I believe some people are born banana bread lovers, and others aren’t. For better or worse, I was born in the former category. I asked my dad to “taste test” a bit of banana and tell me which one he liked better. He has the ability to simply take a bite out of each slice, and put it back on the plate. When it comes to banana bread, I do not have the ability to simply “take a bite”. After he left, I finished both of his slices. In the past few hours, I have devoured almost half of each loaf. I’m telling you, its not me — its the banana bread.
I also made Orangette’s dark chocolate ginger banana bread — which I devoured quite quickly due to its unique flavor combination. However, of the two banana breads, this one was the winner. I might be a bit biased due to my slightly insane love of cinnamon, but either way, this loaf disappeared the fastest.
It’s a bit like a cross between a banana bread and a coffee cake. With a crisp, cinnamon crumble topping that makes it stand out from the rest. It has sweet honey and cinnamon stirred into the batter and the cinnamon streusel bakes into crunchy, caramelized bliss. Perfection.
Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
Adapted from Bakesale Betty and Bon Appétit, September 2008
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 ½ Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9- x 5-inch metal loaf pan. (Alternatively, you can spray the pan lightly with cooking spray and then line it with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. That’s what I did, and it made it very easy to remove the finished bread from the pan; I just grabbed the parchment and lifted. Also, because I don’t have a 9- x 5-inch pan – and because an 8 ½- x 4 ½-inch is a little too small – I used a 10- x 3-inch pan that I found once at a flea market.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, honey, and water. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle them evenly over the batter.
Bake the bread until a tester inserted into its center comes out clean, about 1 hour, give or take a little. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove the bread from the pan, taking care not to dislodge the topping. Cool completely before slicing.
Yield: 1 loaf