Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas hoping that they’ll ripen really fast so you can use them for baking? Seems a silly idea right? To buy perfectly edible fruit, and to let it go so far that it turns brown and gooey, and fruit flies begin to swarm? And yet, it’s the most perfect idea ever. On this particular occasion, I didn’t buy bananas to let them rot, I simply bought too many and they ripened faster than I’d anticipated. So when I found myself in such a predicament, I knew there was only one solution: to bake banana bread!
I’d found a recipe on Fake Ginger for Cream Cheese Banana Bread that looked really fantastic, especially for someone like me who so adores a fresh loaf of sweet and fragrant banana bread. I had no occasion to bake this bread, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. And it was SO GOOD. Could it possibly be the best banana bread I’ve ever had? I’m not lying when I say… yes.
Cream Cheese Banana Bread
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg beating just until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in banana, walnuts, and vanilla. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loafpans.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.
I made a few adaptations — including using more cream cheese and less butter. Silly me, I didn’t write down the changes I made so I’m telling you from memory, but I’m pretty sure I used 4 tbsps butter and 5 or 5 1/2 oz of cream cheese — and I’m also fairly sure if you work within those amounts, you’ll still get the same stunning result. I also used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour in place of some of the all-purpose flour, and used 3 full bananas, which only enhanced the bread’s fantastic texture and flavor.
This bread is soft and silky, from the addition of cream cheese — it’s really, truly incredible. The banana flavor is intense and delicious, and the texture is just out of this world. It’s very dense, not crumbly, and perfect plain or toasted. Pretty soon, I’m going to do that crazy thing that bakers like me do, and rot me some bananas so I can have another loaf!
Yes, I’m going to rot me some bananas!
And there you have it — the most perfect banana bread ever. Since I got home last night, I’ve made four separate recipes, so I have a LOT of work ahead of me if I’m going to tell you about each and every one! I’m still not caught of from before, but I’m working on it! I have two more days of freedom this weekend, so between packing and moving box after box, grudgingly removing traces of my childhood from my home, I’ll be blogging as a pick-me-up! Stay tuned, there is SO much glorious food to come. And enjoy this long labor day weekend!
With love, and sugar. Enjoy!