This banana bread recipe is one of my most requested recipes, but everyone has their own signature banana bread recipe, so I wasn’t sure about adding yet another banana bread recipe to the world. I finally decided to post this recipe because of the cream cheese filling. The filling recipe is from Aunt Lynda’s Cream Cheese filled Banana Bread recipe by Kim at Bakerella. It is really good! Now, I’m not normally a cream cheese person, I like it on my bagel and in my frosting for carrot cake well enough, but I usually don’t bake with it. However, I had some cream cheese in the fridge I needed to use up and tons of too ripe bananas that I didn’t want to throw out, so I used the filling recipe along with my banana bread recipe and had fun experimenting. This was a case when an experiment actually worked, trust me not all do!
My daughter who is the pickiest eater ever, refused to try it at first saying she knew she wouldn’t like it (I admit it doesn’t look that pretty when sliced), but after bribing her she took a bite. She immediately made a scrunchie face and was about to return the rest of the slice to me when her face lit up and she pulled her slice back. She loved it! She, too, got hung up with the “cream cheese filling” description. I think that people immediately associate a sour, savory flavor to cream cheese and assume it wouldn’t go with a sweet bread, I know I did. The cream cheese when it is mixed with sugar, egg, vanilla and flour then baked has a completely different taste and texture. It’s like the filling in a danish, but fluffier and holds up better. The taste and texture of the filling fits nicely with the banana bread. I find myself trying to eat every bite of banana bread with a little of the filling, the two complement each other nicely.
I’ve made this banana bread for our recent camping trips and it transports very well, stays super moist and delicious thanks to all those bananas, and gives us the energy we need to tackle the activities of the day. I call it Power Up Banana Bread because the addition of Greek yogurt and protein powder, along with the eggs and bananas gives this banana bread ‘power up’ status. Also, my daughter warned me not to use the words ‘cream cheese’ or ‘surprise’ in the name. Ok, duly noted!
Power Up Banana Bread
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 5 medium bananas, mashed
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt (vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups flour (minus 2 scoops if adding protein powder)
- 2 scoops (about 2 tablespoons) of whey protein powder (optional)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 bundt pan and 1 loaf pan
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare filling by combining cream cheese, egg, sugar, flour and vanilla in a bowl and beating until smooth.
- Put filling into a plastic bag and squeeze filling down to one corner.
- Secure the bag right above the filling and set aside for later use.
- Cream butter, canola oil and sugar.
- Add eggs 2 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla to butter/egg mixture and stir.
- To a large bowl add the 4 cups of flour, replace 2 scoops of flour with protein powder if adding. Add baking powder and baking soda to flour and whisk dry ingredients.
- Grease a 9″ bundt pan and a 5″x9″ loaf pan (or 2 loaf pans if you want to skip the filling)
- Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture 1/3 at a time. Mix gently after each addition. Don’t overmix, mix just until incorporated (no big flour clumps or streaks).
- Add 1/3 of the batter to the loaf pan. Add 1/3 of the batter to the bundt pan. (If you are making 2 loaves, then just put 1/2 the batter into each loaf pan and put them in the oven)
- Cut the end of the ziploc bag with filling (about 1 inch up from the corner) then squeeze out all of the filling evenly onto the batter in the bundt pan (making a circle on top of the batter, see picture).
- Immediately add the last 1/3 of the batter to the top, cover the filling carefully and put the pans in the oven.
- Bake the loaf for about 40-45 minutes and the bundt for about 50-55 minutes (If making 2 loaves, bake for around 50 minutes). Bake until toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, keeping in mind there is a creamy filling in the middle of the banana bread in the bundt pan. Let the banana bread sit and cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before flipping upside down and removing the pans. For best results, let the banana bread with the filling cool completely before serving.
Note: As you can see there is a hole in the middle of the filling. I’m not sure how to get rid of it, but I’ve decided that I don’t mind it since it doesn’t affect the taste at all.
The banana bread recipe came about because I wanted to make a breakfast/snack for my daughter’s volleyball team that would pack in as much energy sustaining nutrition as possible. These girls play all day and usually don’t have much time between games to eat. I wanted to bring something that could be grabbed easily, eaten quickly and provide a good source of energy. Each serving has about 8 grams of protein, not to mention all the other good stuff in there. However, all this wouldn’t have mattered in the least if it didn’t pass the taste test. I passed it around at the last volleyball tournament as a snack between games, keeping my fingers crossed. Granted the girls were hungry, but the 10 girls on her team devoured the bread in a matter of minutes. I was able to grab my phone and take a quick picture (not a very nice one at that) before the last two pieces were claimed. The girls were super sweet and had a lot of nice things to say about the banana bread…in between bites with their mouths full. Success!
Just a final note, I’ve been making this in a bundt form because it’s easy to transport and when wrapped in saran wrap (after being cooled completely) stays moist until ready to serve. People have also made it in individual muffin forms with success as well. So, if you have any ripe bananas on your counter that you have to use up, like I do right now, give this recipe a try, but be sure not to leave out the cream cheese filling.
Update: (Sept, 2017) I find that using less sugar (1 3/4 cup sugar) when the bananas are really ripe better suits our sweetness level.