Banana Bread Crumb Cake

I was planning to make banana bread but then told my husband about this cake. He did not hesitate before casting his vote. 😉 It was incredibly moist and delicious- and easy to make. I loved the crumb layer inside the cake.

This recipe was adapted from cookiesandcups.com. I weighed the ingredients, used unsalted butter, incorporated whole wheat pastry flour and cinnamon, omitted the glaze, and modified the baking time for a convection oven. We ate it for breakfast and dessert!

Yield: one 9×13-inch cake

For the Cake:

  • 120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 120 g (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Morton kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 ripe medium-sized bananas, mashed
  • 8 T (1 stick, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 400 g (2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)

For the Crumb Filling & Crumb Topping:

  • 16 T (2 sticks, 1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 432 g (2 cups) light brown sugar
  • 120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 120 g (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch coarse salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. (I set my oven to true convection.)
  2. Coat a 9×13 metal baking dish with baking spray, line with parchment paper (overhang on long sides), lightly coat with baking spray; set aside.
  3. Make the Cake Batter: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl stir together the mashed bananas, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until mixed well.
  5. Add in the flour mixture and milk in alternating portions and stir until combined. Set batter aside while you make your crumb mixture.
  6. Make the Crumb Filling & Crumb Topping: In a large bowl combine the cold, cubed butter, light brown sugar, and flours using a pastry blender or fork until a coarse crumb forms.
  7. To Assemble: Pour 1/2 of the batter into the prepared pan. Top with 1/3 of the crumb mixture. Cover the filling with the remaining batter and then top with remaining crumb mixture.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes on convection or up to 50-55 minutes in a conventional oven, or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Strawberry Doughnut Muffins

Before I share my fresh strawberry delights, I have to share these jewel-toned strawberry muffins that can be made year-round. I made them before picking our beloved Long Island strawberries. The crumb was very tender and tasty. I loved the subtle flavor from the coconut oil as well.

The recipe was adapted from Bon AppĂ©tit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. Even though I didn’t have difficulty with the jam leaking, next time, I would put more batter in the base of each muffin before filling so that it would be more centrally located. I would also reserve the freeze dried strawberry-sugar coating solely for the muffin tops. The jam-filled portion and the strawberry-sugar coated portion were two separate (and delicious) elements in the finished muffin. Both of these modifications are noted in the recipe below. I may also use my homemade jam in the filling. 🙂

The original recipe notes that this special strawberry-sugar could also be used to coat snickerdoodles. Great idea.

Yield: 12 muffins

For the Muffin Batter & Filling:

  • 5 T refined coconut oil, room temperature
  • 4 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 67 g (1/3 cup, 5 T) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 281 g (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 240 g (1 cup) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup thick strawberry or other berry jam (such as Bonne Maman Intense or Crofter’s)

For the Strawberry-Sugar Coating:

  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 6 T granulated sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  1. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
  2. Lightly coat the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, beat oil, butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again just to incorporate.
  5. Add eggs, increase speed to medium, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute (mixture might look a little curdled at this point and that’s okay).
  6. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined and creamy.
  7. Add flour in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream in 2 additions, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. When last batch of flour is nearly incorporated, mix in any remaining dry bits by hand.
  8. Scoop scant 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. (I used a cookie scoop.)
  9. Using a damp finger, flatten each into a mostly even layer with a slight dip in the center.
  10. Add 2 scant teaspoons jam to each center. (I used a 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop.)
  11. Divide remaining batter evenly among cups (about 2 tablespoons each). Take care to seal in jam as much as possible.
  12. Using a damp finger, gently flatten surface.
  13. Bake muffins until golden brown, 15 minutes on convection or up to 17–19 minutes in a standard oven.
  14. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes in pan.
  15. While the muffins are cooling, melt butter in the microwave in a glass dish or in a small saucepan over medium heat; set aside.
  16. Finely grind strawberries in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Transfer strawberry powder to a small bowl and mix in sugar and a pinch of salt. Transfer a small portion to a shallow bowl.
  17. Gently remove muffins from pan; place on wire rack and set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  18. Generously brush each muffin top with melted butter and roll in strawberry sugar to coat, working over bowl to catch any excess. Repeat with remaining muffins, adding more strawberry sugar to bowl as needed.

