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Cinnamon-Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread

Prep time 15 mins
Bake time 1 hr, 15 mins
Cool time 40 mins
Yield Makes 2 loaves
The original recipe was sent to us by Willie Monroe from Homewood, Alabama. To get perfect slices, let the bread cool 30 minutes and then cut with a serrated or electric knife.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (1 1/4 lb. unpeeled bananas, about 4 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place 3/4 cup pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring after 6 minutes.

  2. Beat softened butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

  3. Combine whole wheat flour and next 4 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in bananas, 3/4 cup toasted pecans, and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pans.

  4. Stir together brown sugar, reserved 1/4 cup chopped pecans (not toasted), 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp. melted butter, and ground cinnamon. Lightly sprinkle mixture over batter in pans.

  5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides of bread pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Let cool 30 minutes.