The secret is out of the bag. That is my secret banana bread (or is it a banana cake) recipe. It’s really, really good! One slice of the amazingly delicious cake-like version of my banana bread will keep you salivating for more. You will be eating this for brunch or breakfast – smearing some butter on a slice is optional. Add some vanilla ice cream to a warm slice and enjoy it for dessert. Why not? It’s that good and flexible.
This bread truly is a masterpiece. The cake flour adds a rich fluffy texture. The smashed banana and buttermilk combination gives it the perfect moistness. The buttermilk adds a hint of tang but it is quickly overshadowed by the sweetish whisper of cardamom and the bittersweet notes of nutmeg. And not to mention the sweet taste of coconut dancing on your tongue. The walnut streusel adds a nice crunch in the middle and the top of the bread. The aroma is seriously enticing; I am forewarning you that you will dig into a bite before the bread is completely cooled.
To top off the reason why you will want to make this version – no clunky mixing machine needed (no offense to my kitchen aid mixer). This recipe comes together quickly using your hands and a spatula.
I hope you will make this version of banana bread and enjoy it as much as we do around here. Happy Cooking!
Try this popular cookie recipe:
Banana Streusel Bread | A Cake-like Version
This banana bread is easy to make and the consistency is cake-like. No clunky mixing machine needed. It’s great for breakfast, brunch or dessert.
For the wet banana base:
- 4 small bananas (you need very ripe bananas – saturated with lots of brown spots) You want enough over-ripe bananas to produce 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas.
- 6 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 large eggs beaten (room temperature)
- 3/4 cups light brown sugar firmly packed (can sub dark brown sugar)
For the dry ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour sifted
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg can sub ground nutmeg
- zest from one orange
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
For the streusel:
- 2 tablespoon butter softened at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used Vietnamese cinnamon)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used light brown sugar, but dark will also do)
- 3/4 cups chopped walnuts toasted
Video tutorial availabe for this recipe – link in summary. Preheat oven 350F.
Prepare a loaf pan – butter the pan and coat with flour. Set aside. I also put the loaf pan ontop of a sheetpan.
Toast the walnuts:
Add the walnuts to a frying pan. Toast over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until it's lightly brown.
Note: Use a spatula or spoon to shuffle the nuts at least 2 or 3 times to ensure it's browning all over (or shake the pan to move the nuts around). Set aside to cool while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Prepare the dry ingredients:
Sift the cake flour into a medium bowl.
Note: I use a fine mesh strainer to sift the flour – you can use a sifter if you have one.
Add in the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cardamom and orange zest. Mix together to combine.
Add in the coconut and mix to coat with the flour. Set aside.
Note: This process prevents the coconut from sinking to the bottom of the bread.
Prepare the banana batter:
Peel off the banana skins and discard. Add the peeled bananas to a large bowl.
Use a potato masher, or fork, to mash the bananas into a paste like testure – a few small lumps are okay.
Pour in the melted butter, buttermilk, beaten eggs and brown sugar.
Use a spatula, spoon or whisk to combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Set Aside.
Let's make the Streusel:
In a medium bowl, combine the softened (room temperature) butter with the flour. Use a fork to incorporate the flour.
Add in the cinnamon, brown sugar and toasted walnuts. Mix together with a spoon or your hands. Set aside.
Prepare the bread batter for baking:
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the wet banana mixture. Use a spatula to gently mix until the dry ingredients is fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
Continue this process two more times – each time making sure that the flour mixture is fully incorporated.
Place the prepared loaf pan on top of a sheetpan.
Pour in half the bread batter – use a spatula to spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the Streusel on top of the batter.
Pour in the remaining batter, spreading it evenly with the spatula.
Sprinkle the remaining streusel mixture on top of the batter.
Bake the cake for 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Note: I used the convection setting on my oven. If you are using a regular bake setting you may need to bake up to 1 hour or a little bit more.
Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 to 15. Then remove the cake and cool completely on the wire rack.
Slice and enjoy.
You can use all purpose flour (the bread will not be as cake-like but it will still be very good). If using all purpose flour, you will need to add 1 teaspoon baking powder and reduce the baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon. You can also sub the buttermilk for whole milk. Just remember all of these changes will give the texture a more bread-like one verses this cake-like version.
For the streusel, you can replace the walnuts with pecans.
Special shoutout to the cardamom used in this recipe – don’t skip it – the flavor is excellent in this bread-cake. You can generally find this spice in your grocery store spice aisle.