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Sunday recipe: Versatile coffee cake can be eaten any time of day

Traditional coffee cake is a moist, tender pastry that might be topped with streusel or crumbs and is often served as the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea at breakfast or in the afternoon. The British version of this cake is a sponge variety that actually is flavored with coffee and coffee butter icing.

Coffee cake is ideal to have on hand when entertaining. It fits well for breakfast, brunch or even as a late-afternoon snack.

This recipe for “Roasted Banana Coffee Cake” from Simply Scratch (Avery) by Laurie McNamara includes bananas, making it an ideal addition to the breakfast table. The author suggests roasting the bananas helps to perfect their texture without having to wait for the natural ripening process.

Roasted Banana Coffee Cake

Serves 8

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 tablespoon at room temperature for the pan
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 bananas
¾ cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan with the 1 tablespoon room temperature butter and dust with the granulated sugar and tip out any excess.
  2. Place the bananas on a small rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add the roasted bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Beat until incorporated.
  6. With the mixer running on low speed, spoon in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the pecan topping. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.