Banana Bread with Crunchy Walnut Streusel

We brought these beautiful loaves of banana bread to a staff potluck, supplying cream cheese for a spread. They were an instant hit.

I have a tried and true banana bread recipe. It’s actually a fruit bread recipe in which I swap out the fruit and the spices. The recipe results in bread that is moist and flavorful. With an impending potluck, I wanted to amp up the recipe and my thoughts turned to coffee shop offerings where muffins and slices of sweet bread covered with streusel topping are always among the favorites. We love to slather a thick slice of this bread with cream cheese and then press the cream cheese into whatever crunchy walnuts may have fallen off. This makes for one decadent slice of bread!

Banana Bread with Crunchy Walnut Streusel

Makes two loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed bananas – the older the better

Topping

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp butter, room temperature

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat granulated sugar, applesauce and 1/2 cup of melted butter together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in bananas.
  4. Prepare streusel topping. Mix 1/2 cup flour, nuts, brown sugar and 4 tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Pour banana bread batter into two greased 8 in. x 4 in. x 2 in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  6. Pull loaf pans out of oven and pack streusel nut mixture on top of loaves. Bake for an additional 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire cooling racks.

Pour yourself a big cup of coffee. Cut a thick slice of this bread and smear a generous amount of cream cheese onto it. Sprinkle any crumbs that have fallen off your slice back onto the cream cheese. Put on some coffee shop music. Close your eyes, take a bite, and imagine yourself in coffee shop in one of the world’s great cities… or in a hometown bakery.

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