Banana Bread with Cheddar Cheese

 
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For the first time ever, I made one of my mom’s recipes less healthy rather than more. This is even a recipe I previously adapted to be healthier. And I’ll probably go back to my healthier version (and share it with you) next time. But that doesn’t make this experiment less of a success.


Cheddar Banana Bread

To understand this recipe, you have to know one thing about me: I eat cheddar cheese on top of my banana bread. Yes, I know I’m weird. Chris has told me so several times. My mom has conveniently forgotten that this is the way we ate it the entire time I was growing up. I know this because one of the times that Chris told me I was weird, I tried to get her to back me up about it being the way we always did it, and she denied it. That was how we ate our Swedish raisin rye bread, but our banana bread? No cheese ever touched it, if you ask her now.

Whatever. I know the truth. And even if the meeting of toasted banana bread and melted cheddar is a figment of my imagination, I’m glad to have it in my cheese-addled mind.


Cheddar Banana Bread

Yesterday, there were two overripe bananas staring at me from their place in the fruit bowl, and I was hungry, so I decided to make banana bread. I opened to the page in my breakfast recipes binder that lists both my mom’s recipe and my healthy variation on it (think applesauce replacing oil, whole wheat flour, added oat bran, etc.). I knew I wanted to make both of them at some point in the near future to test the recipes and take some photos, but I was ambivalent as to which one I wanted to do right then.

One of the directions I wrote in both recipes mentions the cheddar cheese thing (the direct quote is “best toasted with melted butter and cheese. mmmmm.”), and I started thinking about my eccentric preference, and how if it was wrong, I didn’t want to be anywhere near right. And then inspiration struck. If I put the cheese in the banana bread, everyone who ate the bread would have to try it with the cheese! And I could save myself work when it came to eating it myself. All I’d have to do is toast the bread and slather a bit of Irish butter on it. Of course, I could even put butter in the bread!

Here is the recipe for my fiendish master plan. Though, I would like to note that I don’t think the cheese thing is really all that weird. We pair many fruits and cheese together, and the sharpness of the cheddar really does set off the sweetness of the banana bread. The very best part of every slice, though, is the crunchy top crust formed by the sugar and cinnamon I sprinkle on right before sending the loaf into the oven. I still have the childish temptation to eat only the top half of every slice.

And as less-healthy as I’m saying this is, I did use whole wheat flour rather than white. I let myself eat a lot more dairy fat than white flour, so this really isn’t so far out of my usual eating philosophy.

Cheddar Banana Bread

(printable version)
A richer variation of my mother’s non-cheddarific recipe.
Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients
Wet
3 bananas, mashed
2 oz. (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 eggs, well beaten

Dry
1 3/4 cups flour (I used King Arthur Flour’s White Whole Wheat, but all purpose would work as well.)
3/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cinnamon and sugar for dusting the top

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray loaf pan with oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine again. Add the cheddar cheese and stir one more time.
  3. Scrape the batter into a loaf pan. Smother with a good dusting of sugar and cinnamon, and put the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool until sturdy enough to cut or cool enough to wrap up and store.

Notes

  • Next time I make this, I plan to try adding a cup and a half of cheese in search of the perfect cheese-to-banana balance.
  • I only had two bananas this time, so I added a third of a cup of applesauce so that the batter was loose enough to stir.

Cheddar Banana Bread

9 thoughts on “Banana Bread with Cheddar Cheese

    1. The Other Tiger Post author

      Give it a try…and if you like it, come back and testify that I’m not nuts! ;-) My husband will admit that it does taste good (though he still prefers jam to cheese), but always in the same breath as calling me weird.

  1. Leela

    No, no, no, you’re *not* weird. I’ve been eating my banana bread like that for years. (Or maybe we’re two weird people in denial? …)

    It’s kind of funny, because growing up I remember that all the banana cupcakes or banana bread we bought from the store had grated cheddar cheese on them. And Thai people aren’t really big on cheese, especially back then.

    The flavor combination is the best.

    What I often is toast a cold slice of banana bread in the toaster or toaster oven, and when it’s still hot and crispy on the outside, put a slice of cheddar on top. You get the gooey cheese, the crunchy and toasty exterior of the banana bread, and the warm, sweet interior.

    I’m making myself drool.

    Leela’s latest blog post: Chao Koh: My Favorite Brand of Coconut Milk

    1. The Other Tiger Post author

      Yes yes yes! *high five* That’s exactly how I eat it, and exactly why I love it. Maybe the whole world has collective banana-cheese amnesia except us? Your first paragraph now has this poem in my head:

      “I’m nobody! Who are you?
      Are you nobody, too?
      Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
      They’d banish us, you know.”

      Even if we get banished, at least we’ll eat our banana bread the right way.

  2. Jean

    I do this, too! Not only with banana bread but also with cinnamon/raisin bread. My family used to think I was weird for liking this combo but I didn’t care. Glad I’m not alone!

  3. Elizabeth

    Wow, I specifically searched for a banana, cheddar cheese bread recipe. I found this right away, plan to make it tomorrow. I have bananas and sharp cheese that I need to use up, thought it would be a good combo since we all like fruit and cheese. Thanks!!!

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