Cream Cheese Banana Bread

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.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

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.

One Year Ago: Cowboy Spaghetti
Two Years Ago: Orange Cashew Rice {With Baked Tilapia}
Three Years Ago: Baked Kettle Corn {The Loaded Version}

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping

Yield: Makes 2 loaves (8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch)

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping

Ingredients

    Bread:
  • 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
  • Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a small bowl, mash together the topping ingredients until combined and crumbly.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle with the topping.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the bread is nicely domed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack to cool completely.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/cream-cheese-banana-bread/
Recipe Source: adapted from my friend Heather (I cut down the sugar and increased the bananas among a few other minor changes)

74 Responses to Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping

  1. I need this in my life. That cinnamon topping is calling my name!!

  2. Hello, Mel! I was attracted by your blog when I saw that we sort of share the same ‘cooking philosophy’! I love easy, simple recipes that are great for day-to-day, busy-people cooking, too! I also made some banana bread yesterday for the first time in a while … and put cream cheese frosting on the top! Yours with cream cheese actually in it sounds great!

  3. Bethany H says:

    Could you do these as muffins? I have bananas on my counter and planned to make my favorite banana chocolate chip muffins today when I saw this. Muffins are perfect for my 2 year old to eat… And me. :-)

    • Mel says:

      Bethany – good question on the muffins. I haven’t tried the banana bread as muffins but I’ve found that {usually} quick breads transition pretty well to muffins.

  4. Kristin says:

    Too funny! I just made your buttermilk banana bread on Friday for the first time, but I added a streusel topping, because…streusel. It was delicious and gobbled up at work in minutes! Love your blog.

  5. Heather bell says:

    I’m so glad this recipe can move on to others. It’s just too good to share and it is great for muffins as well:) keep up the great work Mel and thanks for the trust;)

  6. This banana bread looks so good!!

  7. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! I love banana bread, and this one looks especially delicious!

  8. Teresa says:

    Well, I had to make this today. I had exactly half of a package of cream cheese left over from making your garlic alfredo sauce last night. So I made one loaf. Oh, it is so delicious. Very tender, like you said, and so different than the buttermilk one, which I also love. I did eliminate the topping (and the cinnamon and nutmeg), but I loved the crispy outside and soft cake inside. A delicious winner again!

  9. Jane says:

    So excited! I have had 2 pounds of cream cheese languishing in my fridge (I know, really?) for awhile and I need to make multiple loaves of banana bread this week…win/win! I am off to the store in search of overripe bananas.

  10. Maureen says:

    Just in case you don’t have any over ripe bananas laying around, you can put your yellow bananas in the oven (on a baking sheet lined with foil for easy clean up). Put the oven on the warm setting (170 – 200) until the bananas get mushy and the skins are a lovely banana bread black (about 20 minutes). It really brings out the flavor and sweetness of the banana.
    It’s the perfect solution for those Banana Bread Emergencies! :)

    • kero says:

      Good idea. I’ve also, in a pinch, thrown non-overly ripe bananas in the microwave (inspired by America’s Test Kitchen) until they get mushy. The time depends on the ripeness of your bananas, but I’d start with a couple minutes and work up from there. I help cool them down by mashing them with the milk because I found they will dry a bit if you leave them out sitting too long while you’re mixing your other ingredients.

  11. angie says:

    Two loaves are cooling on my kitchen counter, as I type. Smells so yummy and looks just as yummy:) perfect for our snowy day!

  12. This bread looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

  13. Army.of 7 says:

    My husband’s favorite dessert is your frosted banana bars, he is away now but I will have these waiting for him when he returns!

  14. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the recipe….it looks really good! I will do one loaf and muffins with what’s left over….which me luck!

  15. Melissa says:

    Wishhh me luck….banana bread on the brain!

  16. Bryn says:

    Congrats on the homie win!

  17. Laurel says:

    Made a loaf and a dozen muffins. Success! Amazingly delicious! Wow we can’t get enough of it. Think I’ll incorporate that yummy crumb topping to your coconut cinnamon sugar muffins as well. It’s awesome! Thanks for another home run! You rock!

  18. Jennifer Ammerman says:

    It’s in the oven! Can’t wait to try it tonight!

  19. Jennifer Ammerman says:

    It’s pretty good!!! I overbaked it a smidge, it really only needed 50 minutes. Crumb topping is delicious!

  20. I made your sausage/tortellini soup last night and holy cow!! Delish! My aunt told me about your site when I was in a recipe rut a few weeks ago. (apparently we are related…I think she said your dad and my mom are Johnson cousins.) I have loved everything I have made so far, the soup and the linguine with ham and peas and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were my favorite. My husband loved the soup but said the smothered chicken with mushroom gravy was the best meal he has ever had in his life. So, thanks! Keep up the good work!!

