Bananas are one of them ‘tings that at any given point in time in my house there will at least be 2 full bunches – one with a slightly greenish hue (for me) and ones that are bright yellow (for Mr. Fantabulous). However for one reason or another at the end of the week there are usually 1-2 stragglers that have spots on them that we both refuse to eat. I cannot eat a brown spotted banana. If it’s soft I will make my infamous squinched-up-7-year-old-girl face IMMEDIATELY. Just the thought of eating one like that makes me shudder. Well for some reason at the end of this one week there were 4 very ripe bananas left. No I mean like black ripe! Thing is, my one brother LOVES his bananas this way (again, insert yuck face).
So naturally I had to think of a way to use them up (cause I had no more room in the freezer and I wasn’t about to throw them away). That’s when Mr. Fantabulous asked me to make banana bread but with something different in it. Now he doesn’t like chocolate in his so I knew that was out so I had to think outside the box. On the same token I had been craving Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream but I didn’t have any (nor did I need it even though my thighs would argue with you!). Somehow I just look at the carton of that stuff and it just immediately blows my thighs up like 45 pounds! LOL
So this sweet bread is literally a mash up of both of our cravings. He got banana bread with something ‘different’ in it and I got my pseudo strawberry cheesecake type filling. Since my thighs (and the rest of me) didn’t need the full blown calorie heavy traditional cheesecake filling, I opted for a healthier version. Sure it still has cream cheese in it but I used light and in lieu of sour cream I went with greek yogurt. The flavor was spot on.
Mr. Fantabulous was thrilled with this and loved the addition of the cheesecake swirls. Now at first I didn’t want to put a topping on this but he insisted as it looked ‘nekkid’ without it. I was fine with nekkid sweet bread, he was not. That’s completely up to you to be honest. This recipe makes 2 loaves and I kept one nekkid for me and one topped for him. Because of the cheesecake filling, I think the sweetness is there to forgo the glaze but again, totally up to you.
As you can see this bread is super moist. I loved this with my morning tea and he with his coffee. Then again he loved this as his ‘dessert’ and his after dinner snack and then again his before snack. LOL
As for storing this, I like mine cold so I kept it in the fridge. I get ‘funny’ about cream cheese fillings and frostings. To me they should be refrigerated but for his we let it set out, covered, for a few days and it was completely fine. But if you ask me, store it in the fridge. There’s much debate in the baking world about cream cheese frostings/fillings. If it’s a frosting I always keep it cold but since this is baked – the jury is split on this. Again, I fridge it but then I’m anal. I would hate to see all of my hard work go to waste/get spoiled.
I see this sweet bread as one of those “neighborly” breads or the kind you share after church. It’s just simplistic and wholesome but packed with a ton of flavor. And that surprise of the cheesecake swirl filling – oh yeah, you’re gonna wow them for sure!Print
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups butter, melted then slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberry Cheesecake Swirls
- 8 ounces low fat or fat free cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbl flour
- 8 ounces strawberry Greek yogurt
- 3 Tbl strawberry preserves
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2–3 Tbl half and half
- Preheat oven to 350 rack in the middle.
- Line 2 9×5” loaf pans with parchment paper leaving a 1” overhang.
- In a bowl beat together using a hand mixer the cream cheese and sugar until well blended.
- Add in the egg, strawberry preserves and greek yogurt, mix to combine.
- Add in the flour and mix until blended.
- Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the bananas and sugar.
- Cream to combine (some banana chunks are okay).
- Add in the eggs, butter and vanilla extract.
- Mix to blend.
- Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Mix on low just until combined, don’t over mix this.
- Divide half of the bread batter between the 2 loaf pans (it should be about 1-1 ½” high in the loaf pan). You should still have ½ of the bread batter in the bowl (that will go on top)
- Evenly divide the cheesecake batter the 2 loaf pans.
- Take the remaining bread batter and spoon on top of the cheesecake mixture. It may not cover it completely.
- Taking a thin blade knife, stick it into the loaf pan going about half-way down and gently draw swirls in the pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pans from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Wait 1 minute then gently grabbing the parchment overhang, lift the bread up and out of the pans and place on the cooling rack.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting.
- To glaze, mix together the confectioners’ sugar and half and half. You want the glaze thick.
- Pour over the cooled cake.
- Allow the glaze to harden completely before cutting and covering.
- Store in the fridge.