This banana bread with cream cheese frosting is soft, moist, and full of fresh banana flavor. It's the best way to use any extra brown bananas on the counter! Thick and fluffy cream cheese frosting adds extra sweetness and a little tang, making this the best banana bread ever.
Banana bread with cream cheese frosting is the ultimate comfort treat. It's so moist and will practically melt in your mouth! The taste is incredible, but the best part is how easy it is to make. The banana bread bakes to perfection every time and only requires 1 bowl!
This is the kind of recipe that's forgiving and fun, no stress involved. Perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons when you want to whip up something delicious without breaking a sweat.
The small batch cream cheese frosting really brings this recipe to the next level! Slather it on and watch your quick bread transform into a dessert fit for any celebration.
Here are notes about some of the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Bananas- Making banana bread is the best way to use the brown, mushy bananas on your counter! Overripe bananas are easy to mash and are sweeter, so they're perfect for baking. Fragrant bananas with lots of brown spots and speckles are great.
- Oil- Making banana bread with oil has many benefits. It makes the bread super moist and it stays that way for days. Use a flavorless neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.
- Eggs- Two large eggs bind the ingredients together. Make sure they're room temperature so they're easy to mix.
- Vanilla extract- A splash of vanilla enhances all the other flavors. Use real pure vanilla, not imitation vanilla. High quality ingredients makes a huge difference!
- Apple cider vinegar- This is our secret ingredient! Apple cider vinegar tenderizes the gluten, creating soft, moist, fluffy banana bread. You can't taste the vinegar at all.
- Flour- All purpose flour works best here; no need for anything fancy.
- Baking powder & baking soda- These leaveners react with heat and acid, helping the banana bread rise in the oven. Check the expiration dates before using.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese to give the frosting the best creamy, rich texture. The cream cheese should come in a block. Make sure it and the butter are softened so they're easy to cream together.
- Butter- You can use salted or unsalted butter to make the frosting depending on your flavor preference.
- Powdered sugar- Powdered sugar (AKA icing sugar or confectioners sugar) adds structure and sweetness to the frosting. You don't have to sift it.
Substitutions & Variations
- To make gluten free banana bread, use gluten free flour like Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour.
- Brown sugar can be used instead of granulated sugar for a warm flavor and more moisture.
- White vinegar is the best substitute for apple cider vinegar. White wine vinegar and unseasoned rice vinegar work too.
- Try adding chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts to the banana bread batter for extra crunch. Dried fruit like raisins, craisins, or apricots would be delicious too.
- Add some chocolate chips to the batter for more sweetness.
- Leave the banana bread unfrosted if you like or use a different frosting. Coffee cream cheese frosting, chai buttercream, or whipped chocolate ganache would be delicious!
Helpful Equipment & Tools
Bake the banana bread in a 1 pound 9x5" loaf pan lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick baking spray. You can also split the batter between mini loaf pans.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you start, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
STEP 1: First, mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl with a fork or potato masher. Make them as smooth or chunky as you want.
STEP 2: Next, whisk the oil, eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar into the bananas until well combined.
STEP 3: Fold the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the wet ingredients. Do this gently with a rubber spatula until no dry streaks of flour remain.
STEP 4: Pour the banana bread batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Because the batter is so wet and thick, it takes a long time to bake. Just be patient if it's still raw in the middle and keep baking.
Let the baked banana bread cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Make sure it cools completely before frosting or the frosting will melt off!
STEP 5: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer, cream softened cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to get any lumps.
STEP 6: Gradually mix in the powdered sugar on low one cup at a time. Then, mix in the vanilla and salt on low. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
STEP 7: Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly across the banana bread. Leave as is or garnish with crushed nuts or a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. Slice and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Use overripe bananas. Use soft, fragrant bananas with brown speckles for the best results. Avoid green or hard yellow bananas! They have less sugar and more starch than ripe bananas. They're harder to mash and make banana bread less sweet.
- Measure your flour correctly. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour in grams for the most accurate results. If you don't have a scale, fluff up the flour before gently scooping it into your measuring cup and swiping off the excess.
- Don't overmix. Gently fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until the dry flour patches just disappear. Mixing too much can make the banana bread gummy.
- Use full-fat cream cheese. This gives the frosting the best creamy, sturdy texture. Don't use cream cheese spread or any cream cheese that comes in a tub because it will make the frosting runny.
Storage & Freezing
Store banana bread with cream cheese frosting in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can store the whole loaf or individual pieces. Let it warm at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before eating.
Freeze the banana bread for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before eating. Warm each individual slice on the counter for 15-30 minutes and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don't recommend using frozen bananas. Ice crystals form when bananas are frozen. Because of this, thawed frozen bananas contain more water. The extra water can hurt the texture of banana bread.
This is totally normal! Banana bread expands and rises as it bakes. Sometimes the top of the loaf sets before the bread is done baking. The bread continues to rise and pushes through the set top, causing a crack.
Because of the cream cheese frosting, the bread needs to be refrigerated. It'll be ok sitting out at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
More Bread Recipes to Try
Moist Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl, making them as smooth or chunky as you want.2 cups mashed bananas
- Add oil, eggs, vanilla, and apple cider to mashed bananas. Whisk until well combined.½ cup oil, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Fold the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until no dry pockets of flour remain.2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth out the top and bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and let the banana bread cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat the softened cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl with a handheld mixer on medium high speed until smooth and creamy.4 oz cream cheese, ¼ cup unsalted butter
- Gradually add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat on low until well combined.2 cups powdered sugar
- Mix in the vanilla and salt on low. Then increase to medium speed and mix until fluffy.½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Scoop the frosting on top of the banana bread and spread it across evenly. Slice and enjoy!