Meatless Monday Challenge

Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread

on May 3, 2023
last updated April 29, 2024
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This Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread takes fruity and moist banana bread to the next level with a swirled velvety and sweet cheesecake layer.
Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Looking to level up your banana bread? This Cream Cheese Banana Bread adds a sweet and creamy layer of cheesecake-like filling to an already delicious banana bread base for a marbling that brings an extra element of texture and flavor.

With 3 whole bananas integrated into the bread for natural fruity flavor, this moist banana bread can only be made better by a velvety cream cheese and sugar filling marbled throughout.

Sliced Cream Cheese Banana Bread

As an environmental scientist, I am always looking for ways to reduce food waste. Bananas are one of those produce items that go from perfect to entirely overripe seemingly overnight.

So, I’m always looking for fun ways to use up overripe bananas, and this incredibly easy loaf recipe is undoubtedly one of my favorites!

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Reduce your contribution to food waste by using up overripe bananas in one of these ripened bananas recipes.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread Ingredients


Here’s everything you need for the banana bread batter:

  • Overripe bananas. If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, you can add them to a baking sheet and stick them in the oven while it’s preheating for about 5 minutes until the peels turn black.
  • Oil. Vegetable, canola. coconut oil in liquid form, or grapeseed oil.
  • Brown sugar. Light brown sugar is my preference here, but you can also use brown sugar in a pinch.
  • Egg. to help lift and bind your loaf.
  • All-purpose flour. For the base of your banana bread batter.
  • Vanilla extract. For flavor.
  • Baking soda. This works as a leavening agent to help your loaf rise.
  • Cinnamon and salt. To add flavor and aroma to your banana bread.
ingredients for cream cheese banana bread - light brown sugar, salt, bananas, oil, vanilla extract, egg, cinnamon, baking soda, flour

Here’s everything you need for the marbled cream cheese filling:

  • Cream cheese. Block cream cheese is best, and it definitely has to be softened. Full fat, light, or even fat free work here.
  • Powdered sugar. Aka confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.
  • Egg. To bind this layer together, almost like a cheesecake.
ingredients for cream cheese layer in the banana bread - cream cheese, egg, powdered sugar

How to Make Banana Bread Batter


Use Overripe Bananas

As your banana ripens, it actually gets a bolder, sweeter, fruitier flavor. So, in order to get this bread, well, banana-y, it’s best to use mature bananas that have had time to ripen.

In fact, if they are overripe and the peel is showing brown spots, they’re more than perfect for this recipe! They’ll be packed with flavor, and they will also be softer, which makes them easier to mash.

If you have some bananas that aren’t quite overripe yet, don’t fret! You can quickly brown them in the oven. While your oven is preheating, stick the bananas on a tray, still in their peels, into the oven for about 3 minutes or until the peel turns black.

Green tip: Organic farms rely on biodiversity to generate rich soil, avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which means no toxic runoff. Consider organic ingredients for this recipe.

Prep Your Pan and Preheat Your Oven

The first step to a perfect execution of this banana bread with cream cheese is properly prepping. Start by taking your cream cheese out of the fridge to give it a chance to soften. Preheat your oven to 350°F and prep a standard 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

You can either add a thin layer of butter or oil to the pan, generously spray it with your cooking spray of choice, or line it with parchment paper.

I like to half line it, adding parchment paper to the lengthier side, and then spraying the wider sides as pictured below. The parchment paper acts as two little handles on either side to help you easily lift your loaf cake out of the pan.

Another little kitchen hack that I use constantly in baking is placing two clothes pins on either side to keep the paper in place, making it easier to pour the batter into the pan.

Pan half-lined with parchment paper

Use a Fork to Mash the Banana

Step one to this banana bread recipe is to peel those bananas and place them in a large mixing bowl. Since they are overripe, it should be very easy to crush them with a fork.

Continue to crush your bananas until they are broken down and almost liquefied. It’s okay, even preferred, to have some clumps left!

