Little has gone on a banana strike. He finds them interesting to mush and throw but refuses to eat them anymore. It would have been helpful if he told me he was going to go on this strike. Alas he waited till I was in the habit of buying 3-4 bananas every shopping trip before giving them up cold turkey. I don’t care much for fresh bananas so needless to say I have been watching many a banana expire on my counter. I hate wasting food. I hate making recipes I feel ho hum about even more.
Banana bread is ok in my opinion. It is good with a cup of coffee but I don’t crave it. The very first recipe I posted on this blog was a vegan all real food banana muffin recipe. Those are actually quite good but still not what I was in the mood for. While the bananas were wallowing on the counter, now attracting fruit flies, I made more cranberry orange muffins for absolutely no good reason, which did nothing to help my expiring banana situation.
Thank goodness for Pinterest. The bakeshop board is here but my own personal boards are here. Last week, in the midst of rotting bananas, someone pinned a recipe for banana bread made with cream cheese. I had no idea how this ingredient would impact the bread but I’m always up for trying a new recipe- especially quick bread recipes that call for butter instead of oil.
I did not anticipate this recipe would be so out of this world good. I was skeptical since the banana and vanilla go in at the end- which seemed odd to me. Trust me and make them this way. The banana and vanilla stand out SO much. The texture of this bread is more like a pound cake- dense and cakey. So ridiculously good.
These loaves would make lovely Christmas presents, especially baked in the cute gingham paper pans I found. Wrap ’em up and drop em off on your neighbors doorstep, tuck ’em in a basket for your mom, or surprise your boss with one. Sure to bring smiles all around!
Banana Bread (makes 2 big or 4 small loaves)
adapted from Sugar and Spice by Celeste
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8×4 inch loaf pans.
Bake 1 hour for large loaves of 45 min for small or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan. Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans (if using, if in paper leave them on), and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing. Share.