This Cinnamon Crunch Banana Bread Recipe Is Giving (Specifically, Gut- and Brain-Boosting Benefits) With Every Bite

Photo: Stocksy/Kate Thompson
Prefer sweets over savory bites for breakfast? Does the thought of cinnamon sugar instantly make your mouth water? If you answered yes to these questions, you’ll want to check out this cinnamon crunch banana bread recipe, stat. Created by recipe developer, intuitive eating specialist, and author Angie Caruso of Healthful Radiance, it’s her go-to comfort food for rainy summer mornings. Take one look at her video, however, and you’ll discover that it can surely brighten up your breakfast spread rain or shine, 365 days a year.


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According to Caruso, the recipe yields “a warm and fluffy inside with a sweet cinnamon crunchy topping.” Temperature, texture, and taste, FTW. Better yet, it not only serves dessert-for-breakfast vibes, but also provides a variety of nutrient-powered perks.

Why we love this cinnamon crunch banana bread recipe

Before donning your apron and breaking out your mixing bowls, let’s first check out the key nutritional perks of Caruso’s recipe. Per a 2021 review in the journal Food & Function, bananas are among the most nutritious (and nutritionally balanced) fruits, as it’s rich in carbs, proteins, fatty acids, and minerals. Before you shudder at the word “carbs,” remember that they’re an important component of a healthy diet and are crucial to fuel your brain and body—full stop.

Moreover, bananas are rich in a notable carbohydrate: resistant starch, which functions akin to dietary fiber. It absorbs slowly, causing less glucose to be released in the bloodstream. At the same time, the starch feeds beneficial microbes in the gut, helping to produce short-chain fatty acids (SFCAs). SFCAs have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate inflammatory gut conditions and may positively influence brain physiology and processes via the gut-brain axis. In addition, one large banana packs 0.5 milligrams of vitamin B6 (which is nearly 40 percent of the recommended amount for adults under the age of 50) to promote brain and immune function. Of course, the fruit is also famed as a good source of potassium, which helps to balance sodium levels for proper electrolyte balance, digest carbs, and support cardiovascular health.

Cinnamon is another star ingredient lending this recipe its delectable flavor. The warm spice offers health benefits, to boot, given its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and anticancer effects. Vanilla extract boasts antioxidant activities and anti-inflammatory properties as well—as does maple syrup, which gets the green light from a gastroenterologist as a gut-friendly sweetener (albeit in moderation, as it still packs a hefty amount of sugar). Meanwhile, almond flour is high in protein, vitamins, calcium, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, providing a nutty flavor to complement your go-to gluten-free baking flour.

Cinnamon crunch banana bread recipe

Wet ingredients
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla

Dry ingredients
1 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon

Cinnamon crunch topping ingredients
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp ground cinnamon

  1. Mix the wet ingredients together until well-combined. In a separate bowl, do the same for the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the dry mixture to the wet and fold until uniform.
  3. Transfer batter to a pre-greased loaf pan and top with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely before slicing. (Parting tip: “Toast a slice and butter it up for maximum enjoyment,” Caruso advises.)
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