  21. I meant to put a topping like that on the last banana bread I made but forgot. Guess I’ll just have to make another!

  22. Okay, I’m the same way. I always only make my mom’s banana bread but I might have to make this. Cream cheese? Perfect. And that topping!

  23. Lien says:

    I made these into muffins, and they are delicious! This recipe yields a perfect 24 muffins! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Lien says:

    Okay, after a few more bites, it’s official…this is my new favorite! I love the texture and topping!!!

  25. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made one loaf and muffins – really delicious! Mel would these keep okay stored in an airtight container for 3 days and then afterwards freeze what we don’t finish?

    • Mel says:

      Melissa – I would probably freeze them right off the bat and then defrost, gently reheat the ones out of the freezer. I think they would be a bit stale after three days. I am glad you liked it!

  26. Sheila says:

    I made this tonight and all the above comments are right on. Wonderful twist to an old favorite — cream cheese and the topping is oh so good! Thank you Heather and Mel!

  27. Ashleigh M says:

    I just made this and all I can say is OH MY WORD!!! They are so tender and so light and I have NO IDEA how they will make it to breakfast tomorrow morning. 12 hours is a LONG TIME for these muffins to sit and tempt me. I’m never going to lose this baby weight! Lol

    I know every oven is different, but this recipe worked beautifully as muffins. I put the batter in muffin cups and baked them for 20 minutes. They didn’t brown as beautifully as Mel’s loaf, but they are super moist and tender. I’m in heaven — again. Thanks for sharing, Mel.

  28. Makamae says:

    I had been wanting to make this ever since you posted it the other day on facebook, and I finally made it last night. Quite possibly the best banana bread I have ever made. Delish! Thanks so much for sharing.

  29. Gina says:

    I made this bread into muffins this morning. Worked out beautifully! Amazing texture, did mix it up a bit. Replaced 1/4 cup of coconut oil for part of the butter and used half white wheat flour and half regular flour. The crumb topping takes them to another level of yummyness!! Thanks for sharing!!

  30. Andreya says:

    My anti cream cheese family LOVED the bread! It was great!!! Another hit from the famous Mel! (You are like a celebrity around here)

  31. Katherine says:

    Hi Mel – I am a new follower of yours and you have inspired me! I had NEVER made buns before, ever, until I cam across your blog. Well, I think I have tried them all now and my family truly thanks you! I want to try this cream cheese banana bread recipe – but all I have is the whipped cream cheese and I really need to use it up – I have 6 large containers of it (don’t ask haha). Do you know of a way I can convert the brick cream cheese qty to the whipped?? Appreciate any advice! thanks again!

    • Mel says:

      Katherine – The best way would be to probably use the same weight of whipped cream cheese (8 ounces for this recipe). I’m not positive that converts exactly but it’s a good start. Good luck!

  32. Tifani says:

    I am a banana bread junkie (tried about a billion recipes, not too many more than twice!) and this is completely, totally, insanely AMAZING!!!! Try it, try it, try it!! Thank you Mel, it is/was absolutely delicious!!

  33. Cindy H. says:

    My 10 year old made this for us. We didn’t have a loaf pan so she made these into muffins instead. Uh-mah-gawd these were so wonderful. We didn’t even have 8 oz. of cream cheese…more like 6 oz. and they were scrumptious. They were gone within a day. These are keepers.

    As muffins, of course, the cooking time was much less. I can’t remember the time we took them out but I’m guessing it was around 30 minutes.

  34. Tammy says:

    Awesome. A bit more like cake than bread. Mmm.

  35. Dee says:

    Hi, Mel. Thank you for this recipe! I have been looking for a ‘less dense’ banana bread recipe for a while now so I was so happy to find yours. I made this yesterday and it’s fantastic. The topping just takes it over the edge making an already delicious banana bread even better.

  36. Birgitta says:

    This bread was delish! The crumb was soft…more like a coffee cake rather than a dense bread. It was a nice change to an old favorite.

  37. fmandds says:

    I love the buttermilk banana bread and nearly have the recipe memorized. I only need to look at amounts, no longer need to know the process. When I made this bread the batter seemed AWFULLY thick, almost to cookie dough consistency. It made me nervous it wasn’t going to turn out. Thankfully it still tastes fantastic.

    I always struggle with the topping recipe. The softened butter never seems to make it crumby enough(but yet I can always makes scones or biscuits). I always end up just melting butter and stirring it into the other ingredients. Do you think it matters much on the state of the butter when it comes to a topping recipe like this one has?

    • Mel says:

      Fmandds – No, I don’t think it really matters, as long as the butter/sugar mixture is pretty evenly combined. I am glad you liked the new banana bread recipe!

  38. Camille says:

    This is my new favorite banana bread recipe! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m still getting used to my high altitude baking so next time I will decrease the cooking time, but it is still moist and yummy!

  39. Amanda says:

    Have you made this with whole wheat yet?

