This cottage cheese banana bread gets boosts of protein from cottage cheese and hemp hearts and lots of amazing flavor from ripe bananas and chocolate chunks. It’s made all in one large bowl and is a simple fix for your banana bread craving!

five pieces of banana bread stacked on a small white plate, jug of milk in the background

Social media is funny. One second something is wildly popular and the next second that same thing is dead in the water. I feel like cottage cheese is one of those foods that either gets a lot of love or a lot of hate. Right now, it’s getting a LOT of love. Every creator and their mother is on a mission to create a cottage cheese recipe. I happen to love cottage cheese so I’m here for it.

When I set out to develop a banana bread recipe with cottage cheese, I anticipated it would be good but I didn’t expect it to be THIS good. Seriously, this banana bread is soft, tender, full of flavor and the perfect sweet treat. I love a thick slice slathered in peanut butter. I had to make this loaf three times (once for testing, once for filming the video, once for taking photos) so I got to eat a slice of banana bread loaf as my afternoon snack for nearly three weeks straight. #notcomplaining

loaf of banana bread with chocolate chunks and a banana on top

Why I love this recipe:

  • It’s made in one bowl
  • The recipe requires just a handful of simple ingredients
  • There is a boost of protein in each slice thanks to cottage cheese
  • It doubles as a nourishing snack and a yummy dessert
  • You get a boost of dietary fiber thanks to white whole wheat flour and hemp hearts
picture of all of the ingredients needed for the recipe

What you’ll need to make this snack bread:

Spotty brown bananas: I’m pretty sure this is stated on every banana bread recipe ever but you MUST use very ripe, spotty brown bananas for best results. Overripe mashed bananas give more flavor and sweetness and result in a tastier loaf.

Brown sugar or maple syrup: brown sugar provides the obvious sweetness but what most people don’t realize is that sugar is also crucial for the tenderness, moisture, browning, structure and texture of baked goods.

Avocado oil: avocado oil is a healthy fat that improves the overall flavor and moisture of many baked goods. It also has a high smoke point which is ideal for baking.

Eggs: eggs help provide the structure in quick breads.

Cottage cheese: the star of the show here! Cottage cheese provides high-quality protein but also provides moisture for a yummy loaf.

Hemp hearts: hemp hearts are such an underrated way to add a (seemingly tasteless) source of plant-based protein and heart-healthy fats.

Vanilla extract: vanilla extract adds lovely flavor to this cottage cheese banana bread.

White whole wheat flour: I like to incorporate as many whole grains into my diet for the nutrients and dietary fiber they provide. I opt for white whole wheat here as it is lighter and yields a more tender loaf compared to more hearty and dense whole grain flour. 

Baking soda: NOT the same as baking powder my friends, be sure to use baking soda which provides the leavening factor in this recipe!

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is the main spice in this recipe. Feel free to add more spices like nutmeg, cardamom or ginger!

Salt: salt lifts all of the other flavors beautiful flavors in this bread.

Mix-ins: I of course opted for chocolate chunks here because banana bread + chocolate is a match made in heaven. BUT you can go wild and do you boo- walnuts, pecans, coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruit, you can’t go wrong.

How to make this quick bread:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a standard-size loaf pan with a little butter or nonstick baking spray and a sprinkling of flour, tapping out any excess flour. Set aside the prepared pan. I prefer a metal loaf pan vs a glass loaf pan- keep in mind that if you use glass your bake time will be longer.

stainless steel bowl with the wet ingredients- mashed banana, brown sugar, cottage cheese, eggs, vanilla, hemp hearts

In a large bowl mash the bananas until “liquid-y”- there will be a few lumps and that’s okay. Whisk in the brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs, cottage cheese, hemp hearts and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.

wet ingredients whisked together

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl or simply add them to the same bowl. Use a silicone spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet- mix until JUST combined. Overmixing results in a more dense, tougher loaf. Fold in any mix-ins.

small bowl with dry ingredients

Pour batter in the greased loaf pan. To the top of the loaf you can add a handful of chocolate chunks or slice a banana lengthwise and gently press it in.

wet and dry ingredients mixed together

Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick entered into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

unbaked loaf of cottage cheese banana bread

Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then run a knife along the perimeter of the loaf to loosen it from the pan. Remove loaf and let it cool a few more minutes on a wire rack (impossible, I know).

baked loaf on a cooling rack

Slice and serve! My favorite is slathered in peanut butter but you can enjoy with butter, almond butter, a drizzle of honey or just STRAIGHT UP.

sliced loaf of bread

Ingredient flexibility (variation ideas):

Unlike many baking recipes, banana bread is relatively forgiving. Here are some ideas for ingredient swaps in case you need to modify based on what you have on hand.

