Banana bread is a rich and deliciously moist treat that deserves so much more than the simple label, "bread." Follow our recipe below for our extra-fruity update to this classic - healthy banana apple bread!
Sweet banana bread makes the perfect afternoon snack, breakfast, or even dessert. We've always made it a ton because it tastes good and is one of theeasiest baked goods to make.
Better yet, it's a great way to use up any spotty, mushy bananas you left sitting on the counter for a little too long.
What is an apple banana bread?
We updated the classic banana bread by adding another fruit that tends to hang out around the house longer than it should - apples! Apples add some extra moisture and sweetness to the typical loaf of banana bread. Mixed with some ground cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt, eating a slice of this apple banana bread takes you to the perfect, crisp fall day.
But why stop there? We made this bread extra-decadent with a buttery streusel topping and a classic icing glaze.
Our banana bread recipe makes two loaves, so feel free to cut the ingredients in half.
Pull out your apple peeler and follow our easy instructions below!
How to Make Healthy Apple Banana Bread
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil
- 1 c. mashed ripe bananas, about 2-3 whole bananas
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 c. all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 c. apple, peeled, cored, and diced; about 1 small apple
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 c. powdered icing sugar
- 2 tsp hot water
- Preheat your oven to 325 °F. Spray two 8" or 9" bread loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray, or lightly grease with butter or vegetable oil. Set aside.
- In a large-sized mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs, sour cream, and vegetable or canola oil. Then, add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, white sugar, and brown sugar. Stir your ingredients until very well combined. Set aside.
- In a small-sized mixing bowl, combine all of your dry bread ingredients - all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined, then pour the flour mixture into the wet banana ingredients. Stir just just-combined and fold in the diced apple chunks.
- Pour half the batter into one baking pan, then the other half into your second pan.
- In the small mixing bowl you used for the dry ingredients, make your streusel banana bread topping mixture. Combine the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix well, stirring until the mixture is crumbly and uniform. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over both apple banana bread loaves.
- Place the bread loaf pans on a middle rack in your preheated oven and make for 60-70 mins, or until a food thermometer reaches 200 °F when stuck into the center of your loaf.
- Remove the apple and banana bread from the oven and leave inside the bread pans to cool for at least 20 mins. Then, flip over on a cooling rack to remove the loaf from the pan to cool thoroughly.
- In a small-sized mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and hot water. Whisk together. Drizzle the icing over the cooled bread. Apple banana bread can be served and enjoyed immediately or saved for later!
Apple Banana Bread Recipe - Nutrition Information
Per serving: 1 slice
Calories: 172 kcal; Carbohydrates: 28 g; Protein: 2 g; Fat: 6 g; Sodium: 115 mg; Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 19 g.
Apple Banana Bread - FAQ
What is the difference between a banana bread and banana loaf?
There's a bit of debate about how to differentiate these two treats. No matter how you slice them, they're both excellent. A loaf typically refers to a block of baked bread, and according to that definition, banana breadisa loaf if it's baked into a bread pan.
Things get weirder when you add banana cake into the equation. Banana cake can sometimes contain the same ingredients as banana bread but may bake in a sheet pan or have icing.
Since our banana bread is baked in a loaf pan but topped with a glaze, you might call it cake and not be entirely wrong. We called it banana bread for simplicity's sake, but you do you! It's a quick bread recipe that requires no yeast or rising time.
What kind of apples should I use?
We love tart apples, so we tossed some Granny Smiths into our recipe. There are plenty of flavorful apple varieties to choose from, and they'll all make a loaf that tastes a little different. We prefer one of these baking apples, which won't turn to mush as they bake.
Try one of these sweet or tart apple varieties:
- Granny Smiths; for a tart and acidic flavor with juicy flesh
- Honey crisp; for a sweet taste with crispy flesh
- Johnathan, for a sweet and mildly sour flavor with a juicy flesh
- Cortland; for a sweet, slightly tart flavor with juicy flesh
- Braeburn; for a sweet flavor with crispy flesh
- Rome Beauty; for a sweet taste with a crisp, dense flesh
- Gala; for a sweet taste with crispy flesh
- Fuji; for a sweet and mildly tart flavor with crisp flesh
How do you keep banana bread moist?
After your banana bread cools, you can keep it moist for days with the proper storage techniques. Place a clean, dry paper towel in the bottom of a sealable container or zip lock freezer bag. Place the cooled bread in the container or bag, cover it with another paper towel, and seal. Banana bread is naturally quite moist, so the paper towel absorbs any extra moisture without exposing the bread to too much dry air.
Leave the sealed bread container or bag out at room temperature to keep the texture for longer, as cold fridge air dries baked goods quickly.
How long does banana bread last on the counter?
Somehow, baking almost rotten bananas improves their shelf life significantly! If you follow the careful wrapping instructions above, your banana loaf will last for up to 5 days on your counter at room temperature.
That said, we doubt anyone is keeping this loaf around that long anyway - it's too tasty to resist!
How ripe should bananas be for banana bread?
You don't want to use under ripe bananas for your recipe, or evenjust ripe, yellow bananas. Choose bananas that, at the very least, have some brown spots, but better yet, have plenty of black skin. The riper a banana gets, the sweeter the taste and softer the texture - both good qualities in banana bread.
If your house is anything like mine, finding almost rotten bananas won't be too much of an issue.
Can you freeze apple banana bread?
Believe it or not, this apple banana bread stays plenty moist in the freezer. Wait until your banana loaf cools completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap before you store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe zip lock bag.
This banana loaf stays well in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to serve and enjoy it, take it out of the freezer to thaw on the counter for a few hours.
Why is there sour cream in banana bread?
Sour cream adds plenty of moisture and a rich, creamy flavor, so we love to add it to our banana loaves. If you don't want to use sour cream, try plain or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt for a boost of protein and less fat.
Final Notes & Banana Bread Variations
Play around with this banana bread recipe by adding some extra ingredients - think walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
Use pineapple in place of the apple if you're looking for a sweet summer alternative, and toss ¼ c. of shredded coconut in along with it.
Almost any fresh or dried fruit, seeds, or nuts taste good in this banana bread.
Enjoy your banana apple loaf!