Dawn's Banana Cream Crumb Cake

Dawn from Vanilla Sugar Blog has an obsession with crumb cakes. Lucky for us. Her Banana Cream Crumb Cake photos in a recent post made them hard, no, impossible, to resist. Banana Cream pie is one of my favorites and here it is in crumb cake form. Dawn poured some rum on those bananas too, just to make them even more delectable. Yes, there are several layers, but if you organize it right, it doesn't take all that much time to put together. Here's a quandary: is this a bar or a cake? Looks like a bar, sort of tastes like a cake. You decide when you make them. I vote for bar.

However, the surprise is definitely the cake-base. We're so used to a firm cookie base with our bar recipes, that this base really surprised me. It rises in the pan and nearly 
overtakes the bar. Dawn said the cake to crumb ratio was literally 40% cake and 60% crumb. Mine, as you can see in the photo, seemed to be pretty much even cake to crumb. But what we loved were the flavors in between! Rummy bananas (and I mean that in the best possible way) and cream cheese. Instead of layering them, Dawn made alternating stripes of each over the base. (Really good step by step photos on her post.) No reason you couldn't layer, but the stripe idea was simple enough and every square you cut does have some banana and cream cheese in the center. Not a lot, but enough. I might actually like a wee bit more myself, but then I do like rummy bananas. :) I mean, who doesn't?

Banana Cream Crumb Cake
From Dawn at Vanilla Sugar Blog

Ingredients for the cake:
¼ cup canola oil, plus more for pan  
½ stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan  
½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar   
1 teaspoon baking powder  
½ ts coarse salt  
1 large egg   
¼ cup half & half (might need a splash more, can use whole milk)
1 ts pure vanilla extract  

Ingredients for the crumb topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled

Ingredients for the banana rum mixture:
2 large bananas, not overly ripe
2 tablespoon granulated sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoon butter
1-2 giant dashes of rum (I used Jamaican rum, Dawn used Morgans Spiced rum)

Ingredients for the cream cheese mixture:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp.
1 large egg yolk
1 ts vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white sugar

For the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients, pour melted butter over mixture, and toss with a rubber spatula until large crumbs form. Set aside.

For the banana rum mixture:

Chop up the bananas into half inch pieces. Over medium heat, heat up the 2 TB of butter, Sautee the bananas until they get a little brown; then add in a dash or two of rum.  If you’re comfortable with flambé then go ahead and do so, if not, then just cook the rum out about 3-4 minutes.  Take off heat.

For the cream cheese mixture:
Mix all in a bowl (really well) until ready to use. Set aside.

For the cake:
Place rack in center of oven, and heat oven to 350°.
Lightly butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and dust with flour, and tap to remove excess. ( I always use bread crumbs over the butter instead of flour a la Maida Heatter but Dawn also said she's used the Pam with Flour and it worked just fine). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together 2 ¼ cups flour, add in the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. 
In a second bowl, whisk together egg, butter, half & half, canola oil, and vanilla.

Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture.   It’s a sticky dough, if the dough is not moist enough (looks/feel very dry and crumbly) you can add a few dashes of half & half in. ( I didn't need to add anything.)
Keep in mind this dough is not pourable, not very liquid, more of a dough-like batter.
Press batter evenly into prepared pan.  
The batter should be about half an inch high, it will cook/rise to an inch thick. (The batter spreads out as it’s cooking).
Next put on the cream cheese mixture; Dawn did this in vertical lines in the pan. And on the other sides of these lines she added on the banana mixture.  If you want swirls and no lines then apply the topping/ mixtures however you desire.  Next add on the crumbs, making sure to cover the whole top.

Bake for 14 minutes, rotate pan.
Then cook another 5-10 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
It is hard to tell when cake is done, but look for golden brown edges.  Remember the cake part is thin and does bake up fast. 
You have to let this set up at least an hour before slicing.
Using a serrated knife or bench scraper, cut into 3-inch squares.
It does need to be refrigerated, so store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.


  1. An original banana cake. It looks really delicious!



  2. Who could ever resist the streusel topping! Your banana bars look awesome.

  3. Hi daaaahling, I know I must be a blast from the past, but I've just started blogging again and I'm looking up my favorite bloggers :). I adore crumb cake, and banana crumb cake sounds like a bit of heaven :)
    Hope you have a great weekend ahead.
    Love always, Heavenly

  4. I do believe I would like rummy bananas too,

  5. Perfect for banana lovers Barbara..

  6. Wow. It sounds way too sweet for me, but the Knight might love it. (Who am I kidding?! I know he'd love it.)

  7. ha--she just posted about a cake very similar to this one. both are fantastic. :)

  8. This is super delicious Barbara! And I always have bananas hanging around here!

  9. I've never had crumb cake, it looks wonderful. Thank you for visiting my blog. GG

  10. Una realización perfecta se ve muy rico y tentador,abrazos.

  11. Oh my those look good. Wish I could just reach in and swipe one!

  12. I am so hungry right now, probably not a good time to be catching up on the food blogs!

  13. It looks SOOOOOOOOOOO delicious - love the combination here!
    Mary x

  14. Oh my, this does look delicious. Cream cheese and bananas, especially rummy ones, are an irresistible combination. I'm in the mood to try a new recipe. Thanks for sharing this one, Barbara.

  15. This looks so hearty and delicious!!

  16. That sounds like a wonderful recipe! It's always good to have another idea for bananas.

  17. The cake sounds amazing! I love banana in my baked goodies and this one is another addition to my list :)

  18. I like rummy bananas too. What a clever recipe for crumb cake.



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