I am picky about the bananas I consume "as is." They need to have the perfect tinge of green. And if they start showing their age spots, they are no longer in the eat-as-is category. (I know I should be more tolerant of age spots these days. I certainly have my share.)
Randy is less picky than I am and will eat some of what I deem too far gone. Invariably, though, I end up with bananas languishing on my kitchen counter.
There is an upside: There's no shortage of ripe banana recipes in this world. And I tried a new one last weekend - Banana Caramel Coffee Cake. It was Mother's Day weekend, so a special breakfast treat only made sense, right? This one has several parts, which may seem daunting when looking at the recipe, but the combination of tender cake, tangy cream cheese caramel swirl, buttery crumb topping and glaze made for a yummy combination and was worth the extra steps to produce the finished coffee cake.
The swirl is made by canned dulce de leche, which can be found in many grocery stores near the sweetened condensed milk or in the Mexican food aisle.
Banana Caramel Coffee Cake
Adapted from Inside Bru Crew Life blogFor the Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
For the Caramel Filling
1 14-ounce can dulce de leche
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
For the Crumb Topping
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
6 tbsp. butter, softened
For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons butter
Milk, as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
For cake: Beat the butter, cream cheese and sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, banana and vanilla and beat again. Mix together dry ingredients and add slowly to the creamed mixture. Spread in the prepared pan. The batter is fairly thick. Set aside.
For filling: Put dulce de leche into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 15 to 20 seconds or until slightly softened. Mix the cream cheese in until it is incorporated and creamy. Place big spoonfuls of the caramel mixture on top of the batter. Use a knife to swirl into batter evenly.
For crumb topping: Mix together all ingredients until big crumbs form. Sprinkle on top of cake. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center. Cool completely.
For glaze: Mix together powdered sugar and melted butter. Add milk, if necessary, to make glaze consistency. Drizzle over top of the cake and serve. Note: You can pour on the glaze while the cake is still hot or warm. It will provide a glaze, rather than the "ribbons" of frosting.