It is fairly well known that Elvis’s favorite food was a deep fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. The anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday is January 8th, and it’s the perfect time for fans (whether you’re fans of The King’s music or just of food) to try out an Elvis-inspired treat that uses both peanut butter and bananas. My hat tip is a banana bread with a peanut butter and cream cheese layer swirled throughout. It’s not deep fried, but Elvis would probably approve anyway.
The recipe starts out as a fairly basic banana bread with mashed bananas, spices and vegetable oil. In fact, you could bake it on its own and get a great tasting loaf. All you really need to have on hand is some ripe bananas and you’re ready to go. As with most banana breads, it’s not crucial to be completely exact with the amount of mashed banana you use. If your bananas are on the large size and leave you with an extra tablespoon or two, either take a bite to even things out or just mix it into the batter with the rest.
The peanut butter ribbon is what makes this quick bread a little more interesting. The layer is almost like a peanut butter flavored cheesecake, thanks to the inclusion of cream cheese. The cream cheese gives the peanut butter layer a lot of substance and allows it to really stand out in looks and texture from the rest of the loaf. Peanut butter on its own would really blend into the loaf during baking. The peanut butter flavor is not overwhelming, but definitely is a nice twist on the plain banana bread. I’d recommend using a crunchy peanut butter (I used an organic peanut butter, but the recipe should still work with a national brand if that’s what you have at home) over a smooth peanut butter; little bits of nut add great texture to the filling.
Peanut Butter Swirl Banana Bread
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Filling
4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter (pref. crunchy)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Make the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, egg yolk and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and ground spices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed banana, sugar, oil and eggs. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Do not over mix.
Pour half of banana batter into prepared loaf pan. Spoon peanut butter mixture on top, spreading it into as even a layer as possible. Pour remaining banana batter on top, again spreading it into an even layer.
Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs) and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Turn loaf out of the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.