This beautifully easy Chocolate Coffee Cake is sweetened with banana and applesauce and topped with a chocolate-cashew crumb topping.
Coffee cake confuses me. The “coffee” part makes me think breakfast, but it’s cake. I guess doughnuts, danishes, and most muffins are more like dessert than a healthy start to your day, yet they somehow got the stamp of approval for breakfast. Coffee cake is no different. In this recipe, I used banana and applesauce to add sweetness and moisture while reducing the oil and sugar, which makes it practically health food.
I know lots of people who can’t drink coffee in the evening or they will be up all night, so for those folks this chocolate coffee cake would have to be breakfast. Lucky for me, I can drink a cup of joe any time of day or night without it affecting my sleep, so I will gladly enjoy this cake in the morning or after dinner.
Don’t let the pretty marbled effect make you worry that this recipe is difficult. Making it marbled is just one tiny extra step, but we can keep that our little secret. I know everyone you serve this to will be impressed with your mad baking skills, and they’ll never guess it’s super easy. I used cashews in the crumb topping because I had a bag of broken cashews that needed to be used, but peanuts or walnuts would be great too.
Be a hero at your next potluck, bake sale, or brunch with this easy and delicious Chocolate Coffee Cake!
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 egg
- ⅔ c. milk
- ½ c. sugar
- ¼ c. vegetable oil
- ¼ c. applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 c. flour (I used spelt flour)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ c. cold butter, cut into 1" cubes
- ⅓ c. flour
- ¼ c. sugar
- ⅓ c. cashew pieces
- ⅓ c. mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8" square or 11 x 7" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash banana until smooth. Add egg, milk, sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla, and whisk together very well. (You can also do this with an electric mixer if you prefer.)
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk vigorously for about a minute. (Again, use an electric mixer if you'd like. I apparently wanted an arm workout when I made this cake.)
- Spread about half of cake batter in the prepared baking dish. Whisk cocoa powder into the remaining batter, and pour it on top of the plain batter. Use a spoon to swirl the two batters together, but don't swirl too much or you'll end up with chocolate cake instead of a marbled effect.
- With a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers, blend the butter, flour, and sugar together. Add cashews and chocolate chips, and mix a little more until they are evenly distributed. Crumble this butter mixture over the top of the marbled batter.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until edges are brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Serve immediately or cooled.
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