Cinnamon swirl banana bread
Rotten bananas are an item that most people consider utterly disgusting and throw away immediately. But not me – oh no, I see the massive amount of potential in over-ripe, browning bananas, mainly that of banana bread. I am that girl who takes rotting bananas from people to store in the freezer until I gather enough to be able to make this wonderful item. There is nothing like banana bread merrily baking away in the oven to fill a home with cinnamon-y, delicious smelling goodness. In my absence, I was so pleased to see that my flatmates had nicely put some rotting bananas in the freezer for me. Not everyone realises you can do this, but it’s the best way to deal with over-ripe bananas. Then you can just make the banana bread at your leisure and not worry about having the right amount of gross over-ripe bananas at a particular time. Just throw them in the freezer once they are overripe and they can stay there for several months until you are ready to embark on your baking adventure.
Banana bread is honestly super easy to make and I made some the other night just because I noticed there were bananas in the freezer. It takes some time in the oven but it’s really easy to throw together and the version below is my go-to recipe due to the amazing cinnamon sugar swirl in the middle and on the top. It’s also fun to make a version with chocolate chips, but I have to say, for a non-chocolate baked good, the recipe below has got to be one of my all time favourites!
Cinnamon swirl banana bread (adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven)
Makes one loaf from a 9 by 5 loaf pan, so enough for about 10-15 servings
Ingredients – for the bread
- 4 over-ripe bananas, all mashed up
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- dash of salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
For the swirl:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Spray a typical loaf pan with non-stick spray. If your bananas are room temperature, just mash them up right there, but if they are frozen (which is how I always do it), put them in a bowl and let them defrost for about half an hour before peeling and mashing. The bananas should be extremely easy to mash – they should be so ripe that they essentially fall apart.
Mix the melted butter into the banana mixture, followed by the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly, and then sprinkle the baking soda and salt on the top of the banana mixture. Finally, gently stir in the flour – don’t overmix it.
In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon. Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top. Bake for about 50-60 minutes – make sure to start checking it at about 50 minutes – put a toothpick or a knife in the very center and prick it in a few places to make sure it comes out clean. If you aren’t using a typical loaf pan and are using a brownie pan or something, it will take less time, so be careful and keep a close eye on it.
Mixing the bananas with the melted butter
Put half the batter in the loaf pan and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before putting the remaining batter on top
All done – pricked in several places with a knife
Sliced up and ready to serve!
If you can restrain yourself at all, this bread does taste better after it’s cooled for about half an hour, but I typically only let it cool about 5-10 minutes before diving it…in that case, it will fall apart a little, but it’s still so worth it. The cinnamon swirl in the middle of the bread and the cinnamon sugar crunch on top really take this banana bread to another level. I made it once about two years ago and haven’t needed another banana bread recipe since!