Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Extra moist banana cake with two layers of chocolate cinnamon streusel make this Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake a sure hit for breakfast or dessert!  An easy, one bowl banana coffee cake can be pulled together in just 10 minutes, or bake the cake ahead of time and store in the freezer for the future!

banana coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel in a springform pan

Breakfast?  Dessert?  What’s the fine line between the two?

I first made this for my mother-in-law, years and years ago, as part of a “brunch.”  I use brunch in quotes because, let’s be honest — anything this ooey-gooey chocolatey is 100% dessert.  But, you know, adding bananas and calling it a “crumb cake” totally makes it morning appropriate, right?

Banana breads/cakes are super popular, and for good reason.  Not only are bananas delicious, but mashed ripe banana adds so much moisture to a cake.  They also impart a great natural sweetness to your baked goods.

So what’s your vote?  Breakfast or dessert?  Either way, whether you serve this banana chocolate chip crumb cake at 9am or 9pm, it’s sure to be a hit!

banana breakfast cake on a white cake plate

Easy Banana Coffee Cake

We’ll start with a really easy, mix in one bowl, banana coffee cake.  It’s practically a dump cake – as in, dump in all ingredients and go.

Beat together the sugar, butter, and egg using a stand mixer or a hand mixer.  Pour in buttermilk and some bananas.  Then go ahead and just add in the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  So easy!

This cake is extra soft and tender, due to the addition of of the aforementioned buttermilk.  Buttermilk has an low (acidic) pH, compared to regular milk.  How does this impact our baked goods?  It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!

Kitchen Chemistry

Buttermilk makes baked goods light, fluffy, and tender.  The buttermilk reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide, which provides an extra lift.  The acidity in buttermilk also breaks down tough strands of gluten, resulting in a more moist and tender product compared to using regular milk.

Can you use regular milk instead of buttermilk?  Sure – work with the ingredients you have on hand.  But the cake won’t have quite the same taste or texture!

side by side photos of banana cake batter in a springform pan and the batter covered with chocolate chip streusel

Double the Streusel

Here’s what’s else is so amazingly delicious about this banana chocolate chip crumb cake: the streusel-y chocolate chip crumb mixture.  

It’s made from chocolate chips, brown sugar, and cinnamon (seriously, what’s not to love?).  But not only do we sprinkle the chocolate streusel on top of the crumb cake, we also add a layer in the middle of the cake.

So you get an extra moist, tender, banana coffee cake with two layers of melty chocolate in each bite.  That’s what I’m talking about!  

Plus, it freezes well, so you can make it ahead of time.  Or save any leftovers… but I’m pretty sure there won’t be any leftovers.

slice of cake on a yellow plate highlighting the chocolate chip streusel topping

Tips and Tricks for the Best Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

  1. Use buttermilk for the best texture and flavor.  Buttermilk freezes perfectly, so if you leftover buttermilk, pour it into 1/2-cup volumes and freeze and pull it out the next time you are baking a cake!
  2. For easy removal and serving, bake the cake in a 9-inch springform pan.  A regular round cake pan will work as well, but some of the streusel topping may fall off the cake when you invert the pan.
  3. Use miniature chocolate chips for melty chocolate in every bite!  Smaller chocolate chips = more even distribution throughout the cake = chocolate in each and every bite!
  4. The banana chocolate chip crumb cake can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to 3 months.  Thaw at room temperature before serving.

four slices of cake showing the thick fluffy cake texture

More Breakfast/Coffee Cakes:

Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Yield: Serves 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Extra moist banana cake with two layers of chocolate cinnamon streusel make this Banana Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake a sure hit for breakfast or dessert!

Ingredients

For the Streusel:

  • 1 1/2 cups (265 grams) miniature chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup (142 grams) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the Cake:

  • 3/4 cup (148 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Grease and flour a 9” round springform pan or cake pan.
  2. Make the streusel. Stir together chocolate chips, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  3. Make the cake batter. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the sugar, butter, and egg until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, beating for an additional minute. The mixture may appear curdled at this point; it will Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mixing on low speed until dry ingredients are incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
  4. Layer the batter and streusel. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with half of the chocolate chip streusel mixture. Gently cover with the remaining batter, smoothing the batter into the corners with a knife. Top with the remaining streusel.
  5. Bake the cake. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out with a moist crumb. Cool completely in the pan before serving.

Notes

  1. Use buttermilk for the best texture and flavor.  Buttermilk freezes perfectly, so if you leftover buttermilk, freeze the rest and thaw for future baking.
  2. For easy removal and serving, bake the cake in a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Store the cake at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw at room temperature before serving.


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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 15.2gCarbohydrates: 57.3gProtein: 3.8g

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