  40. […] barely adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, originally adapted from Belle’s Bazaar. bakingbanana breadbanana bread with cream […]

  41. Mandy says:

    I just pulled it out of the oven, they look and Smell Delicious!!

  42. jackie says:

    been making this since you posted it. i use the smaller disposable bread pans and can get three out of it. i used half butter half coconut oil since i didn’t have enough butter the first time and it is delish!!! everyone loves it. thanks for another tasty recipe.

  43. JennyP says:

    Hands down the best banana bread I have ever made – thank you for this recipe! I halved it last week and it came out beautifully using 2 large ripe bananas. Incredibly moist, flavorful, and not “heavy” tasting, like some recipes. Thanks again for another winner!

  44. Brittany Hyde says:

    I was a little nervous because I’ve never made banana bread but my kitchen aid made it super easy and it is HANDS DOWN the best banana bread I’ve ever had in my life. I would hate to admit it to her, but it’s better than my moms.

  45. Melissa says:

    Hi Mel,

    I have a question for you. I made this into muffins today and substituted coconut oil for the butter (1:1) as I have never baked or cooked with coconut oil and I wanted to try it in this recipe as others have said it worked well. I am wondering if I can freeze them the same way even though I made them with coconut oil…I just wasn’t sure. Thanks a bunch!

  46. Lena says:

    I have a banana bread recipe which I have been VERY faithful to… But given the reputation of Every.Single.Recipe from your site that I have made, and the fact that I love cream cheese in a big way, I am about to stray for the very first time. I can’t wait to taste it! (Please don’t tell my other recipe)

  47. Amanda says:

    Finally made these! I used all hard white wheat (same amount as called for in regular white flour though I just made half the recipe). I made muffins as well. Turned out amazing!!! The topping is a nice touch! Bread a are so much better tasting with wheat! Give it a try!!

  48. Amanda says:

    Also, you should check out the succanat with honey granules that http://www.breadbeckers.com sells. It’s a GREAT alternative to white sugar or even the regular organic sugar. Much less processed and not as dark as regular succanat. Not sure how to convert recipes to plain honey so I love this sweetener!

  49. Rebekah says:

    Love it – when my husband tasted it, he said, “This is it. From NOW on, when I ask you to make banana bread, THIS is the recipe I want you to use.” (he gets a little weary of me trying new recipes all the time). The whole family went crazy for it. :) Thanks!!

  50. Jay says:

    I made these 2 weeks ago and they were great! beautiful and moist! however, i ended up baking it in a cake pan because i didnt realize the recipe was for 2 loaves! usually a recipe only makes 1 and i didnt realize this until i got all my ingredients out to room temperature and i was greasing the pan. so i ended up making banana CAKE lol. oh well….it was too much cake so i ended up giving half away to friends. the topping was nice too but i found it too sweet to have it too often and i make banana breads quite often. I think i’ll stick to my original banana bread recipe and make this one for special occasions :).

  51. LC Ishida says:

    I’m wondering about refrigerating these, since they contain cream cheese. Do they need to be refrigerated?

  52. queenann says:

    Made this today. Delicious. I used whole wheat flour for one of the three cups of flour, and I found it to be delicious.

    And it made my house smell like love.

  53. Anne says:

    Mel!!!! After too many years of being to busy to cook/bake for real- my family has LOVED everything fajitas, whole wheat bread, chili etc. With 3 very ripe bananas daring me to make them into a tempting treat…this was the choice:-) Son number 4 wants to know if you have a daughter his age! Thanks for being such a fun blessing!

    • Mel says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Anne! If your son is right around the advanced toddler stage, I’d say let’s set he and my daughter up in about 16 years! :)

  54. Jenn W says:

    I don’t know I missed this recipe, but I stumbled on it today and made it. It is delicious! My husband couldn’t keep his hands off the second loaf that was meant for a neighbor. Oh, well–more for us!

  55. amanda says:

    Is the batter suposed to be thick? I substituted Greek yogurt for butter and used coconut flour and batter was thick. Tasted good tho. Find out how it cooks

    • Mel says:

      amanda – The batter is fairly thick although I’m not sure if omitting the butter will change the consistency. Hope it works out!

  56. Forgive me if you’ve already mentioned this before, but what loaf pans do you use? Your bread always looks perfect – not too dark and nicely domed.

  57. Joy says:

    Anyone do any subs for this recipe? I’m wondering about subbing out 1/2 the butter for applesauce. When I make the buttermilk banana bread recipe I always do that so I feel slightly less guilty when I consume entirely too much. That and I add an extra banana and put in a bit less sugar. I’m wondering how those changes would do on this beauty. Anyone try any of that?

    • Mel says:

      Joy – I haven’t tried either of those adjustments but I’d say it’s certainly worth experimenting especially if it has worked well in the past!

  58. Allie says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe, it was absolutely delightful!! Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this blog for people you may never meet. Bless you!! – Allie :)

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