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Banana Cinnamon Bun Coffee Cake

Banana Cinnamon Bun Coffee Cake

A fluffy cinnamon bun that is packed with a sweet, buttery filling and topped off with just the right amount of sticky glaze is a breakfast treat that is just about irresistible. Cinnamon buns can be a lot of work to make, however, since you need to prepared a yeast dough and there are several steps that include rolling and re-rolling the dough just to shape them. This Cinnamon Bun Bread recipe is one of my favorite twists on a cinnamon bun because you get all the same flavors as you find in a traditional bun – but without any of that work.

This Banana Cinnamon Bun Coffee Cake is a twist on that basic bread that includes a little bit of banana to give the dough a little more flavor and make the coffee cake a little more unique – while keeping that cinnamon bun-inspired tastiness. The dough is an easy to make yeast dough that includes mashed banana, cinnamon and ground nutmeg. It doesn’t have to be kneaded once it is all mixed together, just poured into a prepared pan and left to rise while you prepare the topping mixture.

The topping is a mixture of butter, cinnamon, flour and spices, with a pinch of salt added just for contrast. It looks very much like the crumble mixture that you might put on top of a classic coffee cake. In this recipe, however, it is swirled and folded into the yeast dough to spread that sweetness throughout the coffee cake and make sure every bite has some cinnamon flavor. I always make sure that a little extra is sprinkled on top before baking, too.

The finished bread has a light, tender texture and that combination of butter and cinnamon that we always associate with cinnamon buns. The nutmeg and banana come through, as well, but are a little more subtle in the presence of that cinnamon and brown sugar topping. The bread is great on its own and can also be finished with a little drizzle of glaze (the recipe is given below, although I did not glaze this slice of cake) to give it the right amount of stickiness. I serve this both for breakfast and dessert, and since it is a no-knead yeast recipe, I find that it can fit into my schedule any time of day.

Banana Cinnamon Bun Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup warm milk (100-110F; low fat is fine)
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

3 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan or 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and spices. Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl filled with the warmed milk and let stand for 2-3 minutes, until yeast is foamy. Stir milk mixture, mashed banana, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well for 2-3 minutes, until dough is very smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and let rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough rests, make the topping. Mix together butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips (or fold/swirl in with a spatula – it is ok if it doesn’t look pretty, as the dough will rise and even things out).
Allow dough to rise for 20 minutes
Bake for 28-30 minutes, until bread is golden brown at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving, or topping with glaze (recipe below).
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8-10

Cinnamon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk or cream

Whisk the powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and milk together to form a smooth, pourable icing and drizzle it onto the cooled cake using a spoon.

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  • Cookin Canuck
    January 2, 2013

    Oh my, that really does sound irresistible. This would be perfect with the cup of tea that I’m cradling right now.

  • Susan B
    January 2, 2013

    Nicole, This sounds fantastic! Do you think this recipe would work if I omitted the banana? Should I substitute something else in its place, such as yogurt?

  • Im At Home Baking
    January 3, 2013

    Ohhh, super yum!!

  • Nicole
    January 3, 2013

    Susan – Yes, it should still work. I’ve used pumpkin and applesauce before. I haven’t tried yogurt, but I think that would fit in to the recipe nicely.

  • Oh, my that first descriptive sentence pulled me right in! This looks so fluffy and delicious. I’d kill for a slice right now.

  • Brenda
    July 25, 2017

    I baked this cake and it baked over the sides of my nine inch round cake pan. I would recommend using a cake pan with at least three inch height. The taste of the cake was ok. I probably would not make again.

  • […] cam across a recipe like this yesterday. It just called out to me. Banana Cinnamon Bun Coffee Cake. While I love baking breads, it gets difficult to fit it in my schedule. Especially these days when […]

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