bananas foster coffee cake

with brown sugar streusel and caramel sauce


I just posted a coffee cake, I know.  I knooooowwww.  I told you (and apparently it's true) I get on these kicks.  First tomatoes.  Now coffee cake.  And my next post (i.e. this post) was supposed to be about the higher calling of the last coffee cake I made.  It did, in fact, fulfill its calling but in between then and now I posted this iPhone shot to Insta and gave myself 24 hours to get this recipe up and out.  It's officially been more than 24 hours (and kind of an insane one at that) so this gets priority.  AND it too can have a higher calling if you want it to so this pending post will still apply.

My best friend Allison has the most incredible library of cookbooks with two and three new titles added to it weekly.  For me, it's like kid in a candy store status over there every Sunday night for dinner.  But by the time we're done with all the chattering and eating we're pretty much falling asleep on the couch.  There's little time then, and basically in life, to just peruse through the hundreds of titles and thousands of pages. My eyes light up the same every Sunday at the sight of them regardless.  Last time I was there, I checked out a few titles and brought them home with me.  We'd been planning our second annual Easter brunch (or at least planning on planning it) for weeks.  Like I said earlier, planning the menu is (no surprise) my favorite part.  And planning dessert is my favorite part of my favorite part.  This coffee cake came from one of those borrowed titles and it. is. in. sane.  And it obviously made the cut for the final menu.  It's everything you love about banana bread plus cream cheese plus rum plus streusel PLUS caramel sauce.  It's like someone took everything you ever loved about dessert and put it in one pan.  Almost.  And that reaaaalllly truly is what the next post is about.  But you have to start with cake.  Coffee cake.  

bananas foster coffee cake with brown sugar streusel and caramel sauce

This recipe is from a beautiful book published by the editors of Southern Living Magazine called The Southern Baker.  It looks like there are a lot of moving parts but each goes quickly.  In the original recipe all of these ingredients are in one combined list which was a little confusing and very nearly tripped me up more than once so I've divided it out.  You can make the streusel, caramel sauce, and even the rum bananas ahead.  

method for bananas

  1. Combine bananas through salt in a saute pan over medium-high heat and cook until bubbly and mixture begins to carmelize.  Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes, stirring on occasion to release the heat.  Stir in the vanilla. 

method for streusel

  1. Pulse together the flour and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the butter and pulse until evenly combined and mixture starts to come together.  Add walnuts and salt and pulse until it's to a consistency you like.

method for the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8x11" baking pan.
  2. On medium-high speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until combined.  Add brown sugar and beat until light and airy, scraping down the sides as needed.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat on low speed until combined.  Stir in the banana mixture.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan,  sprinkle generously with streusel, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Spoon a good quality store-bought or the following caramel sauce over it to serve.

method for the caramel sauce

  1. Combine the brown sugar and heavy cream over medium-low heat, stirring gently to dissolve.  Add the butter and increase the heat to medium high.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until thickened, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and the salt.  

ingredients for bananas

1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup rum
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

ingredients for the streusel

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, diced
1 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

ingredients for the cake

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

ingredients for the caramel sauce

1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt