Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread

from 27 votes

The classic bread gets a fruit-filled makeover with a top-rated recipe for Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread complete with crunchy sugar topping.

A top-down view of a half-sliced loaf of Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread

My go-to banana bread recipe has seen nearly every mix-in, topping and swirl you can imagine, from peanut butter chips to zucchini and pumpkin to streusel. But this Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread recipe marks a first in that the bananas are forced to canoodle with a fellow fruit and some warming spices.

The result is an extra-moist quick bread studded with juicy apples, plenty of cinnamon and the quintessential crunchy sugar topping.

A spatula rests in a clear bowl containing batter and diced apples

Substitute for Buttermilk in Banana Bread

I love the addition of tangy buttermilk in banana bread, but I also try to avoid buying a big carton to avoid the inevitable leftovers hitting the trash can before their expiration date. There are loads of buttermilk substitutes, from a simple milk and lemon concoction to good ol’ sour cream or yogurt. Check out my full guide: What Can I Substitute for Buttermilk?

A top-down view of batter topped with diced apples in a parchment paper-lined loaf pan

How Do You Keep Fruit from Sinking in Bread?

Banana bread purists may be aghast at the addition of diced apples, but trust me when I tell you that those pops of juicy tang (courtesy of Granny Smith’s finest fruit) will tickle your taste buds bite after bite.

The key to ensuring apples in every bite and not just the bottom third of your loaf is to toss the diced fruit with a bit of flour. This coating draws out moisture and prevents them from sinking.

Golden brown banana bread studded with diced apples in a parchment paper-lined loaf pan

How to Store Apple Banana Bread

Whether sliced or unsliced, the best way to store any variety of banana bread is in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag kept at room temperature. Reheating each slice is as simple as popping it into the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds… or you could turn it into Banana Bread French Toast. Two words: game-changer!

A top-down view of a half-sliced loaf of Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread topped with sanding sugar

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Breakfast

Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread

Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread is an extra-moist quick bread studded with juicy apples, plenty of cinnamon and the quintessential crunchy sugar topping.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.82 from 27 votes
A top-down view of a half-sliced loaf of Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe, darkly speckled bananas
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup small diced (peeled) apples
  • Sanding sugar (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper then grease the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of flour with the sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set the bowl aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  • In a small bowl, combine the diced apples with 1 Tablespoon flour, tossing until they’re thoroughly coated. Fold in the diced apples then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top liberally with sanding sugar (optional). 
  • Bake the bread for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring the loaf to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Kelly's Note

  • Any variety of apple will work, but I prefer Granny Smith apples because they add a touch of tang to the bread. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 274mg, Potassium: 182mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 361IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe. The apple banana bread was very Moist! My grandson devoured it. So good. I will always make this bread from now on.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe MANY times, and it is always delicious! I have also added chocolate chips a few times, and that is fabulous as well. Great recipe! :)

  3. I love your recipes. I have not tried making the apple banana bread as of yet, however I would like to know if you’ve every tried making cupcakes instead of loaf?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Rachel! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste. :) I’d start checking the muffins around the 18-minute mark and it’ll probably yield ~16 muffins. Let me know how they turn out!

    1. Hi Indre! I wouldn’t recommend that because you would need about 3 times as much baking powder, resulting in an unpleasant metallic, salty-tasting bread.

  4. hi this was delicious! I gave mine a bit of a healthier twist for anyone who is interested.
    I used one cup of oatmeal flour (just ground up some regular oat meal!) and one cup of normal flour.
    I also cut out all the sugar and replaced it with just a fourth cup of brown sugar!

      1. Sure, Becky! I’d start checking the muffins around the 18-minute mark and it’ll probably yield ~16 muffins. Let me know how they turn out!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this the first time and mistakenly put baking powder instead of baking soda. Not good at all! But I made it the second time and it was very good! I put pecans in and baked in two loaf pans for about 36 minutes. I would give this recipe 5 stars!

      1. I made this bread according to the instructions and it was absolutely delicious! Just perfectly sweet and lightly spiced, great texture. Thanks for posting! Got a question:

        What’s the point of coating the apples in flour? I’ve googled a lot – some other recipes recommend, some don’t, I can’t find a reason why you should it shouldn’t. It came out well so I don’t doubt it’s right, I’m just dying to know why! Please help!

      2. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, May! The light coating of flour will absorb some of the fruit’s liquid, making them less likely to sink. :)

  6. 5 stars
    I’m so excited about this recipe can’t wait to serve it on Sunday. Baked it today (Friday) so the flavors will meld together and I will have my Great Grandchildren over after church and eat Apple Banana Bread.

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious. Amazing recipe. I baked it for my parents and sister last night for breakfast in the morning, left it in the fridge overnight and it turned out great. I actually didn’t have buttermilk, or the ingredients to make buttermilk, so I used regular milk, and it still turned out great. Thank you for this recipe :)

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! I substituted buttermilk for regular milk (didn’t have buttermilk on hand) and it came out fabulous! It’s the perfect balance of crispy outside and soft moist inside!

