It has been years since I’ve mustered up the desire to make a banana bread recipe that isn’t this one because why mess with a good thing, right?
But when my virtual friend Heather told me this cream cheese banana bread really needed to be in my life, like now, I couldn’t resist. I am fairly powerless when it comes to trying new recipes from people I trust. In this case, I made it the same day (where art though self-control?). And it certainly did not disappoint. In fact, it totally banished every bit of skepticism waiting in my soul.
Comparing this recipe to my favorite banana bread in the whole world is like comparing chocolate to cheese. There’s no point because both of them belong in this world for very different reasons (chocolate for my personal therapy, cheese because, well, it’s cheese). However, just so you know what you are getting yourself into, I will tell you that this cream cheese banana bread is ethereally soft with a creamy texture while the buttermilk banana bread is slightly more dense with a bit more buttery sweetness.
And just to clarify, there are not swirls of cream cheese running through this banana bread – no, no, the cream cheese is used in the batter, which is why the crumb of the bread is lusciously smooth and tender. The sweet cinnamon topping doesn’t hurt matters either.
Knowing that I’ve waited almost five years to post another banana bread recipe worthy of your attention should speak volumes. I take banana bread very, very seriously.
Yes, I can definitely say that I will be making this banana bread version right alongside the tried-and-true favorite. It’s pretty amazing, my friends. I encourage you to throw away your self-control, also, and just make it today. You’ll never know what you are missing until you do and I don’t want you living your life with regrets.
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 3/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.
- In a small bowl, mash together the topping ingredients until combined and crumbly.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle with the topping.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until the bread is nicely domed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let rest in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack to cool completely.