Chocolate Banana Bread
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.
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.
In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat gently until just combined.
Mix in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.
Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and spread evenly.
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.
Slice and enjoy!
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife
- 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), such as Hershey's
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated 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 (best quality, such as Guittard or Ghiradelli)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- 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 mixture is well combined. Set aside.
- 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 eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients and beat gently until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
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.