Today I'm partnering with Lifeway Kefir to create a delicious chocolate banana kefir cake!
When I want to make an easy dessert, I always look up my banana bread recipe. Banana bread, (which let's face it, is really a cake) is so simple to whip together and always tastes great. It's also incredibly versatile. You can add so many different toppings and fillings and it'll most likely be delicious. Today, I decided to give the classic banana cake a twist with chocolate, coffee, and hazelnuts. This chocolate banana kefir cake with espresso hazelnut streusel is a fancier banana bread that perfectly satisfies my sweet tooth.
Chocolate Banana Kefir Cake
Espresso hazelnut streusel
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (185 grams)
- 1 cup brown sugar (200 grams)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoon melted butter (141 grams)
- ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped (50 grams)
- 2 teaspoon instant espresso (3 grams)
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Chocolate banana kefir cake
- ¾ cup butter softened at room temperature (170 grams)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (296 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate kefir (125 ml)
- 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips (260 grams)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Make the espresso hazelnut streusel. Combine all of the ingredients including flour, brown sugar, melted butter, hazelnuts, instant espresso, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, until well combined. Set aside.
- Prepare the chocolate banana kefir cake. Cream together the softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients together including the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter alternatively with the kefir, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- Toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour. Add the chocolate chips to the cake batter, gently folding them in. Spread the cake batter in the prepared baking dish in an even layer. Top the cake with the streusel.
- Bake the chocolate banana kefir cake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This chocolate banana kefir cake requires a little extra work than regular banana cake. But then again, it's not just a regular banana cake. The chocolate chips, chocolate kefir, and espresso hazelnut streusel all take this cake to the next level. It's worth the extra ingredients and effort, trust me.
Start by making the espresso hazelnut streusel. I don't know about you, but I think the best coffee cakes all have a streusel topping. It adds just a touch more sweetness to the cake and a lovely crunchy texture.
Combine melted butter with flour, brown sugar, instant espresso, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and chopped hazelnuts until well combined. I prefer to use melted butter for streusel because I think it's easier to mix. Make sure to use instant espresso and not instant coffee for the streusel. Instant espresso has a much stronger flavor than instant coffee; if you use instant coffee, chances are that you won't be able to taste any of the coffee flavors.
Set aside the espresso hazelnut streusel and prepare the cake batter. Cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla, mixing until well combined. It's important to use ripe bananas, in fact, the darker the color, the better. The riper the banana, the sweeter they are!
Combine the dry ingredients together and add them alternatively with the chocolate kefir to the batter. If you never used kefir in baked goods, I highly recommend it. Because it's cultured, it adds moistness to desserts and makes them just taste better. If you can't find chocolate-flavored kefir, you can use regular plain kefir.
Next, toss chocolate chips with a touch of flour and stir them into the cake. The chocolate banana kefir batter is fairly light so to prevent the chocolate from sinking, toss them in flour.
Spread the cake batter in the prepared baking pan and top it with the espresso hazelnut streusel. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. You can also freeze the dessert as soon as it cools to enjoy in the near future.
I already knew before I tasted this chocolate banana kefir cake that it was going to be amazing. And I was right. The cake is incredibly moist with just the perfect amount of sweetness. The espresso hazelnut streusel on top gives it more texture and a hint of coffee. Now how can you wrong with a cake like that?
For more banana bread inspiration, check out this black sesame banana cake recipe!