A loaf pan on the kitchen counter means something good is about to happen. Sweet or savory, whatever comes forth from that special pan will be sliced with precision and laid on a plate for a loved one to enjoy. 

I prefer metal pans for these recipes, but if you use glass pans just be sure to reduce the heat by a few degrees and pay close attention to the cooking time. 

The first time I tasted Trader Joe’s pancake bread, I knew I wanted the recipe. I have searched long and hard for a recipe that is similar in taste and texture to Trader Joe’s delicious bread, and what I have here is a pretty good version. 

When a recipe calls for two pans, I consider that a great bonus! One loaf to keep and one loaf to share. The cinnamon roll pound cake, for example, makes two cakes, so keep one for yourself and give the other as a gift to a coworker or deliver to a friend. 


Pancake bread

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons salted butter

1 2/3 cups plus 3 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour 

1 cup plus 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed


1 teapoon baking soda

½ teapoon baking powder

1 cup sour cream

2/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 teapoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs


Generously grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. 

Mix the cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter, 3 ½ tablespoons flour, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl until small clumps form. Set aside. 

Whisk together the 1 2/3 cups flour, 1/8 teapoon salt, baking soda, baking powder in a bowl; set aside. 

Whisk together the sour cream, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth. 

In a large bowl, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons butter with a hand mixer until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the 1 cup brown sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture), beating on low and alternating with the sour cream mixture, in three additions; beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and sprinkle with the cinnamon crumb mixture. 

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees, or until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. 

Serve with butter and maple syrup.


Banana-nut bread

¾ cup butter, softened

1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teapoon baking powder

½ teapoon baking soda

½ teapoon salt

3-4 bananas, mashed (1 ½ cups)

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 teapoon vanilla extract

1/8 teapoon ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer. Gradually add both sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating until just blended after each addition. 

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; gradually add to the butter mixture on low speed, until just blended. Stir in the mashed bananas, pecans, and vanilla extract. 

Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 

If necessary, shield with nonstick aluminum foil the last 15 minutes to prevent browning. 

Cool pans on wire rack for 15-20 minutes. 

Remove and cool another 25-35 minutes before slicing.


Cinnamon roll pound cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (16 tablespoons)

3 ¼ cups sugar

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 ½ teapoon vanilla extract

6 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teapoon baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


In large mixing bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until creamy and smooth. Add 3 cups of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the sour cream; then beat in the cream and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat just until incorporated. Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl, and add to the butter mixture, beating on low until just combined. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon. Grease two 9x5 inch pans, and divide one-third of the batter between the pans. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the batter. Repeat with another third of the batter, the other half of the cinnamon and sugar, and finish with the remaining batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans about 15 minutes, then remove and transfer to a platter or baking sheet.


1 ½ cups powdered sugar

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup heavy cream

1 teapoon vanilla extract

Beat the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, cream, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the glaze over the cooled cakes.

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