Cream Cheese Banana Bread

BananaBanana BreadCream Cheese

Thought banana bread couldn't get any better? Try this riff on our original banana bread recipe by adding cream cheese in big, bold swirls.

Photography Credit: Claudia Cash

It’s no secret that we love banana bread here at Simply Recipes. Our original banana bread has been baked all over the world, we have other versions that feature peanut butter and chocolate, and even a vegan version.

As I started to dive deeper into the site, I realized we didn’t have a cream cheese version and I couldn’t sleep until we had one up. Why? Because cream cheese and banana bread are basically best friends, don’t you know? The creamy texture of the cream cheese mixture complements the banana bread so well and adds a depth of flavor that will make you swoon.

Once I started testing different ways to incorporate that cream cheese flavor, I knew I didn’t want just a layer of cream cheese—I wanted SWIRLS of it. My vision came to life! Once this bread was baked it lasted a mere five minutes because my family inhaled it.

HOW TO GET THE BEST CREAM CHEESE FLAVOR

When I first tested this recipe, I used four ounces of cream cheese. However, my husband (and official taste tester at La Casa de Cash) said it lacked flavor, and I wasn’t a fan of how fluffy it was. Since I wanted a richer taste and a creamier texture, I bumped the cream cheese up to a full eight ounces. Go big, or go home! After my husband tasted that batch, his eyes lit up and I instantly knew he approved.

Overhead view of a loaf of banana bread with cream cheese on a plate. Three slices are laying in front of the loaf.

HOW TO ACHIEVE THE PERFECT SWIRL

I think that the beauty of the swirl lies in its imperfections! No two swirls are alike, and it’s fun to see how it’ll turn out with each new batch.

However, there are a few things you need to know to become a Champion of Swirls:

  • Pour half the banana bread batter into the greased loaf pan.
  • Then add dollops of the cream cheese mixture to the batter, followed by the rest of the batter.
  • Take a butter knife and run it through the batter in a swirly pattern. I like to run it in a ribbon pattern going horizontally and then going vertically.

Your swirl pattern may be different from mine, and that’s okay! The cream cheese batter is a little on the thicker side, so you’ll want to swirl the batter a few times.

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE BANANA BREAD

Banana bread can keep at room temperature for up to four days. If you’re just going to store it overnight, you can keep it directly in the loaf pan and just throw a clean kitchen towel over it. (I grew up with this method, so it’s what I do.) If you’d like, you can put it in an airtight container.

Can you freeze banana bread? ABSOLUTELY! You can store it in slices, half loaves, or whole loaves. To find out more, check out our step by step guide: How to Store and Freeze Banana Bread.

Slices of cream cheese filled banana bread on a plate.

TRY THESE OTHER BANANA BREAD RECIPES!

Cream Cheese Banana Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf

Because of the cream cheese mixture, this took about 60 minutes to cook. The edges started to brown around 50 minutes, so I covered the bread with tin foil for the remaining 10 minutes.

Adapted from Elise's recipe for Classic Banana Bread.

Ingredients

For the banana bread:

  • 2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups mashed)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, unsalted or salted
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if you want it sweeter)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and grease a 4x8-inch loaf pan.

2 Make the banana bread batter: In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.

Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.

Homemade cream cheeese banana bread recipe being mixed in a metal bowl. Batter for banana bread with cream cheese being mixed in a metal bowl.

3 Make the cream cheese swirl: In another bowl, beat together all the ingredients for the cream cheese filling.

Overhead view of cream cheese filling in a bowl to make cream cheese stuffed banana bread. Overhead view of cream cheese filling to make cream cheese filled banana bread.

4 Swirl the batters in the pan: Pour half of the banana bread batter in the loaf pan. Top the batter with half of the cream cheese filling -- one dollop at a time. Top with remaining batter. Top with the remaining cream cheese filling one dollop at a time. Insert a butter knife about halfway into the batter and run through the batter vertically and horizontally to swirl the cream cheese into the banana bread batter.

Easy cream cheese banana bread batter in a pan with dollops of cream cheese on top. Unbaked homemade cream cheese banana bread in a pan with a butter knife swirling the batter.

5 Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too much before the middle is done, tent the top with foil.

6 Cool and store: Cool the banana bread for a few minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store covered at room temperature.

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

More from Claudia

8 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCream Cheese Banana Bread

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lavina Lobo

    Easy to make and very delicious. I reduced the sugar quantity.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Dana

    Great taste—loved the cream cheese swirl but WAY too much batter for a 4” x 8” loaf pan. Next time I’ll use a bigger pan or maybe a Bundt pan. Think it’ll look pretty as a ring shaped cake

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Anna

    Could this be made with gluten free flower?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Oscar

    This reminds me of another recipe called, Fudge Lover’s Cream Cheese Cake. I don’t remember where I got it from, but it’s the same idea, Yum! I never thought of doing the same with banana bread, I’ve got to give this a try, Thanks.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Beth

    Looks great! Do you think it would work in mini loaf pans?

Overhead view of a loaf of cream cheese filled banana bread on a plate.Cream Cheese Banana Bread