Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

5 from 9 votes

This cinnamon swirl banana bread is glazed on the top, with a perfectly spiced swirl, giving the classic dessert bread a delicious upgrade!

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Classic banana bread meets sweet, earthy cinnamon in this Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread! With a generous ribbon of cinnamon sugar plus vanilla glaze on top, this banana and cinnamon loaf is perfect for when you want something a little sweeter–and a lot more special–than ordinary banana bread. Brew up some coffee or tea–it’s time for cinnamon swirl banana bread bliss!

A white plate with 2 slices of cinnamon swirl banana bread on it.
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If you’re a cinnamon lover, this recipe is for you. With cinnamon in the banana bread batter, in the cinnamon-sugar swirl, and the vanilla glaze, it’s a triple hit of cinnamon that elevates banana bread into something truly special.

Greek yogurt is also a key part of this cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe. It contributes to that moist and tender texture and adds a hint of tangy flavor that is so good with the cinnamon swirl and vanilla glaze.

This banana and cinnamon quick bread is equally at home with your morning coffee, as an afternoon snack, or for dessert. If you have some overripe bananas on your counter, put them to work in this moist, tender, and decadent banana and cinnamon loaf–you’ll be so glad you did!

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Banana and cinnamon
Skill Level: Beginner

Summary

  • Delicious cinnamon flavor: If you like your banana bread recipes with cinnamon, I’ve got you covered! Banana and cinnamon flavors highlight one another so well that I’ve brought cinnamon into this recipe in three different ways: The batter, the cinnamon swirl, and the vanilla-cinnamon glaze.
  • Moist and tender: Banana bread should be moist! Ingredients like ripe bananas, butter, brown sugar, and Greek yogurt all contribute to a tender, melt-in-your-mouth crumb for the perfect banana and cinnamon loaf.
  • Easy to make: This cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe is such an easy–yet impressive–quick bread recipe! With just 15 minutes prep time, it’ll be in your oven before you know it.

Ingredients to Make Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Ingredients for cinnamon swirl banana bread: Ripe bananas, light brown sugar, melted butter, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and milk.

For the Banana Bread Batter

  • Bananas: Use very ripe bananas that are yellow with lots of black spots and fragrant.
  • Brown sugar: I like to use light brown sugar in this recipe, but dark brown sugar will work, too.
  • Butter: I use melted butter for this banana bread recipe which adds rich flavor and helps create a moist and tender loaf.
  • Greek yogurt: For a moist, melt-in-your-mouth banana bread with some added probiotic benefits plus protein! Be sure to use plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt.
  • Eggs: Eggs bind all of the ingredients together. Use room temperature eggs for the best results.
  • Vanilla extract: For sweet vanilla flavor that partners so well with banana and cinnamon flavors.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour for my banana and cinnamon loaf. You can use whole wheat flour for a nuttier, heartier banana bread.
  • Baking soda: A leavener that helps the bread rise, giving it a fluffier texture and tender crumb.
  • Cinnamon: Prized for its intense, sweet, and subtly spicy flavor, here we use it in the banana bread batter itself.

For the Cinnamon Swirl Layer

  • Brown sugar & granulated sugar: Both sugars contribute to a sweet and decadent ribbon that weaves throughout this banana and cinnamon loaf.
  • Cinnamon: A generous amount of ground cinnamon for the ultimate cinnamon swirl.

For the Glaze

  • Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar, powdered sugar blends completely smooth, making it perfect for glazes and frostings.
  • Cinnamon: A bit of cinnamon in the icing helps to bring all of the cinnamon flavors together.
  • Salt: A tiny amount of salt added to the glaze helps to highlight the vanilla and cinnamon flavors while taming the sweetness.
  • Milk: Use whichever milk you prefer. 2%, whole milk, or unsweetened plant-based milk will all work.
  • Vanilla extract: For sweet vanilla flavor that is so welcome in this glaze!
  • Mix up the spices: Add some nutmeg to the batter for another note of warm and cozy flavor. Or make it a chai-spiced banana bread by adding ½ teaspoon each of ground cardamom and ginger and ⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves.
  • Add chocolate chips: Go full dessert mode with chocolate chips stirred into the banana bread batter. 
  • Make it nutty: If you like a little texture and nutty flavor in your banana bread, try adding some chopped pecans or walnuts to your batter.
  • Go gluten-free: Swap in a one-for-one gluten-free flour mix. I do not recommend a direct swap for almond flour or coconut flour. 

How to Make Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

It’s so easy to make this banana bread! The batter mixes up in one bowl, and the simple cinnamon sugar mixture in another. Add the cinnamon between two layers of batter, swirl, and then bake into perfectly domed, golden banana bread perfection. Once your banana and cinnamon loaf has cooled, drizzle a sweet vanilla glaze over the top.

Make the Banana Bread Batter

  1. Add the bananas, brown sugar, and melted butter to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until the bananas are smooth.
  2. Add the Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until fully combined.
  3. Add the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula just until combined.
4-image collage of mixing the batter: 1 - Bananas, brown sugar, and melted butter in a bowl before mashing; 2 - After mashing with yogurt, eggs, and vanilla added before combining; 3 - After combined with dry ingredient added before folding together; 4 - The final batter.

Mix the Cinnamon Sugar

  1. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a medium bowl.
  2. Stir with a fork to combine.
2-image collage of cinnamon sugar mixture: 1 - Sugar and cinnamon in a bowl before mixing; 2 - After mixing.