Do ahead: Muffins can be made 3 days ahead. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake (Pan de Elote)

In Mexico, this simple cake is called panquĂ© de elote, pan de elote or pastel de elote. It is often served for breakfast. We ate it for dessert after our family favorite Middle School Tacos on Cinco de Mayo this year and ate the leftovers for breakfast. Perfect. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Milk Street. The original recipe accurately describes the texture as somewhere between cake and cornbread while hinting at custard. I used Greek yogurt and modified the method and the baking time for a convection oven. I served the cake with strawberries which was a lovely accompaniment.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

  • 3 medium ears fresh corn, preferably yellow, husked (see Note)
  • 36 grams (1/4 cup) fine yellow cornmeal
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) plain whole-milk yogurt (I used whole-milk Greek yogurt)
  • 165 grams (1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
  • fresh strawberries, to serve
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. (I set my oven to the true convection setting.)
  2. Mist a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  3. Hold an ear of corn upright in the center of a medium bowl. Using a chef’s knife, cut the kernels from the corn. Repeat with the additional two ears. Measure 250 grams (1 1/2 cups) of the freshly cut kernels and add to a blender; if you have extra corn, reserve it for another use.
  4. To the blender, add the cornmeal, condensed milk and yogurt, then puree until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds, scraping down the blender as needed. Let stand for 10 minutes. (I used a Vitamix.)
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  6. To the blender, add the whole eggs and yolks, and the oil; blend on low until smooth, 5 to 10 seconds.
  7. Pour the puree into a large bowl.
  8. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until evenly moistened and no lumps of flour remain. It is important that you don’t whisk vigorously! Gentle mixing, just until no pockets of flour remain, will minimize gluten development so the finished cake is tender.
  9. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes in a convection oven or 40 to 45 minutes in a standard oven.
  10. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  11. Run a paring knife around the pan to loosen the cake, then invert directly onto the rack and lift off the pan. Re-invert the cake onto a serving platter and cool completely, about 1 hour.
  12. Serve dusted with Confectioners’ sugar with strawberry slices on the side.

Note: Don’t use frozen corn kernels—it results in a dense, gummy texture. Made with fresh corn, the cake’s crumb is much lighter and softer.

Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Rolls with Apple Cider Glaze

One more apple treat to share. 🙂 We ate these rolls as a special snack and re-warmed them for breakfast the next day as well.

The recipe for these miniature “monkey breads” was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com, but I was inspired to top them with apple cider glaze from davebakes.com.

The apple cider glaze gave them an unexpected tanginess. Tasty and fun.

Yield: 16 rolls

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup (113g) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups (240g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (32g) potato flour
  • 3 tablespoons (50g) light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113g) lukewarm milk (I used 2 percent milk)
  • 1/2 cup (113g) lukewarm water

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup (4 T) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 heaping cup (128g) cored, chopped apple, peeled or unpeeled (I used Pink Lady apples)
  • raisins, optional (I omitted them)

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups apple cider, reduced, optional
  • 2/3 cup (74g) confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 T (14g) milk (I used 2 percent milk)
  • 1 T unsalted butter, melted

To Make the Dough:

  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all of the dough ingredients, mixing and kneading to make a smooth, soft dough. It may seem dry at first, but as you knead it’ll soften up.
  2. Place the dough in a greased bowl or greased 8-cup measure, cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s noticeably puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk). (I used a proofing oven.)
  3. Lightly grease paper muffin cups, and use them to line 16 cups (8 cups in each) of two standard muffin tins.
  4. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 pieces; each will be about 1 1/2 ounces (44g). Round each piece into a flattened ball.
  5. Working with one piece at a time, use a bench knife (or regular knife) to cut the dough into 8 wedges. Don’t worry about being precise; pieces can vary in size.

To Make the Topping and Form the Rolls:

  1. Ration the chopped apple into 16 piles, each pile should be about a generous tablespoon.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon with a whisk.
  3. Roll or shake four dough pieces in cinnamon sugar, and place them into a muffin cup.
  4. Sprinkle with raisins, if using, and chopped apple.
  5. Roll the remaining four dough pieces in cinnamon sugar; top the filling with these remaining four pieces of dough.
  6. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, raisins, and apple.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each roll with an additional 1/4 tsp cinnamon sugar.
  8. Cover them lightly with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let them rise for about 2 hours, until they’re noticeably puffy. (I used a proofing oven.)
  9. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
  10. Uncover the risen rolls, and bake them for 14 minutes, on convection, or up to 17 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Don’t let them darken too much; they’ll be dry.
  11. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack.

