Banana, Coconut, Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

June 13, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 55 min


  • 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)
In This Recipe


  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.

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Reviews (82) Questions (3)

82 Reviews

krikri August 22, 2017
I also halved the brown sugar, had too little coconut oil left so topped it up with butter - total about 9Tbsp, but I'm not sure because some of it was leftover filling from hardlikearmour's Danish Kringle! There were almonds in the filling so I added more, a third banana, chocolate, and toasted coconut. Sounds kitchen-sink-ish but we liked it! The result was very moist, partly due to the 3rd banana, but certainly not too sweet. In fact I was inspired by Jenny's mention of glaze and poured a bit on top when serving (also leftover from the Kringle)! I'll obviously never repeat my serendipitous version but would make it again!
erin February 5, 2017
Like most commenters, I halved the sugar. I also replaced the suggested 10tbs of coconut oil with 4tbs oil and 4tbs yoghurt, as I felt 8tbs total liquid would be plenty (it was). Note these changes were made not because of sugar- or fat-phobia but just because two cups of sugar would be too sweet for my taste, and I like the texture yoghurt gives. Lacking the right-sized pan, I divided the mixture into a regular-sized muffin tray (greased and floured, not lined) and wound up with 12 good-sized mini-cakes. Eating the first one now and it's absurdly good.
Alice March 26, 2017
Hi Erin, I went with your version and made 4 "testers" something seems to be wrong with mine I wonder if you can help identify what it is, the only difference is that I used about a fifth of the original recipe's sugar and added about 3 tablespoons of maple syrup ( I ran out of dark brown sugar ), the mix was really liquid is that normal? Then I baked them for about 35 mins which was too long as they burned slightly and also stuck to the cupcake papers. 😕
Alice March 26, 2017
I just tried another test round this time without the cupcake papers but in a greased/buttered and floured cupcake tin as you did and also filled almost to the top and I baked them for 25mins on a lower heat. They are absurdly good! 😃
erin March 26, 2017
I was just about to reply saying skip the liners and bake for less time! I'm so glad it worked - I was feeling guilty! Glad you enjoyed.
Alice March 29, 2017
oh no I knew it was something I had done wrong and just needed your expertise to show me 😅 Would you happen to have a similar recipe in a carrot cake style?
erin March 29, 2017
I'm by no means an expert, just lucky with my fiddling in this instance. I do have an extremely reliable carrot cake recipe adapted from an allrecipes one. Not as dense as these, but tender and not overly sweet. Beat 1 cup sugar (I use muscavado) with two eggs. Beat in 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/3 cup plain yoghurt and a few drops of vanilla essence. Stir in 1 cup flour (up to 1/2 cup of this can be wholewheat) with 1 tsp each baking soda and baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and generous sprinkles of your favorite ground spices - I go heavy on cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and nutmeg. Finally stir in two cups of coarsely grated carrots (about two medium carrots) and a handful of chopped walnuts and/or golden raisins. Bake as muffins or a cake, medium oven.
Alice March 30, 2017
Lovely, that sounds like my kind of carrot cake 😋 I can imagine the wholewheat addition and spices must make for a lovely warming flavour. Thank you very much Erin I'm going to try it today. I would like to try it with coconut oil and maple syrup though, just to try to keep on the slightly healthier side of cakes 😅
Sera L. October 13, 2016
Ditto on the sugar - 2 cups totally unnecessary. 1 cup is perfectly fine and is plenty sweet. I added toasted almonds and also put it in a 9x9 pan...thanks to the reviewer who suggested that :-)
HalfPint August 8, 2016
Made these with the changes suggested in other comments: 1/2 the brown sugar, 1/2 cup (8TBs) coconut oil. It's lovely. Not too sweet. Deliciously moist. I added chopped dates and dark chocolate chips. I also put all the batter in a 9x9 pan since others were saying that it was rather thin and cooked really quickly. It took ~55 minutes to bake. There isn't any leavening in this, so I didn't expect or get any sort of a rise. Still really scrumptious. I found this easier to make and far more interesting than banana bread.
Jaclyn D. July 27, 2016
I want to try making these this weekend. Any suggestions for making them GF?
Amelia G. February 18, 2016
I just made these and mine came out completely flat! Is that normal?
jenny January 26, 2016
These are delicious! My coconut oil was liquid in the jar and I used 100ml. Next time I would cut down on sugar as they really were very sweet. I decorated mine a little with a glaze and some toasted & shredded coconut. Yummy recipe, thanks :-)
Ida-Maria S. September 26, 2015
I absolutely love these. I cut down a bit on the sugar and the oil, as others have suggested. The one thing that confuses is the baking time. Mine are always done after 20-25 minutes...
