Chocolate Banana Bread

5 stars based on 6 votes

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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

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.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    absolutely wonderful. Except I add more chocolate chips. Half cup didn’t seem like enough. I’ll be making this again. That is for sure. I always have frozen bananas.

    - Linda Brehm on October 18, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The chocolate banana is amazing.. so moist and delicious / can’t wait to try some of the breads :)

    - Linda Bender on September 1, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a great idea from the classic banana bread. I have never tried chocolate banana bread and this one is a winner. I’ve made this twice already. I also make them in mini loaves and freeze them so that I have them always in the freezer. Because of all your banana recipes, I now make sure I buy extra bananas to ripen to make your recipes

    - Eileen on July 9, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I was always looking for a better banana bread recipe and this is it. Chocolate banana bread is so much better than regular banana bread. I even added some walnuts which were a good addition.

    - Claire on July 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Oh my goodness, this bread is DELICIOUS! Served it with vanilla ice cream for dessert and there wasn’t a crumb left.

    - Emily on July 6, 2014 Reply
  • This is a wonderful moist bread. I added 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Some of the chocolate chips stuck to bottom, next time I will layer the chips when I pour into pan – pour half the batter into prepared pan, layer with the chocolate chips, then top with remaining batter. I’ll see if this eliminates the chocolate chips from sticking to bottom of pan.
    Recipe is a definite keeper!!

    - Donna Bradshaw on July 6, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Donna, Try tossing the chips in a tablespoon of the flour mixture; this will prevent them from sinking.

      - Jenn on July 6, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Made this the other day for my son’s daycare snack (I am sure they loved me for sending a sugar and chocolate laced snack). I was all out of sour cream so I substituted plain greek yogurt. I used really nice Guttard milk chocolate chips and made mini muffins rather that a loaf – I used muffin liners and the muffins easily peeled. I adjusted cooking time…started checking for doneness at 25 minute mark. Mini muffins were a big hit among the preschool crowd. I made 42 mini muffins the the night before and there were no leftovers, so I cannot comment on how well they held up over time.

    - Jaime on July 2, 2014 Reply
  • Made this as part of Easter dessert assortment. I think it was the biggest hit of all!
    Can’t wait for bananas to ripen to make it again.

    - CHERYL WILK on April 24, 2014 Reply
  • It looks absolutely tempting! And I can’t wait to try out this recipe. But I would like to make it healthier, so could I replace the butter with the same volume of olive oil and how should I adjust the amount of flour if I am to replace the white one with whole-wheat one?

    - Agnes on April 22, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Agnes, Not sure olive oil would work for this recipe; the flavor is too strong. As for the flour, I wouldn’t use all whole wheat but it’s fine to replace half of the white flour with whole wheat. I like King Arthur white whole wheat flour if you can find it.

      - Jenn on April 24, 2014 Reply
  • I made this today. This banana bread is delicious! My family loves it!

    - Susan on March 17, 2014 Reply
  • Awesome recipe! This bread is delicious!

    - Marsha on March 5, 2014 Reply
  • 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

    - VAL on November 14, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - Amy Simonson on November 10, 2013 Reply
  • I LOVE this bread!!!! It’s DELICiOUS! My husband can’t stop eating it! I also make them into muffins!

    - Katzzz on October 23, 2013 Reply
  • 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!

    - Janna on September 26, 2013 Reply
  • Have made this for company, everyone loved. Will continue to use this as it seems to be a big hit .

    - Diane on September 20, 2013 Reply
  • I will make it today! :)

    - kitchenroach on August 27, 2013 Reply
  • Amazing! I ate the whole loaf myself over the course of 3 days. I’m not proud.

    - Julie on July 22, 2013 Reply
  • I made this exactly as written and it came out superb. Everyone loved it. The sour cream really makes it moist.

    - Sara on May 10, 2013 Reply
  • 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…

    - Mathilda on April 19, 2013 Reply
    • 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!

      - Jenn on April 19, 2013 Reply
      • I just made these as muffins, I baked for 25 minutes…they were perfect! Love them!

        - Michelle on May 10, 2013 Reply
  • This bread is awesome! Tastes almost like chocolate cake. I sometimes make a healthier version using WW flour and applesauce instead of butter.

    - Sri K. on March 14, 2013 Reply
  • This banana bread was delicious. I don’t usually like variations on banana bread, but one changed my mind.

