A moist banana cake topped with an easy crumb topping. This Banana Crumb Cake is a perfect way to use those ripe bananas!
Do you ever end up with a bunch of overripe bananas at the end of each week? Or is that just me? I typically buy some bananas each week at the grocery store with the intention of being healthy and actually eating them. But by the end of the week, I usually have a few left that need to be used.
I really love this whole wheat banana bread when I’m looking for something a little healthier. But every now and then I love to use bananas for something a little more rich and decadent like this Banana Crumb Cake.
You’ll start out with a simple crumb topping made of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. It’s best to make the crumb topping first and pop it into the refrigerator while you make the cake. Once you’ve mixed up the banana cake batter, you can just sprinkle the crumb topping on it and put it in the oven.
The actual banana cake is slightly dense, which is typical with a recipe that has bananas. It’s almost reminiscent of banana bread, but a little bit softer. There’s some buttermilk in the recipe, which I felt really made this cake so much better.
This recipe really takes your typical banana cake to the next level. And let’s be honest, it makes eating cake totally acceptable for breakfast.
This easy banana cake has two components: the crumb topping and the banana cake base. Here’s what you’ll need to make the recipe:
- All-purpose flour: Make sure to spoon and level the flour so you don’t end up with a dense cake.
- Sugar: I used a mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar to add both flavor and sweetness to the cake.
- Cinnamon: Banana and cinnamon is the best pairing! I added cinnamon to the crumb topping and the cake itself to really amp up the flavor.
- Butter: Note that you’ll need cold butter to make the crumb topping and softened butter to make the cake batter.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Work together the help the cake rise in the oven.
- Salt: Enhances the banana flavor and balances out the sweetness of the bananas and sugar.
- Eggs: Should be room temperature before being mixed into the batter.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla for the best banana cake.
- Bananas: I like to measure out 1 and 1/2 cups of mashed banana to be precise, but it usually equals about 4 medium bananas or 3 large bananas.
- Buttermilk: Don’t have any buttermilk on hand? You can make your own with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of whole milk, stir it together, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
How to Make Banana Crumb Cake
First, you’ll need to make the crumb topping. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then cut the cold butter into the mixture using your hands or a pastry cutter. Stop when the mixture begins to form crumbs.
Then, make the cake batter. Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, and cream together the wet in another. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three increments, alternating with the buttermilk.
Spoon the batter into a 9-inch springform pan and sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Can I Use a Buttermilk Substitute?
Yes, you can make your own buttermilk if needed using vinegar (or lemon juice) and milk. Making banana cake with buttermilk — or a homemade substitute — ensures it turns out perfectly moist every time!
- Be sure to use extra ripe bananas in this recipe for the best flavor. They should be starting to turn black!
- If you don’t have a springform pan, do NOT use a regular cake pan. It will be far too small. You could use a 9×5-inch loaf pan instead, noting that you won’t need all of the crumb topping to cover the top.
- Let the banana crumb cake cool completely before cutting into it. It needs time in the pan to cool and set.
More Banana Desserts to Try!
Banana Crumb Cake
For the crumb topping:
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
For the cake:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter , softened
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups mashed banana (4 medium ripe bananas or 3 large ripe bananas)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
To make the crumb topping:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cube the cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender (or your hands) cut the butter into the mixture until it starts to clump together and is crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator while you make the cake batter.
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract, and mashed banana, making sure to mix well after adding each ingredient.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, and mixing each addition just until combined.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared springform pan. Remove the crumb topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle on top of the batter.
- Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking if needed to prevent excess browning.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Allow to cool completely before serving.