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.
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.
Try These Other Banana Bread Recipes!
- Classic Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Chocolate Banana Bread
- Slow Cooker Banana Bread Pudding
- Banana Nut Muffins
Cream Cheese Banana Bread
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.
- 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
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C):
and grease a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
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.
Make the cream cheese swirl:
In another bowl, beat together all the ingredients for the cream cheese filling.
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.
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.
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.