There’s never enough banana bread. Whoever created them and on whatever soil, they are divinely delicious, crazily comforting, and so, so, easy to make. The cream cheese swirl banana bread, though, is slightly more special and unquestionably more indulgent.
Made from cream cheese left from my Lemon Cheesecake and a bunch of overripe bananas languishing in the fruit bowl (as ever), it’s an infinite revelry of tangy cream and gentle sweetness of bananas.
I know what you’re thinking. How great can yet another banana bread recipe be? Well, it’s doesn’t-last-till-the-morning great. Take my word for it. Bake it! (And send me some; I barely had a slice before the entire loaf vanished).
How to make cream cheese swirl banana bread?
The cream cheese feels almost like a thick, luxurious ribbon of frosting inside the bread. But without the heaviness! The bread really brings the best of both worlds.
Start with cream cheese
- Combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt (for that extra moisture and tang), all-purpose flour, icing sugar, and a splash of vanilla.
- Mix well till you have a smooth blend, and then set aside.
Get the dry ingredients together
- Sift all-purpose flour with baking soda, salt, and cinnamon powder.
- Mix in raw sugar. Since ripe bananas are naturally sweet, use just enough sugar to round out the flavor.
Mix the wet ingredients
- In a separate bowl, mash three bananas. Forks do a bang-up job, and you have better control over texture. You can keep it chunky or mash it into a purée.
- Mix in two eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut oil (for softer crumbs).
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and combine.
- Mix until the entire batter is just combined and homogeneous. Don’t beat it, that’ll give you dense, tough banana bread.
Bake the cream cheese swirl banana bread
- Pick up your loaf tin (I used an 8-inch by 4-inch one) and pour half the bread batter into it.
- Next, add in dollops of the cream cheese mixture.
- Follow it with the rest of the bread batter.
- Finally, scoop all the remaining cream cheese mixture.
- Using a butter knife, make swirls in these alternating layers.
- Bake for an hour or till your skewer comes out clean.
Tips for baking the cream cheese swirl banana bread
- Don’t be like me - too bothered about the cream cheese drowning in the bread batter. It absolutely doesn’t. The cream cheese holds its own. With a very bold hand, go deep with your knife to get that marbled effect.
If the knife is too shallow, your banana bread will look like mine: swirls on the top and filling in between. Which is also looks and tastes great!
- In case the top is browning too quickly and the bread is not cooked through, like it was in my case, I recommend tenting the pan with foil. It’ll save your bread from burning.
Variations of the recipe
Eggless banana bread: For the base, use my vegan chocolate banana bread recipe and follow the rest of this one.
Sugar: I intentionally incorporate raw sugar in my baking, but regular white sugar is fine too.
Flour: Well, you can give whole wheat flour a whirl. I’ve baked a wholewheat banana oat bread before, and it turned out gorgeous.
Toppings: I didn’t use any add-ins, but a hefty batch of walnuts would lend a toasty, crunchy nuttiness. Incorporate them in the batter and on top.
Cinnamon sugar is another scrumptious choice. Mix sugar with cinnamon powder and dust it on top right before baking for that spicy flavor.
Chocolate chips on top or a bit of cocoa powder in the batter will give you incredibly chocolaty banana bread – an enlivening contrast to the creamy tang.
Serving the cream cheese swirl banana bread
The aroma of the baked banana bread is a full-on, no-prisoners-taken assault on the senses. But you cannot dig in. The cream cheese needs time to settle.
So, let the loaf cool for 15 odd minutes. However, since the swirls make the bread beauty incarnate, it needs no additional adornment, so you save a lot of time there.
Once the cream cheese swirl banana bread is cool enough to slice, serve it with tea or coffee – pick your poison. It’s great for elevenses, midnight snacking, or after-dinner dessert too!
If you make this indulgent banana bread, please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love getting to connect with you guys. You can also follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for more fabulous recipes.
Cream Cheese Swirl Banana Bread
Banana Bread Batter
- 1.5 cup ( 180 gms) All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/2 cup ( 100 gms) Raw sugar
- 3 Bananas
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) Coconut oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
- 3/4 cup ( 125 gms) Cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tbsp Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 3 tbsp Icing sugar
- 2 tbsp All-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease and flour an 8" by 4" loaf pan.
Cream Cheese Filling
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well until the mixture is smooth and thick.Keep aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon powder.
- Whisk in the raw sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas well. Add the eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
- Mix well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well.
- Pour half of the banana bread batter in the prepared pan. Dollop half the cream cheese mixture onto the batter.Cover this with the remaining banana batter. Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
- Use a knife to make swirls of the two mixtures.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes at 180C, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before taking it out and cooling on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!