The Best Chocolate Chip, Cream Cheese, Banana Bread Ever! {can be vegan too}

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best banana bread recipe

Once upon a time {okay it was today} I wanted to make my family banana bread. My go-to recipe had sour cream in it, but I wanted my vegan daughter to be able to enjoy it too so I had to get creative. I searched through the refrigerator to see what I could find that would give this bread the moisture and tang that the sour cream did, but without the dairy. I was excited and a bit nervous when I found a tub of non-dairy cream cheese. Would it work? Would it taste good to the rest of the family? I was about to find out!

I’m not a fancy baker by any means. I always start by pouring all the dry ingredients into a single bowl and then I add all the wet ingredients. Then I mix it all just till it’s all worked together into a very thick batter. I also was in the mood for a more cake like treat so I baked it in a sheet cake pan… I know, I’m dangerous like that! After that I just baked it at 350 degrees till a toothpick comes out clean. I baked this for about 45 minutes and then I started checking it! After it cooled down I used my heart cookie cutter to cut out hearts for Valentines Day. I’m nice like that!

My super health conscious husband who is careful with every calorie he let’s into his body and who isn’t a big fan of Vegan eating LOVED this! So much so that he asked that I not make it again because he ate way too much and said he wouldn’t be able to stop himself next time! It’s light and fluffy and the best banana bread I have ever made or eaten. It’s THAT good!

This can be made as a vegan treat or not. Your choice. I included both ways below. You can also skip the apple sauce and add the equivalent of butter or other fat. Pretty much everything is interchangeable. I’ve made variations with more banana or less and every which way with more or less chocolate chips. The most important variation is the flour. Some people are really sensitive to too much whole wheat in their desserts {not me, I like 100%} so be careful with that.

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour {you can use 100% all purpose, but I like the texture of adding whole wheat}
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter or vegan margarine
1/4 cup of apple sauce
1 tub of cream cheese or vegan cream cheese
1 1/2 cup of Sugar In The Raw or equivalent
2 eggs or egg substitute {I used substitute but I bet you could use chia seeds with water}
4-6 regular to large bananas
1 cup of chocolate chips {vegan or regular}
1 tsp. vanilla extract

If you want a show stopper of a Valentines treat for your family give this a try… and let me know how it turned out!

cream cheese banana bread

Happy Valentines Day!

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • how much cream cheese is in a “tub?” Could I subsitute the same quantity of standard cream cheese in a brick? I don’t buy cream cheese except when it’s called for in a recipe, so I’m unsure.

  • Pingback: Chocolate Banana Brownies {Vegan Options Too}
    • Kristen… I’m not sure what happened to yours. I’ve made this tons of times and it always takes 45-60 min 🙁 Maybe ours ovens are calibrated differently? I’d try turning up the temperature if you think it’s not getting enough heat and keep cooking it. It will also depend on how thick the pan is… Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

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