Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Spread

I have a fondness for banana bread for two reasons.  The first one is that it tastes so good, but the second one is about a sentimental memory.

When I was growing up, most of our birthday parties were simply with our family.  Since my siblings and I didn’t have birthday parties for our friends every year, on the years that we had them, we were really excited.  I got to have one for my twelfth birthday.  My mom was making a cake for our family party in the evening, but my “friends” party was in the afternoon.  I didn’t want cupcakes for my friends, because that seemed too babyish.  

My mom had the perfect solution.  She suggested banana bread.  I trusted her, but was  surprised when she brought out a plate of sliced mini-loaves and a velvety cream cheese spread.  I’d never had the spread before because I’m pretty sure she invented it for my party.  It was a variation of cake and frosting.  My friends and I had a twelve-year-old tea party, and we loved it.  We thought it was the BEST!  PARTY!  EVER!  Thanks, Mom!Banana Bread Mini loaves with cream cheese spreadNeedless to say, I’m partial to this banana bread recipe.  You don’t need to make the spread, but it’s amazing, and definitely makes the bread more special.  (Plus it’s fun to say bread and spread.)

Banana Bread
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup mashed bananas (a 7.5 inch banana is ½ cup)
  5. ¼ cup milk
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  7. 2 cups flour
  8. ½ tablespoon baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  10. ¼ teaspoon salt
  11. 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan, or spray with non-stick spray for baking.
  3. Cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs and beat well.
  5. Add banana, milk, and lemon juice, and beat to combine.
  6. Add nuts, if desired, and incorporated.
  7. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients, stirring as little as possible.
  8. Immediately pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour at 320 degrees F. Watch carefully! If the edges are starting to burn, remove it sooner.
  9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to rack and cool completely.
VARIATIONS
  1. Use this recipe to make 4 or 5 six-inch mini-loaves.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and grease mini-loaf pans with non-stick spray.
  3. Fill each pan 2/3 full. and bake for 30-40 minutes. Watch carefully, and test for done-ness by inserting a pick into the center. If it comes out clean, the loaves are done.
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 Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.

For best results, use bananas that are very ripe. They provide the most flavor. The ones on the left are perfect, but the ones on the left wouldn’t make very good banana bread.

Baking banana bread

Grease and flour a loaf pan, or spray it with non-stick spray for baking.

dry ingredients for banana bread

Combine and whisk the following:
2 cups flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

baking banana bread

Cream together
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar

Add
2 eggs
Beat until well creamed.

preparing bananas for banana bread

You’re going to need 1 cup of mashed banana, and a 7.5 inch banana is ½ cup. So peel 2 of them, making sure to remove all the long fibers.

preparing bananas for banana bread

Mash them with a fork.

baking banana bread

Add the following to the egg mixture:
1 cup mashed bananas
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

baking banana bread

Mix well, and don’t worry. It’s supposed to look like this.

preparing batter for banana bread

If you’re using nuts, add
1 cup chopped walnuts
Stir into wet ingredients

preparing batter for banana bread

Add the dry ingredients, and stir just long enough to combine. Don’t beat. The baking powder will begin acting to make the bread rise.

preparing banana bread

Quickly pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 320 degrees F. Watch carefully so the edges don’t burn.

homemade banana bread

Test for done-ness by inserting a pick into the center. If it comes out clean, the banana bread is ready.

Fresh banana bread

Remove from oven, and cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Fresh banana bread

Remove the bread from the pan, and let it cool on a wire rack.

You could also use this recipe to make mini-loaves.  You’ll get 4 or 5 six-inch mini-loaves (depending on how much you fill the pans.  I prefer to make 5 smaller ones.)  These cook for less time at 325 degrees F.

miniature loaves of banana bread

Prepare 4 or 5 mini-loaf pans by greasing or spraying with non-stick spray for baking.

banana bread mini-loaves

Fill each pan a little more than half way. Then bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Watch carefully.

homemade banana bread

Just like with the larger loaves, you can test for done-ness by inserting a pick into the center. If it comes out clean, the banana bread is ready.

banana bread mini-loaves

Remove from oven, and cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Then remove to wire racks.

Now, for the really good stuff ~ the cream cheese spread …..

Cream Cheese Spread
Serves 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. ¼ cup butter, softened
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar
  4. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  5. Dash salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, and beat until light, creamy, and smooth.
White Apron Blog http://whiteapronblog.com/
Cream Cheese spread for banana bread

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Dash salt
Beat until creamy and smooth.

Cream cheese spread for banana bread

That’s it.

Now, spread it on your banana bread … or muffins … or peanut butter sandwich … or anything that you want to improve. 

banana bread with cream cheese spread

YUM!