A few weeks ago I was complaining that having my girls has made it almost impossible for me to make any sort of baked good with bananas. The issue isn’t that they don’t like bananas. Quite the opposite, they LOVE bananas. And therein lies the problem. Bananas never seem to last long enough around here to get to that overripe state that’s perfect for baking all manner of delicious banana flavored treats.
As if an answer to prayer, the other day a friend mentioned she had some bananas on their way to overripe perfection and asked if I wanted them. OF COURSE! I was so excited! It’s been so long since I’ve had bananas ready for baking, I knew this called for trying a new recipe. The answer was staring at me from the fridge. A big Costco size tub of cream cheese sitting in my fridge just screamed, “Make the Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread! You’ve had that recipe pinned for almost a year!” And so I did.
I found this particular recipe at Sugar & Spice by Celeste. The recipe makes two loaves, so plan accordingly.
- 3/4 cup of butter, softened (I used unsalted)
- 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup chopped nuts, toasted
- 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (About 4 medium sized bananas)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease and flour two loaf pans (8×4 size, or close to). (Once your oven is at temperature, you can use the time between the oven being ready and finishing the recipe to toast your nuts. Just spread them on a baking sheet and let them toast in the oven for about 10 minutes.)
Beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add your sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.
In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add your dry ingredients to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until just blended. Stir in your mashed bananas, toasted nuts, and vanilla extract. Divide your batter between your two loaf pans.
Bake for one hour or until a tester stick comes out clean and the sides are pulling away from the pan. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks. Cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Tweaks and Overall Review:
The original recipe called for using pecans, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used walnuts (which I did have on hand) instead. I don’t think it made much of a difference either way. I also didn’t have two 8×4 loaf pans, so I used one 8×4 and one 9×5. The loaf in the 8×4 pan was done after one hour 10 minutes, while the loaf in the 9×5 pan needed to stay in the oven for about one hour 20 minutes.
The recipe produces a very moist banana bread, but at the same time I felt there was something missing. There was a nice, even banana flavor, but it seemed a little flat to my taste. I think next time I will add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon to the butter/sugar mixture and see if that doesn’t give the bread the little kick my palate thought it needed.