Instead of/you can use:

  • Cottage cheese/ plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (coconut yogurt if dairy-free)
  • White whole wheat flour/ all-purpose flour, spelt flour, whole wheat flour, gluten-free 1:1 flour
  • Hemp hearts/ flax seed, chia seeds
  • Brown sugar/ maple syrup
  • Eggs/ ‘flax eggs’- for this recipe use two tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with five warm tablespoons water
  • Avocado oil/ melted coconut oil or melted butter or olive oil
inside texture of the banana bread

FAQs

Can I add protein powder to this recipe?

I haven’t personally tried that but I’m quite sure it would still turn out great and make this bread even higher in protein! I’d recommend 2-3 scoops for an extra protein boost. I’m partial to the brand Orgain for protein powder!

What if I don’t have hemp hearts?

Hemp hearts act as sort of a ‘nutrition booster’ for this recipe. They can easily be left out without affecting the integrity of the recipe.

Can I use almond flour?

At your own risk. I haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour. The final product will be more dense but I feel confident it would still be yummy. If you use almond flour increase the flour measurement to 2½ cups.

Can I make these into banana muffins?

Yep! Bake in a muffin tin at 325 degrees for 20-22 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

How do I make these gluten-free?

My top suggestion would be to use an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour blend but you can also follow the above instructions on how to use almond flour.

Can I decrease the total fat in this recipe?

The purpose of fat in baking is for moisture and flavor. I would argue that this recipe has a modest amount of fat appropriate for one loaf of bread. If you do reduce the amount of oil or replace it with something like applesauce or pumpkin, it will affect the moisture and flavor of the loaf, so do so at your discretion.

Can I make this vegan?

Instead of trying to “vegan-ize” this recipe I’d recommend this yummy vegan banana bread!

How should I store and reheat this banana bread?

I store the loaf whole (don’t pre-slice it!) in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. When you’re ready to enjoy a slice (hello easy breakfast or afternoon snack) use a bread knife to cut a slice and warm it in the microwave or toaster oven for 15-30 seconds.

small white plate with a slice of cottage cheese banana bread and pat of melting butter

If you love this banana bread loaf you’ll love these other convenient breakfasts:

melting butter with butter knife

Fluffy texture, tender crumb and melty chocolate, first bite and you will be SOLD. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy this cottage cheese banana bread as a great breakfast or snack!

Print
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stack of banana bread slices

Cottage Cheese Banana Bread (or muffins!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 21 reviews
  • Author: Erica
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This banana bread is tender, moist, sweet and simply drool-worthy. It has an extra boost of protein from cottage cheese and hemp hearts and hope it makes it on your list for the next time you’re in a baking mood!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 heaping cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 small to medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins of choice like walnuts, chocolate chunks, pecans, pumpkin seeds, coconut or dried cranberries

Instructions

Pan prep: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan (standard size) with butter or nonstick baking spray and a sprinkling of flour, tapping out any excess flour. Set aside the prepared pan. I prefer a metal loaf pan vs a glass loaf pan- keep in mind that if you use glass your bake time will be longer.

Wet ingredients: In a large bowl mash the bananas until “liquid-y”- there will be a few lumps and that’s okay. Whisk in the brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs, cottage cheese, hemp hearts and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.

Dry ingredients: to that same bowl add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Use a silicone spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet- mix until JUST combined. Overmixing results in a more dense, tougher loaf. Fold in any mix-ins.

Bake: Pour the batter in the prepared pan. To the top of the loaf you can add a handful of chocolate chunks or slice a banana lengthwise and gently press it in.Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick entered into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Cool: Let cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then run a knife along the perimeter of the loaf to loosen it from the pan. Remove loaf and let it cool a few more minutes on a cooling rack (impossible, I know).

Enjoy: Slice and serve! My favorite is slathered in peanut butter but butter, almond butter, a drizzle of honey or just STRAIGHT UP are all amazing.


Notes

Muffins: pour batter into greased muffin tin and bake for 20-22 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. You can also use muffin liners but I would still give them a spray with nonstick spray.

There is a LOT of information on substitution suggestions and ingredient variations in the above blog post so make sure to read through the post for frequently asked questions!

Nutrition information is an estimate and may vary slightly.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 248
  • Sugar: 13.3 g
  • Sodium: 305.6 mg
  • Fat: 11.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 39 mg
slice of cottage cheese banana bread on a small plate

yummmmmm.

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