Monday, February 8, 2010

Cinnamon Chip Banana Coffee Cake

I was supposed to go to a Superbowl party last night. Then, because of 1.) my car being covered in snow and a lack of a shovel, 2.) the fact that I hadn't done any work the entire weekend, and 3.) sheer laziness - I didn't go. I'm sure I missed some great snacks because Jess is a great cook, but I was pretty content at my place. I was planning on making cinnamon chip banana cake to bring to the party, so I figured I might as well make it. This is my current favorite use of leftover bananas. I started seeing it on multiple blogs - first Two Peas and Their Pod, then many others. The first few times I made it, I used chocolate chips. I can't even tell you how long it took me to find cinnamon chips. I've been hearing about them on all of the blogs, and most are in the same boat I was in. I looked for them every time I went to the grocery store. Finally, once I moved to Cville and started using the lovely Kroger, I found them! I didn't know how long they would be available, so I think I bought 5 bags the first time I saw them. But back to the cake - it is amazing. It's so easy to make, with basic ingredients you'll always have around (except for maybe those cinnamon chips). It is delicious with the chocolate chips, and even more amazing with the cinnamon chips. Sometimes I do a combination of chocolate and cinnamon, so I can get my chocolate fix. I have made it in both an 8x8 pyrex and in a 9-inch cake pan. The cake pan is a bit too small to fit the whole recipe, but I made it work the first time I made the cake. I usually add in an extra banana. I think it makes it even more moist. And I wanted to make an attempt to call this "healthy" so I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour in place of the same amount of AP flour. And you know what? I don't think it changed the taste at all. It might just be a little more dense. So the next time you have overripe bananas (or your stockpile in the freezer starts to overflow), MAKE THIS CAKE!

Cinnamon Chip Banana Coffee Cake (adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod):
4 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/3 tsp baking soda (use only 1 tsp if using only all-purpose flour)
2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
3/4 cup cinnamon chips (or chocolate/peanut butter chips)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cinnamon chips (or chocolate/peanut butter chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray pan of your choice (8-inch pyrex works well) with cooking spray. Mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Gently stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar and Splenda. When the mixture is about halfway combined, stir in 3/4 cup cinnamon chips. Be careful not to overmix! Pour the batter in your prepared pan. For the topping - stir together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup chips on top of the batter, and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of that. Bake for ~30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving. It tastes great when it's still warm!

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