This banana cake is scrumptious.  In the midst dealing with a flat tire, trying to fix the TV volume that was (and still is) stuck on mute, and driving the kids to and from activities…I noticed that I had three very ripe bananas sitting on the counter and decided that I must use them today.  I wanted something different than my basic banana bread (that we do love) – was in the mood to try something new – but something just as simple to make since I was pressed for time.  Well, I found a good one!  I was able to prep the ingredients in between Triple A coming, rushing the car in for service (apparently I had only 10 minutes before the tire deflated again!), picking the car up 25 minutes later (I owe Jack’s Automotive some cake) and continued as I prepped dinner as well (it was a crock pot night which made things easier).  By the time dinner ended I had my mise en place and was ready to combine the measured ingredients and pop in the oven.  This is an incredibly long winded way of telling you that this is easy to make.  More importantly, it is yummy.  I made one with streusel on top and with out chocolate.  And I made one with the streusel and mini chips swirled a bit throughout.  I gave Greg the non-chocolate version in his lunch and as soon as he saw me after school he said, “what was that amazing thing in my lunch?”  Josh and Lauren loved the chippy version and Mike, Zach, Andy, Sylvie and Rob loved both.  This cake is light, delicate and more cake-y than the banana bread (which makes sense).  Anyway, the streusel topping is divine.  I love streusel.  Rambling now, but this in my little mug of ice cream…can’t wait! Enjoy-

banana streusel cake (with or without chocolate chips) only very slightly adapted from Flo Braker’s Baking For All Occasions:

6 tablespoons all purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup mashed banana (2 medium or 3 small or 9 oz)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temp
mini chocolate chips 2/3’s cup (or more or less to your taste)

streusel – in a medium bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt.  Rub the mixture with your hands over and over again until the butter smooshes a bit and the dry ingredients start to look like slightly wet sand.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center.  Line the inside of a 9×9 pan with foil or parchment so that it comes up the sides of the pan.  Then you can pull whole cake out of oven using foil as an aide.  Look to baking tips to see photos of this with a cranberry cake.  You can also butter and parchment and flour traditionally – but it is trickier to invert from the pan – yet do-able for sure.  (These would be great in muffin shape as well!  Just adjust baking time – shorter.)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

Mush the bananas and stir in the milk and vanilla and set aside.

With the paddle attachment of the mixer – beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes on medium speed.  Scrape down sides beat again for 30 seconds.  Add the egg and beat until incorporated.

Next add the banana mixture (it might look curdled that is ok) – and beat until combined.

On the lowest speed, add the flour in 2’s – and mix until just incorporated.  Finish folding by hand for best results.  If using mini chips you can fold in (some) now or you can wait and place on streusel or a little bit of both!

Spoon the batter into the pan, smooth and then cover evenly with the streusel.  And again, if using the chocolate chips, you can place some on top.  I swirled the chip batter with a knife but I actually prefer the crunch streusel on top vs inside the cake, but up to you.

Bake for about 42-50 minutes, but check often and before with a wooden toothpick.  Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan with the foil as aide – or invert if you buttered and floured the pan (carefully).

Let cool, and cut and enjoy!

This cake freezes well.  Wrap with plastic and then foil and freeze up to 2 weeks.

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