Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Super-moist banana bread with a thick cinnamon swirl and topped with vanilla glaze.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread - for those of you who love banana bread and warm, gooey cinnamon rolls!

 Early last week, I picked up a bunch of bananas and anxiously waited for them to turn the perfect shade of speckled brown. Sweet, over-ripened, and practically-rotten bananas are the force behind a spectacular banana bread. When it comes to bananas in banana bread, I like to say… the browner, the better.

Sunday morning, I woke up like a giddy little girl on Christmas morning and popped my head into the kitchen in hopes to find my perfect speckled bananas waiting for me.  I like to stick mine in a brown paper bag to speed up the process. Who has patience?  Not this girl.

Alas, the naners were ready.  50 quick minutes later, a star banana bread was born.

Amazing Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread. Moist, tender, swirled with cinnamon, and topped with vanilla glaze. Recipe: sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is by far the easiest banana bread you’ll ever make. 5 minutes to mix together, pop in the oven, go back to sleep…

…at least that’s what I did. 😉

Soon enough, you’ll be graced with an alluring scent wafting through the house and one fine lookin’ bread ready in the oven.

Easy Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread - a recipe for all of you who love banana bread and warm, gooey cinnamon rolls!

What you’ll love most is that there is only 1/2 stick butter in the entire recipe.  The bread is left moist and tender from the vanilla yogurt and bananas, so there really wasn’t any need for more.

But there’s obviously a need for a sweet heavy cream/powdered sugar glaze. There’s always a need for that. Sure the drippy glaze is drool-worthy, but what I loved most about the banana bread is the pretty little cinnamon ribbon hiding inside.

Amazing Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread. Moist, tender, swirled with cinnamon, and topped with vanilla glaze. Recipe: sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m a true cinnamon fiend and love to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on just about anything these days. A thick layer of the good stuff peeking through the moist banana bread layers is to die for.

Because of the added sweetness in the glaze and cinnamon-sugar layer, I reduced the sugar in the actual bread itself. I don’t enjoy a sugar-bomb banana bread because it takes away from the most important part – the bananas. Unless of course it’s this banana bread.

Today’s bread is unreal. It’s like biting into a huge cinnamon bun but better. A beautiful merging of moist, dense banana bread with sticky, sweet cinnamon rolls.

Amazing Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread. Moist, tender, swirled with cinnamon, and topped with vanilla glaze. Recipe: sallysbakingaddiction.com

Make this now. You’re welcome.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Moist, flavorful banana bread swirled with a thick layer of cinnamon and topped with cream vanilla glaze.

Ingredients:

Banana Bread

  • 2 cups (250g) white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar, not packed
  • 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain or vanilla yogurt (I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Simple Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream (or half-and-half or milk)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with a stand or handheld mixer on medium speed until well blended – about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a wooden spoon, stir in the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix. Batter will be thick.
  3. Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar swirl ingredients. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
  4. While the bread is cooling, make the glaze in a small bowl by combining the powdered sugar and heavy cream. Add more powdered sugar until you reached desired thickness. Drizzle over banana bread. Bread will stay fresh and moist at room temperature for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

 

Here are my favorite banana bread recipes.

 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread

 

White Chocolate Chip Mango Banana Bread

 

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread-7

 

Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread

 

 

268 comments

  1. I don’t normally comment on recipes, but I just wanted to say that this turned out great! I’ve avoided making quick breads in my current oven because the middle never cooks and the top burns. I didn’t have enough banana, so I subbed in half a cup of pumpkin and used a half whole wheat and half all purpose flour, and even with these modifications, it turned out delicious.

    Thank you for giving me hope in making quick breads again! 😀

  2. So bummed. Stopped at the store to get the remaining ingredients to make this and I can’t find my loaf pan…grrrrrrrrr lol. I am going to figure something out as I am so excited to find this recipe.

  3. Anxious to see how this turns out – I doubled it thinking I’d make two, then couldmt find the right loaf pan for the second loaf. Ended up using the whole doubled recipe in a bundt pan instead! Timer is set for 50 minutes, but I’m sure it will take longer than that!

