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banana bread snack cake

this banana bread snack cake is a like a softer, cake like version of the best banana bread. it's a moist, tender chai and maple spiced cake topped with a quick caramel glaze and chopped walnuts. it's a simple snack cake that's easy to make and is utterly delicious!

autumn is so close I can taste it. it won’t be cool here in texas for a few more weeks. but that isn’t stopping me from diving head first into all things baked and spiced. this banana bread snack cake is exactly as it sounds- banana bread made into more of a snacking cake. with hints of maple, plenty of chai spice and a caramel glaze, this cake is made for fall!

when I first thought of this recipe, I set out to remake my banana bread bars with tahini buttercream. but, soon one thing lead to another and a slightly varied and dare I say even MORE delicious snacking cake was created. it’s tender, moist, sweet and beautifully spiced. in other words, everything I could ask for in a cake that’s made for breakfast, lunch, after dinner and any moment in between.

banana bread snack cake

in a few words, this banana snacking cake is

  • moist
  • cake like crumb
  • golden caramelized exterior
  • soft, sweet interior
  • full of banana flavor
  • complemented by hints of maple and chai spice
  • fully realized with a generous pour of caramel glaze
  • this perfect cake to take you into autumn (even if you are team apple and pumpkin!)
banana bread snack cake

what ingredients do I need to make this almost one bowl cake?

to make this banana bread snack cake, you’ll need pantry basics plus a few special ingredients:

  • all purpose flour
  • cake flour
    • see recipe notes for an easy diy version
  • chai or pumpkin spice
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • bananas
  • unsalted butter
  • canola or other neutral baking oil
  • maple sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • maple extract
  • sour cream or milk
  • heavy cream
  • powdered sugar
  • walnuts, pecans or other nuts for topping

from these ingredients you will make the banana bread snack cake and the quick caramel glaze with nut topping.

diy chai spice blend 

one of the first things I do at the start of a new baking season is mix up a batch of spices. for autumn its chai spice and pumpkin spice. this blend is one I have used for a long time. it makes a lot, so scale down as needed.

  • 3 tbsp ground ginger (16g)
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (15g)
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice (6g)
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamon (6g)
  • 1.5 tsp ground nutmeg (3.5g)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves (3.5g)
  • place all ingredients in a bowl. mix well to combine
  • store in a spice jar or small mason jar

do I need any special baking tools to make this cake?

this simple banana bread cake is so simple, it’s almost one bowl kind of easy! here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8X8 or 9X9 aluminum pan
    • for baking the cake in
    • other pans may work for this, but baking times will vary
    • this recipe also fits:
      • 12 ct. muffin pan
      • 8″-9″ round cake pan
      • 9X5 loaf pan
  • several bowls for mixing
    • large for mixing all the batter
    • medium for dry ingredients
    • small for the glaze
  • whisk, large spoon and/or silicone spatula
    • for mixing the cake batter
  • parchment paper
    • to line the baking pan
    • easy removal once the cake is baked
  • small or medium sauce pan
    • to make the quick caramel glaze
  • food scale
    • easiest and best way to measure out ingredients
    • how all my recipes are developed
banana bread snack cake

tips and tricks for the most delicious banana bread snack cake

best substitutions for this recipe:

banana bread snack cake

baking tips and tricks:

  • read through the recipe before starting 
  • use a “light hand” when folding the dry ingredients into the wet
  • look for the signs the cake is done rather than stick strictly to the baking times 
    • the sides will pull gently from the edges of the pan
    • the top will be golden brown, but not burned 
    • gently press the middle of the cake, it should bounce back easily
      • if not, give it 5-10 more minutes baking time
    • toothpick inserted into the center will come out with a few moist crumbs 
  • cool in the pan on a cooling rack for no more than 30 minutes 
  • cool to room temperature on a cooling rack 
  • the caramel glaze and nuts are optional (but HIGHLY recommend!)
banana bread snack cake

other delicious banana recipes to try!

banana bread snack cake

banana bread snack cake with caramel glaze

Megan
this banana bread snack cake is like a softer, more cake like version of the BEST banana bread. it's a moist, tender chai and maple spiced cake topped with a quick caramel glaze and chopped walnuts.
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9X9 pan

Equipment

  • 8X8 or 9X9 (20cm or 23cm) cake pan
  • large bowl for mixing
  • whisk and large spoon or spatula for mixing
  • parchment paper
  • small sauce pan
  • small bowl for mixing glaze

Ingredients
  

banana bread snack cake

  • 1 c (120g) all purpose flour
  • 1 c (120g) cake flour see recipe notes
  • 1 tbsp chai or pumpkin spice mix see recipe notes
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 c (285g) mashed bananas about 2-3 medium – large
  • 4 tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 c (59ml) canola oil or other neutral flavor baking oil
  • 3/4 c (150g) maple sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 (106-114g) large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract, optional for flavor
  • 1/2 c (120g) sour cream, room temperature or whole milk (118ml)

quick caramel glaze

  • 1/2 c (100g) maple or light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c (79ml) heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp (59g) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c (120g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 c (75g) chopped walnuts

Instructions
 

banana bread snack cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
    Line a 8X8 or 9X9 cake pan with parchment paper along the bottom and two sides. The sides should have a little overhang of parchment paper. This helps to remove the cake from the pan.
  • Whisk the flours, spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt together until well combined. Set aside.
  • Place the bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mash the bananas until smooth with very few lumps.
  • In the same mixing bowl, whisk in the melted butter, oil, sugar, eggs, extracts and sour cream until smooth and well combined.
  • Using a spoon or spatula, fold in the dry ingredients to the wet.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake in a 350 F (177C) oven on the center rack for 30-40 minutes.
    The cake is done when the edges start to slightly pull away from the edges of the pan, the cake is golden across the top, the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  • Cool the cake in the cake pan placed on top of a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
    Gently remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper overhang. If needed, run a butter knife along the unline sides of the cake pan to loosen any cake still stuck to the pan.
  • Prepare the caramel glaze after the cake has cooled about 30 minutes.

quick caramel glaze

  • In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar, cream, butter and salt.
  • Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium high heat. Stir as frequently needed to ensure the ingredients are melting evenly and are well comibined.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat for 1 minute. Once boiling, start the time and stir constantly.
  • Remove from heat and cool for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the warm caramel sauce into a bowl with the powdered sugar. Pour in the vanilla extract.
    Whisk or stir until well combined with no lumps of sugar. Taste and add a pinch more salt if desired.
  • Pour the caramel glaze over the cooled banana bread cake. After 5 minutes, top the glaze with chopped nuts if desired.
    Allow 30-60 minutes for the glaze to fully set.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Notes

cake flour: to make your own DIY cake flour, measure out 1 c all purpose flour. scoop out 2 tbsp flour. add back in 2 tbsp cornstarch. sift together 3-4 times. 
diy chai spice: one of the first things I do at the start of a new baking season is mix up a batch of spices.  this blend is one I have used for a long time. it makes a lot, so scale down as needed.
  • 3 tbsp ground ginger (16g)
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (15g)
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice (6g)
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamon (6g)
  • 1.5 tsp ground nutmeg (3.5g)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cloves (3.5g)
  • place all ingredients in a bowl. mix well to combine
  • store in a spice jar or small mason jar
 
store bought chai spice: I love this particular chai spice blend available online
Keyword almost one bowl cake, banana bread cake, banana snack cake, caramel glaze, snack cake
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

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