breads breakfast quick breads

caramel swirled banana bread

one of my favorite things to make year round is banana bread. i always seem to have a bunch lying around and quick breads are incredibly forgiving and easy to make. about this time last year i started playing around various banana bread recipes and landed on MY perfect version. of course, after a few loaves, i had to start experimenting with fillings.

first it was a cream cheese swirl filling, then a tahini filling and now its a caramel filling. there’s not a huge color variation (adding 1/4 c cocoa powder to the banana bread base would change that), but the flavor is so cozy, caramel-y, and just screams “make another loaf.” the caramel reminds me of apples, which reminds me of fall and being a week-ish from the official start of fall means this banana bread is PERFECT for fall. its food math, don’t question. 😉 besides, its delicious and that’s the perfect reason to make some, don’t you think?

ps. topping a slice with MORE caramel sauce is completely understandable and even recommended. ok, you should. you definitely, should. 🙂

Caramel Swirled Banana Bread

Sticky sweet swirls of caramel and cream cheese running through a perfectly moist banana bread base. Hints of vanilla, cinnamon and tahini work together to make this bread warm and cozy, with layers of flavor in every bite.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cooling Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 9X5 loaf pan
  • parchment paper
  • foil


Banana Bread

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 c mashed banana (about 3 medium)
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c tahini, well stirred
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 c whole milk greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Caramel Filling

  • 1/2 c caramel sauce, room temperature store bought or homemade
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving about an inch over hang. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • Make the caramel/cream cheese filling by combining all "caramel filling" ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
  • Stir well to combine the brown sugar, tahini and melted butter. Add in eggs and mix until glossy.  Add in yogurt, mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet 1/2 at a time. Mix until JUST combined (don't over mix). 
  • Roughly divide the banana bread batter and caramel/cream cheese filling into thirds (just eye it). Evenly layer 1/3 banana bread batter on the bottom of prepared loaf pan, followed by generous dollops (1/3) of filling. Swirl the filling into the banana bread batter. Repeat again for the second layer. For the top layer, use the remaining banana bread and caramel/cream cheese batter to form a checker board pattern on the top. Swirl together to make one even layer. 
  • Bake at 350 F for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean. Cool in pan on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool additional time or just slice and eat! 


Tip: If the top of the bread browns too quickly, use a foil tent starting around 45 minutes. 
Keyword banana bread, caramel, quick breads, tahini
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

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    1. Hi! You can use an equal amount melted unsalted butter or any nut butter you like. Just make sure it’s a natural one (meaning very runny, with no added ingredients).

    2. Hi Sarah,

      You could use an equal amount of melted unsalted butter or sub with any other natural nut butter (ie, it needs to be runny)

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