  4. Ok, seriously?! I made this today and it is truly scrumptious. I am training for my 1st 1/2 marathon which is this weekend. I literally have not lost an ounce during my training. I couldn’t figure out why- but then quickly I realized it is because I have been bake training/eating the baking as well with your blog :). Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. Can applesauce be substituted for the yogurt, to add moisture?

  6. I ended up disappointed. I left my bread in for 55 minutes and was gooey around the cinnamon layer 🙁

  7. Love this, i have made this 3 times already! Super yummy! I’m making it again tonight!

  8. Not sure if anyone has asked this already…but can this be made into muffins? Do you have to make any changes to the recipe with ingredients or baking times?

    • I have always made my fruit bread recipes into muffins, we seem to use them up sooner than the bread itself. I just cook them about 20 min less, (depending on your oven) the 1st time check with the toothpick test at about 20 min & every 5 after that & then next time you make them you will know the time to cook them.
      I haven’t made this recipe yet but am sure going to try it when I get some proper coloured bananas!!

  9. This is by far the best banana bread I ever tasted. I didn’t bother with the glaze. It’s plenty sweet without it. It did take about 55 minutes. Janet

  10. Loved the bread, but mine came out gooey in the center also.

  11. Sally, I make this bread all of the time, but I’m out of butter today! Do you think I could swap it for oil?

  12. I just made muffins with this recipe.  I even had enough batter after filling 12 regular muffin cups to fill 6 mini’s.  I didn’t “swirl” the minis, though.
    So quick!  They’re for a graduation breakfast 

  13. I made the cinnamon swirl banana bread just now. It looks and smells great, but it took me more like equal parts powdered sugar and heavy cream to make a glaze. I don’t know how 1 tablespoon would cut it for half a cup of sugar.

  14. I made these as muffins and instead of the icing I put more cinnamon  and sugar on top. They turned out great! Baked for 20 minutes and then yummo!

    • I have made this as muffins…you just need to cut the time in half. Start checking at 20 min. They turned out great. I leave off the glaze because I think it gets too saturated unless they are eaten immediately. I also crush toasted almonds and sprinkle on top. Amazing! I have substituted sour cream for the yogurt because I didn’t have any. Absolutely the best banana bread/muffin recipe around!

  15. Be warned…your bread might stay fresh longer in an airtight container, but it will ruin the glaze!  The glaze will melt/seep into the bread causing it to just be soggy. Glazed breads need air!  I made this bread yesterday and loved the crunchy (maybe not the best description) glaze. I was so disappointed to wake up this morning and see that the glaze had melted and soaked into the bread. It still tastes good though.

  16. Hi Sally,
    It may be due to the pregnancy (I am a whopping 8 1/2 months pregnant, eek!), but I am imagining a warm banana bread with a cinnamon swirl and small chunks of apples and walnuts mixed in. I am in love with your blog and have come to only use your recipes for baking. This is the closest recipe I can find. Do you think adding in apples to the batter would work? I have not experimented with apples much, any suggestions for how I would do this? Would I need to cook them at all first, or would the 50 minutes in the oven be enough? I am also wondering if their density would cause them to sink to the bottom leaving me with a disappointing bread. I may try it either way though, because this baby says that we have to have it.

    (BTW) Thank you for your recipes! I purchased your cookbook a couple of months ago and I love it! I plan to buy a couple more for Christmas presents this year. You are truly talented in baking, but your creative writing style brings your entire blog together. Your recipes have gotten me through two pregnancies and two lonely deployments when baking is the only thing to bring me comfort at 1 am while my sailor is out to sea. 

    Amanda 

    • Amanda, you are so sweet. Thank you so, so much for the wonderful comment. Loved reading it! You should turn to the first recipe in my book. Apple bread! You’d love it. For this banana bread, however, you can absolutely add chopped apples and walnuts. I would add 1 cup diced apples. Do not cook them. You can peel them if you’d like to. I don’t expect them to sink. For walnuts, try to adding around 3/4 cup.

