Banana Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel

Yes, this banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel is as delicious as it sounds! Soft banana cake + sweet cream cheese filling + buttery streusel!

Piece of banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel on white plate with bite taken out.

When it comes to putting bananas in food, there are healthy recipes and, you know, not so healthy recipes. What do we learn from this? Adding bananas may not classify something instantly as health food, but it sure adds deliciousness. 

Over here in the land of Mel Makes And Eats Banana Desserts (MMAEBD), this banana cream cheese coffee cake might be the winner of them all. It is insanely delicious. And a total showstopper. 

It’s soft and tender banana cake + sweetened cream cheese layer + buttery streusel + chocolate chips. Come on, you guys. It’s so good!

Top down view of baked banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel.

Brown Bananas

As with any good banana recipe, it all starts with the quality of bananas. And I’m not talking about how much you pay for them. I’m talking about what they look like!  

Yellow bananas or yellow-greenish bananas might be good for eating (yes, I’m one of those that likes them with an ever so slight green tinge when eating them straight up).

But for baking? You want them brown and spotty. Brown and spotty bananas ripening for destruction. You want those ones. They add more flavor and more sweetness.

Brown speckled bananas

Banana Cake

The foundation of this banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel is…cake! Pretty obvious. 

But it’s also pretty important. The banana cake is so soft, so flavorful, and so moist and tender.

In fact, it would be delicious on its own as a go-to banana cake recipe. Frost that baby with some cream cheese frosting, and wow. Just promise you’ll return to this idea of a cream cheese layer and streusel at some point. 

Mixing ingredients for banana cream cheese coffee cake in glass bowl.

The one-bowl batter for this cake is ultra simple. Butter and sugar is creamed together and then mixed with mashed bananas, sour cream + milk (you can sub in buttermilk), eggs and vanilla. 

Toss in the dry ingredients. No need to sift or mix in a separate bowl. 

And mix until just combined. The minute the dry streaks are absorbed into the batter, stop mixing.

Adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients for banana cream cheese coffee cake.

It’s ok if the batter looks slightly lumpy. 

Over mixing the batter means the cake won’t be as soft and tender. So exercise some self-restraint and don’t over mix, ok? 

Mixed banana coffee cake batter.

Cream Cheese Layer

Now we obviously need to get a little stripe of sweetened cream cheese batter in there.

The only real unique part of this cream cheese layer is adding about 1/2 cup of the prepped banana cake batter into the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. 

Doing this gives the cream cheese layer a super soft, velvety texture once it’s baked. 

Mixing cream cheese filling for banana coffee cake.

The size of the pan is important

Spread about half of the banana cake batter into the bottom of a 9X13-inch pan. 

I have only ever made this cake in a metal baking pan with 2-inch sides. I don’t know how a glass or ceramic pan will fare. I usually recommend lowering the oven temp by 25 degrees if using a glass pan.

FAIR WARNING: this bakes up into a very tall cake, so please make sure the sides of your baking pan are at least two inches high and read the note in the recipe below for high altitude baking. I don’t want any overflowing cakes on my conscious. Thankyouverymuch. 

Spreading banana coffee cake batter in metal 9X13-inch pan.

Dollop the cream cheese layer across the top of the cake batter and spread evenly.

You can’t beat the handiness of a small offset spatula for this process. 

Also, I’m not even going to admit to you right now how many small offset spatulas I have currently in my kitchen drawer(s). It’s frightening, slightly alarming, a little pathetic, but also kind of awesome.

dolloping cream cheese filling onto banana coffee cake batterSpreading cream cheese filling into an even layer

Top the cream cheese layer with the remaining banana cake batter and spread evenly.

At this point if you want to get a butter knife and do a little swirly action throughout all the layers, that would not be wrong.

But you can also leave everything in even, flat layers too. 

Adding second layer of banana cake batter on top of cream cheese filling.

Streusel is Life

I’m a huge fan of streusel. Are you? It takes this banana cream cheese coffee cake straight over the top.

And it’s simple. 

  • pecans
  • flour
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • butter

Chocolate chip streusel ingredients

The dreamiest part is that instead of cutting in cold butter to the streusel ingredients, we’re just going to melt that butter and pour it right in.

