Pumpkin Banana Breakfast Cake

Confession: I don’t own a whisk.

Pumpkin Banana Breakfast Cake // The Pancake Princess

Or a loaf pan. Or a full set of measuring spoons (they keep getting eaten by the disposal).

I do, however, own about five spatulas, two cupcake pans, a mini muffin pan AND one of those giant cupcake molds, an ice cream maker, Chinese soup spoons that I’ve used approximately never, and a tortilla press, but that’s a different story.

pumpkin banana breakfast cake

Why the lack of whisk? Because when at the store, I always decide, without fail, that $5 is just too much for a contraption that is a huge pain to clean. And then when I’m at home in the middle of a recipe cursing my cheapness/laziness, I find that a fork will often do just fine. (Erik does not understand this. Hence the difficulty in shopping for men. They tend to buy what they want, when they want it. But I say why be sensible when you can be indecisive?!)

The lack of loaf pan is more problematic. This weekend, I intended to bake a show-stopping pumpkin loaf only to realize, once I had ingredients strewn all over my counter, that the loaf pan I meant to borrow from Erik was still sitting in his kitchen cupboard. I blame this on residual haze from our Scandal marathon. (Erik somehow got hooked this weekend and ditched his finance papers to watch a full season in two days. And I just found out that season 3 starts in. Four. Days. EEEEEEE!!!!) So I made cake instead.

pumpkin banana breakfast cake

Between the upcoming Scandal premiere and this cake—oh, this cake—today is a pretty fantastic day. This cake is STUFFED with good stuff. Pumpkin is the basis for all things delicious, and the entire loaf is sweetened with just two bananas and some maple syrup. It uses whole wheat flour but you can’t even really tell because oat flour and a ream of spices distract you with insane tenderness and warmth. Because it’s cake and not just a loaf, it needed something on top. This streusel ended up more like a granola that crumbled off enthusiastically, so I recommend smashing it into the cake a bit pre-baking so to reduce the amount of free-falling crumbs. Or if you want a crumbier streusel, use more oat flour and less rolled oats.

pumpkin banana breakfast cake

It bakes up into a beautiful muted-orange loaf that is irresistibly soft and kind of crazy dense, but fluffy at the same time. You know what I mean. It’s not dense like a brownie, it’s just pretty dense cake that’s so moist it’ll practically stick to your mouth. And it has a crunchydelicious topping! The best kind. AND it’s pretty much completely guilt-free. I mean, do you even want to think about eating anything else for breakfast right now?

Pumpkin Banana Breakfast Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16 pieces

Serving Size: 1 2-inch piece

Calories per serving: 135

Fat per serving: 5.8g

Crazy dense and almost stick-to-your-mouth moist, this spiced breakfast cake is sweetened only with bananas and a touch of maple syrup with an oat-filled, granola-like topping. Healthy yet decadent-tasting, this makes for a perfect fall breakfast eaten with a side of yogurt!


  • For the cake:
  • ¾ cup oat flour (you can grind 3/4 cup rolled oats into flour using a food processor)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon (alternatively, you can use 2-3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves

  • 2 medium bananas (1 scant cup--use less banana for a more pronounced pumpkin flavor)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup*
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons molasses (optional, for more flavor)

  • For the streusel:
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, ground into flour
  • 1/3 c. rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons oat flour
  • ½ tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8x8” pan.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mashed bananas, pumpkin, oil, syrup, vanilla, milk and molasses, if using. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Scrape the batter (it will be thick!) into the pan, rinse out and dry your bowl and make the streusel.

Add all streusel ingredients to the bowl and stir until everything is evenly coated. Sprinkle the mixture over the cake and press it lightly into the batter using your hand. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back lightly under your finger instead of sinking in. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Store leftover cake in a refrigerated, sealed container. Leftovers will keep well for at least four days. I found that the banana flavor mellowed a bit while the overall flavor seemed to become more pronounced as time went on--I actually liked the three pieces I found in Erik's fridge four days later almost better than the cake fresh out of the oven!


*This cake is very lightly sweetened to make it breakfast appropriate; if you want it sweeter, increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup or more (you can taste the batter!).

For a less granola-like topping, I would reduce the amount of rolled oats and increase the amount of oat flour until it reaches your desired consistency (I might try 1/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup oat flour).

If you don't have oat flour and don't want to grind your own, you can sub additional wheat flour or likely another type such as buckwheat or spelt.

I used olive oil because I don't like using really processed oils, but you can easily sub canola or vegetable oil as well. You can't taste the olive oil at all, in case you were wondering.

Adapted from here.


pumpkin banana breakfast cake

PS. With the rest of your can of pumpkin, you might want to whip up something else…

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes: no eggs or butter needed for these thick and fluffy pancakes!

Vegan Pancakes, two ways // The Pancake Princess















Pumpkin pie-stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes

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Pumpkin Scones

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Pumpkin Muffins

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The Best Pumpkin PancakesOne of my all-time favorites!

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Pumpkin Bread

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52 thoughts on “Pumpkin Banana Breakfast Cake

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  2. Jody

    Could I prep this the night before (leaving the topping off until morning) then throw it in the oven in the morning??? Thanks, can’t wait to make this!

    1. erika Post author

      Hi Jody–so sorry for my late reply, but you could definitely do that! Hope it turns out well for you if you try it!!

