Banana Coffee Cake

Yes, this technically is the third iteration of banana bread that I am posting on here. First there was the hearty chocolate chip banana bread, then there was the zucchini banana bread and finally, here is the banana coffee cake! I always buy bananas and inevitably a few get too ripe to eat straight so, what else can I do but whip up some banana bread?

This bread is a delicious crossover between banana bread and coffee cake, meaning it makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert! The cinnamon crumble on top truly makes the bread pop. Eat it right out of the oven or zap it in the microwave for ~20 seconds with a smear of butter and you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the streusel

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter (cold)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas
  3. Mix in melted butter, sugar, egg, maple syrup and vanilla
  4. In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  5. Slowly add flour mixture to banana mixture (I do 1/3 at a time) until just combined
  6. Pour batter into an 8×4 loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray
  7. In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients with a fork (should look like crumbs)
  8. Sprinkle streusel mixture over batter
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan

Almond Butter Cups

These almond butter cups are a great, healthy dupe for the classic Reeces. The only ingredients are dark chocolate, almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and sea salt. You can make them when you have a free moment and they keep in the freezer for up to a few months. They are the perfect thing for when you’re craving a light dessert or need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate (I used chips but you can use chunks, broken up chocolate bar, etc)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions

  1. Add chocolate and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to microwave-safe bowl
  2. Microwave in 30 second increments until smooth (I did 2 minutes total)
  3. Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers and add about 3/4 tablespoon of the melted chocolate mixture to each cup (I then use a knife to make sure the chocolate spreads evenly across bottom of cups)
  4. Place in freezer for 10 minutes
  5. While chocolate is freezing, add almond butter, remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil and maple syrup to a microwave-safe bowl
  6. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir (won’t be as smooth as the chocolate)
  7. Remove muffin tin from freezer and add a heaping tablespoon of the almond butter mixture to each
  8. Using a knife, spread almond butter mixture evenly across chocolate layer
  9. Add remaining chocolate on top of almond butter (again, just under a tablespoon per cup)
  10. Use a knife to spread chocolate evenly and sprinkle top with sea salt
  11. Freeze for an hour and enjoy! (store extras in the freezer)

Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

What a mouthful! This recipe is packed with flavor from the banana and chocolate chips while the zucchini keeps it moist and light. There is enough batter for 2 loaves or 2 dozen muffins or in my case, one of each! The bread tastes like dessert but since it has a fruit AND a vegetable in it, I think it is perfectly reasonable to have it for breakfast or a snack, right?

Total Time Required: 1 hour – 1.5 hours

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yields: 2 loaves or 2 dozen muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (reduce to 1 1/2 cups for less sweetness)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Shred zucchini on the medium or large side of a stand grater
  3. Place shredded zucchini in a paper towel and gently squeeze out moisture just enough that the paper towel becomes wet but moisture is not dripping out much (you don’t want the zucchini dry but you also don’t want it too watery) — be sure to measure the zucchini after you squeeze out excess water!
  4. Beat eggs in a medium bowl
  5. Add sugar, oil, mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  7. Slowly whisk dry mixture into egg mixture
  8. Fold in zucchini with a rubber spatula
  9. Fold in chocolate chips
  10. Pour batter into greased 9×5 loaf pans or muffin tins
  11. For loaves, bake for 50-60 minutes and for muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Individual Apple Streusel

Do you ever want a good dessert but don’t want to make an entire sheet of brownies or a full batch of cookies? Well, good news! Today I am sharing a recipe for individual apple streusel that is ready in just about 30 minutes. Technically, 1 apple serves 2 people but you can easily half the recipe or, if you’re really ambitious, (and hungry) have it all yourself! Don’t skip on the vertical slices in the apple halves- they ensure that the coating and streusel permeate throughout the apple!

Total Time Required: 30 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 apple (Fuji, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel the apple and remove the core
  3. Lay the apple cut-side down and carefully make 4-5 shallow vertical slices (about halfway through the apple- don’t cut all the way through!) on each apple half and place on a greased baking sheet
  4. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter and add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Drizzle or use a pastry brush to coat the outside of the apples
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  6. Prepare the streusel by combining remaining butter and brown sugar, oats, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and sea salt in a bowl
  7. Spoon streusel over top of apple halves (it is okay if some falls onto the pan) and bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown
  8. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or by itself!

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries

I made this cake for a friend’s birthday recently and it was a hit! The cake has a rich chocolate flavor so pairing it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream lightens it up quite a bit and gives it more of a summery feel.

Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time Required: 1 hour

Yields: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder in a large bowl (bowl of a stand mixer if available)
  3. Bring one cup of water to a boil
  4. While the water is heating, add milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla to dry mixture and beat on medium speed until well combined
  5. Carefully mix in the boiling water
  6. Pour batter evenly into the two greased cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, rotating the cakes halfway through
  7. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to cooling racks
  8. Frost when cakes are completely cool

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Total Time Required: 10 minutes

Yields: enough for 1 cake (potentially with extra)

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks butter (1 1/2 cup), softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

Directions

  1. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until smooth
  2. Add sugar and milk and mix on high speed
  3. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and mix until combined
  4. Frosting should be thick and hold form but should not dry
  5. Refrigerate until cake is ready to frost

Whipped Cream

Total Time Required: 10 minutes

Yields: 2 cups whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Directions

  1. Add heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until peaks form
  2. Beat in vanilla and confectioners sugar for additional 30 seconds
  3. Refrigerate and serve cold!

Frost cake once completely cool. Decorate with sliced strawberries.

Serve cake with sliced strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.

Trail Mix Cookies

I’m so excited to share this recipe today! These cookies are definitely indulgent but great for a special occasion or to bring to serve a crowd. You can also freeze this dough so you can easily pop a few cookies in the oven instead of making the entire batch at once.

The mix-ins include white chocolate, dark chocolate, pecans and dried cherries so every bite you take tastes slightly different. The dough incorporates nutmeg and cinnamon so you also get a slight gingerbread-like taste. I also love adding oatmeal to cookie doughs for a chewier texture!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time Required: 1 hour 30 minutes

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • Sea salt flakes

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
  2. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream butter, sugar and brown sugar
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla
  4. Slowly beat in flour mixture until just combined
  5. Stir in chocolate, pecans, oats and dried cherries
  6. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and spread on an ungreased cookie sheet
  7. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour
  8. Remove from freezer and sprinkle sea salt flakes on top of the cookies
  9. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until golden brown

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

You’d never know this hearty banana bread is made from healthier alternatives such as whole wheat flour, oats, maple syrup and Greek yogurt. This bread makes a great breakfast, snack or dessert!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time Required: 1.5 hours

Yields: 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 medium over-ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk)
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spread oats in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes
  3. Line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and toasted oats
  5. In a large bowl, mash bananas and whisk in maple syrup, melted butter, almond milk and Greek yogurt. Whisk in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract
  6. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until just combined
  7. Stir in chocolate chips
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, cover with aluminum foil and bake for additional 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Let cool and serve!