Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Banana Coffee Cake with Cocoa Nib Streusel

Snowshoeing season is upon us, and we like to spend most of the day out there in the fresh air, bringing lunch, hot coffee and something sweet to keep our energy levels up. Three ripe bananas, some sour cream and the last of the cocoa nibs were used used up to make this cake, which is moist, cunchy and hit the spot after a couple of hours of walking in the fresh, knee deep snow yesterday.

As it freezes well, I portioned it, wrapped the individual pieces and then froze them so that we have some for the next few weeks.

Start by turning the oven on to 350F to heat, and then lightly grease a 9" X 13" pan and set aside until needed.

In a spice grinder, combine:

1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Grind until the cocoa nibs are finer, but still have texture.

In a mixer, using the paddle, combine:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 ounces butter

Mix until you have a crumbly mixture.


the cocoa nibs and cinnamon
1/2 cup toffee bits

Mix to combine, then set aside while you make the cake batter.

To make the cake batter, cream until light and fluffy:

1/2 cup soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar

Add, one at a time, scraping the bowl down in between:

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

Add half the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda


1/2 cup sour cream

Mix until just combined. Add in the second half of the dry ingredients, and mix until combined, scraping the bowl down once or twice.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly.

Sprinkle the reserved cocoa nib streusel over the top of the cake batter.

Bake until the cake has risen, is golden on top and a test skewer comes out clean and dry.

This took about 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before portioning.

The cake can be served warm or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream. It can also be served as breakfast, with tea or coffee or when out hiking or snowshoeing. However you choose to eat this, it is delicious!

  • The cake can be baked in a couple of loaf pans, or in a 10" round springform pan. It can also be baked as muffins...the recipe will make between 18 - 24 muffins, depending on the size you make them.
  • Nuts can be added to the streusel, with or without the toffee bits. Try pecans, almonds or walnuts.
  • I am able to buy the toffee bits in the grocery store, either packaged or in bulk, but if you aren't able to do this you can chop up an English toffee bar, or just omit the toffee.
  • Other fruit such as apple or pear sauce; pureed peaches, apricots or nectarines; pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut squash, cooked and mashed can be used instead of banana.
  • Plain Greek yoghurt can be used instead of sour cream; I had sour cream left from another meal and it needed to be used. Buttermilk can also be used; keep in mind it is runnier than sour cream so your batter might be a bit thinner.
  • If you do not have cocoa nibs, use chocolate chips or grated chocolate, and do not put them into the spice grinder...the heat will melt the chocolate. Just add them into the streusel along with the toffee bits.
  • I used cinnamon, but you can use any spice you like....ginger, star anise, nutmeg, cloves.
  • The toffee bits and/or chocolate chips can be folded directly into the batter, and the streusel eliminated. This batter can also be baked in a bundt pan.
  • As I mentioned, the cake freezes well. I like to pre-portion it and wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and then place them all into a resealable bag. This way you can defrost as many pieces as you need, and still keep the rest fresh. This also stops unwanted snacking!

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