  3. Kelly

    Moist is right… unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy the texture of this cake. I wish it had a little bit more of a crumb to it. But if that is what you intended, it was bang on. Sadly I wasn’t a fan…

    1. erika Post author

      Sorry to hear that, Kelly! Thanks for leaving your feedback in case anyone else is thinking about making this but is not a fan of super moist cake :) Have you tried Sally’s Baking Addiction’s pumpkin bread? You would probably love it! I also have another pumpkin bread recipe in the archives that is bit less healthy, but with a significantly better crumb, if you’re in the mood for a splurge :)

  4. Kelsey

    I just made this recipe this afternoon and it was fabulous! I bookmarked a ton of your recipes, and this is the first one that I’ve tried, and it was so dense and moist and delicious!! I’m going to college for dietetics, so needless to say I’ve always been into eating healthy, and I was thrilled to find your blog. Even though he was already extremely health-conscious, my father was recently diagnosed with late staged cancer, so all all-purpose flours and regular sugar have been banned from my parents home, so it was nice to be able to bake this for him when I came home for break. The only substitute that I made was stevia for the turbinado sugar, but other than that no changes at all whatsoever and it was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much! xo

    1. erika Post author

      Ahhh Kelsey, so glad to hear you liked it!! I’m so sorry to hear about your father–but I love that you were able to make this for him. Thank YOU for making my day :)

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    1. erika Post author

      See, I would totally do that except I LOVE eating loaf slices. It’s just so satisfying to eat the top crust part…and then the rest of the crust…and then the middle. Sigh. I’m weird. But I love it.

  11. Alicia

    I love that you don’t own a full set of measuring cups and your baking still turns out perfect every single time. How I envy you. :) And I must say–pleasantly surprised at how low calorie these are! I must try them.

    1. erika Post author

      Thanks lady–you are so sweet! I know, I was pretty excited that this cake was *relatively* healthy and low-cal–it IS very lightly sweetened though, so if you want CAKE cake, I would up the sweetener slightly :)

  12. Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile

    Oh my gosh Erika! This is brilliant. I bet this cake is super moist from the pumpkin and banana and anytime cake is for breakfast is a good time 😉 I’ve been eating loads of pumpkin recently and strangely enough, I made a similar dish yesterday. It still involves pumpkin but it’s baked pumpkin spice oatmeal! It’s funny how we made similar things around the same time.

  13. Abbie @ Needs Salt

    well hey – cake trumps loaf any day, right? especially when you can eat it for breakfast. *gasp* scandalous!
    this recipe looks awesome; would you please ship a piece to my house overnight so I can have some with my tea in the morning? haha.

    1. erika Post author

      Yes definitely!! I totally would…I have like a quarter of the pan in my freezer (to prevent myself from eating it all at once). Too bad we’re not neighbors!

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  15. Two Red Bowls

    I’m speechless over these bars. They look SO, so good. Both pumpkin AND banana?! I can’t even. I can’t. I need to make these ASAP.

    And I also don’t own a loaf pan! I want to make raisin cinnamon bread but… how… And banana bread, and zucchini bread, and. We clearly need to get those for ourselves. (Though I think these bars you made are prettier this way, personally!) But I’m with you on the whisk! I have one because I felt like I should, but I almost never use it — always the handy dandy fork. Glad to know that I’m not alone!

    PS Hahaha I died when I read that you have Chinese soup spoons that you never use!! I always think to myself that I should get some … so now I guess I know not to.

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  17. Laura Dembowski

    Oh, this looks so wonderfully moist and tasty! Love the topping and that it’s pretty healthy! I do love my whisk, but agree that a lot of time other tools can do the job just as well.

    1. erika Post author

      Thanks Laura!! Just when I was thinking what a loser I was for not having a whisk, you come along. It’s totally true that other tools can do the same job! Thanks for stopping by, it’s been so long!

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  19. Lynna

    I HATE cleaning my whisk too, but I own a lot of pans. Haha, I just couldn`t stop myself! This does look a perfect breakfast to eat this season!

    1. erika Post author

      Oh me too, me too. I own a LOT of kitchen supplies…except for a whisk! And yes, this cake tasted like the epitome of fall to me :)

  20. Kelly

    Hehe, I was the same and used a fork for a while and then totally caved and ended buying a whisk. Great investment and I use it most of the time now. This pumpkin cake looks so good! Especially love the oat streusel topping!:)

  21. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    That’s it! A whisk (or mixer) for birthday gift, lolz. But I agree, I still use a fork or wooden spoon to mix my batter. Simply put, it’s just more effective, in my opinion. But you made it look b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. Well done, sista!

    1. erika Post author

      I know!! Sadly another birthday has passed without a whisk in my hand :( I’m glad I’m not the only one who stirs batters with forks!! :)

  22. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    My husband totally wishes I had your issue with buying overpriced kitchen ware. If it’s for my kitchen, I’m buying it, lol. Thus I have like, five whisks in my drawer, a zillion rubber spatulas, bowls, wooden spoons and almost every cake pan imaginable. Get thee to a kitchen supply store stat and fill your cupboards! Despite your lack of a loaf pan, this cake in a square pan looks incredible – we’re talking ridiculously moist with a dense crumb. And everything is made better with a streusel topping.

    1. erika Post author

      Nancy, I’m normally totally like that!…with everything else. You should see me in Home Goods…I could spend all.day there. I honestly don’t know why I cannot just bring myself to buy a whisk. But thanks girl :)

  23. Sockmonkeys Kitchen

    Oh this sounds wonderful!
    Love your writing style, too. PS: go get the whisk. Really! Super easy to clean – draw some hot water in the sink, add a bit of dish soap and whisk away. You’ll have a clean whisk, and a place for your dirty dishes to soak while you’re making your next recipe 😉

    1. erika Post author

      Oh that’s smart. I am the worst at washing dishes though, for serious. Ugh. It really doesn’t make any sense why I haven’t gotten one yet lolol. But thanks girl!


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