banana cream crumb cake

Painfully obvious how much I adore crumb cakes.
Kicked up crumb cake actually.
I make a LOT of crumb cakes on the blog.
Fell in love with them when I first went to NYC (oh a long time ago)
I saw this cake to crumb ratio what was literally 40% cake and 60% crumb; instantly I was in love.
Who was the brilliant creator of such a masterpiece?
With a small amount of research crumb cake aka coffee cake evolved.
Back then crumb cake and coffee were pretty much the same, now a days they have distinct meanings.
Like most food genres they do evolve or are a cross-breed of one thing or another by accident or by lack of one ingredients swapped out for another.
Interesting timeline I found on food cake evolution.
I've always had on my "to bake" list a banana crumb cake--it was time to cross that one off.
There is a hint of rum in here; how can you not bake or cook with bananas and not add in a touch of rum?
A little bit of prep work, but once that's all done the assembly is quite fun.
I love layers of flavors, don't you?
Sautee bananas with butter and a bit of rum. Don't skip this step, it's worth it I promise!
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Use a spoon to layer or like I do just use your hands.
Gently flatten the banana layer down a bit.
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Cream cheese layer in between the banana layers.
Mile high crumb. Crumb is the best part isn't it? I like my crumb a nice giant pinch of salt.
Since there is banana in the crumb cake, I like to store these in the fridge, especially in warmer weather.

banana cream crumb cake

Cooks notes:  this is a thin cake batter; it’s more of a NYC style crumb cake.  
It will seem very thin when you put it in a 9x13 inch pan, but it does rise about ½ an inch.  
This is also a sticky batter, so use wet hands to smooth it out in pan. 
If the dough it too dry and crumbly, just add in a splash or two of half & half. 
Please keep this in the fridge, covered for best freshness.

¼ cup canola oil, plus more for pan  
½ stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan  
½ cup + 2 TB granulated white sugar  
1 ts baking powder  
½ ts coarse salt  
1 large egg  
¼ cup half & half (might need a splash more, can use whole milk)
1 ts pure vanilla extract  

crumb topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ ts coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled

for the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients, pour melted butter over mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Set aside.

banana-rum mixture:
2 large bananas, not overly ripe
2 TB granulated sugar, or to taste
2 TB butter
1-2 giant dashes of rum (I used Morgans Spiced rum)

for the banana-rum mixture:
Chop up the bananas into half inch pieces. Over medium heat, heat up the 2 TB of butter, Sautee the bananas until they get a little brown; then add in a dash or two of rum.  If you’re comfortable with flambé then go ahead and do so, if not, then just cook the rum out about 3-4 minutes.  Take off heat.

cream cheese mixture:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
1 large egg yolk
1 ts vanilla extract
2 TB white sugar

for the cream cheese mixture:
Mix all in a bowl (really well) until ready to use. Set aside.

for cake:
Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 350°.
Lightly butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. (I’ve also used the Pam with Flour and it worked just fine). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together 2 ¼ cups flour, add in the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together egg, butter, half & half, canola oil, and vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.   It’s a sticky dough, if the dough is not moist enough (looks/feel very dry and crumbly) you can add a few dashes of half & half in.
Keep in mind this dough is not pourable, not very liquid, more of a dough-like batter.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan (to keep batter from sticking to your hand or spoon, just wet or oil your fingers or a spoon and spread evenly throughout pan). 
The batter should be about half an inch high, it will cook/rise to an inch thick. (Don’t worry if the batter is very thin and hard to get into the corners, it does spread out as it’s cooking).
Next put on the cream cheese mixture; I did this in vertical lines in the pan. And on the other sides of these lines I added on the banana mixture.  If you want swirls and no lines then apply the topping/ mixtures however you desire.  Next add on the crumbs, making sure to cover the whole top.
Bake for 14 minutes, rotate pan.
Then cook another 5-10 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
It is hard to tell when cake is done, but look for golden brown edges.  Remember the cake part is thin and does bake up fast. 
You have to let this set up at least an hour before slicing.
Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days in the fridge


  1. Ohhh heavens!!! This looks divine my lovely! Love the banana version. I dont think I could ever get tired of crumb cakes!

