This recipe is sponsored by Chiquita.
If there’s something I love, it’s a good challenge! Especially when it comes to cooking and being in the kitchen. I really enjoy creating my own recipes whether it’s for a simple dinner using what I have in the fridge/pantry or something more involved to share publicly that involves testing, photography and actually writing down the recipe I create (that my friends is the hardest part!).
That’s why I eagerly accepted an invitation from Chiquita to participate in their “Cooking Lab” Recipe Contest. It’s an ongoing program where Chiquita gives you three ingredients that must be used in your recipe and then you create and submit your unique recipe for a chance to win $2,000! Fun, right?
This week’s challenge ingredients are Chiquita bananas, chocolate chips and cream cheese. I got to work creating my recipe (which took multiple tests) and I’m super excited to share it with you today!
May I present Pumpkin Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese Swirl. That’s a mouthful that sounds like it could find a happy home on Pinterest, right?
I made a pumpkin banana bread batter and a cheesecake like filling for the swirl.
And baked them together to produce a delicious combination of sweet pumpkin banana bread with a tangy cream cheese filling that’s studded throughout with chocolate chips.
Here’s where I went wrong the first time…I didn’t bake it long enough. With the extra cream cheese layer, this bread needs a little extra time in the oven to “set.” I have major kitchen disasters sometimes and inverting this bad boy when it wasn’t cooked all the way through resulted in it slowly bursting at the sides and running all over the counter top right in front of my eyes. It was tragic.
The trick in the final test was tenting the bread with foil so it didn’t overly brown for the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. This bread needed a good 75 minutes in the oven for me and I made sure to give it extra time to cool in the pan before inverting to a rack to cool completely.
I’m going to share my recipe with you and I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen too and enter Chiquita’s challenge (and stay tuned for future challenges!). Winning $2,000 for creating a recipe kind of sounds wonderful to me!
Click here to get details. This week’s challenge closes on Sunday, November 1 at midnight so this would be a fun weekend project!
Pumpkin Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Cream Cheese Swirl
(Recipe developed by Jen DeCurtins)
For the bread:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (you could bump this up to a tablespoon if you really want to get spicy)
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened (you can also use 1/2 cup coconut oil if you’d prefer)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 ripe Chiquita bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
For the cream cheese swirl:
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened (I used lite)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
For the bread:
Preaheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by spraying it with cooking spray, coating with butter or lining with parchment.
Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice) in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream or Greek yogurt and pumpkin continue mixing for about 3 more minutes. Add the sugar and keep mixing on medium for about 3 more minutes. Add the egg, bananas and vanilla and mix until combined.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips and then set batter aside.
For the cream cheese swirl:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, flour and egg and beat until well blended, scraping down the sides when you need to. Add the chocolate chips.
To assemble and bake:
Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Carefully spread the cream cheese filling over the batter and then top with remaining batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the cream cheese into the pumpkin banana batter. Just make a few passes back and forth.
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Check your bread around the 50-60 minute mark to see if you need to tent with foil so it doesn’t over brown. Let bread cool in pan for 15-20 minutes before inverting on a rack to cool completely.
Yield: 1 loaf
This recipe is sponsored by Chiquita. Enjoy and so much thanks for your support.