Fall gets me in the mood to bake. I am not sure why that is but it does. And since it started to cool down here a bit in steamy Florida (like into the 80s versus the 90s), I got the itch to bake this weekend.I was inspired by a recipe that I found Baked by Rachel’s blog for Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake and a box of Wildtree Banana, Banana Bread Mix. The recipe for the bundt cake was first featured in Southern Living back in September 2011.
But since I didn’t have any apples on hand but I was still craving a fall spice cake, I opened my pantry door to see how I could improvise. The box of Banana, Banana Bread spoke to me at that moment.
Why not turn your favorite banana bread recipe into a fall dessert? You can use Wildtree’s packaged version speed up the process a bit without sacrificing flavor or you can use your favorite make from scratch recipe. Or check out my blog post from January 2014 for my from scratch version of banana bread.
Here is what I came up with for a Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling and Praline Frosting and how to do it:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Make the banana bread according to package directions. Add 3/4 cup of chopped pecan and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice or Wildtree’s Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Blend. Stir to combine.
Then in another small bowl mix together and beat on medium speed with a hand mixer or whisk:
Spoon a scant 2/3 of the cake batter into a greased bundt pan. I used a rectangular bundt pan to mimic the appearance of a banana bread loaf. You could also use a round bundt pan. Don’t use a bread pan as there will not be enough room with the addition of the cream cheese layer.
Top evenly with the cream cheese filling, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the pan. Then using a knife run it gently in a zigzag pattern through the batch from one end to the other, once or twice. Top with remaining banana bread batter.
Bake for about 1 hour or until a long tooth pick or knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Cool.
Then invert the pan to remove from the pan. Allow to completely cool. Then cover until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, as the bread bakes, prepare the frosting:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons half and half or heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered’ sugar
1/4 cup of pecans, chopped plus extra for garnish
Combine the brown sugar, butter and cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat.. Bring to a boil stirring constantly; boil for 1 additional minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir until combined and the frosting is smooth. Stir in pecans.Drizzle over cooled cake and garnish with additional pecans.