Chocolate Banana Bread

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I usually think of banana bread as something to eat for breakfast (or, let’s be honest, something to cut a tiny slice from every time you walk through the kitchen) but this one is so decadent, you could really top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and call it dessert.  Chocolate chips and cocoa powder give it deep chocolate flavor, and sour cream makes it rich, tender and ultra-moist.

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Before we get started, a few tips. Be sure to use very ripe, brown bananas for the best banana flavor. Also, note that the recipe calls for natural unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed. The acidity in natural cocoa powder activates the baking soda in the recipe and causes the batter to rise in the oven. Dutch-process cocoa powder has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its acidity and is therefore not acidic enough to activate the baking soda.

To begin, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

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In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.

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Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat gently until just combined.

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Mix in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

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Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix.

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Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and spread evenly.

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Bake until done, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let the loaf rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

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Slice and enjoy!

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Chocolate Banana Bread

Print Recipe
Servings: Make one 9x5-inch loaf
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), such as Hershey's*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 brown bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until there are no more lumps in the cocoa powder and the mixture is well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl or electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and beat gently until just combined. Add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let the loaf rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. *Note: There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed will not work in this recipe. Natural unsweetened cocoa powder is very easy to find and gives this bread a deep chocolate flavor.
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  • Amy

    This bread is delicious! I have made the recipe as written, and have also substituted whole wheat flour for the all purpose and canola oil for the butter. It was delicious both times. Also works well as muffins.

  • Jane Palmer

    This banana bread was delicious. I don’t usually like variations on banana bread, but one changed my mind.

  • Sri K.

    This bread is awesome! Tastes almost like chocolate cake. I sometimes make a healthier version using WW flour and applesauce instead of butter.

  • Mathilda

    Does this recipe work it you make it muffins instead? And for how long will they be in the oven? 1 hour and 10 min sounds a lot for muffins…

    • Jenn

      Hi Mathilida, Yes, it would work great. My guess would be 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins, so just keep an eye on them. Please come back and let me know how they turn out, and hope you enjoy!

      • Michelle

        I just made these as muffins, I baked for 25 minutes…they were perfect! Love them!

  • Sara

    I made this exactly as written and it came out superb. Everyone loved it. The sour cream really makes it moist.

  • Julie

    Amazing! I ate the whole loaf myself over the course of 3 days. I’m not proud.

  • I will make it today! :)

  • Diane

    Have made this for company, everyone loved. Will continue to use this as it seems to be a big hit .

  • Janna

    Very excited about this bread. My hubby can’t wait to take to work. I am not a banana fan in the least, but this was really good. Thank you!

  • Katzzz

    I LOVE this bread!!!! It’s DELICiOUS! My husband can’t stop eating it! I also make them into muffins!

  • Amy Simonson

    This is the best bread! My sons ask for it all the time. I can’t eat wheat, but I can eat spelt. I’ve subbed whole grain spelt flour, cup for cup, and it came out great.

  • VAL

    Love, love, love this recipe!

    This is one of the things that my daughter always asks for when i send her a care package.

    Thank you for such wonderful recipes.

    Val

  • Marsha

    Awesome recipe! This bread is delicious!

  • Susan

    I made this today. This banana bread is delicious! My family loves it!

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