No matter how decisive I try to be about making a certain food item, more often than not, I will have changed my mind and adapted my original idea into something that is hopefully better.
Take this Banana Streusel Cake for instance. I originally intended to make banana muffins but I felt like I had just made muffins. I didn't want to make banana bread because for blog purposes, I would've made that exact same recipe and wanted to try something different. I looked in my fridge for inspiration only to find expired milk and almost expired buttermilk.
I had started to freeze the buttermilk into ice cubes which I later regretted because I froze too much at once. The only solution to fish semi-frozen buttermilk cubes out of an ice tray was by using a spoon to carefully coax slushy-like cubes out of their individual cubbies to get the desired 1½ cups . But, you need not know how to fish for buttermilk ice cubes to make this cake.
So after flipping through several cookbooks, scrolling through foodgawker and Google, I chose this recipe. When the words "Best Ever" are in the title of something, it makes me insanely curious to try the recipe because I want to know if it is the "Best Ever _____".
I'm happy to say, this banana cake did not disappoint. It's like banana bread meets coffee cake, especially with the addition of streusel both on top and in the middle. You know how I feel about streusel.
And it makes a lot of cake. I was feeling adventurous and wanted to bust out some new pans I got from Popo's giveaways. But, in case you don't have a 28 cm x 14 cm x 4 cm pan plus 3 mini loaf tins, a 9" x 13" pan will work just fine.
Because I think mini cakes make the world go 'round, I just couldn't resist trying these out.
If you're looking for wholesome and healthy banana bread, this isn't what you'll find in this cake. But, if you're looking for a buttery, sweet cake with a tender crumb and a bunch of streusel topping, you'll be going back for multiple pieces.
Pro-tip 1: If you bring this cake to a class, like hapkido, and arrange the cake nicely in small slices on a platter, it will disappear instantly by hungry training partners who are lacking blood sugar at the end of a 1½-hour class.
Pro-tip 2: If you bring a container of this cake to work and leave it in the kitchen with a knife and an encouraging note that says "Happy Monday / Happy Summer Solstice! Have some banana cake.", it will be gone by lunchtime.
So basically, unless you're a banana-hater, this cake really is the best ever.
Banana Streusel Cake
Adapted from this Best Ever Banana Cake recipe
Yields: one 9" x 13" pan
¼ cup cold butter, cubed
¼ cup oil
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ freshly grated nutmeg
1½ cups ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
Combine all the streusel ingredients in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, blend all of the ingredients together until it forms the consistency of sand. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 275°F. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan.
In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in the vanilla extract. Beat in the flour mixture (3 additions) alternating with the buttermilk (2 additions). Stir in banana mixture.
Pour half the batter into prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle in half of the streusel. Spread the rest of the batter on that and sprinkle on the rest of the streusel. Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.