Coffee Cake: Better than Sour Cream

In my last post, I talked about the various changes that are happening in my life these days. Some things, however, remain steadfast and constant, comforting in their resolute resistance to change. Things like the Grand Canyon, which is always a giant gaping chasm in the ground, and also dark chocolate, which is always delicious. Additionally, there is my undying habit of buying some food item I really don’t want or need and then not knowing what to do with it. I don’t do this often, but I do it often enough that I really should know better. Sigh. Maybe I’ll learn one day.

The most recent offender was a tub of Tofutti Better than Sour Cream. I’d never had it before, and one day I went grocery shopping after work but before dinner (MISTAKE MISTAKE MISTAKE), and I was planning on making some sort of burrito dealio, and then I saw the BTSC and couldn’t resist.

And then I tried it and instantly regretted my purchase. Blech – it had no flavor, the consistency was just gross, and after a couple of days, a pool of milky water formed atop the sour cream. Ugh. So the neglected tub sat in my fridge for a couple of weeks while I pretended it wasn’t there. But the thought of letting an entire container of food go to waste because I made a stupid, impulsive purchase kept nagging at me, so I finally decided to do something with it. I figured that hiding it in a baked good was the best solution, and hey – I was right!

Sour cream and bananas... a match made in practically-spoiled-food heaven!

This is Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake. And by “coffee cake,” I obviously mean the East Coast version of coffee cake, which is unashamedly coffee-free. It is, however, the perfect accompaniment for coffee. This cake is definitely one of the best original recipes I’ve created – it’s moist, flavorful, and delicate without being fragile. I was inspired to add a banana when I stumbled across this recipe; I had a very brown banana waiting patiently in my fridge for its chance to shine, and because it had made friends with the similarly-neglected tub of sour cream, I figured I should let their relationship continue in baked-good form. It added just the faintest hint of banana flavor, perfect for a banana-snubber like myself. Intrigued? Well, lucky for you, I wrote down the recipe as I put this together.

Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake
1 very brown banana
1 container Tofutti Better than Sour Cream
1/3 C alt-milk
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 t vanilla
1 T ground flax
1 1/2 C flour of your choice
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
2 t cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350˚F and lightly grease or spray a 9″ x 9″ baking pan.

In a large bowl, mash the banana with the sour cream. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, and flax and mix until well combined. Add all the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter into your pan, pop it into the oven, and wait.

I can’t remember how long this took to bake, but I’d guess it was around 20 minutes. I topped it with a tablespoon of brown sugar and a sprinkling of toasted walnuts, but you could definitely get fancy and whip up a cinnamon-y streusel for the top. Either way, it’ll be delicious!

I should also note that I didn’t use a full container of sour cream, so I upped the milk to 1/2 cup. Your mileage might vary – play around with the liquid content if necessary.

And that, friends, is probably the best use for Better than Sour Cream.

What do you do when you purchase a food item that just doesn’t do it for you?

P.S. I LOVE MY NEW CAMERA. That is all.