Cuca de banana is a treat from Southern Brazil, where German immigrants have left their mark on the local cuisine (read more about German immigration to Brazil here - you can even go to Oktoberfest in the city of Blumenau).This cake has a layers of banana and a rich crumb topping, reminiscent of German streusel cake. The name "cuca" may derive from the German word for cake - kuchen. However it came into being, this cake is delicious, an excellent cross between banana bread and coffee cake.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Yield: 1 large coffee cake
- For the cake:
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 5 ripe bananas
- For the crumb topping:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Butter the sides of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the crumb topping: Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Mix butter into the flour and sugar with your fingers, rubbing the butter and dry ingredients together until the butter is well blended and mixture is crumbly, like a very coarse meal.
- Peel and slice the bananas into 1/4 inch slices and set aside.
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Place the egg whites in a very clean mixer bowl, and beat on high speed until they are stiff enough to form peaks. Remove to a separate bowl and set aside.
- Place the egg yolks and the sugar in the mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well.
- Stir the baking powder and salt into the flour and add to the batter in parts, mixing gently until just mixed.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter with a spatula, until just mixed.
- Place half of the batter into the prepared pan. Layer half of the banana slices on top of the batter, then sprinkle about half of the crumb mixture over the banana slices.
- Spread the remaining batter on top of the first layer. Cover the batter with the remaining banana slices, and top everything off with the remaining crumb mixture.
- Place cake in the oven and bake until the crumb mixture is golden brown and the cake springs back to the touch in the center (or when a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out dry), about 45-50 minutes.
- Remove cake and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove ring and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.