I believe those of us who love to cook are deeply generous people – we want to make others happy by sharing the wondrous creations that come out of our kitchens.  We’re hopeless pleasers who fret if we think our food isn’t perfect, because we want others to love our food – and us.  Think about it.  Have you ever met a cook who doesn’t like to share?

That is certainly true for me on Valentine’s Day.  I’m not going to be writing poetry or composing songs to show my love and admiration.  (For this my husband is deeply grateful, I’m sure.) I may wander up to the local card shop later today and find the perfect card from the slightly picked-over racks (gosh, it kinda snuck up on me this year.  Let’s face it, it always does.) But I’m definitely going to be baking a little something for breakfast in bed.  Something with chocolate and walnuts… served with piping hot coffee.

Today, my Valentine was treated to this Chocolate-Banana Walnut Crumb Cake, a slight variation from a recipe found in Ina Garten’s most recent book, Make it Ahead.  I tinkered with the recipe a bit – with my husband’s tastes in mind – because he is a guy who loves banana walnut bread.  And loves it even more if chocolate is involved.  As I write this, I think he’s on his third piece.  So I suspect he’s feeling loved and appreciated.

As I was assembling the ingredients before dawn this morning, I realized how many of my most-loved, most-shared recipes are variations on Ina’s. You know the oft-asked question: “If you could have dinner with any person, who would it be?”  Ina would be on my list.  I’d have her bring the cosmos, and we’d talk about butter, brownies and that kitchen-in-a-barn she built in her back garden.


So dear readers, because I’m a gal who loves to share, I’m going to give away a copy of Ina’s latest book.  I think it is one of my favorites – as making dishes ahead is one of my go-to cooking strategies.  It’s the least I can do to say “thank you” to you wonderful readers… who continually make my days with your support and comments.

Here is the deal.  You have three chances to enter the giveaway:

I’m sorry, but you must be a resident of the United States or Canada to enter.  Entries close at midnight on Wednesday, February 18th, and I’ll choose a winner on Thursday the 19th.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day – love to all, mb


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Banana-Walnut Crumb Cake and a Giveaway
  • For the cake:
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 mashed bananas (you can mash them on a cutting board with a fork)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • for the streusel topping:
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 square baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on low, beat in the egg, vanilla, sour cream and mix until combined.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. When just combined, add the ½ cup walnuts.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  5. For the streusel, all all the ingredients but the walnuts together in the bowl of the standing mixer, and mix until a crumbly topping forms. Sprinkle it evenly over the top of the batter, then sprinkle the walnuts on top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm.

Adapted, just barely, from Make it Ahead by Ina Garten

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30 Responses to "Chocolate Banana-Walnut Crumb Cake and a Giveaway"
  1. pat kutzbach says:

    Just discovered your blog and love it!

  2. Kirsten Deacon says:

    This is a awesome giveaway. I truly hope to win! 🙂

  3. Loretta says:

    Wonderful giveaway – I do so love Ina’s recipes too and that book will surely grace my kitchen recipe collection if I win :). Make ahead is the name of my game too, I’m a great one for preparing as much as I can ahead of time, especially when company arrives. Your cake looks lovely, and just in time for V-Day!

  4. Carole says:

    Love your blog and I have been a long time fan of Ina’s. Would love to have her new book!!

  5. Barbara says:

    I,too, adore Ina and her recipes. Love the simplicity and how delicious everything is. Her book would be a great addition to my collection.
    And, yes, I would definitely invite her to dinner to talk about brownies and her kitchen-barn. It rocks!

  6. sue obryan says:

    Yes I do know people who are funny like that . . . not liking to share what they’ve cooked . . . . bugs me! This crumb cake you’ve made is awesome, awesome, awesome! I love Ina’s books and find that her recipes are totally fail-proof. Thank you for bringing this cake to Fiesta Friday this week!

  7. suzanne says:

    What a gorgeous cake, thank you for bringing and sharing with us. I also love Ina and her recipes. Great giveaway!!

  8. Susan Christy says:

    YUM – I don’t think I’ve ever made an Ina Garten recipe.

    • mb says:

      Oh Susan, you must go to the Food Network website and start exploring her recipes – she is amazing!

  9. Carroll says:

    I recently found your blog and added it to my favourites as well made the Butter Chicken recipe you had posted, which was delicious! I will be making this cake later today, thanks!

  10. Not hard to leave a comment with a crumb cake of this quality. I am very food of chocolate and banana together. I think you have a better balance of the two than I have in my recipe.

  11. Lindsey F says:

    Oh, MB, this looks like heaven! I finally bought a KitchenAid (made in Michigan!) and am going to be all about the cakes when our heavy baggage arrives. I am loving your blog. Feels like you’re in the same room! Come for a visit- research, you know! xoxo

    • mb says:

      Oh Lindsey – I would love to come for a visit! I love your corner of the world 🙂 And yes, I definitely need to do more research on manchego cheese and tapas! Thanks so much for stopping by – hugs to all!

  12. I just stumbled across your blog (think you commented on something on Shutterbean) and wanted to say hello as I love it! I’m a fellow DC-based blogger and love finding other food and recipe lovers out there. Your blog’s name also caught my eye as I just posted a Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake today. Bourbon’s not one of my favorite drinks, but it is delicious in baked goods. Your cake here looks equally delicious…the photographs are beautiful, too! Anyway…just wanted to say hello and that I like what you do!

  13. Amy L says:

    I Love Ina Garten! I’ve tried many of her recipes and they are pretty much always good and not too complicated. I would love to have this cookbook . Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  14. Amy L says:

    I follow you on Instagram

  15. Julia says:

    Yum! Just discovered your blog while looking for something I can make with ingredients from the pantry. We’re snowed in, and I’ve got cabin fever which is propelling me into the kitchen!

  16. Carolsue says:

    Oh, wow! This sounds so good! I’d love to win this cookbook and try some of the recipes.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  17. Carolsue says:

    I follow you on Instagram as cezovski9

  18. Carolsue says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  19. I adore cakes like this, they are so perfect for snacking on and to be honest I snack on them a bit to often! This looks so yummy. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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