Fluffy and moist banana bread that is stuffed with rich and creamy cheesecake filling. This banana bread recipe is like a dessert for breakfast!
When I say it has taken forever to perfect the best banana bread recipe, I mean years! There are so many aspects of banana bread that can drastically change the flavor and texture. From sugar to oil, everything in this recipe is specified for you to make the best banana bread you have ever tasted!
After nailing the best banana bread recipe, I was able to experiment a little more! Low and behold… cheesecake banana bread! This banana bread is not ordinary. It is stuffed with a decadent cheesecake filling. The cheesecake swirl is creamy, rich, and perfectly sweet!
Ok I have a confession. In high school, my friends & I always went to the Cheesecake Factory for special occasions. You know, prom, dances, sporting events, all the things! Well at the end of the night, everyone would order a slice of cheesecake. If you don’t know, Cheesecake Factory has quite the extensive list of cheesecake! From white chocolate raspberry to triple Oreo chocolate, there were some amazing options on there! I was the one who always whisperingly ordered the banana cheesecake. I am pretty sure this was one of the least popular options on their menu. But all to say, my love of the banana and cheesecake combo runs deep!
The banana bread itself is so fluffy and flavorful. Paired with the cheesecake filling, it is unbelievably delicious! Banana bread and cheesecake are a match made in heaven!
Before we get to the full recipe detailed below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need to make this cheesecake banana bread.
For the banana bread, you will need:
Flour: You will need 2 cups of all purpose flour. All purpose flour gives the best structure for banana bread!
Baking soda: This banana bread recipe calls for only baking soda, and not baking soda and baking powder. You will need 1 teaspoon of baking soda to create a fluffy bread.
Salt: ¼ teaspoon of sea salt balances out this banana bread.
Egg: This banana bread needs just 1 egg.
Sugar: The perfect sugar mixture for banana bread took me a long time to perfect. I have found that more brown sugar than white sugar makes it so that the bread is not too sweet and it has a molasses depth of flavor. You will need ¾ cup of dark brown sugar and ½ cup of white granulated sugar.
Canola: I believe the best oil for banana bread is canola oil. It is flavorless and allows the banana flavor to shine through. This recipe calls for ½ cup of canola oil.
Milk: A little bit of dairy goes a long way in banana bread. Milk adds to the banana bread’s moistness. You will need only 2 tablespoons of whole milk.
Vanilla: Vanilla is the best! Even the smallest drop adds so much flavor. This banana bread recipe calls for ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla. Use pure vanilla extract and not artificial vanilla flavoring.
Bananas: Surprise, surprise… you need bananas for this banana bread! Ok let’s talk naners. There are no bananas too ripe for banana bread. The riper the better! Ideally, the bananas will be fully brown/black and mushy. If your bananas are just freckled in brown, they are still fine to use for banana bread but the result will have less banana flavor. You will need 3 bananas for this recipe.
For the cheesecake filling, you will need:
Cream cheese: You will need 8 ounces of softened cream cheese for the cheesecake filling. This is the main ingredient for the cheesecake portion of this banana bread.
Sugar: ¼ cup of white granulated sugar is in the cheesecake filling. This is the perfect amount of sweetness.
Egg: 1 egg adds to the richness of this cheesecake filling.
Vanilla: More vanilla because why not! You will need ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
Flour: You will need 3 tablespoons of flour. The flour in the cheesecake filling makes it more dense. It adds a little stability to the swirl in the middle.
Variations & Substitutions
This cheesecake banana bread recipe can also be made into muffins! If you want a handheld treat, follow all the same preparation instructions. Instead of a loaf pan use a muffin pan. Fill each muffin insert halfway with banana bread batter, then place a tablespoon of the cheesecake filling in the center of the batter. Cover the cheesecake filling with the remaining banana bread batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
If you like your banana bread to be a little sweeter, exchange the white sugar to brown sugar ratios in the batter. For a sweeter loaf, use ¾ cup white sugar and ½ cup dark brown sugar.
