Extra chocolatey, rich and moist, my chocolate banana bread is a slightly more decadent version of classic banana bread, scrumptious for breakfast or as an afternoon treat, especially with hot coffee!
Going Bananas For Chocolate Banana Bread
Because we eat a lot of bananas in our household, I tend to buy a few more than I think we may need just to make sure we have enough for our oatmeal, our cereal, or simply sliced into a bowl of fresh fruit.
This means that there are many times when I end up with three or four bananas that have gone super ripe by the end of the week, all wonderfully spotted and sweet-smelling, and beginning to attract the fruit flies! 😉
That's when I, personally, get very excited, because extremely ripe, deeply spotted and fragrant bananas provide me with a great reason to bake up homemade banana bread, one of our favorites baked goods to slice up and enjoy with fresh, hot coffee.
When I recently had several of those deliciously ripe bananas, I decided to make a more decadent version of banana bread, and bake up a chocolate banana bread with a little hint of peanut butter added in for good measure.
The result was a super moist, rich and fragrant sweet treat, one that is a new favorite in our household when we've got a few of those overly ripe bananas that need to be used up!
How to Make Banana Bread with a Chocolatey Twist
Over the years, I've prepared a lot of banana bread, and have come up with a number of tasty versions with unique flourishes. Somehow I can't help but continue to tinker with my banana bread recipe! 🙂
But the one thing that I make sure to always keep the same when preparing it is using very, very ripe bananas. I'm talking they're starting-to-smell-like-liquor ripe bananas.
These are the sweetest and softest, the best to use for a chocolate banana bread recipe or even a traditional banana bread recipe, because they offer the most amount of flavor, moisture and natural sweetness in the finished loaf.
To prepare my chocolate banana bread recipe, I use three very large, overly ripe bananas, some cocoa powder, plus good quality chocolate chips in the batter and on top.
And because in our household we love the flavor combination of peanut butter with both chocolate and bananas, I even add in several tablespoons of creamy peanut butter into the mix, but this is totally optional.
Here's a sneak peek at how I like to prepare my chocolate banana bread recipe: (or you can just jump to the full recipe.)
- I like to begin by whisking together all of my dry ingredients, and I set those aside.
- Because I love a little peanut butter added into my chocolate banana bread, I whisk a small amount into the mashed bananas and the other “wet” ingredients (but you can simply omit the peanut butter if you prefer not to use it).
- Then, I add my wet ingredients into my dry, fold everything together just until mixed, fold in some chocolate chips, then pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan.
- I top the batter with a small amount of reserved chocolate chips, then bake!
This chocolate banana bread is absolutely scrumptious, and the perfect treat to bake up when you're craving something with a chocolatey twist!
Chocolate Banana Bread
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serve 8
Nutrition Info: 431 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 very large, overly-ripe bananas, well mashed (you'll need about 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas total)
• 3 (slightly heaping) tablespoons creamy peanut butter (optional—you can sub almond or cashew butter, or sour cream)
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter, room temp
• 1 extra large egg
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 2 heaping tablespoons reserved to sprinkle over batter before baking
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and line the bottom of a 9 x 5” loaf pan with some parchment paper so that it slightly overhangs on the sides, and spray with cooking spray.
- Add the flour to a large bowl, and sift the cocoa powder over top of it through a sieve to eliminate the lumps; add in the baking soda and the salt, and whisk these dry ingredients together to combine; set aside.
- To another large bowl, add the mashed bananas, the peanut butter (if using), and the brown sugar, and whisk to blend; add in the melted butter, the egg, and the vanilla, and whisk those in until these wet ingredients are completely blended.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and carefully fold together just until barely combined; pour in the chocolate chips (keeping the 2 tablespoons reserved for the top aside), and fold those in just until combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan, sprinkle over top the reserved 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips, and bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes; then, turn off the oven and leave the loaf in there for 5 minutes more. (Skewer inserted should be pretty clean, apart from some chocolate from melted chocolate chips.)
- Allow the chocolate banana bread to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the loaf out of the pan, and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.
Tips & Tidbits for Chocolate Banana Bread:
- Use overly ripe, large bananas: For the best tasting banana bread, you will always want to use overly ripe bananas, ones that you might otherwise toss out because they're too mushy and spotted to enjoy fresh. These have the most banana flavor, and offer the most natural sweetness! Also, you'll want to use 3 large bananas, as this should yield you the amount needed for my recipe.
- Nutty over peanut butter: For me, the combination of chocolate, bananas and peanut butter are a food match, but if you're not a fan or cannot eat peanut butter, no worries! You can substitute almond or cashew butter, or even sour cream. (Or, you can also simply leave it out altogether and proceed with the of the recipe without a problem.)
- Room temp ingredients: Ingredients such as eggs are best at room temp when baking, so leave them out on the counter for about 15-30 minutes.
- Take care not to over mix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, gently folding things together with a spatula works best. Do not overwork or over mix, as this will yield a tougher baked good. Folding your mix, just until everything is barely combined, will do the trick.
- Cool before slicing: Once the chocolate banana bread is baked, allow it to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing, then allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.