This is my new favorite banana bread recipe. And, as you can see, it’s not just a regular banana bread. It’s a PUMPKIN banana bread stuffed with apple chunks, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, and baked to perfection, with a gorgeous top crust!
This recipe combines so many of my favorite things: bananas, pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Yes, since I mentioned Greek yogurt, that means that this bread is also low-fat, with only 4 tablespoons of butter used for a whole loaf!
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If you bake lots of banana breads, you know that bananas and Greek yogurt work great as butter replacement. We’re keeping only 4 tablespoons of butter in the whole loaf (for texture). In place of butter, I am using mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, and pumpkin puree – all of these ingredients make this bread really moist, soft and tasty.
You can add any kind of apples, as long as they are crisp (not soft or mushy). Add sweeter kind of apples (such as Gala), and you’ll get a sweeter loaf. Add tarter apples (such as Granny Smiths), and you’ll get a sweet loaf too, with a touch of pleasant tartness from baked apples.
For this loaf, I actually used 2 completely different apples: one very tart Granny Smith apple and one very sweet Gala apple. Chopped up into chunks and folded into the cake batter, these sweet and tart apple chunks add unforgettable contrast of flavor! I don’t even peel the apples: after being baked in the bread for about an hour, they get very soft, including the peel, there is really no need to peel them. Plus, I think the peel holds the apple chunks together better: they don’t get so mushy.
Dear friends, please try this Fall recipe: you won’t be disappointed! The pumpkin flavor is so subtle and perfect in this bread, I am convinced this could become a favorite recipe even for those who don’t like pumpkin in their desserts: try this recipe and you’ll change your mind! 🙂 And, don’t even get me started on what a great breakfast this bread makes!
Yield: 9×5 inch loaf pan or a 8×4 inch loaf pan (plus 3 muffin cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft, room temperature
1 cup regular white sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sliced apple chunks, or about 2 medium size apples (cored), or 1 large size apple (cored)
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, using electric mixer, beat 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of white sugar on high speed for 1 minute until well-combined. You will get coarse looking mixture (not creamy).
Add 2 eggs to the butter-sugar mixture and continue beating for another minute until very creamy and very smooth.
Add mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar-eggs mixture, and continue beating, using electric mixer, until well combined – for about another minute.
In a separate medium bowl, combine sifted flour (do not overpack the flour, when measuring it using measuring cups!), baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix, using large spoon, just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. If there are lumps – they will work themselves out during baking. Fold in apple chunks.
Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper too. Note: lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper ensures that the bottom of the bread will not get stuck. Pour the batter in the pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
Note: I have also used a 8×4 inch loaf pan, plus 3 muffin cups with this recipe. You can also, of course, use mini loaf pans.