Some people like to add chocolate chips or nuts or a cinnamon sugar topping to their banana bread, but not me. I have always liked basic banana bread just as it is, maybe slathered with a little butter. Well, until now, I should say. See, this Cream Cheese Banana Bread has changed my mind about add-ins because it turns out a sweet and creamy ribbon is just the thing banana bread needs running through it. This banana bread is as moist and banana-y as you could want banana bread to be but that cream cheese swirl adds a delicious creamy contrast. I didn’t know it needed it until I tried it, but I doubt I’ll be going back to basic banana bread any time soon.
You’re going to start just like you would with “normal” banana bread, with overripe bananas. The more ripe your bananas, the sweeter your bread will be. You want a banana that’s spotted, maybe a little squishy, and blackened in color — those are the perfect bananas for banana bread. Mash a couple up…
… and then add melted butter, eggs, brown and white sugars, and some Greek yogurt. The yogurt keeps things moist but also seems to lighten things up a bit. This bread is moist without being dense, if that makes sense.
You’ll then add flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda to bring the batter together, no mixer needed.
You’ll pour about half of that batter into a loaf pan and then top it with a mixture of cream cheese, egg, vanilla, sugar, and flour. That’s something that, again, you won’t need a mixer for so this ends up being a pretty easy loaf.
You’ll pour the rest of the banana batter over the cream cheese and all that’s left to do is bake. The cream cheese will settle in and form that smile-like pattern on its own, that’s not something you have to worry about creating.
“Basic” banana bread benefits from cooling completely (often overnight) before you slice into it, but for this one, you thankfully only have to wait fifteen minutes. That still might feel like an eternity but I can promise you that it’s well worth the wait.
Cream Cheese Banana Bread
Yield 1 loaf
10m prep time
1h cook time
For the batter:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the filling:
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Pour melted butter over bananas and stir to combine.
- Add egg, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and yogurt and stir once more.
- Add flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and stir until just combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, make the filling. Mix together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, and flour until smooth.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Pour cream cheese filling over the batter, then top with the remaining banana batter.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
- Let cool 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks.