This was given to us by an elderly friend and was honestly some of the best Banana Nut Bread that I’ve ever had. She added that it she believes it’s because of the cream cheese in the batter. The cream cheese adds so much to this recipe. Plus, she stressed not to skip roasting the pecans! The roasted pecans are the perfect addition. Roasting the nuts brings adds so much flavor! To roast them,  place the pecans on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes lightly toasted. She sprinkled a few pecans over the top of the batter before baking. She also left a small chunks of banana in the batter.  Mmmmmm! Mmmmmm!  It makes 2 loaves = 1 for the freezer!

Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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 8×4 inch loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees 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. (I found that after one hour, my banana bread wasn’t completely cooked through. I ended up baking it for an extra 10-15 minutes.) Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

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