To Make the Glaze & to Finish:

  1. Place the cider in a pot over medium heat. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Set aside. (If the cider cools, it must be rewarmed in order to add it to the glaze mixture.)
  2. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, salt, milk, and butter. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of reduced cider, to taste.
  3. Adjust the consistency of the glaze by adding more milk or more reduced cider.
  4. Using a spoon, drizzle the rolls with glaze.

Buttery Pear Dutch Baby

This beautiful Dutch Baby was extra special for my pear-loving family. Including pears made it taste similar to a clafoutis. I served it dusted with powdered sugar but others drizzled it with maple syrup as well. 🙂

The recipe was adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: Recipes for Irresistible Everyday Favorites and Reinvented Classics by Sarah Kieffer. I used sea salt and whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose. Easy and delicious.

Yield: Serves 3 to 4 (one 10-inch Dutch Baby)

  • 1 cup (120g) whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 cup (142g) all-purpose flour)
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 large or extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup milk, preferably whole
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 T (57g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large pear, optional, peeled and cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used an Anjou)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • pure maple syrup, for serving, optional
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, preferably on convection.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla until incorporated.
  4. Whisk one-third of the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until no lumps remain, then slowly add the remaining wet ingredients, whisking until smooth.
  5. Place the butter into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and put it in the oven to preheat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the butter melts and starts to sizzle in the pan.
  6. Using an oven mitt, carefully remove the skillet from the oven. If using pear slices, sauté in the hot butter for 1 minute.
  7. Pour the batter in and immediately return the skillet to the oven.
  8. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and crisp and the pancake has risen and puffed. (I baked mine for 18 minutes on convection.)
  9. Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Mini Banana Doughnuts with Brown Butter Glaze

One more baked doughnut treat to share. This version can (dangerously) be made very easily with one overripe banana. 😉 More fun than banana bread!

The recipe was adapted from chiselandfork.com. I incorporated whole wheat pastry flour and modified the method. The fabulous brown butter glaze was essential.

Yield: 8 mini-doughnuts

For the Doughnuts:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 large banana)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 T milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Brown Butter Glaze:

  • 4 T (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 4 to 5 T confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of coarse salt

To Make the Doughnuts:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F, preferably on convection. Spray 8 wells of a mini-doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Add mashed banana, egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla extract and stir until just combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, distribute the batter into the prepared 8 wells of the pan, about 3 scoops of batter per well. Using an offset spatula spread evenly. (Alternatively, place batter in ziploc bag and squeeze out air. Cut corner of bag. Pipe the batter evenly in the pan.)
  5. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

To Make the Brown Butter Glaze:

  1. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams and has a nutty aroma, about 5-7 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a heat-proof, shallow bowl to stop the cooking process.
  2. Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition. Add enough sugar to reach desired consistency.
  3. Whisk in a pinch of salt and vanilla extract.
  4. Dip each doughnut in the glaze and place back on cooling rack.
  5. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple cider doughnuts are one of my favorite autumn treats. A tasty baked version reduces the guilt- a little bit. 😉 This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Erin Jeanne McDowell.

I made mini-doughnuts and madeleines. I must say that we were surprised by how much we enjoyed the apple cider madeleines which were absolutely amazing with crispy edges. The batter could also be baked in a muffin pan.

Yield: 12 mini-doughnuts and 8 madeleines (or 12 muffins)

For the Batter:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cup/225 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 10 T (140 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup/165 grams light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup/120 milliliters apple cider

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 T unsalted butter

To Make the Doughnuts & Madeleines: (or Muffins)

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Lightly grease 2 (6-cavity) doughnut pans and 8 wells of a madeleine pan (or a 12-cup muffin tin) with nonstick spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 10 tablespoons/140 grams butter, brown sugar and 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  6. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  7. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated.
  8. With the mixer running, add the apple cider in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine.
  9. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is homogeneous.
  10. Spoon the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way. (I use a small cookie scoop and fill each well with 3 scoops. You can also do this using a disposable piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening cut from one corner.) Spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  11. Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, about 7 to 9 minutes on convection. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. (If you are making muffins, divide batter evenly between the prepared cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.)
  12. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, preferably on convection, if making madeleines. (I reduced the oven temperature because my pan has a dark finish.)
  13. Using a small cookie scoop, fill each well with 3 scoops, or until 2/3 full. Spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  14. Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 9 minutes on convection.

To Make the Topping:

  1. While the doughnuts bake, whisk 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl to combine.
  2. In a separate small bowl, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the microwave.
  3. Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes after baking, then unmold them from the pans.
  4. Brush with the melted butter and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar while they are still warm.
  5. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature.

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