One of the most loved recipes on the site is our banana bread, and one thing people seem to like to do to change it up is to add chocolate chips to it. That's sort of a no-brainer, right?
A Rich, Chocolatey Banana Bread
Dear banana bread lovers, putting chocolate chips in your banana bread is like having your bananas and chocolate go on a date. Lovely and sweet, yet still separate and distinct. After a while both want something more—a merging of wills, a commitment!
Well, if chocolate and banana were to marry, this would be the result—a richly chocolate banana bread, infused with cocoa, speckled with chocolate chips, with warm hints of butter, vanilla, and allspice.
Video: How to Make Chocolate Banana Bread
Chocolate Banana Bread
Using Frozen Bananas
Thawed frozen bananas are a dream in this recipe, since they emerge from the peel nearly pureed to begin with.
When a bunch of bananas on your counter gets really speckled and threatens to be a magnet for fruit flies, toss them—peel and all—in the freezer. Thaw them overnight in the fridge, or for a few hours on the counter; set them in a bowl first to catch the brown liquid that will ooze out.
Then, come baking time, just squeeze the flesh right out of the peel.
Dutch-Process Vs. Natural Cocoa in This Recipe
This recipe calls for unsweetened natural cocoa powder and not Dutch-process. What's the difference? It's a question of color, flavor, and pH level.
Natural (non-Dutched) cocoa is naturally a bit acidic and slightly fruitier tasting because of the way cacao beans are fermented before processing (cacao, remember, is a fruit). For the color and leavening in this recipe to be optimal, you want an acid/base reaction with the baking soda, which is basic.
Dutch-process cocoa is treated with alkaline salts to darken its color and create a milder flavor. The nearly black color of Oreos is an extreme example of Dutching (it's called that because the process was developed by Coenraad van Houten, who was Dutch). Unlike natural cocoa powder, it is basic (alkaline). The baking soda in this recipe is, too. The leavening in recipe is designed for a little boost of an acidic ingredient (in this case, natural cocoa powder) to react with the basic baking soda.
Natural cocoa in this recipe is preferable, but not a requirement. We're not tried it ourselves, but readers have reported success with Dutch-process cocoa in their comments. It will be darker, with more of a fudgy flavor versus a purer chocolate flavor. You may want to reduce the salt, too, as Dutch cocoa powder can have residual salts from the alkalizing process.
Chocolate Banana Bread
Use very ripe or over-ripe bananas. The peels should be at least half browned, and the bananas inside squishy and browning.
Melted coconut oil can be used in place of the butter. The flavor will change a little and you may get a hint of coconut in the result.
3 large ripe bananas (ripe and easily mashable)
1/3 cup (76g) melted butter
3/4 cup (161g) brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
1 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon if using salted butter)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (21g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup (100g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Prepare the pan and preheat oven:
Butter or spray with cooking spray the inside of a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the middle.
Line your pan with parchment for easy removal of this especially moist banana bread.
We find it works just as well baked in an 8 x 4 or 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Puree the bananas:
Using a blender, food processor, or a fork, puree the peeled ripe bananas until smooth. You should have 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of banana puree.
Mix the wet ingredients and sugar:
Place the banana puree into a large mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, salt, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk to break up any clumps of brown sugar.
Mix the dry ingredients:
In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and allspice.
Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture:
Stir until just incorporated, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the greased pan. Place in a 350°F (175°C) oven and bake for 1 hour, until the loaf feels relatively firm and bounces back when you gently push the center top of the bread down with your finger. If the loaf still has some give, keep baking it.
Note that because of the chocolate chips that melt in the bread as it cooks, it's hard to check for doneness using a tester that you insert.
Remove the bread from the oven, set it on a cooling rack, and let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
Gently remove the loaf from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely.
Slice with a serrated bread knife to serve.
Well wrapped, the bread will stay fresh at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. To keep it fresh a few days longer, keep it in the refrigerator. It also freezes well.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 8g||10%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||23%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 19g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||15%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|