the streusel really changed the game. It adds to the delightful texture of the crumb topping, creating a delicious contrast to the soft, delicate cake.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it only takes about 15 minutes to prep the streusel and the batter. After that, you let the oven do all the work. The hardest part about it is waiting for the cake to bake and cool. However, you won’t be disappointed!
Banana Coffee Cake
Serves 9 to 12
For the streusel:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnut pieces and halves
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the cake:
2 very ripe medium bananas
1 large egg
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
Make the streusel:
1. Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15-second bursts until completely melted, about 45 seconds total. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.)
2. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup walnut pieces and halves. Add the walnuts, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the butter. Stir with a fork until evenly moistened and a variety of crumb sizes form. Do not mix into a paste of uniform consistency.
3. Refrigerate until the butter firms up, at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the cake.
Make the cake:
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with two overlapping sheets of parchment paper so that it hangs off all four sides and forms a sling (place them perpendicular to each other).
2. Mash 2 very ripe medium bananas in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher until smooth (about 3/4 cup). Add 1 large egg, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir with a rubber spatula until well combined.
3. Sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons baking powder. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated but no dry spots remain. Transfer the batter to the baking pan and smooth the top. Crumble the streusel evenly over the top.
4. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Grasping the excess parchment, lift the cake out of the baking dish and place on the rack. Let cool completely. Transfer the cake to a cutting board, cut into squares, and serve.
Recipe notes: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
(Nicole Rufus is assistant food editor for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)