As you mix, the streusel will form beautiful little clumps just the way it was meant to do. If your butter was really hot when you added it to the streusel, the clumps may not form until the streusel has cooled a bit.

Adding butter to streusel

Crumble the streusel across the top of the cake and sprinkle on the chocolate chips. 

*You can add the chocolate chips to the bowl of streusel and toss it all together. I mean, we are calling this “chocolate chip streusel” after all, but I find it’s easier to add the chocolate chips after the streusel goes on the cake.

Sprinkling streusel onto banana coffee cake batter

Bake the cake until it is golden and domed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Your house is going to smell amazing. You are going to feel amazing. EVERYTHING IS AMAZING! When you make this banana cake.

Baked banana cream cheese coffee cake with streusel.

Let it cool

I personally think this cake tastes best after it has cooled. I kind of feel the same way about banana bread. But if you aren’t put off by warm banana desserts, go ahead and dig right in. 

Also, this cake tastes really delicious the second day. The banana in the batter helps it stay moist and not dry out. 

Piece of banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel on white plate.

The reason the top half of the cake rises higher (even though the batter is split up evenly) is because it isn’t weighed down by the cream cheese layer. 

Regardless, both of the banana cake layers are fluffy, soft, and delicious. 

And that beautiful cream cheese layer is absolutely divine. 

Taking a bite out with a fork of a piece of banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel on white plate.

I’m honestly not sure what makes a cake a “coffee cake” (I think it might be the streusel topping??). But this is definitely a cake appropriate for everything from snack to dessert to, yes, breakfast. 

Go for it. 

And while this recipe may not be as quick and easy as throw-together banana blender muffins, I very much hope you find a reason and time to make this banana cream cheese coffee cake very soon. 

Piece of banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel on white plate with bite taken out.

One Year Ago: Instant Pot Banana Bread Steel Cut Oats
Two Years Ago: Easy 7-Layer Greek Hummus Dip
Three Years Ago: Rock Salt Roast BBQ Honey Chicken
Four Years Ago: Brownie Pudding
Five Years Ago: Chicken Tikka Pizzas: Another 20-Minute Meal
Six Years Ago: Skillet Butternut Squash, Sausage and Penne Pasta
Seven Years Ago: Chocolate Flan Cake {i.e. Magic Chocoflan!}
Eight Years Ago: Homemade Taco Seasoning

Banana Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel

Yield: 12-15 pieces
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Piece of banana cream cheese coffee cake with chocolate chip streusel on white plate.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons, 6 ounces) butter, softened (I use salted butter)
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 12.75 ounces) mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups (13.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cake batter (reserved from above)
  • 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted (I use salted butter)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch metal pan (with at least 2-inch sides since this cake rises high) with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray (you can also grease the pan without lining with parchment).
  2. For the cake batter, in a large bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer - whisk attachment), beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, bananas, sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix until no dry streaks remain (don't over mix). *Measure out 1/2 cup of cake batter to use in the cream cheese layer.*
  5. For the cream cheese layer, in a medium bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), beat softened cream cheese, the 1/2 cup reserved cake batter, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. For the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the pecans, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon until evenly mixed. Add the melted butter and mix until clumps form.
  7. Spread half of the cake batter evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Dollop the cream cheese batter in big spoonfuls across the cake batter. Spread evenly across the top. Spoon the remaining cake batter across the cream cheese layer and spread evenly. At this point, you can use a knife to lightly swirl the layers together (totally optional).
  8. Sprinkle the streusel evenly across the top of the cake followed by the chocolate chips.
  9. Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely before serving.

Notes

Buttermilk Substitution: 1 1/4 cups buttermilk can be subbed in for the sour cream + milk.

Cake Pan: this makes a very tall cake, so it is important that the sides of the cake pan are at least two inches. If you live at high altitude and have had cakes overflow in the oven before, you may want to decrease the baking soda/baking powder in this recipe or decrease the batter amount just slightly. I live at about 2,500 feet elevation and the cake didn't overflow.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Follow @melskitchencafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: inspired and adapted from this recipe (cake) and this recipe (method) and my own imaginations (cream cheese layer and streusel)