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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Banana Espresso Crumb Cake

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Next time I have a few ripe bananas on hand, there is no doubt that I'll be making anything but this! I love banana bread  and peanut butter banana muffins, but this crumb cake is a new obsession. The espresso is apparent but not overwhelming and pairs perfectly with the chocolate chips studded throughout. I only had three bananas but the banana flavor was plenty strong. The best part of this? The coarse salt in the crumb topping! The saltiness stood out prominently and was a bit surprising at first, but each additional bite solidified that the salt was a key ingredient. Just typing this out now already has me excited to make it again!

I wasn't the only fan of this breakfast...err dessert?!...treat. I brought this to Chicago for my family to enjoy over Thanksgiving weekend and there might have been a bit of a fight over the last piece!

One Year Ago: Nutella Pocket Cookies 
Two Years Ago: Chicken Enchiladas

Banana Espresso Crumb Cake
from vanilla sugar

-1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4, I used 3)
-1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
-1 stick unsalted butter, melted
-1/4 cup half & half
-1 large egg
-3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or use 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
-1 1/2 packets Starbucks Via (I used 1 packet + 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules)
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp sea salt
-3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for the crumb topping
-3/4 cup flour
-1/2 cup light brown sugar
-1/2 tsp coarse salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, mix bananas, sugars, butter, half & half, and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
5. To make the crumb topping, mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pour melted butter over the mixture and toss until crumbs form. Sprinkle over batter.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.