My favorite banana bread recipe transforms into the most delicious crumb cake with the addition of a soft and sweet peanut butter crumb topping.
When we were growing up, my little brother was always in charge of making banana bread. He started making it when he was little – because the recipe is so easy and because mashing bananas is fun – and somehow over the years it became his specialty.
Sometimes he would experiment with variations on our family recipe. He would add chocolate chips or spices like cinnamon and cardamom. I never liked when he added chocolate chips because then mom didn’t like us to eat it for breakfast. Some of his variations were good, some were so-so, but nothing ever seemed as good as plain old banana bread.
So now I’m upping the ante (and being a total hypocrite) and putting a spin on my favorite banana bread that I swear is even better than the original. I’m talking about Banana Bread Peanut Butter Crumb Cake, people!
I didn’t change a single thing in the banana bread recipe, since dozens of childhood experiments taught me this recipe is perfect as-is. All I did was bake it in a square cake pan instead of a loaf pan. But not before topping the dough with sweet and crumbly peanut butter goodness.
The cake is rich and moist, and the crumb topping is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. The peanut butter compliments the banana perfectly. And sorry mom, but I’ll be eating this every single day for breakfast!
Banana Bread Peanut Butter Crumb Cake
for the peanut butter crumb topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/8 tsp. salt
5 T butter
4 T peanut butter
1 1/4 cup flour
for the banana bread cake:
8 T unsalted butter
3 large bananas, overripe
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
First, make the crumb topping. Whisk the sugars and salt together in a bowl. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir the peanut butter into the melted butter until the peanut butter melts into the butter. Stir the peanut butter mixture into the sugar mixture. Add the flour and stir until a crumbly dough forms. Set aside.
Next, make the banana bread cake. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the butter in an 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan and set it in the oven to melt. In a large bowl, mash the bananas, and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Remove the pan with the butter from the oven. Carefully tilt the pan to coat the sides with the melted butter, then pour the melted butter into the bowl with the banana mixture and stir to combine.
Pour the banana mixture into the pan and top with the crumb mixture. Gently press the crumbs down into the dough. Bake for one hour, until a stick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan. Once it’s cool (or nearly cool), dust the cake with powdered sugar and slice into 9 squares. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.