    - Jane Palmer on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - Amy on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Can you say decadence?? So moist and delicous I wanted to eat the whole thing. As I am an adventurous cook I am thinking of adding a small amt of cinnamon and cardamom next time for an exotic touch.

    - Lisa Ballantyne on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Love this recipe. A family favorite. As soon as a couple of bananas get overripe they ask for this bread

    - MIKE K. on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This recipe was to die for!
    I did not have a loaf pan so I just used my muffin pan.
    I substituted apple butter for butter, and the “muffins” came out great! I was surprised with how moist they were!!

    - Vasso on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Thank you. Now will definitely try this recipe.:)

    - Beela on October 3, 2012 Reply
  • Can i substitude sour cream with something else, as it is difficult to find it where i live. Thanks.

    - Beela on October 2, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Beela, Try whole milk greek yogurt.

      - Jenn on October 2, 2012 Reply
      • Only plain yogurt is available, not greek or any other kind. :(

        - Beela on October 3, 2012 Reply
        • Hi Beela, Plain yogurt should be fine (just get whole milk instead of low fat).

          - Jenn on October 3, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve made chocolate banana bread before, but it wasn’t as good as this recipe – the sour cream really helps to make it tender and moist. Thanks for a great recipe!

    - Dorothea on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I chopped the chocolate chips until some were just flakes and the bread came out great. Thanks for a great recipe!

    - Eve on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I do alot more baking this time of the year, I always have tons of bananas that I do not know what to do. Love this bread!

    - Sarahjones on October 2, 2012 Reply
  • I absolutely LOVE this recipe. I’ve made it twice and it has been delicious both times, and SO easy. I used a nonfat vanilla yogurt with baking soda as a sour cream substitute because I didn’t have any, and it also cut a few calories. According to my count, using the yogurt it is about 168 kcal per slice if you cut it into 14 slices (196 if you cut it into 12).

    Delish! Thanks so much!

    - Becca on July 25, 2012 Reply
  • This is now my go-to banana bread recipe. My family will not let me make regular banana bread anymore! ;) I often double the recipe and freeze one loaf to eat later. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!
    *This is one of my entries for the Anolon Cookware giveaway.*

    - Carrie R on June 21, 2012 Reply
  • This is fabulous! My kids won’t eat banana bread without chocolate in it now! :o) (Which is fine with me, because now I prefer it that way as well!)

    - Leslea on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • We’re huge fans of banana bread in our house and we absolutely love anything chocolate. I have a repertoire of recipes, but this one is definitely a favorite. It’s moist and unique, unlike others that simply add nuts or other flavors. If you like chocolate and moist breads, this would be perfect for you. I would not modify a thing.

    - Brandy on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Another great banana bread recipe. Keep them coming.

    - Kathy on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Looks great! Could easily be used as a healthier dessert option!

    Check out my latest recipe @ bakingblissful.blogspot.com

    - The Blissful Baker on June 19, 2012 Reply
  • The chocolate banana bread was delicious. It was really moist and perfect as breakfast or a sweet treat!

    - Ceej on May 23, 2012 Reply
  • Bananas and chocolate? How could this be anything but great?

    - Amy Flick on May 21, 2012 Reply
  • I love banana bread, but I’ve never added chocolate to it. Must try soon!

    - TJ on May 19, 2012 Reply
  • I have always put chocolate chips in Banana Bread but never made it with cocoa. This was delicious! Really good chocolate flavor and my kids loved it!!

    - Suzanne on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • Only one word for this recipe: yummylicious!!!!

    - Lisa Ballantyne on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • Looks great, chocolate and bananas are a great combo!

    - Erin on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • A perfect bread for anytime. Moist and chocolaty.
    Deliscious!!

    - Mike on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I am so making this today!!!

    - Donna on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I love chocolate with banana bread. I’ve added the chips before but never thought of using the cocoa powder! Thanks, so looking forward to making this.
    Another tip, I use unsweetened applesauce in mine to give it that extra moist texture instead of the sour cream.. The grand kids all told me they want that for their birthday cakes so I guess it turned out good :)

    - Brenda on March 22, 2012 Reply
  • I love banana bread and mixing it with chocolate might be one of the greatest ideas ever. I’m definitely making this the next chance I get.

    - Kyle on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • A new favorite in our house!

    - Lesley on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • Have made this twice and it is a new favorite!

