Open letter to bananas:
It’s a love hate thing with you. You’re an easily portable breakfast or snack. You go perfectly with peanut butter and/or chocolate. You’re healthy (as long as you aren’t covered with the aforementioned peanut butter and/or chocolate). But you’re tricky. One day you’re perfect. The next you’re covered in brown spots and your on your way to overripeness.
I know I can just freeze you. I know you’ll wait patiently in the freezer until the day comes when I have a perfect, decadent recipe for baked banana goodness. I know you’ll be there when I have the time to devote to such a creation.
But I can’t wait. I know better, but my inner voice is all, “Oh no! I need to bake with bananas now. They’re going bad. I can’t wait!” And because it’s more fun and more delicious than doing laundry, I give in and start baking. Instead of ironing the clothes and cleaning the kitchen, I make a mess of flour and sugar and butter and cinnamon. I let the house fill with your intoxicating aroma. And then, because I couldn’t say no to you, I find myself eating banana bread or banana cake or some other creation instead of the carrots or apple slices I should be having.
As long as I do the laundry and iron the clothes and clean the kitchen while you bake, it’s all good in the end, right?
Banana Streusel Snack Cake
adapted from Good Life Eats
For the streusel:
6 TBSP all-purpose flour
6 TBSP firmly packed brown sugar
3 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
1 1/3 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
3 very ripe/overripe bananas (about 1 c.)
3 TBSP buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1. To make the streusel, in a small bowl, mix
together the flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg with your fingertips
until the mixture resembles lumpy sand. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Place a rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8×8 pan or line with parchment and spray.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add in buttermilk and canilla and stir to combine. Set aside.
5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer) cream together butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, 2-3
minutes. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly completely incorporated.
6. Add the
banana mixture (The batter may appear curdled for a moment, but will come back together with the dry ingredients.) and beat to combine. Reduce the mixer to low and gradually add the
flour mixture in two additions, beating just until incorporated.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle
the streusel evenly over the top.
8. Bake the cake until it springs back when gently pressed in the center
and a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-38
minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely
before cutting and serving. Will keep, tightly covered on the counter or in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Serves 9.