Tips & Tricks
Use the ripest bananas you can find! I know this probably goes without saying, but it really does make a difference whether or not your bananas are ripe. They should be fully brown or mostly brown. If it just has brown freckles, it will not have as strong of a banana flavor.
To ensure the banana bread releases from the loaf pan seamlessly, properly grease it. Give the whole inside of the loaf pan a good coat of butter. Then give it a liberal sprinkling of flour and move the flour around to coat all sides of the pan. This will help make sure the banana bread doesn’t stick to any parts of the loaf pan.
Don’t over mix the batter. The more you mix the batter, the more gluten will develop. More gluten results in a chewy dense loaf, rather than a fluffy soft bread.
Depending on your preference of banana bread, either mash the bananas in a separate bowl or in the same bowl as the wet ingredients. I like there to be banana chunks in my banana bread. But if you prefer a more smooth chunk-free batter, definitely mash your bananas in a separate bowl before adding to the wet ingredients.
If the edges of the bread are browning too quickly, tent the top of the banana bread. Simply make an aluminum foil “tent” and place it on top of the loaf to shield the edges from browning any further, while continuing to bake the bread.
Preheat the oven & prepare your loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 325F. Prepare a 9x5 large loaf pan. Liberally butter all sides of the pan and sprinkle flour on top. Move the flour around until all sides of the pan are coated.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, and oil until well combined.
Add the bananas, milk, and vanilla to the wet mixture. In the wet ingredient mixture, add the bananas, milk, and vanilla. For a smooth banana bread, mash the bananas in a separate bowl. For a chunkier banana bread, add the bananas whole and mash them in the batter bowl.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. In the large bowl, pour in the dry mixture. Stir until just combined.
Make the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of the stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Then add the egg and vanilla, beat again. Lastly, add the flour and stir until just combined.
Assemble the bread. In your prepared loaf pan, pour in half of the banana bread batter. Then on top of that, evenly spread the cheesecake filling. Lastly, pour the remaining banana bread batter on top.
Bake & serve. Bake for 60-75 minutes until a inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve!
This banana bread is best served straight out of the oven. I know, you think it has cheesecake and cheesecake is usually cold, however the warm banana bread with the ooey cream cheese filling is just dreamy right after baking.
Storage & Reheating
Store leftover banana bread on the counter on a plate covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. The banana bread will stay for up to 4 days.
Do bananas have to be brown to make banana bread?
There is no such thing as too ripe of bananas when making banana bread. Although bananas freckled with brown can be used for banana bread, the best bananas for banana bread are fully brown! The riper the banana, the more flavor your banana bread will have.
Why did my banana bread come out spongy?
A spongy, rubbery loaf of banana bread is usually due to over mixing your batter. If you overmix your batter, too much gluten will develop which will create your bread to be chewy and spongy rather than fluffy and soft.
How full should I fill a banana bread pan?
Your banana bread pan should be filled ⅔ full. This will ensure you have a beautifully risen loaf.
Is it better to bake bread in glass or metal?
It is better to bake bread in metal. Aluminum heats up faster than glass does, therefore creating browner edges and a better rise.
Cheesecake Banana Bread
- Loaf Pan 9x5
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 bananas very ripe, mashed
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Prepare a 9x5 large loaf pan. Butter all sides of the pan and sprinkle flour on top. Move the flour around until all sides of the pan are coated.
- In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, and oil until well combined.
- In the large bowl with the wet ingredients, add the banana, milk, and vanilla. For a smooth banana bread, mash the bananas in a separate bowl. For a chunkier banana bread, add the bananas whole and mash them in the batter bowl. Stir until fully incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the large bowl. Stir well.
- Now, make the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of the stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Then add the egg and vanilla, beat again. Lastly, add the flour and stir until just combined.
- In your prepared loaf pan, pour in half of the banana bread batter. Evenly spread the cheesecake filling on top of the batter. Then pour the remaining banana bread batter on top.
- Bake for 60-75 minutes until a inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve!