Banana bread has always been my baking nemesis. For whatever reason, I have never been able to bake banana bread successfully. Banana muffins, yes, but not banana bread. Each time my banana bread would turn out under cooked in the middle and burned on top. It still tasted delicious but the texture was completely wrong. What was it about banana bread that was so difficult to master? Why could I make seemingly much more difficult recipes with ease (like homemade pie crusts, for example), but not this particular baked good? After several failed attempts, I decided to write off ever making banana bread. It was the one thing I couldn’t make. Audrey: 0, Banana bread: 1.
I was perfectly content not ever being able to make banana bread until a couple weeks ago. It was a Saturday morning and I had several ripe bananas staring at me, desperately needing to be used. Those bananas, couple with an intriguing find on Pinterest, convinced me to give it one more try. I hoped that I would not end up wasting precious ingredients, but came to terms with the fact that it might happen. I got out my mixing bowls and got to mashing those bananas.
I had a slight panic attack when, after the suggested 45 minutes of baking, the toothpick I used to test the bread did not come out clean. I was certain this would be another one of those recipes to add to my failed banana bread attempts. I checked it after 5 more minutes. Still not done. Finally, 5 minutes later, the toothpick test was successful and I took the golden banana bread out of the oven. It looked amazing, and I had high hopes that it would taste equally good.
I am so happy to report that it turned out AMAZING. It was perfectly cooked through, not too dense, and full of flavor due to the cinnamon swirl in the middle and the glaze on top. The glaze is certainly not necessary, but it is a wonderful addition! In truth, it makes this recipe fall somewhere in between banana bread and banana cake. Regardless, it’s worth the time and effort!
Now I just might start experimenting with other banana bread recipes!
Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
For the Bread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, not packed
- 4 Tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, soften to room temp
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about three bananas)
- 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt), or 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cinnamon Swirl:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 Tbs heavy cream or half-and-half or milk
1). Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, use a stand or hand mixer to beat the brown sugar and butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Using a spoon or spatula, stir in the mashed bananas, yogurt/buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Then slowly mix in the dry ingredients with the mix, but be sure to not over mix.
2). Pour half the batter into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (will need to adjust cooking time if using a different size). Mix the cinnamon swirl ingredients together and then pour over the batter in the loaf pan. Top with the remaining batter.
3). Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (or for my oven, 55 minutes!) or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool for about ten minutes in the pan on a wire cooling rack, then remove the bread from the pan to let it finish cooling just on the rack.
4). While the bread is cooling, mix the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Add more powdered sugar to reach your desired thickness. Finally, drizzle the glaze over the bread before enjoying.
Servings: 9 Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 251 Carbs: 41g Fat: 7g Protein: 6g Sugar: 11g Fiber: 4g
WW PointsPlus: 6
Recipe adapted from: http://mckinneyliving.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/cinnamon-swirl-banana-bread/