Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

By • June 13, 2013 • 54 Comments

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Author Notes: Melissa Clark's Chocolate Crusted Banana Blondies (originally seen on notderbypie) were the source of my inspiration. In Melissa's version, the butter is browned and the banana mixture is poured over a chocolate cookie and butter crust. I wasn't crazy about the cookie crust idea and I happened to be out of butter. But overripe bananas were calling, so I decided it was time to venture off on my own. I used coconut oil instead of butter, added chocolate chips, and 2 handfuls of coconut to continue the coconut theme. I decreased the sugar slightly and increased the salt by a pinch. The result is truly delicious. Who doesn't need another way to use overripe bananas? (Note: This is a sweet recipe!)ATG117

Food52 Review: We make our home in Phoenix, AZ, but spend the summer in a little 600-square foot cottage in Sonoma, CA. We make car trips between Phoenix and Sonoma a couple of times a year with three furry "children" in tow. We look for snacks that carry well, can be eaten (in the car) without too many crumbs, and require little refrigeration. This snack cake fits the bill! Moist, delicious and crumb-free, I can easily imagine it as a favorite "go-to" snack for travel.Betsy Hinson

Serves 15

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 handfuls shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mash bananas in a bowl and push them to one side to make room for the "liquid" ingredients. Add the eggs, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and coconut oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet banana mixture. Stir with a whisk just until combined.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and coconut. Stir one last time to evenly distribute the add-ins.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle (from a height) with fine or flaky sea salt to lightly dust the surface of the cake.
  6. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (mine was done after 45 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Jump to Comments (54)

Tags: breakfast, overripe bananas, portable, snacks

Comments (54) Questions (1)

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Stringio

about 1 month ago Violet U

I made these yesterday - the only modifications were to use 8T of coconut oil (it was hard to measure, so I'm estimating) and to use white sugar + molasses because I didn't realize that I had run out of brown sugar. They turned out fabulous! Great recipe!

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24 days ago ATG117

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you liked them!

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about 1 month ago KitchenKim

I will try this recipe tomorrow, but I do not have coconut oil. I have butter, canola oil, or grape seed oil and want to halve the amount of fat and substitute unsweetened applesauce for the other half. Can you please advice me on the best oil to use and your thoughts on the unsweetened applesauce?

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about 1 month ago ATG117

The coconut oil is what really makes these distinct and gives them a coconut flavor. I would not recommend making them with applesauce either. If you want to sub applesauce in, I would suggest making a standard banana cake recipe.

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about 1 month ago allison

Has anyone found the coconut oil hard to measure? Perhaps that might be an answer as to why some found this so oily. Also have my fellow bakers "packed" the brown sugar, another reason why it might have been too sweet? I have used dark chocolate chips because I was too worried about the sweetness the first time I made them. This recipe is a keeper.

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24 days ago ATG117

I measure the coconut oil from a solid state, which is how I keep mine i.e. not warm enough to be liquid.

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3 months ago Melanie

To make these less sugary, I substituted 1 c. coconut palm sugar, then added only 1/2 c. of brown sugar. I also threw in some toasted walnuts, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and used some sweetened coconut and some unsweetened. They only needed 39 minutes, and turned out delicious! Hope you don't mind the recipe tweaking!

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3 months ago Dana A

Yum! Good to know - I was going to make a similar modification.

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3 months ago Peggy Kovacs

My husband and I found these banana, chocolate, coconut bars a little bit of heaven. We started eating them while still quite warm, right out of the oven.
I decreased the coconut oil to 8 Tbs. as some had recommended, added chopped walnuts and 1/2 tsp. each baking powder and baking soda, increased the flour slightly by mounding the cupful, and voila...a chewy, crispy, not too sweet banana brownie! Great way to use up ripe banana. I will definitely make this again and please, disregard those negative comments. My parchment paper hadn't absorbed any oil. These were delicious!!

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about 1 month ago ATG117

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

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4 months ago Kimberly

I made these last week. I used white sugar and used walnuts instead of coconut flakes and butter instead of coconut oil so it was like a verry rich brownie and was the best! I had to give them to my friends be couse I was binge eating them. It was excellent!

Stringio

6 months ago Victoria Stanbach

I just made these. I used coconut flour and added extra coconut! So good! Thanks!

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6 months ago ATG117

Glad you liked them!

Stringio

6 months ago Diana Gloria Hoffman

I tried the variation Monique posted a couple months ago, but kept the chocolate chips/shredded coconut the same. It turned out pretty well - amount of grease was as expected and I liked that it wasn't overly sweet.

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7 months ago Kat

I cut back on the oil like others did, but it still came out super dense and kind of oily. I'm at a loss.

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6 months ago ATG117

Sorry you weren't happy with the results. It's a dense bar. Oil will always make baked goods more oily than butter, but mine haven't been too oily, so it's hard to advise.

Stringio

8 months ago Jennifer Speth

This recipe turned out delicious! I did use a little less coconut oil (8 Tbl instead of 10...and only because it was easier to measure 1/2 cup oil!) and I only had light brown sugar, but it turned out fantastic. Moist, dense and delightfully chewy. The coconut adds a really nice touch and I have been enjoying it daily in my lunch. I will definitely be making it again!

