Regular old banana bread may never be the same after you try this Banana Crumb Cake. The coffee cake has all the flavor of banana bread and is topped with a crisp, buttery crumb topping that is dangerously habit-forming. In fact might just be my new favorite way to put those overripe browning bananas to good use. The coffee cake has a very moist banana cake as its base. Bananas are often complimented with cinnamon and other spices, but I only used vanilla in this cake. It really highlights the floral, tropical flavor of the bananas and makes the cake seem much lighter than traditional banana bread – even though there is a lot of banana packed into it. The cake has a dense, soft crumb that is very tender, the perfect texture to contrast with the crunchier crumb topping.
There is a small amount of banana puree in the crumb topping gives it a nice banana flavor to tie it in to the rest of the cake, and it also helps give the crumb topping its great texture. Try to puree the bananas that go into the topping very well because if you leave small chunks of banana in the topping, they may sink into the cake while it is baking and leave you with small depressions in the cake. This won’t impact that flavor (in fact, those banana pockets can be delicious!), but it may simply catch you off guard if it happens.
This is a coffee cake for a crowd because it is baked in a 9×13-inch pan and will feed at least 16 banana-loving brunch guests. That said, the coffee cake is so good that you might not want to share it with a crowd so that you have more slices to enjoy yourself. If you’re not going to be serving a big group of people, not to worry. The cake is so moist that it keeps very well, and will last for several days when stored in an airtight container, so you can enjoy it as quickly or as slowly as you want to.
Banana Crumb Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed banana (approx 3 large bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose four
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until well-incorporated. Stir in mashed banana, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Prepare crumb topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add in softened butter, mashed banana and vanilla and blend ingredients in (with a pastry cutter or a hand mixer at low speed) until mixture is moist and sandy. It should stick together in clumps when you squeeze it between your fingers.
Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the cake.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.