Cream Cheese Banana Bread



Author Notes: I've tinkered with the classic banana bread recipe plenty, searching for ways to make it more moist and tender without being too dense. Adding cream cheese to the batter is an excellent trick: The small amount gives good flavor and texture without weighing down the bread too much. I also call for some Greek yogurt and creme fraiche to add moisture but keep the batter light—if you don't have creme fraiche and don't want to buy it just for this, go ahead and use 4 ounces of Greek yogurt. (I like to use 2 ounces Greek yogurt and 2 ounces creme fraiche.)Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces Greek yogurt (full-fat preferably) or creme fraiche or a mixture of both
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked millet (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two standard-sized metal loaf pans.
  2. Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add the sugars and whisk well to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, mixing in each one at a time, then the vanilla and salt.
  4. Add the softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and crème fraîche. If your cream cheese doesn't fully incorporate, and has some lumps, transfer your batter to a stand mixer (or use a handheld electric mixer) and beat on high for a few minutes. The batter will lighten up in color and the lumps should smooth out.
  5. Add the mashed bananas and mix well.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon if using. Stir until the batter just comes together. If you want to use millet, which gives the bread a wonderful crunch, add it now (you could also use up to a cup of chopped toasted nuts, chocolate chips, or even coconut!).
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 1 hour, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool before turning out of the pans and slicing.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Banana Bread|Greek|Fruit|Cream Cheese|Breakfast

Reviews (31) Questions (1)

31 Reviews

Megan F. September 12, 2018
This was a great recipe! The addition of the cream cheese and yogurt tempered some of the overt sweetness found in most banana breads. I only had 1 loaf pan, so I made mini muffins with the batter as well and baked for 25 min (a tiny bit dry, next time I would decrease the time slightly). My loaf took longer than an hour because I probably overfilled it. All in all easy to bake, very tasty, and the most heavenly smell while baking!
 
Margaret June 17, 2018
This is my favorite banana bread recipe so far! I love the light airiness that the cream cheese-yogurt blend adds and the use of so many mashed bananas (which it always seems I have an abundance of). A definite must try!
 
Michelle May 7, 2018
This is by FAR the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried. I didn't have millet laying around, so I substituted with toasted oatmeal. So amazing. I am baking another batch today with dried blueberries in it. Can't wait to see how it comes out. Thank you for sharing your recipe with us!! Soooooo, grateful!
 
pottsy.1990 March 29, 2018
I really liked this. I tend to eat banana bread for breakfast topped with almond butter & extra sliced banana so I didn't mind that this bread wasn't incredibly banana-y or sweet. The cream cheese adds a caramel-y undertone which is quite lovely.
 
Änneken February 27, 2018
I made this over the weekend and, unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed. I thought that the sugar flavor slightly overpowers the banana flavor. I'll stick to Julia Moskin's banana bread recipe. Hers calls for five bananas and it's incredibly moist even after a few days.
 
pottsy.1990 February 26, 2018
This is a great banana bread. Perfect moist, springy texture and slightly chewy crust. I went for a plain version without millet or nuts but like to eat it with a good smear of crunchy almond or cashew butter. Sweetness level works for breakfast :)
 
Janan B. February 23, 2018
Could you include the nutritional information with any recipe please? How many Calories, how much fat, etc. <br />
 
Jennie S. February 16, 2018
I saw this and I didn't see how ling to bake.
 
Paulette B. March 19, 2018
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean
 
Lindsay January 5, 2018
I love the combo of bananas and cream! This turned out so good, and the texture was excellent. I won't completely abandon my other banana bread recipes, but this one will be in the rotation for sure, when I have cream cheese in the fridge.
 
Julianna B. October 31, 2017
You outdid yourself this time. The search for an A+ banana bread recipe is over!
 
Margo W. October 29, 2017
Do you think I could use quinoa in place of the millet?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. October 29, 2017
Hm, I wouldn't recommend it because you won't get the same pop or crunch. If you want to sub in something else for texture, I'd go for toasted chopped nuts or oats.
 
Michelle S. October 28, 2017
I just made this very awesome!!! My Mom has already eaten 3 slices.
 
Bee October 28, 2017
Sorry, I just can't "do" millet. I raise finches and that's THEIR food, so I'd think I was eating Bird Seed with each bite! LOL
 
Toby C. October 27, 2017
I am wondering about the size of the pan. I have two sizes of pyrex, one says 1.5qt 8.5x4.5x2.5 and the other, larger, does not give a volume measure just 9x5x3
 
Author Comment
Posie (. October 27, 2017
They’ll both work just fine!
 
margotjane October 23, 2017
I made this yesterday! I have not tried it yet, but my husband liked that the texture was cakey and not soggy like some banana breads. I substituted sour cream for the creme fraiche/greek yogurt component since that's what I had.
 
Teresa M. October 21, 2017
I wonder if I could use a cup of pumpkin in place of the bananas...I think that sounds amazing with the diced crystallized ginger tip..cant wait to try...I lost my old tried and true recipe that uses oil instead of butter so am looking for a new tried and true :)<br />
 
csegher October 23, 2017
That sounds fantastic !
 
Whit October 20, 2017
Do you get much rise with just baking soda and no acid? Try adding equal amounts of vinegar after mixing in the baking soda.<br />
 
Author Comment
Posie (. October 20, 2017
Yep definitely works nicely with just baking soda (many banana breads use just baking soda). It’s not a “lofty” quick bread but it does dome nicely.
 
Lynn February 6, 2018
The yogurt & creme fraiche will activate the soda!
 
Whit October 20, 2017
Do you get much rise with just baking soda and no acid? Try adding equal amounts of vinegar after mixing in the baking soda.<br />
 
Lourierussell October 20, 2017
4 medium bananas is not an exact enough measurement! Please quantify more accurately!
 
Author Comment
Posie (. October 20, 2017
The banana amount is very forgiving :) -- a little more or a little less won't make a difference, but you'll want just over 1 cup of mashed banana which is 4 medium or 3 large.
 
Yvonne October 20, 2017
She obviously has never made banana bread before😏
 
Lourierussell October 20, 2017
Thanks!
 
Kim D. October 21, 2017
Lourieruss, this nice woman is sharing her recipe. Maybe try being more kind with your words.
 
Debbie October 26, 2017
Excellent Recipe! Thank you for sharing
 
Carolyn P. October 27, 2017
Good advice!