Banana Crunch Cake

Banana Crunch Cake

Banana Crunch Cake

Once Monday rolls around I try to undo the damage(s) I’ve done to my cholesterol, my liver, my saddlebags or my psyche over the weekend.  Mondays’s are for getting back to the fitness program, taking a walk, getting back in the saddle, or whatever it is you do to stay fit and trim(?).  They are for eating kale salads, roast beets and veggies, drinking healthy smoothies and going to bed early.   They are definitely not for banana cake!!  But those bananas on my counter,  being eyed by the fruit flies, are not going to eat themselves.  So it all brought me to this…..


Banana Crunch Cake, crunchy on top, moist and tender underneath.  This wholesome treat gets some extra punch from the whole grain combination of wheat and oat flours.  The bananas keep it moist and tender, while the crunch topping provides a nice textural change from the cake.  So maybe I can’t exactly undo the damage caused by the weekend’s splurge, but what I can do is incorporate healthy ingredients into my banana cake.  This makes a great lunchbox treat or a take-along if you’re traveling. Wrap it well and take it for a ride.

This recipe can be doubled easily to make a 13 x 9-inch cake if you’re feeding a large group,  or bake the recipe as given here for an 8-inch square cake.  You can get 16  (2-inch square) servings.



Yield:  16  (2-inch) servings

For the Cake:

Makes a whole that's better than the sum of its parts.

Makes a whole that’s better than the sum of its parts.

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 large, or 3 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt ( I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup chocolate or toffee chips (optional)  I used toffee chips.


For the Crunch Topping:

Measure and have ready your topping ingredients.

Measure and have ready your topping ingredients.

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


1.  Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.

2.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, and baking soda; set aside.

3.  In a large beater bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions.


Mix in half the dry ingredients, stirring until moistened, and then mix in the bananas, vanilla, and yogurt.  Scrape the bowl down, and then add the remaining dry ingredients, the nuts, and the chips.


Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

4.  In a small bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, and brown sugar until well blended.  Stir in the melted butter until the mixture forms large crumbs, stir in the chopped nuts.

Mixing up the topping.

Mixing up the topping.

Sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.


5.  Bake the cake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the edges pull away from the pan and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Place cake on a rack to cool before serving warm, or cool completely to serve later.


Oh my, this cake is delicious.  It has a dense crumb with just the right amount of banana flavor.  The cinnamon in the crumb topping is a perfect accompaniment to the other flavors.  Serve it warm to get its full impact.



SOURCE:   The Baking Sheet from King Arthur Flour


Fresh Cranberry and Oat Scones

Once daylight savings time is over and we’re back to Standard time, the days seem shorter with darkness coming before dinner time.  Whose idea was this any way?  I don’t really need the sun shining in my eyes, waking me up at 6am., nor do I appreciate it when it starts getting dark when I want it to stay light outside. Where’s all the day light we’ve been “saving”?   This whole time change thing makes me grouchy.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

To get me over this hissy-fit I needed something good to eat.  Something baked, delicate and crumbly.  Something sweet, but not too sweet, with good-for-me-and-you ingredients.   Into my laboratory/kitchen I went and in about 45 minutes we were having these scones with a cup of coffee.  They didn’t bring back more day light but they did help me to get over the “grouchies”.  If you’re having a “mood” these scones just might help you too.



Yield:    Makes 10 scones


  • 10 Tbsp. frozen butter

    A variety of "healthy" ingredients.

    A variety of “healthy” ingredients.

  • 1/2 cup milk (regular, almond, coconut are all OK)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped in a processor
  • 2  2/3 cup flour ( or flour and oats combination)**
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 large eggs

**  In place of regular flour I made up this combination:  1 cup whole wheat flour, 2/3 cups oats, 2/3 cups oat flour, 1/3 cup potato flour.  Also I used almond milk instead of regular milk soured with lemon juice.  Either works just fine.  You could also use buttermilk and omit the lemon juice.


1.  Preheat oven to 400 *F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.

2.  Mix milk with lemon juice, and keep in refrigerator to chill

3. Coarsely chop cranberries in a food processor and reserve.

Chop 1 cup fresh cranberries.

Chop 1 cup fresh cranberries.

I have a small 2-cup processor that works great for small amounts like this and saves getting out the big processor.

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour (s), baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest…..

Mix zest of 1 orange into the dry ingredients.

Mix zest of 1 orange into the dry ingredients.

Grate butter on the large holes of a box grater.  Add to flour and toss gently to integrate.

Use a box grater to add small bits of frozen butter to the dry ingredients.

Use a box grater to add small bits of frozen butter to the dry ingredients.

5.  Whisk 1 large egg into the chilled milk and fold into the flour mixture.  Fold in cranberries.

6.  On a floured surface, knead the dough a few times till it just comes together.  Do not over work it.  Form into a disc.  Roll out to 3/4 – inch thickness.  Cut with a 2-inch round cutter.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Reroll scraps and repeat.

Roll out dough and cut with 2-inch cutter.

Roll out dough and cut with 2-inch cutter.

7.  Brush tops with remaining egg and sprinkle with oat flakes and natural sugar.

Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and  oats.

Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and oats.

8.  Bake till golden, about 18 minutes.  Watch carefully, they brown up quickly.  These freeze well.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

Fresh cranberry and oat scones.

SOURCE:   Adapted from Everyday Foods