I actually made this a few weeks ago, after yet another family visit that left behind the remains of a bunch of bananas. Neither of us is at all fond of eating fresh bananas, particularly ones that are getting past their prime.
On the other hand, such bananas are just reaching the perfect stage for baking, and we are both big fans of baked stuff with bananas. And if your grandkids happen to leave behind some nearly-overripe bananas and you don’t feel like baking with them right away, did you know that you can freeze them to use later? It’s true – just wrap them in plastic wrap, or put them in a ziplock bag, and plop them right into the freezer. When you want to use them again, you can thaw them and use as you would fresh bananas in any recipe.
I’ve even seen recipes for smoothies that use frozen bananas, but you will have to test that one yourself, since I don’t like them in smoothies either. I only really like them in a sugar-laden carby dessert kind of way. I make up for it by eating lots of kale though, so I figure it all comes out even in the final balance.
The best thing about this Banana Streusel Coffee Cake though is that pebbly, crunch streusel topping – and the ribbon of it that runs through the center of each slice. A little bit of heaven right there, trust me!
- ½ cup very soft butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup soft butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 or 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup buttermilk
- Measure the topping ingredients into a medium bowl, and combine, using a large fork to kind of mash it all together. It will form nice big crumbles. Set aside.
- Generously butter 4 small loaf pans and preheat the oven to 350º
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter.
- Beat in the sugar and eggs, then the bananas and vanilla.
- Combine the dry ingredients, and add to the butter mixture.
- With the mixer running, add the buttermilk, and mix until completely combined and smooth – a minute or so at medium speed.
- Fill the loaf pans about ⅓ full, in an even layer, reserving remaining batter for the moment.
- Scatter a few tablespoons of the topping over the batter in each pan - you will use about half of the topping.
- Divide the remaining batter among the pans, and smooth the top.
- Scatter the remaining over the tops of the loaves, pressing lightly with the back of spoon to make sure it adheres to the cake.
- Bake on the middle rack for about 35 to 40 minutes, turning the loaves and switching their relative positions about half way through. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick near the center of the loaves - no more than a moist crumb or two should come out.
- When done, cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, loosen the edges with a table knife, and finish cooling on a rack. Best served warm, and it can be reheated if wrapped in foil first.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
I’m not the least bit sorry that I don’t like to just eat a plain old banana. You won’t be either.
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