Smashing 3 ripened bananas with a fork

Combine Your Banana, Oil, and Sugar

Once your banana is smashed, add the oil and sugar to the bowl, too. Use your fork to beat the sugar, oil, and banana until well-combined.

Beating the fat (in this case the oil) into the sugar will aerate it, making for the perfect batter base for an overall lighter loaf cake.

Adding brown sugar to banana bread batter

Add the Egg and Vanilla Extract Next

Once you’ve creamed the banana, oil, and sugar together, it’s time to add the egg and vanilla extract.

The overall goal with adding things in this specific order is to not overbeat the batter once the eggs are added. It’s best to crack your egg into a separate bowl or ramekin before adding it to the batter.

That way, you can remove any accidental eggshells that you may crack in and also asses to make sure your egg is fresh and not bloody.

Green tip: Did you know you can compost egg shells? Check out this article for full details on how to compost egg shells.

Once you add your vanilla extract and eggs, use the hand mixer on medium speed to combine.

Adding vanilla extract to banana bread batter

Mix in the Dry Ingredients

Now that most of the ingredients are combined, all that’s left to do is add the dry ingredients. Add your all-purpose flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.

Once again, use that hand mixer on medium speed to combine the dry ingredients into the banana bread batter.

Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, ensuring that all of the ingredients are combined and you aren’t left with any clumps of dry ingredients.

Now your batter is ready! Set it aside to make your cream cheese filling.

Adding cinnamon to the banana bread batter

How to Make Your Marbled Cream Cheese Filling


Consider Sifting Your Powdered Sugar

Start with softened cream cheese. Use your hand mixer to beat it to loosen it before adding the powdered sugar.

It’s best to avoid any clumps of powdered sugar in this cream cheese filling, so if your powdered sugar looks especially clumpy, you may want to sift it for a smoother mixture.

Once you’ve added the sugar, beat to combine it into the softened cream cheese until it’s well-integrated.

Sifting powdered sugar into cream cheese

Add Your Egg Last

Once your cream cheese and powdered sugar are combined, add the egg and beat again until completely smooth.

Again, I recommend cracking your egg into a separate dish first.

Green tip: Look for pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.

How to Marble Your Cream Cheese Banana Bread


Adding the Batter to Your Prepped Loaf Pan

Once both your banana bread batter and cream cheese filling are ready, it’s time to add them to the pan.

Start by filling the prepped loaf pan about 1/3 of the way with the banana bread batter.

Then, pour all of your cream cheese filling on top. Lastly, pour the rest of the banana bread batter on top.

The banana bread batter is much more dense than the cream cheese filling, so the banana bread batter will sink a little bit into the cream cheese filling, creating a slight marbling effect.

I typically just leave it as is, allowing the batters to settle in naturally, but if you want more of a marbling effect, take knife and stick it about halfway down through the batters, swirling back and forth to make a marbling effect.

First layer of banana bread batter added to pan
Fill pan 1/3 of the way with the banana bread batter
Marbles cream cheese layer added to pan on top of banana bread layer
Then, add all your cream cheese filling on top
Marbled banana bread ready for the oven
Lastly, top it off with the remaining banana bread batter.

How to Perfectly Bake Banana Bread with Cream Cheese

Once your batters are in the pan, it’s time to bake your cream cheese banana bread!

Place the pan on the top rack and bake for 50-60 minutes. Check it after 50 minutes by sticking a toothpick in. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready!

Everyone’s oven is different, and the size of the bananas may vary slightly, so I’ve given a ten-minute range for baking time, but for me and my oven, this banana bread is always perfect after 55 minutes.

Green tip: Get to know your oven! Get an idea of how long it takes your oven to preheat. By not pre-heating the oven too early, you can save energy.

How to Store Your Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Your banana bread with cream cheese should be covered or stored in an airtight container to keep it fresh longest. It will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days before it starts to dry out.