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7 months ago ATG117

Thanks for the feedback! It seems like a bunch of folks have had luck with using less oil. Because I didn't test it this way, I'm nervous to change the proportions, and the truth is, I can no longer edit the recipe anyway.

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8 months ago monique

if you have a choice of oils I'd do pure virgin coconut oil. other good substitutes are a organic sunflower seed oil or organic canola

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8 months ago jessica

can i substutite fractionated coconut oil for reg. coconut oil in this receipe or what other oil?

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7 months ago ATG117

I wouldn't substitute another oil. The coconut oil is what gives the dessert its character. But you could sub in butter. The original recipe this one is adapted from used butter.

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8 months ago monique

Made this today! Here are my adaptations:
Wet ingredients: used 3 bananas, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar combined with 1/2cup white granulated sugar, 4.5 Tbsp of coconut oil.
Dry Ingredients: 1-1/4 cup of unbleached flour combined with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp of baking powder. 1 square of unsweetened baking chocolate chopped and 1/2 cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut. This created a great moist enough texture, not dense snack cake.
fyi: there is no right and wrong BUT for the sake of good health (we have high nrs of diabetes, high blood pressure and alarming nrs of obesity amoung our youth) why NOT modify and balance out our recipes??

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8 months ago Ariane

Uh, got really worried since I didn't read the comments until *after* I put these in the oven. Fortunately, this was just my test batch, rehearsing for company tomorrow night and lots of it. More fortunately (and proving that you never can tell from comments), my husband and I tasted and agree: it's delicious -- not greasy, not overly sweet -- and the surface crispiness is a really nice texture. Can't wait to serve with ice cream - yum!

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8 months ago ATG117

So glad it worked for you, and thanks for posting! It's frustrating when you know a recipe works but somehow doesn't generate the same results across the board.

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8 months ago Ariane

And just to let you know: made a second batch, served them for Easter dessert, and they were demolished. Several people asked for the recipe, so seemed like a crowd-pleaser to me. I did cut back the coconut oil on the second batch just to see what would happen -- came out fine, though I don't think anyone but me knew the difference. Thanks!!

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7 months ago ATG117

Thanks for the feedback!

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9 months ago youngmee

My cake came out delicious! I did cut back to 1 and a 1/2 cups of sugar, and I used 6 tablespoons of fat-free Greek yogurt and 5 tbsp of coconut oil instead, after reading the comments. I was a little scared cuz when I peeked in the oven the cake was still "bubbling" from the coconut oil, but when it cooled, it wasn't excessively greasy. The coconut is a nice addition.

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9 months ago Alison C

I should have read the comments before baking. My cake came out incredibly oily and I even tried to soak some of it up with paper towels. I wish I had cut down on the coconut oil because it tastes pretty good!

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9 months ago Danielle Celmer DiCesare

not very good. I wanted it to be but it wasn't . greasy and flat

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9 months ago TN Meredith

TNMeredith
I think this recipe is a definite keeper! I used Splenda brown sugar instead and it turned out perfectly!

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9 months ago mhall

I followed this recipe exactly and mine came out very greasy, flat and sweet. I think there should be more flour to absorb the oil and a levener so it rises. I will try the this again but with many changes.

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10 months ago Shuchi

I gave this a try today and only put in 11/4 cup of brown sugar (before even reading the comments I knew it was way too much and I don't like my desserts too sweet!) and reduced the oil to 8 tbsp [used light olive oil instead]. I also and gave it a 3 minute broil in the end to brown the top. Mine baked in 35 minutes and the outcome was cake that was crusty on the outside and moist on the inside. Although it's not the best cake I've had, it definitely is quite an fairly effortless recipe, so I will be doing a repeat:)

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10 months ago Annette

My snack bars turned out wonderfully. Took them to a meeting and they quickly disappeared. Very popular!

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10 months ago Annette

Well, I should have read these comments before I made this recipe. Mine is in the oven right now and smells absolutely devine. I didn't want to spend over $8 for the coconut oil so used the grape seed oil I already had. I hope it turns out ok and not like some of the posted comments. Time will tell...

Stringio

10 months ago Theresa Chalmers

I got rid of all the chocolate chips (unnecessary in my mind), added diced dates which are naturally sweet, and used only 1 cup of brown sugar. It turn out very very good and much more healthful than the original recipe. I could really taste the banana and dates. I do not like sugar overpowering the ingredients.

Stringio

11 months ago pattyrat

I mostly disagree with these comments. I made these, according to the recipe, and while they are very rich and maybe slightly heavy on the oil - they are not a mess or overly greasy or sweet. They are sweet, but I think this is more a matter of preference. I think it's unfair to be so harsh and say the recipe is "wrong." If you don't care for the taste, that's one thing. I probably would cut back slightly on the oil next time, but the flavor was very good - and the crunchy edges were the best!

