Crumb Topped Banana Muffin Cake

*Crumb Topped Banana Muffin Cake*
Serves 12

This cake smells heavenly when it is baking.  Full of moist banana flavour and topped with a deliciously crunchy topping it is a real family pleaser.  The riper and darker the banana, the better the cake!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup packed soft light brown sugar
1 TBS plain flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBS cold butter
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/gas mark5.  Lightly grease and flour a 9 inch spring form pan with removable sides.  Set aside.  Make the topping by stirring together the flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Rub in the cold butter until crumblly and then stir in the chopped nuts.  Set aside until needed.

Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix together the mashed bananas and the sugar, stirring to mix them well together.  stir in teh beaten egg, melted butter and the vanilla.  Pour the wet ingredients into the sifted dry ingredients and then fold together carefully, making sure to moisten all the dry ingredients, but taking care not to mix too thoroughly.  The mixture should be somewhat lumpy.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan and then sprinkle the reserved topping evenly over top.  Place in the heated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until nicely risen and browned and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about ten minutes before removing the sides to allow it to cool completely.  It is really lovely served warm with some cold vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.  If anything it's flavour improves every day upon standing and it gets even moister!

Note - You can add a cup of chocolate chips to the batter if you wish, in which case it becomes Banana Chocolate Chip Cake!!