Banana Coffee Cake (or, Forget the Bread)

I have a love-hate relationship with bananas.

I love the way bananas taste and they provide great pre and post workout nutrition. I like that they come pre-packaged in their own wrapper making them easy for on-the-go. They are a great way to add creaminess to smoothies without adding fat and who doesn’t love PB and B?

I hate bananas because they act like bratty children—they want to ripen whenever it pleases them and spoil immediately there after. My solution to this problem is to eat the entire bunch of bananas in one sitting when they are all at peak ripeness OR toss the occasional smushy banana into the freezer, wait until 3 or 4 accumulate and then make banana bread.

I started this banana in the freezer habit in college so I have had a lot of chances and some success baking banana bread. My biggest challenge has always been getting the bread to bake evenly. Often the outside of the bread is dry and inside is still a little undercooked. Fortunately, I also have a solution for this banana-related issue: Banana Coffee Cake! It is a little lighter than banana bread, bakes evenly and stays super moist.

Bananas are good for you, you should eat more of them. If your bananas get too ripe, try my recipe for Banana Coffee Cake. Most recipes you find out there call for 1/2 cup to a full cup of granulated sugar, which I like to call the White Death, given how much its impacting our national diet (along with HFCS, salt, etc…). I use maple syrup, which makes things plenty sweet. But… if you insist, add 1/2 cup granualted sugar to the mix.

Maple Banana Coffee Cake

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup mashed overripe banana
1/4 cup sugar in the raw for topping if desired

Directions:
1. pre heat oven to 350 degrees
2. combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, mix well and set aside
3. combine vegetable oil, maple syrup, sour cream, vanilla extract, egg and banana and mix well
4. add wet ingredients to dry, mix until just combined (don’t over do it, will still be a little chunky)
5. spoon batter into a greased 9×9 baking dish, sprinkle raw sugar over top of batter
6. Bake for 30-35 min or until a toothpick poked in center comes out dry

Leah Nicholson (MinnesotaMrs) is an ass-kicking personal trainer, a damn fine home cook and…Mrs. Minnesota United States 2012. Follow her at @MrsMN2012.

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