I usually don’t buy bananas unless I am using them for a specific recipe.
This is something that I have always done, especially when I plan to make this type of bread. I buy them, let them ripen, and then I bake.
For my whole life until very recently, I thought this was what everyone did. But according to my husband, there’s another way.
Apparently, his mother keeps bananas in the freezer all the time. She constantly has at least three of them in there, packed away at the peak of ripeness or frozen overripe leftovers that are ready to thaw to be used in her favorite baked goods.
I never even thought to do this before, and I can’t believe I hadn’t! How incredibly genius is that? All you have to do is thaw the fruit overnight in the fridge, and you can bake bread the next morning.
No more trying to ripen the fruit in brown paper bags or making sure you buy them several days before you plan to bake. I have found my newest favorite kitchen hack and, as you can probably tell, I am way too excited about it.
Wondering just how ripe those bananas should be to use in this recipe? I prefer mine to have lots of brown spots all over.
You can also use them when they are extra ripe (i.e. dark brown or black all over), if you like the flavor to be really pronounced. Personally, it’s a bit too intense for me so I stick with the ones that are spotted all over.
A slice of warm banana bread is all the comfort I need in this world. Alongside a big mug of coffee in the morning while I watch my son play (it’s still so weird to say that as a new mom!), it’s something that instantly relaxes me.
Not to mention the smell of it baking… It fills the entire house, doesn’t it?
For this variation, the bread itself is the classic loaf you know and love. It’s rich and flavorful, moist and tender. You get a big hit of banana flavor without it being too overpowering.
However, this recipe also incorporates a cinnamon streusel topping for a bit of textural variation. The topping is crunchy and sweet with a hint of cinnamon that ties in so nicely with the other flavors of this baked treat.
It’s particularly fantastic if you have anyone in your home with a nut allergy, or someone who just doesn’t like nuts in baked goods (like my husband). You still get a little extra texture like you would when you add nuts, and in my oh-so-humble opinion, the flavor is even more delicious.
This quick bread actually keeps quite well and can last for up to five days in the refrigerator, so it’s fantastic for making ahead of time if you want to have it for the weekend or a special event.
To keep it moist, be sure to wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.
For freezing instructions, keep reading through to the end of this article. It’s easy to store in the freezer and reheat as well.Print
Start off the day with a slice of the best banana bread with cinnamon streusel topping. It’s an easy way to use any ripe bananas in your pantry.
For the Banana Bread:
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water
For the Streusel Topping:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan with butter and flour. Tap on the counter and discard any excess flour. You can also use cooking oil spray to grease the pan if you prefer.
- Whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, eggs, vegetable oil, honey, and water until smooth and combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, gently stir together the cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter, and flour to make the streusel topping. Use your hands to incorporate everything until it’s crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter.
- Bake for one hour, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Remove bread from the pan before slicing and serving, or cool completely on a wire rack before storing.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2008.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Quick Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Baked Goods
Keywords: banana bread, cinnamon, streusel
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Mash Bananas, Melt Butter, and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Peel and mash two medium-sized ripe bananas so you have about one cup total.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt four tablespoons of unsalted butter for the streusel topping. Set it aside to cool.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Use butter to grease a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan, then dust it with flour, making sure to tap it and discard any excess. You can also use cooking spray if you prefer.
Step 2 – Make Batter
Add the mashed bananas, eggs, vegetable oil, honey, and water to a large bowl. Whisk to combine until smooth. Stir in the dry ingredients until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Step 3 – Make Topping
Add all of the ingredients for the streusel topping to a small bowl, and use your fingers to combine them until the mixture is crumbly.
Spread or scatter the topping over the batter in an even layer.
Step 4 – Bake
Bake for one hour, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing to slice and serve, or cool completely on a wire rack before storing.
How Do I Freeze Banana Bread?
Before freezing, it’s important to let the bread cool completely. After that, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap it again in a layer of aluminum foil. Place in the freezer, and freeze for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to serve it, defrost the loaf in the fridge overnight. You can place it in the oven to warm it for a few minutes if you would like to serve it warm, or cut into slices and put in the toaster oven for a few minutes on low heat.
Got the baking bug? Try these quick bread recipes from Foodal next:
Do you like to eat your banana bread with anything on top, like butter or jam? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back and rate this recipe once you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on September 9, 2009. Last updated on June 25, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.