Wake and Bake: Banana Pecan Coffee Cake

Carrie Vasios

It happens every time. I leave a coffee cake out in the kitchen, and over the course of a few days I'll notice the crumb slowly start to disappear. At first it's just the pieces that might be construed as "loose". You know, no harm done, they might fall off anyway. Then the indents appear, the small pockmarks where a crumb has been pried away. Finally, I'm left with a bald cake. That, too, will get eaten, but it's never the same without the crumb.

"why not just make a coffee cake with a ton of streusel topping?"

So if we all know that the best part of a coffee cake is the crumb, why not just make a coffee cake with a ton of streusel topping? That's what I finally said to myself, and that's why I made this cake.

The base is a coffee cake made extra moist with full fat Greek yogurt. I fold in ripe diced bananas which, in my mind, make it taste distinctly like breakfast. The topping is mostly dark brown sugar and pecans—creating a crumbly, nutty, sweet topping that crowns every piece of coffee cake. It's a little rich, sure, but only when you serve the first few pieces. Over the next few days that crumb inevitably gets picked away and then, ta da, the standard ratio of cake to crumb returns.