I have three super brown, almost black, bananas sitting on the counter. My husband, Justin, has used almost all his willpower to not toss them in the garbage because he thinks they look gross and rotten. While they may be gross for eating, they are perfect baking. Justin threw my bananas away once and when I went to make some banana cupcakes, I was sad to see that they were gone. The problem is, it’s not like you can go to the store and buy brown bananas. No, you must wait a week for them to reach just the proper ripeness the browner the better. So, I had to change my plans. That day we made an agreement that only I am to throw away bananas, no matter how brown, gooey, yucky they may look. Problem solved.
So, I have these three bananas that are riding a thin line between baking perfection and rotten, so I must use them now or never. Since I hate throwing food away, I decided to make banana bread using Todd English’s recipe from The Olives Dessert Table . I always like recipes with melted butter for both great flavor and because 9 times out of 10 I forget to soften butter. I also love the addition of cinnamon to banana cake and bread, so I was thinking I would just add some cinnamon to the batter. But, then I came across Lovin’ From the Oven‘s Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread, and I decided to add cinnamon sugar to the middle and top of Todd’s bread recipe. The banana bread was really moist and full of banana flavor. I really liked how the cinnamon swirl looked and the crispy crust the sugar created on the top. Still to this day, my favorite way to eat banana bread is the same way my mom made it for me as kid and that is warm, slathered with butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Have you ever tried this? If not, you should. It is delicious.
Banana Bread with Cinnamon Swirl:
Yield: one 8 or 9 inch loaf
3 to 4 overripe bananas “the nastier the better”
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)
Swirl and topping: (mix together in a small bowl)
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 8 or 9 inch loaf pan. (I used 9×5)
Beat bananas and sugar in mixer bowl with paddle or whisk attachment for 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla, beating well and scraping down sides with each addition. Add the flour, salt and soda, and mix just until combined.
Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top. Carefully pour and spread the rest of the batter, sprinkling the rest of the cinnamon sugar on top. Bake until golden brown and firm in the center, about 1 hour. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a rack.
- Halfway through the bake time, I noticed the sides were browning too quickly, so I covered just the sides with aluminum foil.
- Using a lighter colored loaf pan would also help to reduce browning.
- I lined the bottom with parchment and sprayed the sides with Pam for baking for easy removal.
- This recipe makes more cinnamon sugar than I thought was needed, but use as much as you want, according to your taste.