Calling it like it is, no one can ever have enough coffee cake recipes. And to be honest, I’m a sucker for banana bread as well, so this chocolate chip banana coffee cake blends two things I adore, in one. Total winner. If you ask my husband (who’s not typically a banana fan), this (like pie) is the perfect breakfast food. With a cake-like texture, abundance of chocolate chips and crispy cinnamon-sugar topping, it’s almost like having dessert in the morning. And to me, this is not a bad thing, especially these days.
Since I was a kid I’ve always loved coffee cakes. But I’ve always been curious about their origin. Coffee cake evolved from other types of sweet dishes from Vienna. But truthfully, these cakes were more like sweet breads than actual cakes. Around the 17th century, Northern/Central Europeans began eating sweet cakes while drinking coffee. It was immigrants from countries such as Germany and Scandinavia who tweaked these recipes making them more cake-like and eventually brought them to America. According to the book Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner, it wasn’t until 1879 that the term “coffee cake” actually became a common term.
Coffee cakes stand apart from other cakes because of their streusel topping and because, although they sometimes have a glaze drizzled on top, but they are never frosted. Some have a swirl of streusel in them, and others are filled with fruit, nuts or chocolate. A coffee cake may, at times, actually have coffee in it, but the name comes from the fact that it is served with coffee, not because it has been made with it.
Coffee Cake Fun Facts:
- Coffee cake was not invented, it evolved from a variety of different types of cakes.
- In its various forms, coffee cakes have been around since biblical times, the simplest varieties made from honey or dates and other fruits.
- In the 17th century, Northern/Central Europeans the concept of pairing sweet cakes with coffee became popular.
- Coffee cake comes in limitless variations, everything from blueberry coffee cakes to cinnamon walnut coffee cake and more.
- The hole in the center of many coffee cakes is a relatively recent innovation-it became popular in the 1950’s. The “bundt pan” was invented to allow heavier batters to get cooked all the way through without any dough left unbaked in the center.
This chocolate chip banana coffee cake has a subtle banana flavor that is unassuming. In this recipe the banana helps with moisture making it anything but dry. Even those who may not gravitate toward bananas, will fall in love with this simple yet irresistible, breakfast cake. The cinnamon-sugar topping when baked creates lovely, delicate crispy layer on top and replaces the need for a traditional coffee cake streusel topping. I skip the bundt pan and keep this recipe simple and straightforward which pays off in the prep department. This effortless coffee cake is easy to whip up in under an hour and makes it a go-to for me any day of the week but may come in handy as kiddos head back to school (and by that I mean at home) this week.
Chocolate Chip Banana Coffee Cake
- For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- For the Cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Step 1 For the cinnamon-sugar topping: In a small bowl add the sugar and cinnamon, mix well and set near your work station.
- Step 2 For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and lightly grease. Set aside.
- Step 3 In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well to blend.
- Step 4 In the bowl of a kitchen mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, sour cream, mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Mix until incorporated.
- Step 5 With the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture and blend, scrapping down the sides as needed.
- Step 6 Using a rubber tip spatula, spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and half of the chocolate chips. Top with the remaining batter, smooth out evenly as best you can. Top with the rest of the cinnamon-sugar followed by the remaining chocolate chips.
- Step 7 Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until a tester inserted into the coffee cake comes out clean.Allow the coffee cake to cool slightly before cutting
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