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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

This past year I made my Mother-In-Laws classic banana bread recipe, and I’m hooked. I’ve been making different variations of it, and this cinnamon swirl banana bread is one of my favorite variations yet!

This cinnamon banana bread is swirled with ribbons of cinnamon sugar and topped with a delicious vanilla cinnamon glaze.

image of slices of cinnamon swirl banana bread showing the ribbons of cinnamon sugar in each slice

Why is It Better To Use Overripe Bananas In Banana Bread?

Most banana bread recipes insist on using only the ripest bananas, including this one. But why are overripe bananas better to bake with??

image of super ripe brown bananas, ready to be used to make banana bread

There are actually several reasons. The first is that as a banana ripens, more of its starch is converted into sugar. This creates sweeter, more tender baked goods.

Another benefit of baking with super ripe bananas is that they’re super easy to mash up. This ensures your banana bread has a uniform, even texture without any unexpected chunks of banana.

Overripe bananas are also more aromatic, and give baked goods a more intense banana flavor than yellow bananas.

image of banana bread batter being made with super ripe, brown bananas

The final and best reason (in my opinion) is that it uses up overripe fruit that would otherwise go to waste!

With all that being said, this recipe will still turn out if you use yellow bananas. It just won’t have as intense of a banana flavor!

Baking Hack: How to Quickly Ripen Bananas For Banana Bread

If you only have yellow bananas and want that intense banana flavor, don’t worry!

You can easily turn yellow bananas brown in a matter of minutes. Preheat your oven to 300 degree F, and place your unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake them for about 15 minutes, until the banana skin is uniformly dark in color.

Let them cool on that pan for 10 minutes, then carefully peel and mash them.

image of mashed bananas being prepared to make banana bread

Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

  • Overripe Bananas – If you don’t have overripe bananas on hand, bake your bananas at 350 F for about 15 minutes until the skin of the bananas are black.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice really helps enhance the banana flavor in this recipe, and prevents the mashed bananas from browning!
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Granulated Sugar – I think this banana bread has just the right amount of sweetness, but you can either increase or decrease the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup based on your preferences.
  • Eggs – If you don’t have eggs on hand or can’t eat eggs, you can use flaxseed eggs in their place or 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
image of ingredients laid out to make cinnamon swirl banana bread
  • Vegetable Oil – Using both butter and oil gives this banana bread moisture and flavor. You can use all oil or all butter if needed though! You also can use any flavorless oil in this recipe, like canola, sunflower, etc.
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use cake flour or a gluten free flour blend in its place if needed.
  • Ground cinnamon – Ground cinnamon is an absolute must in this recipe! Make sure your ground cinnamon is less than a year old, so that it’s still fragrant and will pack this banana bread with flavor.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use whole milk, full-fat yogurt, sour cream, or alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.

Tips for Making The Best Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

  • Use super ripe bananas! If you don’t have any on hand, see my tip above on how to quickly ripen your bananas in the oven.
  • Be sure to properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure and then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • DO NOT OVERMIX YOUR BATTER! It will make your banana bread dense and chewy. Once you start to mix in the flour, be sure to mix the batter JUST until it’s combined. It’s ok if you can still see a little bit of flour, it will get mixed in after you add the bananas.
  • To make gluten free banana bread, swap in your favorite GF flour blend for the AP flour in this recipe. Be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set your cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Carefully bang your loaf pan on the counter before putting it in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
image of cinnamon swirl banana bread loaf that's been sliced into to show its beautiful cinnamon sugar swirls

Making This Cinnamon Banana Bread In Advance & Storage Tips

You can make this cinnamon swirl banana bread in advance! It can last for a couple days at room temperature, up to a week in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer. Store the banana bread in an airtight container or Ziploc bag to keep it moist.

If you plan to immediately freeze it, I recommend waiting to make the glaze until you thaw it and plan to eat it.

This banana bread freezes extremely well, so don’t be afraid to make a double batch and freeze one for later. I like to wrap the banana bread in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil to lock in all the moisture.

