Thursday, March 9, 2017

What's Baking: Cinnamon-Swirl Banana Bread

Banana bread gets an upgrade with a little cinnamon swirl in the center.


It has been 140 days since I last posted a banana bread recipe. Clearly, I am long past due in giving you another one.



This recipe for cinnamon-swirl banana bread is a riff on my recipe for cinnamon-sugar crusted banana bread, which has quickly become my go-to recipe.


The other day I thought to myself, you know what would make this bread better? A little cinnamon swirl in the center.


Turns out, I was right. The cinnamon swirl was a great idea. I added a little unsweetened cocoa powder to the cinnamon swirl mixture to give it a little darker color; it adds just the tiniest cocoa flavor, so if you don't have any cocoa powder on hand, feel free to leave it out.


Truth be told, more often than not, I buy bananas solely for the purpose of leaving them on the counter to get overripe. It is a happy day when the grocery store is selling overripe bananas on a deep discount. Sometimes it's the little things, no?



Is there anything better than the aroma of freshly-baked banana bread? Served warm from the oven with a cup of tea or hot coffee, it's my favorite mid-morning snack.

Cinnamon-Swirl Banana Bread (printer-friendly version)
makes one 8-inch loaf

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and browned

For the cinnamon swirl:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" x 4" loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the syrup, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir in the mashed bananas and then stir in the melted coconut oil.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
6. Spoon half of the batter into the prepped loaf pan. Sprinkle evenly with half the cinnamon sugar mixture. Top with the remaining batter, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
7. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Wrap any leftovers in foil and store at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five days.


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