Award-Winning Banana Coffeecake

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

When I’m bored, I make up my own recipes.


After growing up in the kitchen, training in bakeries and restaurants, and through my NYU Food Studies degree, I’ve gotten incredibly comfortable with recipe development. I understand the science behind what makes recipes work and what doesn’t, like why cookies spread vs. stay puffy (it has to do with the flour to sugar ratio) and what kind of leavening agents to use and when.

Alexandra Tringali

That’s not to say that all of my recipe creations haven’t ended up in crying, pouting, sulking, and swearing off the kitchen life entirely—because most of them have. Recipe development is like moving to a new city. You have no idea where the hell you’re going at first, but if you keep exploring you’ll eventually know it, understand it, live, and breathe it. The first recipe you put to the test may fail entirely. So you tweak one thing, then another, then alter the baking time, until you’ve produced what you intended. Or you created something completely different. At least you’re not crying anymore.


However, that was not the case with my Award Winning Banana Coffeecake. Banana bread and coffeecake are easily two of America’s most popular baked goods. They are each essentially the all-purpose carb: suitable for breakfast, as a snack, or with coffee for dessert. There is no “bad time” for either. So I got it in my head to create one general, all-purpose go-to, to suppress my potassium deficiency and streusel topping desires. I landed in the kitchen of my apartment one summer morning, just tossing a bunch of typical coffeecake ingredients into a bowl: butter, sugar, cinnamon, some acidic element, like sour cream or yogurt. In went three overly-ripened bananas. I melted salted butter (always use salted butter, people) over some brown sugar and flour, threw it on top, and turned the broiler on high.


It was perfect, the first time. Literally. No alterations. No changes. I ate half of the 9 by 13 pan with a fork before it was cool enough to cut. No powdered sugar, no coffee alongside it to complete the cake’s namesake. I went home to my parent’s house and made it again. And then I made it again two days later.


A couple months after my kitchen triumph, a friend told me about Genius Kitchen’s Golden Noms competition, searching for the best original recipes. I submitted my Banana Coffeecake recipe, got a bunch of loyal Facebook friends to give the recipe a try, and six weeks later, I was crowned the 2018 Golden Noms winner in the Sweet Category.

And yeah, I cried.

Genius Kitchen

So without further ado...


Award Winning Banana Coffeecake


For the cake…

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup cake four (or just 3 cups of AP flour)

3 tsp powder

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

3 bananas

3 eggs

2/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 ½ tsp vanilla

2 sticks room temp. salted butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup white sugar


For the crumble…

1 stick melted salted butter, cooled

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350º and butter a 9x13” pan.


Begin with the crumble. Melt butter in a small bowl and set aside. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to a bowl and stir with a fork to combine. Pour the butter on the mixture and stir until totally combined. Set aside in the fridge.


Combine all of the dry ingredients and set aside. Add all of the wet ingredients to a medium bowl and also set aside. Cream butter and sugars until very light in color and fluffy using a hand mixer. Using the same blades, beat all of the wet ingredients together, until slightly chunky, but mainly smooth. Add to the butter/sugar mixture and beat until fluffy and combined, about 2 minutes. Add half the dry ingredients and beat until the flour ribbons disappear. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and beat on high until totally combined. *Note: the batter will be thick. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap on the counter. Bake for 25 minutes to start. Pull the cake from the oven and top with the crumble. Bake for another 20 minutes.


Move the cake to the top shelf and turn the oven to broil. Broil for 30 seconds. Pull from the oven and allow to cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting.

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