Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Cake
There’s no wrong way to combine peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas.
Maybe one day I’ll run out of ways and ideas, but thankfully that hasn’t happened.
I love baking with bananas because everything turns out so soft and fluffy.
This easy, one-bowl, no-mixer cake is another example of how bananas are such workhorses.
I loathe dry cake and in addition to juicy bananas, there’s a single-serving container of banana Greek yogurt, a bit of oil, and peanut butter. They all help keep this cake moist, bouncy, and springy.
I used banana yogurt, which helps to boost the banana flavor profile. I’m traveling even found it in an Aruban grocery store, but if you can’t find it, vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) will work.
The cake has a nice banana flavor, but the peanut butter flavor also shines. There’s one-half cup of peanut butter in the cake batter, and before baking, one-quarter cup is swirled in on top.
When you’re swirling, easy does it because the peanut butter seeps down while the cake bakes and if you over-do it before baking, you’ll never see the swirls after the cake comes out of the oven.
As it is, it’s hard enough to see the peanut butter because of the chocolate chunks on top. Chocolate is a perfect pairing with peanut butter and with banana. Okay, with anything.
I just sprinkled the chunks on top of the cake because I’m not that fond of chocolate chips or chunks inside cake. I like cake interiors buttery soft and smooth, but you could stir in a handful of chocolate chunks to the batter before turning it out into the pan.
I wanted to keep the cake more along the lines of a coffee cake than an uber-decadent cake, but feel free to get more gung-ho with the chocolate.
You’ll rarely go wrong with more chocolate.
By design, you don’t need to frost this cake. I made sure there’s enough going on between the sweet banana cake base, the peanut butter swirls and rich dark chocolate on top, that no frosting or glaze is necessary, for either taste or cosmetic purposes.
It’s always a nice bonus and time-saver when you don’t have to frost a cake.
Maybe it’s because she got to eat cake for breakfast, but my 6-year old daughter gave it a 10/10. I told her that if she thought it was a 7, that would be fine, too.
And she said, It’s a 10, mom. Okay, I’ll take it.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Banana Cake
This easy, one-bowl, no-mixer cake turns out so soft, moist, fluffy, and bouncy, thanks to a combo of bananas, bit of oil, Greek yogurt, and peanut butter, which all help keep the cake tender and springy. Peanut butter is used both in the batter and on top of the cake for swirling. Don’t overdo the swirls or they’ll seem to disappear while the cake bakes. Between the sweet banana base, the peanut butter swirls and rich dark chocolate on top, no frosting or glaze is necessary. It makes a great coffee cake, casual after-dinner cake, or make it anytime there’s ripe bananas to use.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil
1 large egg
5 to 6 ounces banana or vanilla Greek yogurt (plain Greek yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium, ripe bananas)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1/4 creamy peanut butter, for swirling on top
about 4 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped (semi-sweet chocolate chips may be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, oil, and heat on high power for about 30 seconds, just long enough to nicely soften peanut butter so it can be whisked together easily with the oil. Whisk until smooth and combined.
- Add the egg, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
- Add the mashed banana and stir to combine; batter will be lumpy because of the bananas.
- Add the flour, baking powder, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula; set aside.
- To a mixing bowl (the same one used for the cake batter is fine, no need to wash it provided you scraped it fairly well with a spatula) add 1/4 cup peanut butter and heat on high power to melt it, about 30 seconds.
- Drizzle peanut butter over cake and lightly swirl it in with a knife, going up and back in a zigzag pattern. Don’t get too carried away with swirling or peanut butter will sink into the cake while baking and won’t be visible.
- Evenly sprinkle the chocolate over the pan.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until done. The top will be domed and golden, the center set, and a toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. At any point if your cake is getting a bit too golden or dark before the center is setting, tent with foil (lay a sheet of foil over the top of your cake; I didn’t need to, but ovens and ingredients vary). Baking times could vary from 25 to 40 minutes based on water content of the bananas, yogurt, climate, and oven variances; bake until done. Watch your cake, not the clock.
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