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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Roasted Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

One of the first things I remember cooking as a child was banana bread, but I don't remember actually eating the banana bread. I'm not sure if we tried, or if we just used it as a door stop. My first few kitchen adventures didn't go so well. One of my first cooking memories is of making caramel popcorn. I remember making the caramel and stirring it with a rubber spatula, there was no such thing as heat resistant rubber spatulas in those days. I pulled the spatula out of the pan only to notice that a good chunk of it was missing, melted into the caramel mixture. I never told my Mom what happened (sorry Mom), I just hid it in the trash and went on making the caramel corn! I'm pretty sure we did eat that (sorry again). Over the years I have to say that my cooking skills have improved dramatically, but I am still not a big fan of making banana bread. The thing is that I love other banana desserts, especially the banana bread pudding at Lavelle's in Fairbanks. The problem is that banana bread is something you make when you don't want to eat over ripe bananas. So, you take something you already don't want to eat and turn it into something even bigger that you don't want to eat. I have a bit of a reputation for this at our house. Fruits and veggies start to pile up and I throw everything into a pot and puree it and call it soup, sometimes it works, other times I combine sunchokes and pears in lasagna, let's just say that one didn't work.
So, I wanted to make a banana bread that I could get excited about. I wanted it to be special, not just a use for some old over ripe bananas. A banana bread with intention. I wanted it to be just slightly healthier than the banana bread pudding from Lavelle's, but with that flavor in mind. What I came up with was roasted bananas, browned butter, and cream cheese. Because the bananas are roasted it doesn't matter if they are yellow, or black. The bread is a bit crumbly if you cut into it right away, but you know me I can never wait long for baked goods. If you wrap it in plastic wrap while still slightly warm and let it sit overnight it will hold its shape much better. I don't often celebrate food holidays, but I had been working on this recipe for a while and couldn't resist posting it today. Happy Banana Bread Day!
Roasted Banana Bread with a Cream Cheese Swirl
adapted from Guilty Kitchen and Yadira's Crafty Adventures

Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces (114g) of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons all purpose flour

Banana Bread
3 medium bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
2 cups barley flour

Cream Cheese Filling:
In a small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, and flour with a wooden spoon. Mix until smooth. Place bowl in refrigerator while preparing the banana bread.

Banana Bread:
Grease and 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pan. Place whole bananas on a baking sheet in the oven, turn heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let bake for about 20 minutes until the skins are black. Remove bananas from oven and let cool while preparing remaining ingredients. Leave oven on at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While bananas are roasting place butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Do not stir the butter, but slowly swirl it in the pan watching closely as the butter bubbles and then begins to brown. Remove from heat once the butter is brown and nutty smelling. Add butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and stir to combine. Stir in salt, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and yogurt. Remove bananas from their skins and mash them into the mixture with the back of your spoon, don't worry if some larger chunks remain. Mix until well combined. Stir in barley flour until just incorporated, do not over mix. Over mixing will cause your banana bread to be dense, a lesson I learned at an early age! Spread one half of the banana bread mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan. Using a spoon, spread the cream cheese mixture over the banana bread and top with remaining banana bread batter. Don't worry if a little of the cream cheese pokes through the top of the bread. Place in pre-heated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes, or until  a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. It will help to run a knife along the edges of the pan to prevent sticking. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Best if allowed to sit wrapped in plastic wrap for 24 hours before serving.


  1. That sounds too good to be true lol. I am not a big fan of banana bread because most of them are either too dry, taste like saw dust or are too wet but cream cheese could be the solution. I actually would not mind one slice right now...

  2. There is no such thing as a banana-overdose...I am having a banana feast the whole week. My family loves my treats too. Thanks for sharing. This recipe has been bookmarked ;)

  3. so glad to read this, my mom was telling me about roasting bananas and I really wanted to try it. I love the cream cheese being included, yum!

  4. Can barley flour be substituted with unbleached flour?

    1. I have only made this recipe with barley flour, so I am not sure what the results would be. I do have to say that I love the flavor and texture of the barley flour in this recipe. I'm thinking the depth of flavor would be lacking a bit with all purpose flour. Let me know how it goes if you try it.

  5. Hi! Followed the crumb trail here for this recipe. I was searching on Barley flour recipes, and while doing so, baking almost this when I hit onto your Pinterest. (Which I don't have).

    I didn't have any creme cheese. Next time. Mine turned out very dark and I wondered if it was the Barley flour? Next up, real, sandwich and toasting bread with B-flour. Have you done that?


  6. If I add zucchinni in here will I need to change anything else?


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