  2. Sautee bananas with butter and a bit of rum = right there, we are off to a great start of a recipe!

    And I have one recipe for a banana cake/bars of sorts. Made with Biscoff/cookie butter and graham crackers and tons of recipes for banana bread, but nothing at all like this and it looks amazing! The cream cheese with the bananas and all that streusel and the rum and butter, you outdid yourself!

  3. Ohmygoshcrumbissogood! And add banana? So sold. I adore your blog. You always make me hungry

  4. That banana rum filling inside sounds so tasty! And the cream cheese layer - hello crumb cake of my dreams!

    Also...how long has it been since you've been to NYC? I think it's time for a repeat visit. :)

  5. what a delightful sounding cake! those sauteed bananas sound so good on their own :)

  6. This looks amazing! What an awesome recipe. :)

  7. Love how the "cake" part of your crumb cakes are mere vessels for which to hold the crumb. This cake looks lethally delicious - I fear I'd eat the crumb part straight from the bowl!

  8. Kołacz z bananami :D coś niezwykłego :D

  9. Oh my goodness, this speaks to my heart! I loooove banana desserts, and being from New York (albeit, far upstate), I am a sucker for a quality crumb cake. Must try this!

  10. Egads! That looks amazing, Dawn. What a wonderful combination of deliciousness!

  11. OMG!! This looks great! I have to tell you that I share your love of crumb cakes!! My mother got me hooked on them when I was young. They have been my favorite ever since! Just a tip for some of you out there, mom would always make one of these when we would load up in the car for a weekend get away or vacation. It was a quick and easy traveling sweet snack for the family! Keep up the good work and thanks for the great recipes!!-Seaturtlenut

  12. Lordy, I don't know where to start. But, as ever, I love your Friday links. Takes time, but eventually I get through them all. Still wishing we had a Trader Joe's here.
    Hahaha re chia seeds. So true. And the color not all that tempting when in a batter either.

    On to today. Frying a banana? Love it. I've roasted them, sometimes just to ripen in a hurry, other times for breads and muffins. Am now going to skip roasting and fry. Huh. Interesting. I'd make these for the Garden Club luncheon next week, but they'd need to be room temp, and I have a feeling that wouldn't work out too well. Might try the recipe this weekend, keep a couple out for 3 hours and see what happens. Love bananas. Unfortunately, they're on my don't eat list for the Quick Weight Loss diet. Berries and citrus they love.

  13. I have a weakness for crumb toppings. These bars look mouth watering delicious and so pretty too. YUM!

  14. hooooly crap. rum + bananas + cream cheese + crumb? Can we just mix those all together and call it good? fabulous dawn :)

  15. I'm liking that ratio and I was never very good at ratios in math. To bad they didn't explain them like this. I would have gotten it fo sho!

  16. You've outdone yourself! These look incredible, and unlike anything I've ever seen before. I love that you saute the bananas first, I bet the flavor is fabulous.

  17. Bananas with butter and rum. Yep, this is screaming my name. I am OBSESSED with crumb cakes and agree: the ratio cannot be equal, but instead must favor the crumb a little more! You can never go wrong with more crumb! Or by putting rummy bananas and cream cheese in your cake. SWOON.

  18. Crumb cakes with tons of crumb are the best! Adding bananas is such a good idea!

  19. Oh my word. This looks so delicious : ). Thank you for taking the time to share. I will try to make this over the weekend because I have eleventy zillion bananas in the kitchen right now.

  20. I have a crush on crumb cakes, too! And with bananas and RUM?! Heeeeeeeck yes.

  21. well, this is a new and tasty way to use bananas! very clever of you. :)

  22. This is brilliant!
    I've got some bananas that are teetering on browness
    and my hubby would love your idea here. xo

  23. I love crumb cakes too. WHat a great way to use up bananas before they go bad!


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