The Ingredient That Will Change Your Banana Bread Forever

Banana bread is always a good option when you're looking for a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth. While it obviously makes for a great breakfast treat, it is hearty enough to make a good lunch addition and sweet enough to pass for a reasonably healthy dessert, especially if you go the extra mile and mix in something like nuts or chocolate chips or sprinkle a little cinnamon crumble on the top. The best part is, this bread is fast and easy to make, so it's never a chore to have it at the ready for your snacking convenience.

But, if you are looking for a way to really take your banana bread to the next level, look no further than one simple kitchen staple. For a boost of rich taste and creamy texture, simply add a little of this secret ingredient!

Cream cheese does banana bread well! While spreading butter or cream cheese on your banana bread may not be a groundbreaking idea, mixing it into the bread batter yields results described by food blog Princess Pinky Girl as "a mind-blowing game-changer."

As Simply Recipes puts it, "cream cheese and banana bread are best friends." Simply Recipes notes that the infusion of dairy helps add depth of flavor, while Mel's Kitchen Café describes cream cheese banana bread as "ethereally soft with a creamy texture." And, as always, cream cheese banana bread is still fast and easy to whip up, because you're only adding one extra ingredient. 

To swirl or not to swirl?

If you try searching for a worthy banana bread recipe with cream cheese on Google, you'll find a million different variations of this delicious treat. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dessert, you have plenty of banana bread recipes to choose from.

There are two primary preparation methods for adding cream cheese to your recipe. The first method is to swirl a cream cheese mixture through the bread batter to create a banana bread-cheese cake fusion. The second method fully incorporates cream cheese into the batter, resulting in a creamier loaf.

Southern Living's popular Cream Cheese-Banana-Nut Bread recipe (which can be made with or without nuts) and a recipe by Mel's Kitchen Café recommend mixing the cream cheese directly into the bread. Recipes from Simply Recipes and Just a Taste give directions for creating the perfect swirl of cream cheese filling throughout the loaf, making more of a cheesecake brownie.

Another variation of the technique, favored by Princess Pinky Girl, includes layering the cream cheese mixture between two even pours of dough to create a cheesecake-banana bread sandwich.

Next time you're looking to remix a classic to satisfy your sweet tooth, give this little quick bread tip a try. No matter which version of this treat you try, experts agree — you'll never think about basic banana bread the same way again.