    - Mary on March 6, 2012 Reply
  • This was the first recipe that I tried and it turned out so wonderful! I have made it 3 more times and even gave it as a house warming gift. My family cannot get enough of it!

    - Mary Ann on March 5, 2012 Reply
  • I have some very ripe bananas that are calling to me to make this with them! Looks good enough to eat as a dessert…or breakfast!!

    - Kristen on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve made this twice in the least week and it is really the most delicious banana bread I’ve ever had! The chocolate flavor is not overpowering and the bananas definitely add a lot of moistness. I will definitely be trying it with the addition of espresso powder next time. Don’t hesitate to try this!

    - Lisa on March 3, 2012 Reply
  • Took this to work and everyone loved it. Thank You!

    - Donna Soriano on March 3, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve made this a couple of times and we love it! Just saw the comment about adding espresso powder — I’ll try this next time.

    - Diane on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve made this so many times, and it comes out perfect every time. It’s officially my son’s favorite. Thanks for a great recipe!

    - Wendy L. on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Your pumpkin bread recipe is a go-to in my baking recipe, and this one has just catapulted into my ‘favorites’ as well! Rich, fudgy, and delicious – without being overwhelming. Thanks for sharing!

    - Cynthia on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Fantastic!! Loaded with flavour, absolutely delicious. Thank you Jen.

    - MikeMike on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • Amazing banana bread recipe…definitely a new favorite in our house. Thanks!

    - Michael on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I baked this bread a couple of weeks ago and it’s great! Followed the recipe exactly and several coworkers were surprised about the bananas; moist and delicioso! I’ll certainly make this again!

    - Janet R on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I took this bread to my grandson’s wrestling match. All the 15 year old wrestlers were much more interested in the chocolate banana bread than the match that was going on. It was scrumptious!

    - Gayle Snyder on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I want to make this next week. Can’t wait!

    - Deborah on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Yummy is the best way to describe this bread. Always luved banana bread but never thought about chocolate. What better way to combine my 2 favorite ingredients! I have some more bananas in my freezer need to make it again!!

    Luv, Luv Luv this website, they always have the best recipes!!

    - pcentorbi on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I made this last night, and my family loved it!

    - Kathleen on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Fabulous idea! Chocolate and bananas. YUMO!

    - Lori O. on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • “1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 brown bananas ”

    Hi,

    Is 1 cup a correct measurement?

    It seems to me 2 to 3 bananas would yield way more than 1 cup.

    - trico on February 16, 2012 Reply
    • Trico, It is surprising, but definitely correct.

      - Jenn on February 16, 2012 Reply
  • Really wonderful.

    - She Ann on January 22, 2012 Reply
  • Jen ~ you have taken banana bread to a whole new level!! I just made this and it’s deliciously moist with the right balance of chocolate and banana. I cut back a bit on the sugar and only used 2/3 cup since I thought the sweetness from the banana + chocolate chips would be enough. I brought this into the office and it was a BIG hit! I mentioned your site if they are interested in making it themselves. So you may have more followers soon! : )

    - Ellen K on January 17, 2012 Reply
  • Love your idea to add espresso powder, Cory. I’ll try it next time. Thanks for leaving a comment :)

    - Jennifer on January 5, 2012 Reply
  • I have made this twice, and it is amazing… moist and flavorful and delicious. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes! I added a rounded teaspoon of espresso powder to my last loaf and WOW… yummy!

    - Cory on January 4, 2012 Reply
  • I want to tell you that I LOVE your blog. I made this bread last night and it’s absolutely delicious! I wasn’t sure about the combination banana bread with chocolate, but I’m glad I tried it. The bread is moist with a rich chocolate flavor, and the chips are a delicious addition. The bread just melts in your mouth, it’s wonderful!

    - Karma on January 4, 2012 Reply
  • Now I know what to do with those frozen bananas I need to use. Thanks for the inspiration Jennifer. I hope you had a great holiday.

    - Danita on December 28, 2011 Reply
  • This looks scrumptious!!

    - Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on December 28, 2011 Reply
  • Wow, this looks so good. Chocolate and Banana are my favorites!

    - Kelly @ Free Spirit Food on December 27, 2011 Reply
    • Love all your recipes. Love the picture with the ingredients, makes it easier for those of us that don’t cook as much. The Chocolate Banana bread is wonderful as a treat or breakfast!

      - Melissa C on March 1, 2012 Reply

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