When I’m ready to enjoy one of the frozen loaves, I move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before. Then I set it out at room temperature to let it thaw for a few hours before adding the glaze.

image of slices of cinnamon swirl banana bread showing the ribbons of cinnamon sugar in each slice

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating. You can also let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

Also please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 8

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

image of cinnamon swirl banana bread loaf that's been sliced into to show its beautiful cinnamon sugar swirls

This cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe is absolutely delicious! It's moist, fluffy and packed with cinnamon flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

Cinnamon Swirl

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (9 grams)

Cinnamon Banana Bread Recipe

  • 1 cup mashed bananas, about 2 large bananas (250 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (15 grams)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (56 grams)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (56 grams)
  • 1 large egg plus one egg white, room temperature (86 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (3 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, fluffed and level (228 grams)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (75 grams)

Vanilla Cinnamon Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (188 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (8 grams)
  • 3 Tbsp milk, room temperature (45 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (3 grams)

Instructions

Cinnamon Swirl

  1. In a small bowl. mix together 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 Tbsp of ground cinnamon. Set aside.

Cinnamon Banana Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 175 C and grease an 8.5 in x 4.5 in loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Mash 1 cup of overripe bananas and combine with 1 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This prevents the bananas from browning and brightens up their flavor. Set aside.
  3. Add 1/4 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar into a large bowl. Beat on a medium high speed for 1-2 minutes with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Mix until the mixture becomes lighter in color.
  4. Mix in 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1 large whole egg + 1 egg white on a medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add in 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour. Mix on a low speed until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  6. Pour in 1/3 cup of buttermilk and mix on a low speed until incorporated.
  7. Mix in the mashed banana/lemon juice mixture on a low speed until they're fully incorporated into the batter.
  8. Pour a third of the batter into the prepared pan, then spread half of the cinnamon sugar mixture spread in an even layer over the batter. Repeat this process to make two layers of cinnamon sugar, and top with the remaining batter.
  9. Bake on the upper baking rack of your oven for 55-60 minutes, rotating the pan half way through to make sure it bakes evenly.
  10. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Vanilla Cinnamon Glaze

  1. Place 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon butter, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 3 Tablespoons milk in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together until smooth and no clumps remain.
  2. This glaze crusts as it sits, so cover it with plastic wrap if you don't plan to use it immediately.
  3. Pour on the cooled loaf of banana bread, and lightly dust with ground cinnamon.

Notes

Making This Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread In Advance & Storage Tips:

You can make this cinnamon swirl banana bread in advance!

It can last for a couple days at room temperature, up to a week in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer. Store the banana bread in an airtight container to keep it moist.

If you plan to immediately freeze it, I recommend waiting to make the glaze until you thaw it and plan to eat it.

This banana bread freezes extremely well! So don't be afraid to make a double batch and freeze one for later! I like to wrap the banana bread in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil to lock in all the moisture.

When you're ready to enjoy one of the frozen loaves, move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before. Then set it out at room temperature to let it thaw for a few hours before adding the glaze.

Different Batch Sizes:

This recipe can be doubled to make two loaves.

This recipe can also be used to make cinnamon swirl banana muffins. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees F for 14-16 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 429Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 43mgSodium 357mgCarbohydrates 70gFiber 3gSugar 41gProtein 5g
This cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe is absolutely delicious! It’s moist, fluffy and packed with flavor.

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Maddie

Friday 14th of May 2021

Made this a few days ago and would just like to say, THIS IS A GREAT RECIPE!!! Everyone I have given one to keeps asking for more! This is probably the best banana bread recipe I have ever done (according to my family and me)!! I will definitely keep making this whenever I can!

Danielle

Monday 3rd of May 2021

Is there a substitute for the buttermilk in this recipe? I have looked in 3 stores and cannot find it in stock. Thank you.

Paula

Saturday 17th of April 2021

I made this nice recipe today. My family loved it! I make banana bread all the time, and I do add a little cinnamon, so I was curious as to how this would taste. The swirl added a very nice touch and adding it in 2 separate layers gave a nice double looking swirl. I did have a ton of glaze left over, not sure why? Nice and it was devoured within a day! I posted a pic on my Instagram, which is Fearless Caking. :-)

Sherman

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Just made these as muffins per the instructions. Absolutely incredible! There was a ton of glaze, you don’t necessarily need it all since the cinnamon swirl adds sugar. I used about 3/4 of the glaze. Love, love, loved this!

Stephanie

Friday 16th of April 2021

I’ve been waiting patiently for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. My house already smells ahhhmazzzzing

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