I like banana bread. I don’t love it. I don’t hate it. I like it. It’s always been a ho-hum sort of thing for me, and I rarely ever get a craving for it. For some reason, about a month ago I got a craving that I just could not ignore. I had to have banana bread, but I didn’t want the ho-hum stuff. This had to be good, so I turned to my tried-and-true method of looking for recipes. I googled images of what I wanted. After all, if it looked really fabulous, the recipe might, just might, be good.
Ultimately, I ended up with an old Southern Living recipe for Cream Cheese Banana Bread (found here). I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I never follow them exactly–maybe that’s why I can’t bake bread to save my life (that’s a post for another day). I didn’t have to change much, though, and what came out of the experimentation was the most divinely moist Banana Nut Bread I have ever had in my life. I have no idea how many slices we got out of it. We shared with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers, and even froze some, so my guess for number of servings is “a lot.”
Just looking at it makes me want more!
My Version of Southern Living’s Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
3/4 cup butter, softened
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 medium to large ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix in the eggs one at a time just until incorporated.
- In another large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly stir flour mixture into cream cheese mixture until incorporated, being careful to not over-mix. The mixture will be stiff.
- In a medium bowl, mash bananas until mostly smooth; leave some lumps for texture and moisture. Stir in toasted walnuts and vanilla.
- Stir banana mixture into bread batter just until combined. The batter will be lumpy.
- Pour batter into greased and lightly floured Bundt pan.
- Bake in middle of oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until a knife inserted comes out clean (don’t forget that bananas stay gooey–so try a couple of times for a clean knife). You may need to loosely cover the top with aluminum foil after the first 40 minutes in order to avoid excessive browning.
- Remove cake from oven. Run a knife around inside edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from Bundt pan. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing, but– if you can wait– it’s so much better a day or two later