Since it is strawberry season, and coming close to being over, I am all over the strawberries at the store. And boy are the bright red and juicy-sweet. Something you just don’t get from the hot-house winter season variety. They are in my fridge ready to be eaten all by themselves but I wanted to make something with them, something besides jelly. So I decided to give them a try in a bread, a la banana bread, but you can’t just have strawberry bread. You have to have cream cheese too right? Here is my vegan and gluten-free Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread.
So this bread was inspired by the strawberries in my fridge and the unopened container of plain cream cheese that needed to be used. Do you ever by things just because you have coupons? And vegan or dairy-free coupons especially? That’s me, and why I had a container of unopened cream cheese sitting around – coupons! Love them. I decided to make the strawberry bread using a similar recipe to banana bread, but no bananas. I didn’t want any competing flavors with the gorgeous strawberries I had. And I also knew I didn’t want chunks of strawberries throughout either, because lets face it – I have no real food issues (concerning texture anyway) but almost everyone else does. So the only chunks of strawberries are in the cream cheese. And if you will notice from the pics – the cream cheese induced a collapse in the top of the bread. Now, you may think this makes the bread a fail – but I have come to learn when baking with cream cheese middles, that a collapse in the center is inevitable. I was fine with it and it was ooey, gooey good.
The best part about this recipe was blending it all in a blender! Just wash and chop the tops off 3/4 of the pint of strawberries and toss into the blender along with the Splenda, cinnamon, vanilla, vanilla soy milk, and coconut oil. Blend until creamyish – the oil will leave a little residue on the sides. Just scrape down then pour in one cup flour with the baking soda and powder. Blend again then add the rest of the flour. Blend until smooth. Pour half into a parchment lined bread pan. In a small bowl add the cream cheese, Splenda and vanilla and mix. Add chopped strawberries and fold in. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter and smooth down. Add the rest of the batter and smooth again. Bake at 370 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool completely before pulling out of pan, then let stand for another hour before cutting. Cut carefully because of the collapse, and the creamy cheese will want to fall out the sides. If not all eaten immediately it will need to be refrigerated. Enjoy!
*Note – this bread all by itself turned out amazing. The cream cheesy center was luscious, but I would recommend halving the cheese so it won’t collapse or goo out the sides so much.
1 C Bobs Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
1 C Bobs Red Mill Oat Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 C Splenda
1 Tsp Cinnamon
3/4 Pint Strawberries, washed
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1. Turn oven to 370 degrees and wash strawberries.
2. Cut tops of berries then dump in blender along with Splenda, cinnamon, vanilla, milk, oil. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour in one cup flour and baking powder and soda. Blend then pour in other cup of flour. Blend until smooth.
4. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and pour in half the batter. Spread evenly.
5. In a small bowl add cream cheese, Splenda and vanilla. Mix well then fold in chopped strawberries.
6. Pour cream cheese mixture over bread batter.
7. Pour rest of batter into pan.
8. Bake 45 minutes.
9. Let cool completely before taking out of pan.
10. Let stand (outside the pan) about an hour before cutting. Slice carefully since the top will have collapsed.