You can also stick it in the refrigerator to help it last a few days longer. For the longest shelf life, freeze the banana bread for up to 6 months. Just make sure to allow it to thaw out before slicing into it.

If your banana bread does end up getting stale, consider using it to make this Banana Bread French Toast.

Banana bread loaf with swirled cream cheese

Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frequently Asked Questions


Why is there a crack on banana bread?

It is very common (pretty much inevitable!) to get a crack on any bread baked in a loaf pan. This is for two main reasons: a thicker batter and the shape of the pan.

Since most loaf batters, including banana bread batter are relatively thick, and the pan is so deep, the outside of the loaf bakes before the center bakes.

As the center continues to bake, the moisture releases steam, which pushes through the top of the already-baked bread and forms a crack.

The crack will have no effect on the overall texture or taste of your banana bread!

Why is my banana bread not moist?

Getting a moist banana bread is directly related to the ratio of moisture to flour in your batter. This banana bread relies on the bananas and egg for its moisture. If your bananas are not ripe enough, that could lead to a less-moist loaf.

Luckily, the cream cheese filling adds an extra boost of moisture in this recipe!

Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?

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Why You Should Make this Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread


  • The texture. This banana bread is super moist.
  • It’s resourceful. Don’t chuck those overripe bananas! Use them to make this delicious loaf cake.
  • It’s next level. This banana bread recipe takes it to the next level with a sweet and velvety cream cheese layer.

If you’re loving this Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread and want more ripened banana recipes, check out these Fluffy Banana Bread Cookies and Moist Banana Carrot Muffins.

Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread

5 from 4 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
This Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread takes fruity and moist banana bread to the next level with a swirled velvety and sweet cheesecake layer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 slices

Ingredients
  

Banana Bread Batter

  • 3 large bananas (overripe is best)
  • cup oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut in liquid form)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened, light is okay!)
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions
 

Banana Bread Batter

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and prep a standard 9-inch loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it with cooking spray.
    Prepped loaf pan half lined and half sprayed
  • Peel your bananas and add them to a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash the bananas until they are almost liquefied (some lumps are okay!)
    Mashed banana in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the oil and brown sugar to the banana and use the fork to beat until well-combined.
    Mashed banana, oil, and sugar creamed together
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again to combine.
    Banana bread batter before adding dry ingredients
  • Lastly, add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and combine, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides to make sure everything is integrated. Set the banana bread batter aside and make your cream cheese layer.
    Banana bread batter in a large mixing bowl

Cream Cheese Filling

  • Add the softened cream cheese to a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer on high to whip. Then, add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
    Cream cheese and powdered sugar combined
  • Finally, add the egg and beat until smooth.
    Cream cheese layer for banana bread

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

  • Fill the prepped pan 1/3 of the way with banana bread batter.
    Loaf pan filled 1/3 of the way with raw banana bread batter
  • Then, add all of the cream cheese filling on top of the banana bread batter.
    Just added cream cheese layer on top of banana bread layer in loaf pan
  • Finally, add the rest of the banana bread batter on top. You can let it settle naturally (as pictured) or use a knife to swirl through the batter to add even more marbling.
    Cream cheese banana bread ready to bake in the oven
  • Bake on the top rack for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing into the loaf. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • If your bananas aren’t overripe, stick them on a baking tray in their peel and let them sit in the oven while it’s preheating until the peel turns black.
  • Bananas for bananas? Hate waste? You’ll love this collection of the best ripened banana recipes!
  • Check out this list of all my best banana bread recipes.

Share This Recipe

Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword Banana Bread, Bananas, Cream Cheese Banana Bread, Overripe Banana Recipes
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2 thoughts on “Marbled Cream Cheese Banana Bread”

    1. Marley Goldin

      Hi Carryn! Absolutely you can! I would add most of them on top, as I have a feeling some will sink. Enjoy!

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