It’s been a long time since my daughter has helped me out with a recipe, so yesterday when E volunteered to assist me with breakfast, I eagerly set her to work measuring and stirring. I had the recipe all worked out on paper, so I didn’t think there’d be much opportunity for her to contribute creatively. As she does with any endeavor, she asked a thousand questions: “What’s the difference between baking powder and baking soda?” “Why do you add salt when cake isn’t salty?” “Why do you call it ‘flax egg’ when there isn’t any egg in it?” Though she often takes her interrogations to ridiculous extremes (“If we shot the batter into space…”), on this particular occasion she asked a lot of good questions that gave me the chance to educate her a little on baking–or at least the little I know about baking.
When it came time to add the banana to the cake, she stopped me with a question: “What, only one banana? It needs more than that or it’s not really banana cake!” I had to agree, so I dutifully added another banana. And you know, the higher fruit to batter ratio just might have been what made this cake so incredibly delicious.
It’s creamy. It’s sweet. It’s so creamy and sweet that I almost called it Banana Pudding Cake. The bananas melt down to a creamy layer that dissolves into the cake around it so that it’s hard to tell where bananas end and cake begins.
All four of us–my crew plus E’s friend G–were amazed at how good this was. D and I actually had the same articulate response: “Mmmmm. Ohhhh.” In fact, this cake may have been too good: with 4 of us and only 6 pieces, there weren’t enough “seconds” to go around. Perhaps it would be better to serve it as dessert after a full meal than to count on it as a filling breakfast because it will just make you want more!
Banana Coffee Cake
I like to use turbinado or demerara sugar for the topping because the coarse texture adds crunch, but feel free to use any natural (or brown) sugar.
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup soy yogurt (may sub applesauce)
- 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup agave nectar (may sub maple syrup)
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 bananas
- Preheat the oven to 375F and oil a pie pan or an 8-inch square baking dish.
- Mix the ground flax seeds with the warm water and set aside to thicken.
- Mix the turbinado sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the soy yogurt, soymilk, vanilla, and agave nectar in a bowl. Add the flax mixture.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the soy yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread to cover the bottom. Slice the bananas and place the slices over the batter. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar. Spread the remaining batter over the bananas. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cake appears set in the middle. Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into 6 slices and serving.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 211 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (5% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 308mg Sodium. Weight Watchers: 4 Flex Points.
If you’re looking for easy recipes that kids like to make as well as eat, take a look at some of our other E Cooks collaborations:
My other coffee (aka “breakfast”) cakes: