Indulge in a sweet and crunchy treat with my cinnamon crunch banana bread recipe. This moist and flavorful banana bread is topped with a sweet cinnamon sugar crunch and is easy to make with overripe bananas. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack!
If you’re looking for a tasty twist on classic banana bread, cinnamon crunch banana bread is an excellent choice. This banana bread was inspired by my banana bread with pecans, with the same base but I removed the pecans and added the cinnamon crunch topping. My husband said, “this crunch topping is where it’s at.” And, I have to agree, it adds a wonderful texture to this moist bread.
This recipe is not only delicious but also requires just a few simple ingredients and minimal dishes, much like these Nutella banana muffins.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Moist and Tender: This banana bread is incredibly moist and tender, making it the perfect treat to enjoy any time of day.
- Sweet Banana Flavor: With a generous amount of ripe bananas in the recipe, (2 whole cups!), it is bursting with delicious banana flavor.
- Crunchy Cinnamon Sugar Topping: The crunchy cinnamon sugar topping adds a satisfying crunch to every bite.
- Easy to Make: With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, it is a breeze to make.
- Great for Breakfast or Brunch: This recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch, as it pairs well with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Versatile: While delicious on its own, it can also be toasted and spread with butter or cream cheese for an extra special treat. Or serve with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
- Perfect for Using Up Overripe Bananas: If you have overripe bananas that you don’t want to go to waste, this recipe is the perfect way to use them.
- Freezes Well: This banana bread also freezes well, so you can make a batch ahead of time and enjoy it later.
- Kid-Friendly: Kids love the sweet and crunchy flavors, making it a great option for a snack or lunchbox treat.
To create this recipe, only a few basic ingredients are needed. Here is a list of all the necessary ingredients:
- Canola oil- a neutral oil that adds moisture, you can use vegetable oil.
- Salt – adds flavor, I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt, if using table salt, use half the amount.
- All-purpose flour – make sure your dry ingredients are measured correctly, so you don’t end up with dry or dense banana bread. This can be done by spooning the flour into a measuring cup and leveling it off with a straight edge, or by using a kitchen scale to weigh the flour.
- Oat flour- Using whole-grain flour serves a functional purpose as it has the ability to absorb and retain more water than all-purpose flour enabling the batter to handle a larger quantity of banana puree without becoming too watery. If you don’t have any oat flour just use all-purpose flour.
- Baking soda and baking powder – Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder are both leavening agents used in baking.
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves – nutmeg and cloves help intensify the banana’s natural flavor. You don’t have to add them but I wouldn’t skip the cinnamon.
- Granulated sugar – sweetens as well as moistens this banana pecan bread recipe.
- Eggs – helps bind everything together and provide structure.
- Bananas – Obvi, it’s not banana bread without mashed bananas! Use ripe bananas for the best texture and sweetness. I used speckled bananas but not fully black.
- Greek Yogurt – helps achieve a tender, moist texture. You can use full-fat or skim.
- Vanilla extract – vanilla helps make this the most flavorful banana bread recipe.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON CRUNCH BANANA BREAD
Like most bread recipes, this is very easy to whip up! Grab your 9×5 loaf pan and spray it with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and let’s bake! Here’s the simple process:
For full, printable instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
STEP 1: Prepare dry ingredients: Whisk together flour, oat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large-sized bowl. Set aside.
STEP 2: Prepare wet ingredients: Whisk eggs and granulated sugar together until well combined in a medium-sized bowl, about 35 seconds. Add the oil, greek yogurt, and vanilla. Mix well. Whisk in the mashed bananas until combined.
STEP 3: Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Gently whisk until just combined. Do NOT over-mix, just until all the flour is absorbed.
STEP 5: Pour: Pour batter into prepared pan.
STEP 6: Add the topping: For the topping, mix together sugar, light brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top of the batter before baking. Pat topping down with hands.
STEP 5: Bake: Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 60-70 minutes.
STEP 6: Cool: Cool cake in pan set on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Use parchment to lift bread out of pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
Preparing this cinnamon crunch banana bread is a breeze, but to ensure they turn out perfectly each time, here are a few helpful tips!
- Use ripe bananas: The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more flavorful your banana bread will be. Overripe bananas that have black spots on the skin are perfect for banana bread.
- Don’t overmix: Overmixing the batter can cause the gluten in the flour to develop too much, resulting in a tough or chewy texture. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until the flour is moistened and then stop.
- Use a toothpick to test for doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of the bread to check if it’s done. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is ready. If there is batter on the toothpick, bake for a few more minutes. Better yet, use an instant-read thermometer and bake until 205°F (96°C). My bread took 65 minutes to bake.
- Use parchment paper: Lining the pan with parchment paper helps prevent the banana bread from sticking to the sides of the pan and makes it easier to remove the bread from the pan. It also helps with cleanup, as the parchment paper can be lifted out with the bread, leaving the pan clean. It is a must for this recipe so you can lift the loaf straight up to avoid the topping spilling off.
- Let it cool before slicing: Let the bread cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Slicing the bread while it’s still warm can cause it to fall apart.
Here are some options to switch up the flavor profile of cinnamon crunch banana bread:
- Blueberry banana bread. Add a cup of fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter for a burst of fruity flavor.