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11 months ago MaggieK

I agree with most of the comments. These were super sweet and super oily. The flavor combination was nice but next time I would cut the sugar and oil each by 1/3, at least!

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about 1 year ago ChickenMom

I love online recipes and am grateful for anyone who will take the time to share them. That said, I am surprised that Food52, which is usually an inventive resource has touted and continues to PROMOTE this recipe. I, like many others even cut down on the excessive sugar and coconut oil. Like everyone else, I found it very greasy and overly sweet. Essentially a waste of good ingredients. It also makes me now wary of future Food52 recipes.

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about 1 year ago mary dekleva

Agree Chickenfog. Not only was the amount of sugar disturbing but the oil laden results were just gross.

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about 1 year ago Frances Peets

Made this the other day and was pleasantly surprised. I am not a banana chocolate chip fan. I shaved the chocolate with a knife. I used 3/4 cup w. wheat flour and the rest all purpose as that is all I had in the house. Will definitely make it again. Probably soon for my son's return to Vancouver, Canada in the new year.

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about 1 year ago Chickenfog

I'm wary of 52 recipes now b/c this one clearly is wrong. I have never, ever seen that ratio of sugar to flour in anything. I have no idea how this worked for anyone who followed this recipe. Are these typos??

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about 1 year ago mary dekleva

It shouldn't matter whether the coconut oil is measured in solid or liquid form -- a tablespoon is a tablespoon. There seems to be too much liquid (oil & bananas) to be absorbed by only 1 cup of flour. The moistness should be imparted by the bananas but this was "heavy" with oil. Similarly, the ripe bananas are sweet & 2 1/4 or even 2 c. of sugar is overkill. The measurements as given won't allow for a cake-like texture or snack cake.

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about 1 year ago cstutz

I used the coconut oil in a solid state, and worried about how it would melt into the batter. I stopped at about 10 tbs. and used canola oil for the rest. It melted beautifully and makes a crisp edge, which I like. I also cut the sugar a bit and it's still plenty sweet. I was pleasantly surprised by the rich flavor and non-greasy quality. It's definitely moist, but I would not describe it as oily or greasy.

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about 1 year ago ATG117

Hi folks. Just seeing some of these comments. I'm not sure why the recipe hasn't worked out for some and has for others. The only thing I can think to clarify is that the coconut oil should be measured from a solid state. If you're worried about sweetness, It sounds like knocking the brown sugar down to 2 C works (i already decreased it from the original 21/2, but this is a sweet recipe). Otherwise, it was tested by me, adapted from a NYT recipe, and presumably tested by Food52, since sadly that photo you see is not one I took. Wish I could trouble shoot more, but I'm just not sure why people have had such different results. It has always worked deliciously for me.

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about 1 year ago cstutz

I made this last night and it is AMAZING!

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about 1 year ago mary dekleva

It's baking as I type. It smells like an overly sweet coconut candle. Unfortunately, I didn't read the comments prior to making this, otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted the good (costly) ingredients as Wisdm stated. From the start, lining the pan with parchment paper didn't seem right since the pan is higher than a cookie sheet. I don't understand how this horrible recipe is a community pick & entered in a contest. Is it because the ingredients sound good together?! Not based on the actual outcome?! I've thrown away several baking "recipes" by bloggers who create their own recipes. There's always too much of one ingredient & it turns out horrible (ends up in the garbage). Needless to say, I don't trust this site for recipes since they don't seem to be tested before they're posted.

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about 1 year ago Mae F

This is so decadent, I love it! The only modification I made was to use 2 cups of brown sugar instead of 2 1/4 cups, and it came out perfectly. I really like the use of coconut oil in this recipe, and I didn't think it was greasy. Thanks for sharing!

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about 1 year ago Wisdm

ugh, i just made and ate some these and i feel sick to my stomach. i reviewed the comments below before making these, so i only used 2 cups of brown sugar and halved the coconut oil to about 6 tablespoons (because 12 HAS to be a typo, yes?), and they STILL came out super sweet and WAY too greasy. so disappointed in wasting good ingredients on this. i really suggest other would be bakers to find something else to curb their cravings or GREATLY modify this recipe before attempting.

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about 1 year ago Salvegging

This looks wonderful and fragrant. Does anyone know if subbing the all purpose flour for almond flour would work? I suspect reducing the oil would be key then, but does anyone know by how much?

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over 1 year ago farida kee

I followed the recipe to the "T"---but my "cake" came out soaking in oil!What went wrong?

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over 1 year ago Katie Z.

Made this yesterday with mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups instead of chocolate chips (somehow, I was out of them!). Turned out delicious, but I might reduce the brown sugar next time. They came out VERY sweet, and moist to the point of being difficult to transport. The sugar caramelized at the edges, though, which was super yummy!

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over 1 year ago Rivka

Nice riff on the original recipe!

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over 1 year ago Ana

Is it possible to substitute the coconut oil for olive oil or any other kind of oil?

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over 1 year ago ATG117

You could substitute for oil, but the end product may be oily to the touch. You'll also lose the coconut flavor, which, in my opinion, makes this snack cake so special