Forget grandma’s old-school banana bread, this sweet and fruity apple banana bread takes everyone’s favorite baked good to a whole other level! This delectable dessert bread features tender cinnamon vanilla apples and bananas, it’s like nothing you’ve had before!
Apple banana bread puts a delightful twist on an old classic!
It’s hard not to think about hosting friends or family while making this delectable apple banana bread. With the sweet smell of brown sugar and butter wafting throughout your home, there will be no need to light a candle to emulate this amazing aroma!
Tender chunks of vanilla and cinnamon-coated apples dispersed throughout a moist loaf of banana bread is exactly what we all want to be waking up to on these cold winter mornings.
There’s no better way to make use of those freckled bananas on the counter than turning them into a loaf that can be consumed with your morning coffee or wrapped up in a lunch the next day.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
It's Made to Share! This sticky, sweet bread slices like a dream, making it perfect for doling out to friends and coworkers!
It's Unique! You are unlikely to find this apple banana bread at any bake sale, so you can wow the crowd!
Save Your Bananas! Finally, something you can make with the browning bananas on the counter!
This recipe mostly calls for standard baking ingredients, but you may need to take a trip to the store for some applesauce if you don't have it on hand. Before you head to the store, set out your butter and eggs so they can come to room temperature!
Cinnamon Vanilla Apples
- 2 tablespoons Butter - I like to use salted butter in most recipes unless otherwise noted.
- 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar - Make sure to pack it in the measuring cup to get an accurate amount. Dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor, so light brown is best here.
- 2 large Apples - I prefer Granny Smith apples but you can use any firm and tart variety. These will need to be cored, peeled, and cut into ½-inch chunks.
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract - I find pure vanilla extract wields the best flavor.
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon - Just enough to taste, but not overwhelm.
Apple Banana Bread
- ½ cup Butter - For the bread, the butter needs to be softened at room temperature.
- 1 cup Sugar - Just regular granulated sugar.
- 2 large Eggs - They should be at room temperature to make sure the bread bakes evenly.
- 2 medium Bananas - Browning bananas have the best flavor, so do not use fresh bananas here. These should be mashed up.
- ¼ cup Applesauce - Applesauce keeps the bread moist. No need for any fancy flavors, just the basic stuff will do.
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract - If you don't have any, you could try a vanilla substitute.
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda - Make sure to use baking soda, not baking powder.
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves - If you only have whole cloves, use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
- 1 pinch of Nutmeg - If you don't have nutmeg it won't make or break this dish, but just a pinch really adds to the flavor profile.
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour - The most common type of white flour used in baking.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Don't let the long list of ingredients intimidate you, this recipe is rather easy if you've done any baking. You will need a skillet and a 9x13 loaf pan.
- Cook apples. First, heat a skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, stirring occasionally. Once melted add the cut-up chunks of 2 large apples and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Mix Batter & Bake
- Preheat. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and use a small amount of butter and flour to coat the inside of a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Mix. Next, in a large mixing bowl beat the ½ cup of softened butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy, then add the 2 large eggs one at a time and mix with the creamed butter and sugar. Add the 2 medium mashed bananas and ¼ cup Applesauce and stir until well combined.
- Add remaining ingredients. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves, and a pinch of nutmeg. Add 2 cups of all-purpose flour and mix until just combined. Then, fold in the cinnamon vanilla apples.
- Bake. Transfer the batter into your prepared loaf pan and use a spatula to smooth the top of the loaf. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick, knife, or cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool. Finally, remove the loaf from your oven and allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan and transferring it to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
This apple banana bread can be enjoyed as a sweet breakfast, dessert, or snack! If you're looking for something light to counteract a sweet slice of apple banana bread at breakfast time, try my easy avocado egg bake! Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Don't overmix! While it is important to beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, the later steps of adding the mashed bananas and dry ingredients require far less vigorous mixing. Think muffin batter or pancake batter here, beating until just combined without overmixing.
- Freeze browning bananas! You can save brown bananas in the freezer, but you must allow them to come to room temperature before adding them to the batter. This will allow for a more homogenous batter and will prevent the butter from seizing when adding bananas.
- When folding in, we want to use gentle motions with a spoon or rubber spatula to gently disperse our apples into the banana bread mixture. Scoop upward from the center towards the outside of the bowl as opposed to mixing in circles.
- Choose the right apples! Firm apples are necessary because we are cooking them until tender and then again within the batter. While banana bread is moist and soft, the apple adds desired texture and bite to our bread. Tart apples help to develop a depth of flavors without the apple losing its luster in the finished product.
- Let the bread cool before taking it out of the pan! Allowing the bread to cool down will help allow the bread to release from the pan with ease, but can always run a metal spatula or butter knife along the outside edges of the pan before removing.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Leftover banana apple bread can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 3-4 days.
If you want to freeze some for later, wrap individual slices tightly in a double layer of foil, then place them in a freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.
Consume it within 2-3 months for the freshest flavor.
Frozen bread can be set out on the counter for 20- 30 minutes to thaw. If you are in a hurry, you may pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
🍞 More Fruity Bread Recipes!
- Pineapple Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Streusel Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Blueberry Muffin Bread
If you are a fan of the nuts traditionally added to banana bread, feel free to add them here as well. Add a ½ cup of diced walnuts, almonds, or pecans to the batter when you fold in the cinnamon apples.
Yes, if you don't have a large loaf pan there are a couple of options. You may use 3 mini loaf pans, or you can make muffins using a muffin pan. Alternatively, you could use two 9-inch round pans. Keep in mind, not only will you have to slice triangular portions when serving (like a pizza), but the layer of batter will be much thinner, thus requiring less baking time. Check your bread's doneness regularly as it bakes.
Apple Banana Bread
Cinnamon Vanilla Apples
- Heat a skillet over medium heat to melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring occasionally. Once melted add the chunks of apple and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.2 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoon light brown sugar, 2 large apples, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and use butter and flour to coat the inside of a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time and mix with the creamed butter and sugar. Add the mashed bananas and applesauce and stir until well combined.½ cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 medium bananas, ¼ cup applesauce
- Stir in the vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Add the flour and mix until the batter is just combined. Fold in the cinnamon vanilla apples.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 pinch nutmeg, 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Transfer the batter into your prepared loaf pan and use a spatula to smooth the top of the loaf. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 1 hour 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick, knife, or cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove the loaf from your oven and allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cover the apple banana bread with a square of aluminum foil if the loaf is darkening to 'browned' rather than 'golden'.
- Store any remaining apple banana bread wrapped in plastic cling film and placed into an airtight container in the refrigerator. Your bread will keep for up to 3-4 days refrigerated.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!