  17. I want to start off and say I absolutely love this recipe! But mine did not turn out like the one in your picture :/ the top of my loaf is like a hard crust with a crack down the center (like an actual loaf of bread) , not soft and moist like yours looks and the inside of the loaf is a lot lighter in color. I measured all the ingredients correctly and my bananas were definitely over ripe, but it did take an additional 20 mins for the tooth pick to come out clean. I always seem to have these issues when I bake banana bread with every recipe I use – I’m always striving for that perfectly dark and moist coffee shop like banana bread like the one in your pictures I wonder what I’m doing wrong?

  18. Yum!!! I added about a 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the cinnamon sugar layer and the cinnamon sugar coated them…such a good idea! Also skipped the glaze because I don’t like the taste of powdered sugar. 

  19. I made this today for teacher gifts and will never make another recipe. This is my official banana bread recipe now. So delicious!  Thank you!

  20. Sally,
    I am such a Fan of your site….my house smells like one of your recipes at least 4 times a week! I love this recipe! I have even poured it into my muffin pans and made amazing muffins which my family loves! 

    Nimiwari

  21. I made this bread for the first time today–hands down one of my favorite banana bread recipes.  I added mini chocolate chips because to my kids it is not banana bread without them.  I have made countless recipes of yours, I love that I am guaranteed a fabulous baked good each time. 

  22. Sally!
    I am a huge fan of your blog and am always trying out your recipes! My family is obsessed! The only problem is I’m allergic to dairy, so sometimes I’ll have to play around with the recipe to make it work for me. Any suggestions on how to make this bread work in my favor?? 

  23. Ha I love that you went back to bed while it baked…sometimes when I have an extra 10 minutes before work I take a nap…#tiredgirlprobs 

    Looks amazing as usual, Sally! 

  24. This bread was absolutely delicious BUT it was mushy in the middle like other people have stated. I baked it 15 minutes longer and it became clear that it was not going to firm up in the middle unless the rest became overdone. Also, I thought the glaze was unnecessary as there’s a lot of sweetness with the swirl. Very moist though and I’ll make again but in a bundt pan.

  25. Hello!  Your write-up mentions you cut down the sugar.  My question is whether that is reflected in the recipe?  I just wasn’t sure if the recipe was the original sugar amount or the reduced?  thank you!

  26. I usually don’t comment on recipes but I just made this and… WOW. So ridiculously good!!! I also made the chocolate zucchini bread last night. (I’m in a baking mood!) and that was also delicious!!! Thanks so much! 

    Side note, for anyone reading, I needed to bake mine for about 55 minutes. I guess my oven is whack. 

  27. Saaalllyyy- OH MY GOODNESS! I’m too excited. About 2 years ago I stumbled across this recipe and made it for my family and they LOVED it soooo much. Being careless, I didn’t save it and couldn’t remember whose recipe I had used. For the last 2 years when I’ve made banana bread trying to duplicate your recipe, my family has consistently said- “it’s ok, but it doesn’t taste like that first one you made.” Well tonight- the moment I saw this recipe I knew this was it! My family confirmed! It’s the best banana bread ever. I add chopped walnuts on top when baking and put a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla in glaze! It’s sooooo good! Thanks for this great recipe. Happy Holidays to you and your family! 

  28. Oh my goodness this looks phenomenal! Perfect for making on a cold day in 🙂

  29. Hey Sally!

    Just curious if you know of a good substitute for the yogurt. I just moved to the Galapagos Islands and apparently plain yogurt is basically not sold anywhere in town (random, but sad nonetheless, as it was easy to find back in the U.S.) Thanks for what I hope to be an amazing recipe. 🙂

  30. Made this yesterday in two 7*3.5 inch pans and it took the same amount of time to bake as one bigger loaf according to the recipe. I subbed organic whole wheat pastry flour and used home made plain yogurt which wasn’t as thick at store-bought Greek.

    I skipped the glaze and it still turned out great.

    The only thing was that the cinnamon swirl was a little crunchy in one of the loaves.. which is not exactly great texture inside a banana bread. I wonder if this happened with anyone else’s bread?

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