Mallory June 30, 2015
These are amazing! They've turned out great every time I've made them. Except for the time I dropped the whole pan on the floor. That wasn't great. A couple times, I had to substitute granulated white sugar due to a lack of brown sugar, but they were still delicious.
lizykat June 6, 2015
Made this today. LOVED IT!! I made it w/o changes however I printed this 3-2014 and now I see slight change to brown sugar and coconut oil amounts. I was wondering if anyone else had sub'd part of the AP flour for WW pastry.. I will make again with corrected amounts b4 changing anything else. Kinda hard to comment on a recipe if I change too much of the original. My only issue was I didn't cook it long enough, but I love me a dense slightly soggy cake anyway...:}
A L. May 22, 2015
I have always melted the coconut oil before measuring, unless the recipe author says not to do so.
Author Comment
ATG117 June 11, 2015
The coconut oil was measured from a solid state, which is how mine keeps at room temperature.
Debbie May 22, 2015
I am new to cooking with coconut oil, so I am not sure if I am supposed to melt it first to use in this recipe. Looking forward to your response, I can't wait to make this cake.
Author Comment
ATG117 June 11, 2015
It should be measured in a solid state, not melted. Sorry for the confusion.
Heather P. March 22, 2015
has anyone converted this recipe for weight measurement? if yes, I'd love to have it. thanks!!!
A L. March 2, 2015
So, if you're trying this recipe for the first time, you might want to read the comments. I didn't. I just looked at the recipe and decided to make half in an 8x8. I also generally reduce the oil and sugar in recipes and use a mix of flours plus some ground golden flaxseed to make things healthier. So, just as a reminder, my changes are for half a batch in an 8x8 pan: I reduced the coconut oil (4T rather than 5T). I used 3 oz brown sugar (rather than a full 1/2 C). I used 1 1/4 oz mix of AP and White whole wheat and 1/2T+ of ground flax seed. Because I wanted more of a snack cake, I added 1/4 tsp baking powder. The result was a very thin cake-like cookie. If I were to do this again, and I might, I would go ahead and double the ingredients and use the 8x8 pan. I didn't realize it was going to be so thin. The author does say that these are based from a Blondie recipe and so one should expect them to be more like a cookie. However, I think the addition of the baking powder gave it a cake-like texture. So, that's what I'd recommend to anyone who wants more of a snake cake.
gingerbi February 24, 2015
I baked this snack cake for the valentines day party. Everyone loved it. The aroma was too good. Thank You so much for posting this wonderful recipe.
bsturt January 26, 2015
I made these over the weekend. The only change I made was swapping butter for the coconut oil. Great flavor, easy to make. My husband and I love them! Thanks for the great recipe.
Stacey January 18, 2015!!! I made them exactly as written. I only wish I'd read the comments again (I'd pinned this recipe to "try later"). I will lower the coconut oil next time. But the flavor... oh my! Thank you for sharing these little slices of heaven!
Author Comment
ATG117 June 11, 2015
Thanks! Glad you liked it.
Emily J. January 4, 2015
I made this twice because I was tired of the same old banana bread recipes and I had 5 super ripe ready to throw away bananas in the fridge. I made these prior to reading the comments. I agree with a lot that has been said. While making these as is would be "successful", I recommend adjusting to your tastes based on what has been said. I bake a lot so I have a lot of experience. As I read the ingredients when I made them, I thought to myself this is way too much oil and sugar for the proportion of ingredients so I cut the sugar in half but kept the oil. I planned to make 2 versions, testing out butter v. coconut oil. The first batch I modified by using 3 small super ripe bananas, 8 Tbsp butter + 2 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 c dark brown sugar, loosely packed, reduced salt to 1/4 tsp, omitted the coconut, and plus all the other ingredients it called for. Yes, it came out very oily and still extremely sweet for my tastes (American baked goods are usually way too sweet for me) but still very delicious. The next batch I modified it more just for fun - reduced to 1/2 c tightly packed light brown sugar, reduced to 8 Tbsp coconut oil, increased to 1 + 1/3c flour, reduced salt to 1/2 tsp omitted the vanilla extract and semi-sweet chocolate chips, added cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger. It turned out really really nice, not too sweet, still moist & flavorful. I loved the coconut oil and I'll be using that instead of butter. It's so moist but doesn't feel super rich. I am happy they posted this recipe but surprised at the sugar & oil proportions. I will be modifying this some more but I'm so thankful I came across it.
Violet U. November 21, 2014
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!
Author Comment
ATG117 December 1, 2014
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you liked them!
KitchenKim November 15, 2014
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?
Author Comment
ATG117 November 17, 2014
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.