This Cinnamon Toast Banana Bread was born of nostalgia. Did you ever eat cinnamon toast as a kid? I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, when Wonder Bread was considered a delicacy rather than a toxin, and I remember clearly toasting those thick, fluffy slices until hot and golden brown, then slathering them with lots of melty butter and dousing them with cinnamon and sugar from a shaker my mom kept in the kitchen. Each crispy bite gave way to the soft butter-soaked bread inside, and that sugar crust crunched so deliciously between my teeth. Man, I loved that stuff. But now we know Wonder Bread is the nutritional equivalent of a pixi stick, and it’s time for a grown-up alternative. Cinnamon Toast Banana Bread is my answer. It’s still got the buttery flavor and the thick crust of cinnamon-sugar, but it’s also got fruit. Bananas. Potassium! Go with it. It’s substantial enough to serve as a quick breakfast without giving you a blood sugar crash fifteen minutes later.
Banana bread is great because it requires super-ripe, mushy bananas. And if, like me, you have a child who enjoys bananas but will not touch one that has a single brown spot, you likely end up with them often. Banana bread is a great way to use them up, and as a bonus, it’s fun to mash them. You want to really mash them for this recipe- think baby food consistency. Which looks pretty gross in the bowl, but when combined with flour, sugar, and eggs, transforms into sweet, caramelized goodness.
For us high altitude folks, the good news is that quick bread recipes like these don’t need a lot of altering from base sea level versions. The batter is thick and substantial enough to avoid fear of collapse. Check out that nice domed top.
You’ll notice the loaf pan is lined with parchment. You can grease and flour instead if you like, but smacking a piece of parchment in there is so easy, and you never have to worry about sticking. If you like, you can dab a little butter in the pan first, which helps the parchment adhere and not move around too much while you’re adding your batter.
This bread (which, let’s be honest, is really a delicious cross between bread and cake), has a sweet surprise inside, too – a delicate ribbon of cinnamon woven throughout the middle. You get this by adding half the batter to the pan, sprinkling half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top, and then adding the remainder of the batter.
Banana bread is a basic, for sure, but the delightful thick cinnamon-sugar crust on this version is not only delicious, but a great way to get your kids to eat those mushy bananas (insert evil laugh).
Cinnamon Toast Banana Bread
This easy quick bread sports a decadent cinnamon-sugar crust with an additional swirl of cinnamon inside.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 50
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Category: sweet, high elevation, breakfast & brunch
2 1/4 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (4 oz) brown sugar
4 TB (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3-4 medium overripe bananas (about a cup and a half of mashed banana)
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING
1/4 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a loaf pan with parchment, or grease and flour.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, using a hand held or stand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each thoroughly. Add mashed banana and yogurt and mix just until combined. Carefully stir in flour mixture (don’t overmix).
Add half the batter to prepared pan; even it out, and sprinkle half the cinnamon-sugar topping across the top. Add remaining batter and top with the rest of the cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown on top and a cake tester or knife comes out clean, or with a moist crumb or two.