I grew up eating a dessert my mom would make called "Crater Cake." To this day, the smell of it takes me back to being 8 years old, coming home from school to a house filled with the smell of baking cinnamon, bananas, and brown sugar.
It's a SUPER easy cake recipe that anyone can make — it's kind of a mix between banana bread and a more traditional cake. It's got layers of cinnamon, brown sugar, and chocolate chips between the banana bread, and I just know you're going to love it.
The original Crater Cake recipe
The original recipe is from one of the Best of Bridge cookbooks and it never disappoints. I wanted to put my own spin on it, and play around with the recipe a little bit. I haven't change it too much, but I've done little things like add another banana (the more the merrier!).Jump to Recipe
It's a really good Christmas dessert because it can be cut into squares and easily placed on a serving platter. Then, if you're at a holiday party and people are standing around, they can eat it with their hands! Although, napkins are recommended!
Here's a picture I found on Pinterest of the original recipe:
How to make this easy cake recipe
- You'll start by preheating your oven and greasing a 9 x 13 pan. Then, you'll mash your very ripe bananas and beat your eggs (in separate bowls).
- Cream together room temperature butter and sugar with a hand mixer or with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Then add the beaten eggs and beat this mixture until smooth. Add vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix again until nice and smooth.
- Combine the flour, powder, and baking soda. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture, alternating with adding sour cream — I add a scoop of dry mixture, a scoop of sour cream, and keep mixing and repeating until all ingredients are used up!
- Pour half the cake batter into your greased pan. Combine the cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle half the mixture over the batter in pan, then top with half the chocolate chips. Repeat, so you have two layers of cake and two layers of the cinnamon/brown sugar/chocolate (this will be your top layer) so it looks like the above picture when you put it in the oven.
- Bake @ 350 for 50-55 minutes, until the center of the cake is set. The original recipe calls for baking for 45-50 minutes, but this is never enough for me! 55 minutes is always perfect for my cake.
- Let sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. It keeps well on the counter covered in tin foil for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it!
How to serve Crater Cake
Like I said, this cake is perfect for parties because it can be eaten with your hands rather than a fork (although that works too!).
You can cut it into small squares and place them on a serving platter, or cut it while it's still in the pan and bring it warm to a party. It's great at room temperature too, though.
Here we go! This is my take on a great, classic cake recipe.
The Best Easy Cake Recipe: Crater Cake
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 very ripe bananas mashed
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1.5 cups chocolate chips or more, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Cream together room temperature butter and sugar with a hand mixer or with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer. Add beaten eggs and beat this mixture until smooth. Add vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix again until smooth.
- Sift flour, powder, and baking soda. Add this dry mixture to the banana mixture, alternating with sour cream. (I add a scoop of dry mixture, a scoop of sour cream, and keep mixing and repeating until all ingredients are used up)
- Pour half the cake batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Combine cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle half the mixture over batter in pan. Top with half the chocolate chips. Repeat, so you have two layers of cake and two layers of the cinnamon/brown sugar/chocolate (this will be your top layer).
- Bake @ 350 for 50-55 minutes, until the center of the cake is set.
I really think this is the perfect easy cake for ALL occasions — not just Christmas parties! Bring it to showers, birthday parties, or any other celebration and gathering. Or just make yourself a great big pan of it and keep it all to yourself....
Speaking of great party desserts, you might want to check out my raspberry pistachio butter bars too. They're one of my all-time favorites for this time of year!
XO - Chelsea
It’s like banana chocolate chip bread but made even better with cinnamon sugar and extra chocolate.
It’s called UBC Ponderosa cake
Can you divide it and bake it into loaf pans?