This Maple Walnut Banana Coffee Cake will be the shining star of any breakfast or brunch buffet. It comes together easily, no mixer needed!
I have to laugh at a conversation Scott and I had while I was working on this Maple Walnut Banana Coffee Cake.
This is how it went as we were driving home one evening from an event we attended:
"Could we stop at the grocery store?", I asked.
"Sure, what do you need?"
"It won't take long, I just have to pick up a few bananas".
"More bananas?!", he exclaimed. "Wow, we've gone through a mountain of bananas over the last two weeks!"
He was right, I worked on this Banana Coffee Cake like a mad scientist and there were more than a few renditions.
The final version is definitely a keeper and would be perfect for any breakfast or brunch buffet. This crumb-topped banana coffee cake would also make a lovely gift for a friend, neighbor, teacher, hairdresser, etc. Who wouldn't have one of these stashed away in the freezer for unexpected company? (Yes, it freezes well!)
No disappearing crumbs
Have you ever had a coffee cake "eat" all the lovely crumbles you sprinkle on top before baking? One last look before closing the oven door reveals a gorgeous crumb topping. Then when the timer goes off to signal the wonderful smelling cake is done, it's a huge shock. The crumbs have gone AWOL, with just a scatter still visible in the center of the coffee cake. If you've experienced this disappointing phenomenon, you're going to appreciate this Maple Walnut Banana Coffee Cake recipe.
The batter is baked for 30 minutes before the sweet, cinnamon-y walnut topping and a scatter of walnuts is added. Then it goes back in the oven until it's all golden and beautiful. You can stop there, add a sprinkle of powdered sugar or be over-the-top extravagant and add ribbons of delicious maple icing.
Oh, and the walnuts! They're treated with a super simple splash of oil and honey before baking which transforms them during their stint in the oven into golden, crunchy, caramelized bites of deliciousness. Pecans could be subbed for the walnuts with equally wonderful results.
The cake itself is moist, tender and loaded with delicious banana flavor.
So there you have it, another wonderful way to use up that seemingly perpetual supply of overripe bananas that congregate in the fruit bowl. Or, you might be like me and find yourself buying a mountain of bananas, just to make this delicious Maple Walnut Banana Coffee Cake over and over again. Either way, the results will be spectacular!
Café Tips for Making this Maple Walnut Banana Coffee Cake
- For the prettiest results, use a tube pan (also known as an angel food pan) to make this Banana Coffee Cake. A coffee cake pan would also work well. If you don't have either type of pan, this cake could also be made in two 9-inch baking (cake) pans. (Hint, hint - either of these pans would make a wonderful gift for someone who loves to bake.)
- Be sure to grease your pan(s) well. There's nothing more disappointing than a lovely cake that sticks to the pan. I like to use baking spray, which is a combination of flour and shortening. There are several companies that make this type of spray as well as lots of generic versions. I like Baker's Joy but have also used other brands with good success.
- Don't use green bananas in this recipe. You want bananas with lots of sugar spots (brown spots). Lots of grocery stores will actually have a little bin tucked away in some corner with over-ripe bananas that are for sale at a reduced price. Check with your store's produce manager on this.
- An easy way to mash bananas for baking? Place ripe bananas in a zip-lock bag. Seal the bag and squish, squish, squish. When the bananas are fairly lump-free, just snip off a bottom corner of the bag and squeeze the amount needed into a measuring cup.
- For a less sweet version of this banana coffee cake, feel free to omit the maple drizzle.
- This banana coffee cake keeps well, in fact, it seems to get even better! Just wrap it in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- I use a fork or a small whisk to drizzle the icing over the top of the cake. This is the fun part and doesn't take any expertise. It's just a random drizzle.
- For a delicious twist, swap 1 tablespoon of strong coffee for 1 tablespoon of the half and half in the maple drizzle. Scott liked that even better than the standard recipe!
- Although I call this a coffee cake, don't limit it to breakfast or brunch. It would also make a fabulous dessert, any time of day!
- If you're making this Banana Coffee Cake and want to freeze it for enjoying later, let it cool completely after baking. Then put it in the freezer uncovered for about an hour. Once it's nice and firm, you can pull it out and wrap it securely with plastic wrap or foil and not smush the cake.
- If you love coffee cake but don't have any bananas on hand and/or don't feel like running to the market, this Easy Overnight Coffee Cake is another super delicious crowd-pleaser!
This Maple Walnut Banana Coffee Cake will be the shining star of any breakfast or brunch buffet and comes together easily, without pulling out your mixer!
- 6 tablespoons butter very soft
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon mild-flavored oil sunflower, grape seed, canola or vegetable oil all work well
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 cups mashed ripe bananas 3-4 bananas, depending on size
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup mild flavored oil sunflower, grape seed, canola or vegetable oil all work well
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons half & half maybe more
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a tube pan or a coffee cake pan with baking spray. Rub the pan with a paper towel to ensure the spray coats all of the surface. Lightly spray again. Wrap the pan in heavy-duty foil or two thicknesses of regular foil. This will prevent the crust from getting too brown.
Make the cinnamon crumb topping: combine flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl. Place butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and cook for 30 seconds on high power until partially melted. Add butter to flour mixture and stir with a fork until large clumps form. Refrigerate crumb topping till ready to use.
For the walnuts, combine walnuts, oil and honey and stir well until the walnuts are well coated. Set aside.
Whisk together bananas, sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Add oil and vanilla. Stir until well combined. The oil will seem separated at first, just keep stirring till it's all incorporated.
Sprinkle flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt over the top of the banana mixture. Stir just until all flour disappears. Scrape the bowl to make sure no flour remains.
Transfer the batter (it will be fairly thin) to the prepared pan. Do not add the crumb mixture yet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven to add the crumb mixture.
Remove the crumb mixture from the refrigerator and stir with a fork, breaking up any large clumps With your hand, gently sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the coffee cake, breaking up any remaining large clumps. Sprinkle prepared walnuts over the top of the crumb mixture, gently tucking some of them into the empty spots. Use a light touch for this step as you don't want to compress the cake itself.
Return to oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover the top of the pan lightly with a piece of foil during the last 10 minutes, if browning too much.
Remove the foil and allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Invert onto a dinner plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack so that crumbs and walnuts are on top. Cool completely. Serve unadorned or drizzle in random ribbons with maple icing (see below).
To make the maple drizzle, combine butter, brown sugar, half and half, maple syrup and vanilla in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well then cook for another 30 seconds on high.
Add powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the cake in random ribbons.
See Café Tips in the post above for more details and tips to ensure success.