  9. This recipe is fantastic! It’s so easy and tasty! It’s one that my whole family enjoys. Thank you for the post.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this banana apple bread using plain yogurt instead of buttermilk and it was delicious! My husband and his buddy said they may have had better but they sure can’t remember when!

    1. Hi JoAnn! You’ll need the acidity in the buttermilk to react with the leavener. You can make a quick version by adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then pour in 2% milk up to the 1 cup mark. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then use 1/4 cup for this recipe and save the rest for another use. And just in case you don’t have lemon juice on hand, here’s a link to even more dairy and non-dairy buttermilk substitutes: https://www.justataste.com/what-can-i-substitute-for-buttermilk/

    1. Hi Alana! You’ll need an acidic component in addition to the almond milk to ensure the leavener works.

  11. 5 stars
    I converted this to a sourdough discard recipe and used my homemade fermented apples. Turned out beautiful!

    1. Hi Christina – I wouldn’t recommend that as it will change the texture and consistency of the bread.

  12. 5 stars
    I made this the other day. I swapped out the butter with applesauce and the buttermilk with oat milk instead. I skipped on the banana and added a little more Apple. Really tasted amazing and shared it with friends as well who also really liked it.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  13. Thankyou.. I made Appie-Banana Bread years ago for my children and lost the recipe . I lived in Maine at the time. I will try this one. Thank you so much .

  14. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe, but i wanted a very thin brownie like cake squares of apple/bannanna pecan bread. I poured the batter into a sheet pan, with pecans in the batter, and sprinkled on top. I’ll update after eating it. Just out of the oven. I watched the cook time, and it took 25 mins at 350 degrees. I took pictures also. Will see if i can add here.

    1. Hi Michael! If you happen to be on Instagram, you can share your culinary creations with me by using the hashtag #justatasterecipes :)

    1. Hi there! You’ll need the acidity in the buttermilk to react with the leavening agent. You can make buttermilk by adding 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then pour in whole milk up to the 1 cup mark. Let it sit for 5 minutes then measure out what you need.

  15. 2 stars
    I made this a couple of days ago and followed the recipe exactly. Although the flavor was fantastic, the loaf was not cooked in the middle. I tried to rescue it by baking it some more but it didn’t work. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Ralph – Oven temperatures (as well as loaf pans) can cause great variances in the bake time. Do you have an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is running at the correct temperature? And was the rack in the center of the oven?

    1. Hi Peg – I’ve never made this recipe in mini loaf pans so, unfortunately, I’m not sure the exact bake time. Would love to hear your results!

  16. 4 stars
    The recipe is delicious. I found the liquid to dry ingredient ratio to be off the first time I made it, so I left out the 1/4 cup milk when I mixed the second loaf.

    1. Hi Ekatarina! You can leave out the vanilla extract as it won’t drastically change the outcome, just the flavor a bit :) Or, almond extract could work as a substitution.

  17. Making this right now. The recipe is that good it doesn’t even need cooking haha happy to eat a bowl of batter to myself :)
    Looking forward to final result

    1. Hi Nancy! If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick version using whole milk and lemon juice or white vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, and then pour in the milk until it reaches the 1-cup mark. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then use 1/4 cup for this recipe and save the rest for another use.

    1. Hi Michelle – Did you toss the apples with the flour? That prevents them from sinking and making the bread too dense. And the density is also a result of the freshness of the baking soda.

  18. This is a great recipe! Just tried it for the first time and my coworkers love it! I substituted apple sauce for the eggs because I didn’t have any in the house and it gave a lovely apply flavour throughout the bread, not just the chunks. Thanks for sharing!

  19. I just made this. It is awesome! The apple is divine, full of bananas and a hint of cinnamon. I could have used more cinnamon.
    Thank you for the recipe.

    Kerri

  20. Hi, just wondering if you know how long to bake this recipe if using it to make muffins? I made the loaf last night and it was great but still have bananas to use so I thought I’d make some muffins to freeze!

    1. Hi there! I’ve never tried this recipe as muffins so I’m not sure the exact bake time, as it also depends on the size of the muffins.

  21. Hi Kelly, thank you so much for this delicious recipe and all the others I find on your site. You’re one of my top “go-to” places for recipes :o)

    1. Hi there! If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick version using whole milk and lemon juice or white vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, and then pour in the milk until it reaches the 1-cup mark. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then use 1/4 cup for this recipe and save the rest for another use.

    1. Hi Rosalie – I have never made this recipe with metric measurements but you are welcome to use an online converter.

  22. Hi Kelly, I made your Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread yesterday and it was delicious, my family loved it. The little bits of apple were such a surprise! We live in Queensland, Australia, so I had to convert some of your ingredients into our terms but that wasn’t hard. Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic recipe and I will definitely be making it again.

  23. Dear Kelly, thank you for this delicious recipe! I was looking for a banana bread recipe with apples and buttermilk and found yours… I had to give it a try! And I must say I have no regrets at all! Just added some chopped walnuts and replaced half the sugar with dark brown sugar, and greased the loaf pan with unsalted butter and lightly floured it (no parchment paper). It worked wonderfully. The bits of apples in each bite are like heaven!!! This bread is so addictive! I will definitely make it again, and again, and again…