- Caramel. Drizzle on easy homemade salted caramel sauce on baked slices for a rich, decadent twist.
- Pecan streusel. Instead of cinnamon sugar topping, make this pecan streusel. Stir 3/4 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 tablespoons flour in a bowl until combined. Sprinkle evenly onto batter in loaf pan before baking for a crunchy, nutty topping.
- Cream cheese frosting. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese frosting over the cooled bread for a creamy, tangy finish just like this pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting. See creams cheese frosting recipe in this blog post.
- Apple cinnamon. Fold in one cup of diced apples for a cozy, comforting treat.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Bananas that are too ripe can actually be perfect for making banana bread. Overripe bananas with brown or black spots on the skin are very sweet and soft, making them easier to mash and incorporate into the batter. The riper the bananas, the more flavor they will add to the bread. So, in fact, it’s actually recommended to use very ripe or even overripe bananas for banana bread. However, if the bananas have started to develop mold or an unpleasant smell, they are no longer suitable for baking and should be discarded.
While a banana with a black or darkened peel may not look very appetizing, it is generally safe to eat. In fact, bananas that have become very ripe and have developed brown or black spots on the peel are often used in baking because they are softer and sweeter than firmer bananas with a yellow peel. However, if the banana is mushy or has a bad smell, it may have started to spoil and should not be eaten. It’s always a good idea to use your best judgment when it comes to food safety, and discard any bananas that you suspect may be spoiled.
Yes, it is generally a good idea to let banana bread rest for a short time after baking before slicing into it. This allows the bread to cool and finish setting, which makes it easier to slice and helps the texture to be more consistent. If you slice into the bread too soon after it comes out of the oven, it may still be too hot and moist, which can result in a messy or crumbly texture. As a general rule, let the banana bread cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. This will ensure that your banana bread has the best possible texture and flavor.
It is generally safe to leave banana bread out at room temperature for up to two days if it is stored properly. However, the exact amount of time that banana bread can be left out will depend on the temperature and humidity of the environment.
If you plan to store banana bread overnight, be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help prevent it from drying out. You can also store it in an airtight container. If you live in a humid environment, you may want to store the banana bread in the refrigerator instead to prevent mold growth. If you want to enjoy the banana bread at its best, it is recommended to store it in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
If you put too much banana in banana bread, the resulting bread may be too moist and dense. This can happen because bananas are very high in moisture and adding too much can throw off the balance of the recipe, resulting in a bread that is more like pudding than bread.
In addition to being too moist and dense, adding too much banana can also result in a bread that is overly sweet, as bananas are naturally high in sugar. This can be problematic if the recipe also includes added sugar, as the bread may end up being too sweet.
If you find that you have added too much banana to your banana bread recipe, you can try to salvage it by adding more flour and reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe. However, it may be difficult to get the proportions exactly right, so it’s usually best to follow the recipe as closely as possible to avoid any potential issues.
Storing leftovers. You can keep the bread covered at room temperature on the counter for up to 2 days. For longer storage, place slices in an airtight container or bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If you prefer warm banana bread, you can heat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or in a toaster oven. The cinnamon crunch on top may not stay as crunchy if you cover it because the humidity will soften it, but it is still delicious. After cutting, cover the cut side of the remaining loaf with foil, but leave the top uncovered to maintain the crunchy texture.
Freezer. If you want to freeze the bread, tightly wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap and place it in a resealable bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, let it thaw at room temperature. Alternatively, you can lay individual slices in a plastic freezer bag separating the layers with parchment paper (this is what we do all the time). Thaw the slices at room temperature or microwave them for about 20-30 seconds. Also, from the freezer straight into the lunch box. Easy peasy snack or breakfast.
MORE GREAT RECIPES TO TRY
- Banana Nutella Muffins
- Banana Bread with Pecans
- Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Raspberry and White Chocolate Loaf Cake
- Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
If you try this delicious bread recipe, let me know. Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five-star rating!
Cinnamon Crunch Banana Bread
- 1 3/4 cups all-Purpose Flour (219 grams)
- ¼ cup oat flour (30 grams)
- 1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt use 1/2 teaspoon.
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground or grated nutmeg (optional, but recommended)
- ¼ tsp ground cloves (optional, but recommended)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup canola oil (100 grams)
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt (71 grams)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (460g) bananas mashed – (4 large or 5 ripe medium size)
Cinnamon Crunch Topping
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Before baking your cinnamon crunch banana bread, preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper. Be sure to spray the parchment paper with cooking spray as well, and leave enough hanging over the sides to easily lift the cake out of the pan once it's finished baking. This crucial step ensures that your banana bread doesn't stick to the pan and prevents the topping from breaking when you remove it. Without a way to lift the bread out of the pan, the sugar topping will spill off the top of the bread.
- Whisk all-purpose flour, oat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl until combined.
- Whisk eggs, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until well combined about 30 seconds. Add oil, yogurt, and vanilla; mix well.
- Add bananas and mix until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and even out with a spatula.
Make the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- In a small bowl, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle evenly over batter and pat down sugar topping with fingers.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Use a instant-read thermometer and bake until 205°F (96°C) degrees. Baking times vary so keep an eye on it. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with zero raw batter. Remove the bread from the oven.
- Cool cake in the pan set on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.