Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread
Don’t hate me, but…
I realized I just ticked some of y’all off and probably lost a few followers for that, but hear me out. I work in retail, as I’ve mentioned before. In the retail world, it’s been fall since our Fourth of July stuff went on clearance. I’ve been staring at pumpkins, ghosts, leaves, and jack-o-lanterns for weeks now. I smell like a freaking pumpkin spice latte when I finally get home, and I’m covered from head to toe in glitter from all the shimmery cinnamon potpourri that we’ve been putting out.
So yeah, it’s fall.
Like it or not, the school busses are back on the roads and the lifeguards are all mourning their loss of a job that pays them to be hot and tan. Which means that even if you’re not all aboard the autumn train just yet, it’ll be here before you know it. So why not embrace it with the best thing that fall has to offer? FOOD. I mean yeah, fall has the cute leaves and the cool temperatures and all of the fuzzy fashionable clothes, but there is absolutely nothing better than fall food. I mean, we literally made a holiday out of it. Thanksgiving is the bomb, and you all know it.
When I think of fall flavors, my absolute favorite is cinnamon. (Yeah, I know the pumpkin fans will fight me, but I put pumpkin up in mac and cheese last year for y’all so you can take a seat.) And who can think about cinnamon without apple? It’s like Cheech and Chong. Laverne and Shirley. Raven and Chelsea. They’re besties; you just can’t have one without the other! So when I sat down and thought about what I could do to bring some fall into my life early, I decided to do an apple cinnamon bread.
Ok, fine. It wasn’t that well thought-out. I let my bananas go bad again and I had to make another banana bread, but I had just finished my Piña Colada-inspired loaf and so I had to try something different. But still, the outcome is the same!
Last time, I had y’all baste the loaf with pineapple juice. Light, sweet, totally calorie-friendly, right?
Screw that. This time, y’all are busting out the maple syrup and pouring it allllll over this bad boy. Scared of the sugar? You’re weak, and have obviously forgotten that calories from now until January 1st don’t count. Oh yes people, it’s the start of that beautiful season where the sugar flows freely and the fat count is a myth. Like I said, fall food is the best; embrace it!
As with all quick breads, this loaf comes together with the ease and grace that belies its density and flavor. It’s the perfect recipe to make when you feel like you’ve got no time on your hands but you need something to impress some guests real quick. You literally just throw it together and slap it in the oven for an hour while you clean or, more accurately, watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show while dusting the same spot on your coffee table over and over again. I’ve been coddled because quick breads made with fruit or veggies don’t need a rise, which adds to the simplicity. Whenever I make real bread I’m sure I’ll pull my hair out waiting for the yeast to do its thing; but until then, I’m more than happy to make as many versions of banana bread as I possibly can since the base recipe is so easy. In fact, I think I have a few bananas that I forgot to eat and are on the verge of turning into mush…again…
Now I promise I haven’t gone all fall-crazy on you just yet! Next time I’ll have some timeless recipes that won’t make you feel the need to reach for a PSL. But life’s too short to not make time for the things that matter, and jeans-and-boots weather definitely matters. So get off your high horse about the divisions between seasons, break out the cinnamon and nutmeg, and get to work. Happy baking!
Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread
- 3 overripe bananas (mashed)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup, softened)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1/2 your favorite baking apple (chopped into small pieces)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 loaf tin and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the two cups of flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and bananas, and stir until well combined. Pour that into the dry ingredients and stir well so all ingredients are incorporated.
- Fold in the apple chunks until well dispersed. There's not really a need to coat them in flour first, because there are so many that it's unlikely they'll sink to the bottom of the loaf, but it never hurts to do so just in case.
- Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about an hour, checking the loaf for doneness starting at 50 minutes. When the loaf comes out of the oven, you can either choose to cover it with syrup while hot or wait and serve it on the side, as I did here. Let cool for 30 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a serving plate, slice, and enjoy!
- Taste test the batter before you put it in the oven to make sure the cinnamon-to-banana ratio is right. Some bananas are more pungent with their flavor, and while they are needed too add moisture to the loaf, you don't want them overpowering the apple cinnamon flavor! If you feel your bananas are too strong, feel free to add more cinnamon to your taste.