One Perfect Loaf: Banana Bread

Some people believe in miracles, I believe in cream cheese. I've yet to meet a food that I don't like more when cream cheese is added. Obviously some discretion is needed, I don't just go around spreading it on pizza and hamburgers (one because that is disgusting and two because I'd weigh 2,000 pounds).  However, when added to a sweet loaf of bread, a bagel, a cupcake, muffin, or a pastry, cream cheese is a miracle worker.

The perfect banana bread is the ultimate vehicle for cream cheese. The cool tang of the cream cheese perfectly balances the sweet and spiced banana bread. This recipe is simple and quite the accompaniment to a good cream cheese. Did I mention this is a one bowl recipe without a need for mixers? Do I really need to say more?

Simple Banana Bread - Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed

  • 1/3 cup melted salted butter

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • 1 1/2 cup of flour


Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

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