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banana bread slice with cinnamon swirl and vanilla icing on top sitting on wire rack on cutting board.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Enjoy super moist and flavorful banana bread swirled with a thick layer of cinnamon-sugar and topped with a dreamy drizzle of vanilla icing. This is like a dessert version of classic banana bread.


Ingredients

Banana Bread

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar (or use packed brown sugar)
  • 4 Tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (345g) mashed bananas (about 4 medium or 3 large ripe bananas)
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Vanilla Icing

  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) heavy cream or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lowering the oven rack prevents the top of your bread from browning too much, too soon. Grease a metal 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the banana bread batter: Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then beat in the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla extract until combined. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. You’ll have around 3 and 1/2 cups of batter.
  4. Cinnamon Sugar Swirl: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Spoon half of the banana bread batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Pour and spread remaining batter on top. The top layer of batter will want to stick to the cinnamon-sugar filling, making spreading a little tougher to do, but use a spoon to carefully spread it out as best you can. Using a knife, swirl the batter down the center of the loaf pan. Avoid over-swirling, which will mix the layers together too much.
  5. Bake for 55–65 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. All ovens vary, so begin checking every 5 minutes around the 55-minute mark.
  6. Remove bread from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove bread from the pan and cool bread directly on the wire rack until cooled completely.
  7. Whisk the icing ingredients together. (I usually use heavy cream, which promises a thick icing.) Drizzle over bread before slicing.
  8. Cover and store banana bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Icing seeps into the top of the banana bread over time, so expect the tops of the slices to become a little moist.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: It’s best to freeze this bread without the icing, and ice the bread after thawing and before serving. Freeze baked & cooled loaf for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If desired, bring to room temperature before serving. To learn more details about how to freeze quick breads, see my post called Make-Ahead Baking.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): 9×5-inch Loaf PanWhisk | Glass Mixing Bowl | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Cooling Rack
  3. Can I Use Whole Wheat Flour? Yes, you can replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour with no other changes needed.
  4. Butter: If needed, you can use salted butter in this recipe with no other changes needed.
  5. Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Muffins: Use this banana bread recipe to make 2 dozen cinnamon swirl banana bread muffins. Pour the batter into lined or greased muffin pans and bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C); then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 16–17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total bake time for the banana bread muffins is about 22–23 minutes. The initial burst of hot air helps those muffins rise nice and tall! Or try my banana chocolate chip streusel muffins. (Feel free to leave out the chocolate chips in that recipe.)
  6. No Sour Cream or Yogurt? Feel free to use 1/3 cup mashed banana (in addition to the 1 and 1/2 cups), unsweetened applesauce, or even canned pumpkin puree.
  7. Frozen Bananas: You can use frozen bananas here. Thaw the frozen bananas. Drain off any excess liquid, mash, then use as instructed in the recipe. See How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking. Try not to mash too much or else you’ll be left with 2 cups of banana-y liquid; some chunks are great.
  8. Can I Turn This Into Banana Bundt Cake? There isn’t enough batter. I recommend using my extremely similar, scaled-up recipe for chocolate marble banana Bundt cake instead. You can leave out the chocolate swirl in that recipe, and replace with 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.

Keywords: cinnamon swirl banana bread