Move over banana bread! This banana chocolate chip snack cake is an equally worthy destination for your over-ripe bananas. Delicious, with a crunchy cinnamon brown sugar topping, too.
Move over banana bread! There’s a new way to use up those over-ripe bananas! This banana chocolate chip snack cake is a delicious banana treat, especially for those who love the banana and chocolate chip combination.
And beyond all that banana and chocolate deliciousness, there is a sugar and cinnamon topping, that not only ups the flavour of this snack cake, it bakes up into a wonderfully crunchy top. Trust me, you won’t regret sending some of your over-ripe bananas in this direction :)
Ingredients and Substitutions
Bananas – as with all banana baked goods, the riper the banana the better, for best flavour. The precise amount of banana isn’t critically important, but as a general guide, 2 small bananas is about 1 cup of mashed banana. It’s ok if you have a bit more or less.
Butter – you can use either salted or unsalted butter here. If using unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt to the dry ingredients accordingly.
Sour Cream – for best results, use a full-fat sour cream (14%-ish). A lighter, 5%-ish sour cream would probably also work. I never recommend a fat-free sour cream for baking. Save it for your baked potato :) Alternately, a nice thick, higher fat Greek Yogurt would probably also work here. Again, use a 3% or higher yogurt and not a 0% yogurt for baking.
Chocolate Chips – I recommend a semi-sweet chocolate chip for this one. They don’t need to be fancy. Regular Chipits™ will work just fine here. I’ve used PC Decadent Chocolate Chips here.
Step 1: Start by mashing up the ripe bananas in a small bowl. Also, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set both aside for now.
Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (I like to spray the pan first, with baking spray, then I lay just one long sheet of parchment that covers the bottom and two sides, over-hanging a bit to use as handles to lift the cake out later. This method works nicely as it avoids the scrunched-up corners, yet still provides enough support to easily lift the cake out of the pan.)
Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, banana and vanilla.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture), alternately with the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture (so that means 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/3 of the flour, remaining sour cream and finally, the remaining flour mixture).
Mix until smooth, then pour into prepared baking pan. and level the top of the batter. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon, then scatter over the batter, together with the chocolate chips.
- Want more? Double the recipe and bake it up in a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- I like to cut this snack cake into quite small squares, cutting 16 from an 8×8-inch pan. I find it perfect for a nice snack bite. And you can always eat two, if you like :)
- These keep pretty well for several days, just covered on the counter, though the crispy topping does tend to soften somewhat the longer they sit.
- This banana snack cake will also freeze well for several months.
Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing
This snack cake keeps really well, covered, at room temperature. It will also freeze well up to 2 months.
Get the Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
- 1/2 cup butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 small bananas, 1 1/2 medium bananas (about 1 to 1 1/4-cup-ish)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch salt, or 1/4 tsp if using unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream, full-fat recommended
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mash bananas in a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and white sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes., Add the beaten egg and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla and bananas and mix in well until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture into banana mixture, alternately with the sour cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture (so that means add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix in, followed by 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/3 or the flour, the remaining sour cream and finally, the remaining flour mixture, mixing in between additions.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter in the pan. Top with half of the chocolate chips, then the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, then the remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake tests clean when tested with a cake tester. Top should be golden and the sides of the cake should pull away from the sides of the pan. As baking times varies from oven to oven and depending on your baking pan, start checking the cake at about 40 minutes, but don't open the oven/test until it starts to look like it is close to ready.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then lift out of the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing into squares.
This recipe hails originally from the University of British Columbia, where it is known as Ponderosa Cake and was a student canteen favourite.
More Banana Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
I haven’t made it yet but I bet you could make this into muffins too.
Hi Gillian, technically you could. They may not bake up with a typical dome-top muffin, but they will be delicious :)
Student canteen favorite for a good reason! I could live on this cake for days:)
Me, too Milena :) Thanks!
I love small snack cakes Jennifer! Just enough, so it’s not sitting on the counter too long to tempt me! And this flavor combo is a classic!
Thanks Mary Ann and yes, I love the small bites. Always hits the spot :)