Take the two best breakfast baked goods and combine them into the ultimate breakfast treat: banana coffee cake. You’ll love this banana bread crumb cake hybrid because it’s easy, scrumptious, and a serious crowd pleaser.
What is Banana Coffee Cake?
You know those tv shows where they imagine what would happen if two cool animals fought one another. Like, great white shark vs. lion or vulture vs. octopus? They’re nonsense, but the message applies here. As someone who bakes for a living, I often duke out these theoretical battles in my head. Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies vs. Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies or in the origin story for this banana crumb cake….banana bread vs. crumb cake. It’s an impossible choice, to which the only right answer is to not pick just one.
I mean, why choose between banana bread and coffee cake when you can smoosh them together into the best breakfast treat of all time: banana bread coffee cake. It’s buttery, moist as heck, and packed full of banana flavor.
What do you need to make banana coffee cake?
This banana bread coffee cake is a super simple and easy breakfast treat to throw together for a special brunch or just because. You only need a handful of ingredients and it requires no fancy kitchen gadgets–you’ll love how easy this recipe is!
Brown Sugar + White Sugar
All Purpose Flour
Do you really need ripe bananas for banana bread?
This is a question we get a lot. “Can I sub out something for the bananas?” “Can I use bananas that aren’t ripe?” Sadly the answer to all of these is no. Subbing out bananas in banana bread would be like making brownies without chocolate. Sure, you could sub out the cocoa powder for flour, but they certainly won’t taste like brownies anymore. Luckily you can speed up the ripening process. We all know the feeling when you’re craving something specific, only to find the bananas on your counter are bright yellow (dare I even say…slightly green). Luckily there are a few ways to speed up the ripening process if you simply have to have banana bread:
Need them immediately? Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the unpeeled bananas on the prepared tray and bake for 15 minutes or until the bananas are black. Let them cool completely before slicing open and using the bananas as instructed!
Planning ahead for banana crumb cake in a few days? Place the bananas in a paper bag and roll down the top. If you have some other ripe bananas, another fruit (apples, pears, etc.), or even an avocado, this will help to expedite the ripening process!
How to jazz up your coffee cake?
While this banana crumb cake is already a fun spin on your classic sour cream coffee cake, you can tweak this recipe exactly to your liking if you want to shake things up even more!
Brown the butter: It sounds like a crazy combo, but banana and brown butter is actually a delicious flavor pairing (looking at you brown butter banana sheet cake). Simply brown 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons of butter (about 2 Tablespoons of the butter will evaporate off during the browning process) and swap it out for the melted butter in the cake!
Add Walnuts: A little extra crunch never hurt anyone. You can stir in chopped walnuts (we recommend toasting them) into the batter for an extra nutty surprise. You can also mix up to 1/4 cup into the crumb topping for an extra buttery and nutty streusel topping!
Add Chocolate Chips: When it comes to chocolate, the more the merrier. This banana crumb cake is absolutely delicious with chocolate chips stirred into the batter. I usually omit the cinnamon if I’m adding choco chips, just because I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon, chocolate, and banana together, but if you’re a cinnamon-chocolate fan, feel free to leave it!
So start getting those rotten bananas together! You won’t regret whipping up this scrumptious banana coffee cake recipe!
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9 x 9 square pan with parchment paper or butter and flour the pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, melted butter, and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Add the sour cream and the milk.
In a separate bowl stir together the the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan and set aside while you make the cinnamon sugar swirl and the crumb topping.
In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir together to mix well. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt for the crumb topping. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture starts to clump together and looks like wet sand.
Spread the cinnamon sugar swirl over the first layer of banana bread. Pour the remaining batter over the cinnamon sugar. Top with the crumb topping, spreading into an even layer.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool before serving. If desired, dust with powdered sugar.