Banana Breakfast Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping

by Dorothy Reinhold on January 10, 2014

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If banana bread married coffee cake, this would be the offspring, and what a beautiful baby it is!

It takes a simple, cinnamon-inflected snack cake much like my beloved Old-School Sour Cream Banana Bread, and tops it with a toasted pecan streusel.

Like the sound of that? My family did, and my neighbors enjoyed it so much they called after the first piece and hinted for more!

Happy to oblige.

In fact, I made this cake 4 times in 7 days. Make that 5 times in 7 days, since I just popped another one in. That’s how good it is. Now go turn on your oven.

Banana Breakfast Cake with Pecan Streusel ToppingI used my new favorite goat milk kefir in here, and it worked out perfectly. I also subbed olive oil instead of butter, and you know what? I like it better that way!

Recipe: Banana Breakfast Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping

Summary: Banana bread marries coffee cake for a delicious breakfast cake with all-important streusel topping. Goat milk kefir makes it tender!


Pecan Streusel

  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. If using butter, unwrap the butter and place butter in a mixing bowl. Use the butter wrapper to grease an 8-inch-square baking dish, and set dish aside. If using olive oil, mist baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. To the bowl with the butter (or olive oil if using that), add the sugar and using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter (or olive oil) and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and bananas and mix until incorporated. Mixture might look a little curdled, which is OK.
  3. Add salt and cinnamon and mix well. Add baking powder and baking soda and mix well. Add half the flour and mix just until flour is incorporated. Add kefir and mix just until incorporated, then add the rest of the flour and mix just until flour is combined in. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour-scrape batter into prepared dish, and smooth the top. Batter will be thick.
  5. Make Pecan Streusel: In a separate bowl, add brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon, and stir well to combine. Sprinkle evenly over top of cake batter.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven, cool completely and cut into 9 pieces. Store in a covered container in a single layer, at room temperature.
  8. Serves 9.

Redwood Hill Farm Plain Cultured Goat Milk KefirWhat is goat milk kefir?

Goat milk kefir is a naturally cultured probiotic beverage with live and active cultures. It is generally thinner than yogurt (some people think of it as drinkable yogurt), mild yet slightly tangy, a source of calcium, protein and essential minerals and is gluten-free. Because of the fermentation, little lactose remains in the kefir so people with lactose intolerance are often able to tolerate kefir. Kefir is a popular drink in Europe, and gaining popularity here. For cooking, it can be used as a substitute for buttermilk in baking, or half and half or cream as it is in this pumpkin pie, and can be stirred into granola for breakfast.


Adapted from Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake from “Lick the Bowl Good,” by Monica Holland (2013 Skyhorse Publishing).

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 9
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

Disclosure: Redwood Hill Farm sent the kefir for recipe testing. 

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura January 3, 2015 at 8:43 pm

You are killing me! I have never wished so much I ate bananas!


Dorothy Reinhold January 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Wait, you don’t eat bananas? How can that be?


Angela {Mind Over Batter} January 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Oh wow, any cake you make 5 out of 7 days is a winner with me!!


Dorothy Reinhold January 4, 2015 at 6:57 pm

I know. I couldn’t stop myself.


David @ CookingChat January 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

I think this could work for lunch, too?


Dorothy Reinhold January 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

David, m’dear, this cake works 24/7!


Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me January 3, 2015 at 8:13 am

This is definitely a reciope I could enjoy all day long. I will have to try out the goat milk- sounds interesting.


Marye January 3, 2015 at 8:11 am

yes please! This looks perfect for a weekend morning!


Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish January 3, 2015 at 7:01 am

This is lovely… and I love that you used olive oil!!! Perfecto!


Dorothy Reinhold January 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Olive oil really does work so well in cakes.


pam (Sidewalk Shoes) January 3, 2015 at 6:56 am

I love that you used kefir in this! I make my own raw milk kefir and I am always looking for ways to use it and this coffee cake would be perfect!


Samantha Terry January 30, 2014 at 2:49 am

Now this looks and sounds so good. I like that it doesn’t use a lot of flour so its easy on the tummy. Hubby gonna love this one!


Dorothy Reinhold January 31, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Let me know how you like it!


Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere January 13, 2014 at 6:17 am

We’ve recently started making milk kefir, and I’ve been wondering about baking with it. Does it bake out just like milk?


Dorothy Reinhold January 13, 2014 at 8:11 am

Not sure what you mean by “bake out.” You can sub kefir anywhere you might use buttermilk, for example.


Liz January 11, 2014 at 7:24 pm

5 times in 7 days? I must try this winner!


Dorothy Reinhold January 12, 2014 at 8:33 am

You MUST! Make that 6 times in 8 days!


Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought January 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm

oooooh that looks so yummy!


Dorothy Reinhold January 12, 2014 at 8:34 am

Ooooooh, it IS!


piesandplots January 11, 2014 at 5:19 am

This is the perfect way to start a day! As if banana bread wasn’t good enough that streusel takes it over the top!


Dorothy Reinhold January 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

Exactly right.


The Ninja Baker January 11, 2014 at 12:34 am

Love your addition of goat milk kefir Your cake truly turned out great!


Dorothy Reinhold January 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

That kefir was a new one for me, and I adore it to substitute for buttermilk in baking.


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