I came across the original recipe on Pinterest and was wooed by the sounds of a "cinnamon swirl." I made a few modifications to add some fiber and reduce the fat, but followed the basic premise of the original recipe. Feel free to ignore my modifications if you want full-on indulgence!
And you know how the best part of a muffin is the top? Where all of the flavorful, crunchy goodness lives? Well, thanks to the swirl of sweet cinnamon in the middle, you get a little bit of that "best bite" throughout the bread. That's in addition to the nice crust it creates on top, of course.
It's tasty from top to bottom!
Banana Bread with Cinnamon Swirl (makes 1 9x5 loaf or 2 small loaves)
Adapted from Lovin' from the Oven
3 medium, overripe bananas
3 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (if you don't have any, use all-purpose flour — and be sure it's whole wheat pastry flour and not just regular whole wheat flour!)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter (or use cooking spray) and flour a loaf pan.
Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add melted butter, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla and stir until combined. Then add beaten egg and combine well. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt evenly on the top of the banana mixture. Stir in flour gradually and mix just until combined.
In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and tablespoon of cinnamon.
Add half of the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Then sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon swirl mixture over the batter, being sure to cover the entire surface. Spoon the rest of the batter into the loaf pan, and then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture on top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick/skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool, slice, and enjoy!