Make the Cinnamon Swirl

  1. Pour half of the banana bread batter into the pan. Top with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  2. Add the remaining batter. Use a butter knife or cake tester to swirl the batter creating a marbled effect.
  3. Use a butter knife or an icing spatula to smooth the top of the banana bread batter.
  4. Bake until dark golden brown and fragrant, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
4-image collage of swirling the banana bread: 1 - Adding cinnamon sugar mixture to half the batter in a bread tin; 2 - Swirling the cinnamon sugar into the batter; 3 - Banana bread before baking; 4 - After baking.

Make the Glaze

  1. Sift the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a small bowl. Add the milk and vanilla.
  2. Stir with a fork or wire whisk until smooth and pourable. Drizzle over the top of your cooled banana bread.
2-image collage of making the glaze: 1 - Powdered sugar, cinnamon, milk and vanilla in a bowl before combining; 2 - After combining.

Tips for Making the Best Banana and Cinnamon Loaf

  1. Level your flour. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup, being careful not to pack it down, then level it with a knife. This helps to ensure you don’t add too much flour to your cinnamon swirl banana bread recipe, which could result in a dense and dry loaf. 
  2. Don’t overmix the batter. Stir the dry ingredients together with the wet ingredients just until they come together. A few lumps are okay! If you overmix, you risk developing the gluten in the flour, which can give you tough banana bread. 
  3. Use parchment paper. For quick clean-up, line your loaf pan with parchment paper before adding the batter. This will help the baked loaf release easier from the pan, too.
  4. Allow your banana bread to cool completely. Before slicing your banana bread, let it cool down to room temperature. Otherwise, it may crumble.
Cinnamon swirl banana bread on a marble cutting board cut halfway with a few slices laid down to show cinnamon swirl inside; small dish of extra glaze nearby.

How to Store Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon swirl banana bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. However, if you prefer to keep it in the refrigerator, it won’t hurt.

How Long Will Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread Last in the Fridge?

When stored in the refrigerator, this banana bread should last for about a week. At room temperature, it will last for about five days.

Can I Freeze Banana Bread Recipes with Cinnamon?

Yes! Banana and cinnamon loaf freezes very well. Wrap the loaf or individual slices with plastic wrap, then add it to a freezer bag. The double layer of protection will help prevent freezer burn. Cinnamon swirl banana bread will last up to three months in the freezer. To thaw, place on your kitchen counter and let it return to room temperature. It should take about three hours to thaw.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my banana bread burned outside but raw inside?

This can happen if your oven is running too hot. Reduce the temperature by 50 degrees and place a foil tent over your banana bread, then continue cooking until done in the middle. 

Why is my banana bread tough? 

Your banana bread can become tough if you overmix your batter, which can develop the glutens in the flour and affect the texture, making it dense, rubbery, and/or tough. 

Why use ripe bananas for banana bread?

Very ripe bananas are best for banana bread because they’re softer and easier to mash. They’re also sweeter because as bananas ripen, their starches convert to sugars.

Closeup of the inside of a cinnamon swirl banana bread loaf.

With its cinnamon-sugar ribbon, the sweet glaze, and a tender and moist crumb, cinnamon swirl banana bread is over-the-top good! It’s hearty enough for a snack yet decadent enough for dessert. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to make with only 15 minutes hands-on time. You’ll love this banana and cinnamon loaf!

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Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

This cinnamon swirl banana bread is glazed on the top, with a perfectly spiced swirl, giving the classic dessert bread a delicious upgrade!
5 from 9 votes
Servings 12 servings
Course Dessert
Calories 300
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
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Ingredients
  

For the Cinnamon Swirl Layer:

For the Glaze:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving excess on the two longer sides so you can easily remove the banana bread once baked.
  • To a large bowl, add bananas, brown sugar, and melted butter. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the bananas until almost completely smooth.
  • Add Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and fold with a rubber spatula until no streaks of flour remain. In a separate medium bowl, combine the cinnamon swirl ingredients.
  • Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and top with the cinnamon swirl mixture. Add remaining batter on top, then use a butter knife or cake tester to swirl the batter, creating a marble effect. After swirling the batter, smooth the top of the loaf into an even surface. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Let cool for at least 20 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • While the cake cools, make the glaze. Sift the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt into a small mixing bowl. Add the milk or cream and vanilla and whisk until smooth. The consistency should be similar to corn syrup or a runny honey.
  • Once the cake is cool, remove from the pan and place on a plate or cutting board. Drizzle with glaze and let sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Use nonstick cooking spray as needed.
Storage: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature. At room temperature, it will last for about five days. If you prefer to store your banana bread in the refrigerator, it should last for about a week. 
Freezer: This banana bread freezes very well. Wrap the loaf or individual slices with plastic wrap, then add it to a freezer bag. The double layer of protection will help prevent freezer burn. Cinnamon swirl banana bread will last up to 3 months in the freezer. To thaw, place on your kitchen counter and let it return to room temperature. It should take about 3 hours to thaw.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 225mg, Potassium: 188mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 315IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Dessert

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Comments

  1. Arisha says:

    We do we have to use brown sugar or can we sub it for white sugar?

    1. Yumna says:

      I would suggest using brown sugar. It provides more flavor and moisture.

  2. Ellen says:

    Easy recipe that was a big hit with entire family. Will be making again.

    1. Yumna says:

      So glad to hear, thanks!