Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loafpans.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan, shielding with aluminum foil last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.
Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Muffins: To bake muffins, spoon batter evenly into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Makes 24 muffins. Prep: 15 min., Bake: 25 min.
Orange-Pecan-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Prepare bread batter as directed, and spoon into desired pans. Sprinkle 1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans evenly over batter in pans. Bake as directed. Cool bread or muffins in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice, and 1 teaspoon grated orange rind until blended. Drizzle evenly over warm bread or muffins, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks.
Toasted Coconut-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Prepare and bake bread or muffins in desired pans. While bread is baking, stir together 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut; 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Remove baked bread or muffins from oven, and immediately spread tops with coconut mixture. Broil 5 1/2 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or just until topping starts to lightly brown. Cool in pans on wire racks 20 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.
Cinnamon Crisp-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Prepare bread batter as directed, and spoon into desired pans. Stir together 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar; 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans; 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; 1 tablespoon melted butter; and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Bake and cool as directed.
Peanut Butter Streusel-Topped Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread: Prepare bread batter as directed, and spoon into desired pans. Combine 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in 1/4 cup butter and 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter in pans. Bake and cool as directed.
PART 2 (afterthoughts): To all who gave this recipe high ratings, maybe you could tell me why my loaves turned out so dry. Is there a stage in the beating process where one might overbeat the batter? I'd love to know because I believe you when you say it's such a good recipe. After my batter was all mixed, it was extremely thick. It appeared to be missing liquid -- like buttermilk. I followed all the measurements to the letter and I used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. The bread cooked perfectly through and through and was a lovely brown on top. Maybe more bananas would have helped? I used very very ripe bananas and exactly the amt. called for. I'm flummoxed.
This is the best banana bread...I put a powdered sugar glaze on the top of each loaf when I pulled them out of the oven, spreading it very thin. It tasted like a banana cake doughnut... delicious... I Love that it makes two loaves, so that I can give one away to someone who can also enjoy it as much as we do...
This is a special recipe. I consider myself a bit obsessed with banana breads and cakes and this is one I return to again and again. I love the cinnamon crisp topping. The picky eater son does not like any fancy toppings so i also make these as muffins, using more vanilla 1tsp., a bit more than a cup of toasted (!) finely chopped pecans and a sprinkling of chocolate chips in the batter. wonderful.
Very good muffins - moist and flavorful. I did this exactly per the recipe except that I mixed all the wet ingredients first (including banana and vanilla), then added in dry ingredients. Skipped nuts entirely and topped with cinnamon crisp topping (sans nuts). Boyfriend LOVED these. Says they are the best ever and banana muffins are his favorite. I thought they were just a touch too sweet, so will reduce sugar slightly next time. But definitely a keeper recipe - and easy to make, too.
I don't bake that often, but I do enjoy banana bread and wanted to find a good recipe. I followed the recipe exactly using half the batter for a loaf and the other half for muffins. I found that I liked the muffins better than the loaf-style, a fluffier texture. It was very moist, and not too much banana flavor.
This is one of the best breads I've ever made! I cut the recipe in half and lightened it up by using egg substitute, fat free cream cheese and applesauce in place of the butter. I also added flaxseeds and a bit of shredded coconut, and spiced it up with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Fabulous!
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