Banana and Macadamia Nut Coffee Cake

Banana and macadamia nut coffee cake, smothered with cinnamon, is a perfect anytime treat. But we hear it’s even better the next day.

A slice of banana and macadamia nut coffee cake on a yellow plate with a fork holding a bite of it.

Toasty, sweet macadamia nuts and cinnamon sugar top this flavorful banana cake laced with flaky coconut. It’s especially moist. Select well-ripened sugar-sweet bananas for best flavor.
Lou Seibert Pappas

*How can I tell if my bananas are ripe?

A surefire way to recognize when the bananas are perfectly ripe is to look for a bunch that’s speckled with dark spots. If all you can find are neon green bunches, fear not. Simply let the bananas rest on the counter, not in the fridge. In a few days they’ll be ideal.

Banana and Macadamia Nut Coffee Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 15 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 8 | Makes one 9-inch cake
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or round cake pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and brown sugar. Stir to blend. In a blender or food processor, combine the bananas, eggs, oil, rum or amaretto, sour cream, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Stir in the coconut.

Spread evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the nuts. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the batter.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, then remove the pan sides. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges. Originally published April 15, 2006.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This recipe won a place in my tried and true recipe file. Simple to make—one bowl for dry ingredients and a blender, food processor or hand mixer to blend the banana with the wet ingredients. Put wet into dry. Stir and bake. The result is a divinely moist breakfast cake with a taste of the tropics that just gets better the next day.

Treat the title "Macadamia Nut" as a suggestion. Pecans or walnuts work just fine. Dark brown molasses lends the richest flavor. If you don't have any in the pantry—add a teaspoon or so of molasses to light brown sugar or just use light brown sugar. If you don't want to use rum or amaretto add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract instead. Don't skip the cinnamon sugar topping. It's the best!

The recipe makes a very thick batter. My cake baked for 40 minutes in a 9-inch springform pan until a cake tester came out clean. Check doneness in a number of places in the cake. I suggest baking on the lower third rack of the oven not the bottom rack to avoid the bottom getting too dark.


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  1. Baked for 35 minutes and tested ready. Sank in the middle/it was raw. The edges tasted good. Definitely needs more baking time.

    1. Sharon, a few questions: Is your oven accurate. Do you have an oven thermometer? That is usually the culprit when something is raw. Did you use a 9-inch pan? If it was an 8-inch pan, it would need longer to baker because the batter is higher? Did you overbeat the cake or open the oven door? That can contribute, too.

  2. I made this recipe exactly as directed, using pecans rather than macadamia nuts as that’s what I had in the house. It’s definitely a great cake to serve with coffee or tea. I used two smaller pans rather than one big one because I wanted to give one to a neighbor. Because of the smaller pans, I was unsure of the length of cooking time, so I checked it a couple of times and found that, despite the smaller pans, the full 30-35 minutes cooking time was needed. The really great thing about this cake is that it stays so moist and fresh tasting even days later.

    Two Banana-Macadamia nut coffee cakes, one cut into, on a ware rack

  3. We made this for brunch yesterday, and it was really good. But today, the leftovers are AMAZING! The flavors really blend together and become more pronounced. Yum!

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