The Entenmann's banana cake crumb topping is a very fine, sandy crumb. Some people (like my husband) might call it too fine or crumbly. If you prefer a more densely packed crumb, adjust the crumb recipe as follows: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
The chocolate piping is a fun detail, but be forewarned, it takes several hours for the chocolate to firm up and, like the original Entenmann's cake this takes its inspiration from, the chocolate squiggles are delicate. If you're eager to serve or eat your cake sooner, feel free to omit them.
The cake part of this recipe is adapted from the Banana Bread recipe found in the Fannie Farmer Junior Cookbook by Joan Scobey.
About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @BlondieBrownie.
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- Yield:Serves 12
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour and 30 minutes
- For the Crumb Topping
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the Cake
- 2 cups (9 ounces) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, soften to room temperature
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large bananas or 3 medium bananas)
- For the Chocolate topping
- 2 ounces 72% cacao chocolate, melted in the microwave or double boiler
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
For the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Drizzle melted butter over the flour mixture use a fork to incorporate and form a fine, sandy crumb (if you prefer a more compact crumb, please see instructions above). Set aside.
Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour cake pan.
For the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Whisk together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides to fully incorporate each addition. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, mix on medium to just incorporate, repeat the process adding the buttermilk mixture and the remaining flour. Stir in the mashed bananas until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and top with crumbs. Bake until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
While cake is cooling, quickly whisk together chocolate and cream in a small bowl, then transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Once cake has cooled for about 20 minutes, pipe chocolate in wavy diagonal lines across the surface of the cake—it will take several hours for the chocolate to firm up. Cover and store leftovers up to three days.