Confession #122: Food distracts me… Maple Banana Coffee Cake

by alexandra

Post image for Confession #122: Food distracts me… Maple Banana Coffee Cake

My dad tells me that the only things I can think about are muffins and cookies – aka food. Of course it’s a joke and totally not true… except for those times when it is true. ;)

Maple Banana Coffee Cake |

I tend to have a one-track mind when it comes to baking, as in once I’m set on trying a new recipe/idea, it pretty much dominates my thoughts. I start hatching out my plan of action and as soon as possible, I’m in the kitchen up to my elbows in flour and sugar. If all is golden, I bake, photograph, and have a new recipe to share. If something doesn’t turn out right though, I start obsessing over what might have been the problem. Next thing I know I’ve spent an hour on the internet reading about all kinds of scientific baking stuff, and I’m just itching to get back in the kitchen so I can try again.

Maple Banana Coffee Cake |

My crazy need for perfection, combined with my endless recipe brainstorming and my addiction to baking, means that sometimes I devote too much time to food and not enough time to other, more-important-but-sort-of-less-important stuff. It even distracts me from writing posts sometimes; today I’ve already taken a break to soak raisins for cookies, kinda like these, and I’m barely restraining myself from starting on that cookie dough right now. Oh, the problems of being a baker… :)

Maple Banana Coffee Cake |

This Maple Banana Coffee Cake was one of those recipes that I had to obsess over and tweak to get right, but trust me, now it’s definitely right. It’s a light and tender banana coffee cake made richer with the flavor of maple, and topped with a crunchy, nutty, pecan and brown sugar crumble. The maple flavor isn’t too strong, and more noticeable when the cake is served cool or at room temperature. Of course, you can feel free to add a little maple syrup on top, if you’re feeling indulgent. I can’t judge!

Maple Banana Coffee Cake |

And by the way… this cake is SUPER easy to make –  no mixer needed! Basically, you have no excuses; grab yourself some ripe bananas and make some coffee cake! When you can call “cake” breakfast, your day is off to a good start.


Maple Banana Coffee Cake |

Maple Banana Coffee Cake

  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 coffee cake squares


This light and tender banana coffee cake has a sweet note of maple that goes perfectly with the rich pecan and brown sugar crumble on top.


Pecan Brown Sugar Crumble Topping

  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) pecans (preferably toasted), finely chopped
  • 2 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
  • 1 7/8 ounces (1/4 cup, packed) brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened

Maple Banana Coffee Cake

  • 8 1/2 ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 3 3/4 ounces (1/2 cup, packed) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/8 ounces (1/4 cup) plain yogurt (lowfat is fine)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons maple flavor*
  • 10 5/8 ounces (1 1/4 cups) mashed ripe banana (it can be a little chunky)


Pecan Brown Sugar Crumble Topping

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the chopped pecans, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt until evenly combined. Add the butter and rub in with hands until the entire mixture is crumbly and slightly moist, with no big chunks of butter remaining. Chill in fridge while preparing the coffee cake batter.

Maple Banana Coffee Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8″ square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable oil and brown sugar and whisk together until well-combined. Add the egg and whisk in until smooth. Add the yogurt and maple flavor and whisk in until the mixture is fairly smooth. Whisk in the mashed banana until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined; don’t overmix! A few small specks of flour visible are fine as they should get mixed in as you transfer the batter to the baking pan.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top in an even layer. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.


*I found maple flavor at my regular grocery store, but it’s also available online.

If you LOVE banana in your baked goods, you would love this Peanut Butter Nutella Banana Bread. It’s one of my favorites!

Peanut Butter and Nutella Swirled Banana Bread from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

And if you’re like me and can’t get enough crumble topping, (especially when there’s brown sugar and pecans involved), these Brown Butter Pecan Muffins will also be right up your alley! 100% whole wheat too!

Brown Butter Pecan Muffins from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

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Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 23, 2013

Maple and banana are so good together!
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Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic May 24, 2013

Thank you for all of your hard work obsessing over and testing this recipe because it looks AMAZING now! I love bananas and coffee cake, so this cake makes me so excited!

alexandra May 25, 2013

Thanks Nora! I have no doubt you’d LOVE this coffee cake if you like that combo so much. I love all kinds of banana-bread type baked goods too. :)

PuiYee June 29, 2013

Hello! Oh my…this looks absolutely mouth-watering, banana bread fanatic as well here. I have a question; can I substitute the maple flavor with something else? It’s just that I don’t think I can find maple flavor over here…all we have is maple syrup and even those aren’t exactly cheap! D:


alexandra June 29, 2013

Yes, of course! You could just use vanilla extract, or if you have another extract you think would work well with the flavors, go ahead and use that!

emily W. January 30, 2014

Just made this for breakfast and it was delicious! Thanks!

alexandra February 3, 2014

I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for letting me know Emily. :)

Lynne April 16, 2014

Hi – can you guestimate how many ripe bananas are in your measurement? I know banana size can vary, but I always make my banana bread with 4 very ripe bananas, and it comes out great every time.

alexandra April 22, 2014

I would guess about 2 1/2 medium bananas. It would be best if you measure it by volume, or even better weight, but usually I find that 1 banana = about 1/2 cup mashed.

katie June 29, 2015

this looks delish–my boyfriend found your recipe and sent it to me as a hint i think… what about using maple syrup instead of the maple flavor? would that work somehow?
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alexandra June 30, 2015

Haha so cute!
So the idea behind the maple extract is that it lends a strong maple flavor without having to add a lot of liquid (i.e. maple syrup) to the recipe. The first time I tried it with maple syrup and the flavor just didn’t come through enough. The extract is really easy to find in a typical grocery store though, so I’d suggest just picking up a bottle. :)

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