Baked with ripe bananas, sweetened flaked coconut, and candied walnuts for a delightful caramel crunch – This Banana Coconut Crunch Cake is a new twist on every day banana bread!
I am on serious vacation flow, people. Yup. It’s past noon and I am happy to report, I have just imbibed my third Cuba Libre. I’m drinking on island time.
This be the view. #nofilter
I’m living on island time, giving absolutely no thought to real world problems. I’m breathing in the salty sea air as I temporarily lift my bacon ban and go HAM on at least 10 strips. Don’t worry, I balanced my nitrite consumption with an overabundance of island fruit.
I am enjoying the smack out of life ’cause there is only the one. Unless you believe in reincarnation, in which case I may be up to life 4,519. Now flow with me. Let’s talk about this Banana Coconut Crunch Cake.
This crunch cake is an island vacation. Ripe bananas are mixed into a cake batter that is softened in part with butter, and coconut oil.
Sweetened flaked coconut is folded into this banana filled batter, as are chopped walnuts.
Not just any walnuts, no no no – Candied walnuts.
You see, regular walnuts impart a bit of crunch to banana cakes. Candied walnuts give the gift of crunch AND a burnt sugar caramel flavor.
Candied walnuts are ready in five minutes. Just keep that in mind.
This ripe banana, coconut flaked, candied walnut batter is baked in a bundt pan.
I’ve baked this cake in Mini loaf pans as well.
Throwing it out there. Being friendly and whatnot.
Out of the oven this cake is allowed to cool enough to glaze. I want to say the glaze is optional. The cake is delicious without it; however, the glaze brings its own brand of coconutty super sweet deliciousness.
I’ll leave this upto you.
Peep this moistness.
Those pockets of burnt sugar? Yah, it’s the candied walnuts.
That sugar melts into the batter and solidifies when the cake cools. Not candy crunchy, in case you’re wondering. Not everywhere. In pockets evenly interspersed throughout the bundt. It seems almost deliberate. And perhaps it was.
If you’re in the mood, bake this cake. If not, bookmark it for later in the fall.
Me? I’ll be ordering Cuba Libre number 4 thinking of nothing but island breeze, foamy white waves, and bacon strips for breakfast.
Banana Coconut Crunch Cake
- For the candied walnuts
- Chopped walnuts - 1 heaping cup
- Granulated sugar - 1/3 cup
- Unsalted butter - 1 tablespoon
- vanilla extract - ½ teaspoon
- For the banana crunch cake
- All-purpose flour, spooned then leveled - 2 cups
- Baking soda - 3/4 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter - ½ cup
- Coconut oil - ½ cup
- Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
- Eggs - 2 large
- Ripe medium-sized bananas, mashed - 3
- Pure vanilla extract - 1 ½ teaspoon
- Coconut extract - 1 teaspoon
- Buttermilk - 1/4 cup
- Candied walnuts
- Sweetened coconut flakes - 1 heaping cup
- For the coconut cream icing
- Confectioners’ sugar - 1 ¼ cup
- Coconut milk - 2 -3 tablespoons
- Sweetened cream of coconut (Coco Lopez) - 2 -3 tablespoons
- Vanilla extract - ½ teaspoon
- Toasted coconut flakes for topping (optional) - ½ cup
Make the candied walnuts:
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium non-stick skillet over low heat, melt the butter. Add the granulated sugar followed by the walnuts and splash of vanilla extract. Stir to coat the walnuts. Increase the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes stirring THE ENTIRE TIME until all the sugar is melted and the walnuts are well coated with sugar.
Transfer the candied walnuts immediately to the sheet of parchment paper. With a spatula and moving quickly (quickly is key, otherwise the walnuts will cool into a big clump) separate the walnuts as best you can. Allow them to cool completely, and then finely chop. Set aside in a bowl until ready to use.
Bake the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9” bundt pan.
To a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk quickly with a fork to combine; set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment over medium/high speed, (hand mixer works here as well), mix the unsalted butter, coconut oil, and granulated sugar until combined, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla and coconut extract. Mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape to incorporate ingredients.
Turn the mixer on to low speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until moistened. If you see flour bits, it’s fine. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the candied walnuts and sweetened coconut flakes.
Pour the batter into prepared bundt pan. Bang the pan once or twice on the counter to help even out the batter and get rid of air bubbles.
Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on altitude) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each load plan comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. As the cake cools, make the glaze.
Make the glaze:
In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, condensed milk, coconut milk, Coco Lopez, and vanilla extract. Whisk with a fork until combined. Add more confectioners’ sugar if you prefer a thicker glaze or more coco lopez if you prefer your glaze on the thinner side. Drizzle on top of cooled cakes. Top with toasted coconut if desired.
Banana Coconut Cake adapted from: Spoonful of Flavor