The Barefoot Contessa Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake That ‘Actually Gets Better’ Sitting in the Fridge, According to Ina Garten

Ina Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake gets better with time. Yes, really. The celebrity chef once explained that a little time in the fridge does the Barefoot Contessa chocolate cake good. So head to the kitchen and don’t worry about having to eat the cake immediately. Although — spoiler alert —based on Garten’s initial taste test, it probably won’t last long.

Ina Garten couldn’t get enough Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake during recipe testing

Ina Garten smiles as she looks on
Ina Garten | Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake passed the test of all tests, the taste test. Recipe testing is serious business for the Barefoot Contessa. And, hey, someone has to do it? 

Garten has a lengthy recipe testing process that involves developing and fine-tuning dishes in the “barn” — the same one where Barefoot Contessa’s filmed — at her home in East Hampton, New York. 

After she’s created a dish, she gives the recipe to her assistant to try out on their own. 

When Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake went through the Barefoot Contessa recipe testing process it was a hit. 

“When we tested this recipe, we all couldn’t stop eating it! The combination of banana, chocolate, and streusel is irresistible,” Garten wrote in her Make It Ahead Barefoot Contessa cookbook.

The Barefoot Contessa cake gets moister in the fridge

There’s a reason Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake is a make-ahead recipe. It has to do with what Garten learned at her Barefoot Contessa store.

“When you are making a pound cake or banana cake,” she once told The Kitchn, “if you wrap it well and refrigerate it, it gets moister. It actually gets better!”

So go ahead and make Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake the night before a dinner party, or just because, and prepare to bite into a seriously moist cake.

How to make Ina Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake

Now for how to make the Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Banana Crumb Cake. According to Garten’s recipe instructions seen on Make It Ahead page 261, it starts like any other cake recipe. The Food Network star prepares the wet and dry ingredients while the oven heats to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Using a standing mixer, one of the gadgets Garten has in her kitchen, she creams together butter and sugar. Once it’s light and fluffy she scrapes down the bowl with a spatula. 

Then she slowly incorporates an egg, mashed banana, vanilla extract (Garten prefers homemade or Nielsen-Massey), and sour cream. At this point, as Garten noted in her recipe instructions, the mixture might appear curdled, and that’s OK. 

Next are the dry ingredients. She sifts together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt before slowly adding the mixture to the wet ingredients. Once combined, Garten puts the cake batter in a baking pan. 

In a separate bowl, Garten makes a streusel topping with sugar, butter, and spices. After incorporating chocolate into the mix she crumbles the streusel topping over the batter. Following a sprinkling of sliced almonds, the cake goes into the oven. 

Approximately 45 minutes later Garten’s Chocolate Banana Crunch Cake is done and ready to be served. 

RELATED: Ina Garten’s ‘All-Time Favorite’ Pumpkin Dessert Is a Barefoot Contessa Classic