Ripe bananas can be incorporated into all kinds of delicious banana baked goods. While a classic banana bread is always a good option, I like to mix things up from time to time. This Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake is made with a banana cake base that is packed with blueberries and topped with a buttery cinnamon streusel.
The cake was inspired by a kitchen full of bananas that were ripening far too quickly in the summer heat, and a fridge full of blueberries that I picked up when they were on sale. Berries often sink to the bottom of cake batter, but the batter for this recipe is thick – similar to that of more traditional banana breads – and it has plenty of strength to hold up those berries. The cake is also both moist and tender, with a lovely balance of blueberries and banana in each bite!
I prefer to bake this cake in the summer using fresh blueberries. The have the slight advantage of holding their shape a bit better than frozen berries do. That said, you can absolutely use frozen blueberries in this recipe. If opting for frozen, use completely frozen (not defrosted) berries and toss them in 2 tbsp all purpose flour before folding them into the batter to prevent their color from bleeding.
The streusel is the finishing touch on this cake, which is almost – but not quite – as delicious even without the topping. It is a mixture of
butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon that can be mixed up in just a minute. The mixture resembles wet sand in the mixing bowl, but can be easily shaped into nice clumps by simply squeezing handfuls of the mixture together in your fist. Simply make the crumbles as large or small as you like, then sprinkle evenly over the batter before baking.
This cake is ready to eat as soon as it has cooled, but it keeps very well for at least a day or two after baking, so feel free to bake it in advance of when you plan to serve it.
Blueberry Banana Coffee Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large bananas, very ripe (about 1 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups blueberries (pref. fresh)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
For the cake:In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas with the sugar, then incorporate the eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter. Mix until the butter is completely incorporated, then quickly fold in the blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared pan and set it aside while you prepare the streusel.
For the streusel: Beat together butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add in the flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix until everything comes together and resembles wet sand. Grab handfuls of the mixture and squeeze it together to form crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the blueberry cake.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow cake to cool completely before slicing.
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