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Brazilian Banana Cake - Cuca de Banana



Cuca de Banana

Marian Blazes

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 layer 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 very ripe (almost black) bananas, plus 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 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



  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Peel and slice the 2 ripe bananas into very thin slices and set aside.
  4. Mash the 4 very ripe bananas in a small bowl.  Add the oil, water, eggs, and vanilla and whisk to mix well.
  5. In a large bowl, ,whisk all of the dry ingredients together.
  6. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  7. Place the batter into the prepared pan. Layer the banana slices on top of the batter, then sprinkle the crumb mixture over the banana slices.
  8. 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.
  9. Remove cake and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove ring and serve warm or at room temperature.
  10. Cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.


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