OK, don’t faint…but I baked. This coffee cake was a result of a kitchen day planned for last Sunday with its prediction of an eight-inch Spring snow storm. As I type this, we recovered nicely, had beautiful Spring temperatures during the week and the prediction for today is a good old fashioned afternoon thunderstorm. Perhaps our snow days are behind us?
Before we get to the recipe, I want to point out my cake dish. It was my mom’s and it lived on our kitchen counter while I was growing up on the farm. My mom baked daily. And she baked several things daily. She’d bake after breakfast and after my father had left to work in the field. This cake plate always displayed either a cake, a pie, coffee cake or cupcakes. And next to it was a tray of cookies, or a flat cake or another pie. Our house was a stopping point for farmers heading to and from the fields, or wives delivering lunches to them in the fields, and you could always count on Pastor Sam to stop by. No invitation was ever needed. Visitors who dropped in were greeted with a cup of coffee and a plate of the dessert of their choice and we’d sit at our long dining room table for a chat before everyone returned to their routines. That’s just one of the things I miss about Kansas farm life.
The mountain of fruit that had accumulated on the kitchen counter included three bunches of bananas that were nearing the point of no return. I had to either serve a complete dinner of bananas or bake them into something scrumptious.
This cake recipe was to the rescue. We had Tangerine Braised Chicken for dinner and this Creamy Banana Coffee Cake for dessert. It comes from one of our Junior League of Denver cookbooks, Creme de Colorado. The cake’s special because hiding in the middle is layer of cream cheese that’s been whipped into bliss with sugar, eggs and nutmeg. With chopped pecans and typical coffee cake flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, this is a moist and delicious cake that will have your neighbors ringing that doorbell. Don’t forget to have that percolator plugged in.
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 medium ripe bananas mashed
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Combine cream cheese, ⅓ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ½ teaspoon nutmeat, beating until smooth. Add 1 egg and beat again. Set mixture aside.
- Cream ½ cup butter, gradually adding 1½ cups sugar. Beat well. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each. Combine soda and hot water and add to creamed mixture, stirring until well blended.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with orange juice. Stir in vanilla, bananas and pecans. Spoon 1½ cups of the banana batter into lightly greased 10 inch tube pan. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Spoon remaining banana batter over cream cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes before removing to a rack to finish cooling.
- Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar combined with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Garnish with whole pecans or walnuts to finish.
Creamy Banana Coffee Cake…It’s what’s for Company.