Banana bread is an ELITE dessert - I mean, it's basically cake you can eat for breakfast. And with a thick cinnamon swirl layer with a buttery streusel topping, this cinnamon swirl banana bread is next level. Made with minimal ingredients and simple steps, you can be snacking on this fluffy and moist nanner bread in no time.
Why you will love this cinnamon swirl banana bread
- The "bread". Banana bread is known as "quick bread," meaning it rises from a chemical agent rather than from yeast. Due to this, the bread is super cake-like. It is light and fluffy, but also super moist and packed with flavor.
- The cinnamon swirl. Right in between the fluffy layers of banana-yumminess is a cinnamon swirl layer. This layer is made with cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour. It adds so much cinnamon flavor and a texture variation with every bite.
- The streusel. I am of the opinion that all baked goods should have a streusel topping (where it makes sense). This streusel is made with cinnamon and cardamom, so it has great flavor. It also adds a little crunch to each and every bite.
- All purpose flour: all purpose flour is the flour of choice for this cinnamon swirl banana bread. It makes for the perfect soft and tender crumb. We also use all purpose flour in the filling and the streusel.
- Leavener: we use baking soda to give the banana bread that perfect rise.
- Spices: tons of ground cinnamon is used in all components of this banana bread, and we also use ground cardamom in the streusel for even more flavor and warmth.
- Unsalted butter: unsalted butter is the butter of choice so we can control exactly how much salt goes into the recipe.
- Sugar: granulated sugar is the main sweetener in the banana bread, but we also use brown sugar for the cinnamon filling. We can also sprinkle the top of the banana bread with powdered sugar when it is out of the oven.
- Fats: the fats in this recipe are the eggs and the yogurt - they make this loaf super moist and soft.
- Bananas: of course! We need about 3 bananas to really pack in that banana flavor.
- Make the cinnamon swirl. Mix together the brown sugar, all purpose flour, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
- Make the streusel. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cardamom. Pour in the melted butter and mix until it resembles wet sand.
- Whisk dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a bowl and whisk until combined.
- Beat wet ingredients. Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat. Then add the yogurt and mashed bananas and mix.
- Combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until a batter forms.
- Bake. Pour half of the batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan and sprinkle the cinnamon swirl mixture on top. Layer the remaining half of the batter on top of the filling. Sprinkle the streusel and bake at 350F for 60ish minutes.
- Enjoy! Once cool, top with powdered sugar. Slice and enjoy!
Why is my banana bread dry?
Banana bread can be dry from over measuring the flour. The best way to measure flour is with a kitchen scale - it is the most accurate. If you don't have a kitchen scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level it off with a knife.
Why did my banana bread sink?
Banana breads can sink from over mixing the batter. Make sure to only mix your batter until the dry ingredients are JUST incorporated, not any longer. Additionally, an under-baked banana bread can sink, so make sure to bake it all the way through.
What type of bananas should I use?
The bananas should be very ripe, ideally with a bunch of black spots ALL over them. That is when the bananas are at their sweetest.
How do I store this?
Once completely cool, tightly wrap the loaf with cling wrap or put it in an airtight container. This banana bread can be stored at room temperature. If you wish to freeze it, slice the loaf into pieces and wrap each piece individually with plastic wrap. Let thaw in the fridge.
Baking in grams
While I provide volume measurements for the recipes on my blog, I highly suggest baking these recipes using weight. It is the most standardized and accurate way to bake. I carefully recipe test all of my recipes using a kitchen scale, not by using cups, and therefore I cannot guarantee the success of my recipes when using volume measurements.
Other recipes you may like
- Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- Cardamom Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling
- 6 tablespoons (75 grams) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (15 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup (84 grams) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) plain yogurt room temperature, greek or regular works!
- 1 ¼ (about 3 medium-sized bananas) cup (250 grams) mashed banana very ripe
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling
- Whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Whisk together the granulated sugar, all purpose flour, cinnamon and cardamom. Pour in the melted butter and mix until the mixture resembles wet sand. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in color and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until combined, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Add the yogurt and mashed banana and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until a batter forms.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon filling on top in an even layer. Add the remaining half of the batter on top of that, then sprinkle on the streusel.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Start checking the loaf at 45 minutes (all ovens differ) and check every 5 minutes thereafter. While baking, if you notice the streusel browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on the top of the loaf to protect it.
- Let cool in the pan, slice and enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!