This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to get around to for a long time. If you remember back, I baked a Peaches and Cream Bread and a Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread. Both very nom nom and both with very similar recipes. A fairly standard quick bread, but with the addition of cream cheese to the base, half and half mixed in, a delightful streusel topping and some sliced fruit adorning the top. I knew that I MUST modify this recipe to try with bananas!
There is a bit of whole wheat flour in this recipe which really adds a certain nuttiness and body which I haven’t been able to quite achieve with white flour only. I feel that I will add some whole wheat flour to most of my quick breads in the future for this reason. You don’t even necessarily realize it’s in there unless you are told either.
I made this whole batch in one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, which overflowed, causing some of the batter to nearly catch on fire as they sat on some of the oven coils. I smelled burning and got there just in time to turn everything off, put on my “ove-glove” and save the day. Lol. I placed a big sheet of aluminum foil under the pan for the rest of baking, onto which more batter split out one side. My loaf ended up being a bit lopsided because batter was dripping down one side and pulling all of the topping askew so pardon that in the picutres! Live and learn. My other quick breads that follow this basic recipe didn’t have any problems with overflow. Maybe the banana added more volume. Sooo, I recommend using two 8 X 4 inch pans instead. I wrote that into the following recipe!
This bread is quite delicious and, like most quick breads, even better on day two and three. I always have to try a piece after it has cooled just a bit but it’s never the same as on day two. I make sure to wrap my loaves up while they are still a touch warm so that I keep in as much moisture as possible.
During my taste test I was feeling naughty so I added “cookie butter” to half of one piece. If you don’t know what cookie butter is, you can find it at Trader Joe’s and it’s like peanut butter but with an entirely different flavor. More like gingerbread but in spreadable form. Also called Speculoos or Biscoff. I love Biscoff most of all but I never seem to be able to find it.
Banana Cream Cheese Bread with Streusel Topping
Ingredients for the Streusel:
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
- ¼ cup finely chopped toasted walnuts, optional
Directions for the Streusel:
- Mix all ingredients together with your fingers until it resembles coarse sand
- Set aside until you have put the bread batter into the loaf pan
Ingredients for the Bread:
- 1 1/2 cups of mashed overripe bananas, about 3 ½ medium bananas
- Half a banana, sliced into ¼” thick rounds
- Half a lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, optional
- 1/2 tsp. fine kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup half and half (or whole milk)
- 1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans (toast by baking on a sheet tray for about 5 minutes at 350 F in a single layer)
Directions for the Bread:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center position
- Mix the mashed bananas with the juice from half a lemon in a medium bowl
- Grease and flour two 8 X 4 inch loaf pans (or coat lightly with baking spray)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). You could do this by hand as long as your butter and cream cheese are adequately softened
- Add eggs, half at a time, mixing until combined, scraping the bowl after each addition
- Mix in vanilla
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon (if using) and salt
- Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time to the wet ingredients, mixing until just barely combined- don’t over-mix!
- Add the half and half or milk and mix until just combined
- Fold in the walnuts and mashed banana with lemon
- Divide batter (it will be on the thick side) between the prepared loaf pans and smooth the top
- Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the dough
- Layer the sliced bananas in a single layer down the center of each loaf
- Bake for 50 to 65 minutes. Check for doneness with a cake tester: it should come out clean when it is done. Don’t over-bake. It should be about 200 degrees in the middle when finished.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack
- Once cooled, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap to keep in moisture