Banana Coffee Cake
Published Dec 01, 2014•Updated Feb 15, 2023
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Easy banana coffee cake with a brown sugar crumb topping is the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack. This coffee house-style, moist and tender crumb cake has just the right amount of sweetness, thanks to the mashed ripe bananas, and an optional drizzled glaze.
A layer of cake, a layer of crumble, and a powdered sugar glaze, banana coffee cake is positively perfect. Not only does this recipe do double-duty as breakfast or dessert, but it’s a great way to use up a few ripe bananas.
Bananas naturally sweeten this crumb cake to make it super moist, and good old fashioned buttermilk adds a bit of tang to the sweetness. But, what sets this banana coffee cake apart from all the rest is the buttery crumble that’s layered in the middle. If you love both coffee cake and banana bread, you will love the way this recipe blends the two to create an amazing treat that’s fit for your fancy brunches, or casual enough to enjoy with your morning coffee. If this all sounds good, but bananas aren’t your thing (or you just don’t have any on hand), try my equally delicious Strawberry Coffee Cake.
What makes a cake a coffee cake?
A cake is a cake, unless that cake has a delicious crumb topping made with a sweet brown sugar, flour, and butter. What separates a coffee cake from a standard cake all comes down to what’s on top. Coffee cakes feature a yummy crumb or streusel topping, while standard cakes are frosted or iced.
How to Make
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, mash bananas until smooth.
- Add the butter to mashed bananas and beat until well combined. Now, add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Alternate adding a third of the flour mixture and a third of the buttermilk, mixing after each addition until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Make the crumb by cutting all ingredients together with a fork and forming coarse crumbs.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, then top with half of the crumb. Repeat with the remaining batter and top with remaining crumb.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk and drizzle on top when the cake has cooled.
For the Cake:
- All-Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Sugar, Vanilla – Baking basics for the perfect crumb cake.
- Bananas – Choose bananas that are very ripe and have brown spots on the peel. They should be a little mushy to the touch for easy mashing.
- Butter – Be sure to use unsalted butter to control the salt in the recipe. Bring the butter to room temperature to make mixing a breeze.
- Eggs – Eggs add moisture, help give the cake its “cakey” texture, and bind the ingredients together.
- Buttermilk – Tangy buttermilk prevents cakes from becoming too sweet, and keeps them moist and tender. Use store-bought buttermilk or make your own with ¾ cups skim milk + 2 teaspoon white vinegar + ¼ cup plain yogurt.
For the Crumb:
- Butter, Light Brown Sugar, All-Purpose Flour – The key to a good crumble topping is using cold cubed butter. This will help the sugar and the flour hold their shape.
For the Glaze:
- Powdered Sugar, Milk – For the finishing touch glaze. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar depending on how sweet you like your cake glazes.
- Get the perfect glaze – Before you begin drizzling the powdered sugar glaze over this cake, make sure the cake is completely cool. You want the glaze to set just slightly after you pour it over the top, and a cake that is too hot will cause the glaze to melt right into the crumble.
How to store and freeze
Banana bread crumb cake will stay fresh for 3-4 days if you store it in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze this treat in a freezer-safe container for 2 to 3 months. When the urge for coffee cake strikes, thaw the cake by letting it come to room temperature.
- Add nuts – Walnuts, pecans, and almonds add a nutty crunch to this coffee cake.
- Create a flavored glaze – A touch of vanilla, maple or brown butter glaze adds more fun flavor.
- Make it chocolatey – If you love chocolate and banana, turn this recipe into a chocolate chip banana coffee cake by adding chocolate chips.
- Try another fruit – Banana-blueberry, banana-strawberry, or banana-raspberry are easy variations.
Banana coffee cake can be made the day before you’re ready to serve it, and still be as fresh as it is out of the oven. Store the cake at room temperature, and in an airtight container to prevent drying out. For the best presentation, wait to drizzle the glaze until you’re ready to serve.
When it comes to freezing overripe bananas, you have a few options. You can mash the bananas and then freeze them in individual containers or jars so that they’re ready for your next baking project. Or, you can slice the bananas, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze them for about 2 hours. When the bananas are frozen, transfer them to a container until you are ready to use. You can freeze bananas for 3 months.
More Banana Recipes
- Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bread Truffles
- Weeknight Banana Bread
- Banana Bread Bundt Cake with Chocolate
- Banana French Toast Casserole
- Banana Layer Cake
- Glass Mixing Bowls
- Half Sheet Pans
- OXO Silicon Spatula Set
- Parchment Paper
- Stand Mixer
- Wire Cooling Rack
- Set of Cookie Scoops (1 Tbsp, 2 Tbsp, 3 Tbsp)
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Banana Coffee Cake Recipe
- 9 x 13 Baking Dish
- Mixing Bowls
- Stand or Handheld Mixer
For the Cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk (see note)
For the Crumb:
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish or 9-inch springform pan.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mash bananas until smooth. To the bananas, add the butter and beat until well combined. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Alternate adding a third of the flour mixture and a third of the buttermilk, mixing after each addition until just combined.
- To make the crumb, cut all ingredients together with a fork or pastry cutter until a coarse crumb forms. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with half of the crumb. Cover with the remaining batter and top with remaining crumb. Bake for 50-55 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk and drizzle on top.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (Inside. Outside it’s still 90 degrees and sunny.)