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Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

5 stars based on 34 votes

Chocolate-Marbled-Banana-Bread

I know I haven’t been shy about offering up banana bread recipes — there are four variations on the site already (pick your flavor: coconut, double chocolate, plain or chai-spiced) — but this one’s such a beaut, I couldn’t resist adding one more. The bread is tender and sweet-scented with a gorgeous ribbon of melted chocolate running through it that complements the banana flavor perfectly. Plus, it’s fun to make: you spoon the banana and chocolate batters into a loaf pan alternately, then artistically swirl the two together with a knife.

ingredients

Begin by whisking together the flour, baking soda and salt.

dry-ingredients

Set that aside, then cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

creaming-butter-and-sugar

Add the eggs one at a time.

adding-eggs

Beating well after each addition.

beating-eggs

On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients.

mixing-in-flour

Add the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla extract.

mixing-in-bananas-and-sour-cream

And mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.

banana-batter

Place the chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl.

chopped-chocolate

Microwave in short intervals, stirring in between so the chocolate doesn’t scorch, until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir, letting the residual heat melt the chocolate completely, then stir in the cocoa powder.

adding-cocoa-powder

Add one cup of the batter to the melted chocolate.

adding-batter-to-chocolate

And stir until well combined.

chocolate-batter

Spoon the two batters alternately into a greased loaf pan.

batter-in-pan

Then swirl with a knife. Don’t over-swirl or the colors will get muddled — four or five times up and back should do it.

swirling-batters

Bake for about an hour and ten minutes.

baked-loaf

Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack for about ten minutes, then remove and cool completely.

cooling-loaf

Enjoy!

Chocolate-Marbled-Banana-Bread-1

Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread

Servings: 1 (9x5-inch) loaf
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (a heaping 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan generously with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high power in 20 second intervals, stopping to stir in between, until about 80% melted. Stir until smooth, letting the residual heat in the bowl melt the remaining bits of unmelted chocolate. Add the cocoa powder and stir until dissolved. Add one cup of the banana bread batter to the melted chocolate and stir until well combined.
  5. Spoon the plain batter and chocolate batter alternately into the prepared loaf pan. Swirl the batters together with a knife (don't overdo it or the colors will get muddled -- up and back 4-5 times should suffice). Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and set on the wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 276g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 246mg
  • Cholesterol: 56mg

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi! Can you substitute plain greek yogurt for sour cream?

    - Jackie on April 28, 2017 Reply
    • Yes Jackie, that would work. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on April 29, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I wanted to love this banana bread, I really did, but I didn’t find it to be either chocolate-y or banana-y enough. Maybe more sugar and more banana?

    - Sheri Shafer on April 27, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jen,
    I loved this bread, very moist, great flavor but I had a problem and I know it was because I did not swirl enough in the middle section. I kept checking the bread for temperature and with a cake tester. It was not cooking in the middle. The outer surface of the cake is very brown and crusty, and I decided to remove it from the oven so it would not burn. When I tried removing it from the pan after about 15 minutes, it left a large chuck in the bottom of the pan. I realized that the section was almost 100 % chocolate and still a bit runny. I put it back together the best I could and we are loving it anyway. Next time I make it should I lightly cover the pan with foil or should I simply make sure I get my batter swirled better? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    - Karen Calanchini on April 3, 2017 Reply
    • Glad it tastes good despite you having some challenges with it! Next time I would do both things you mentioned– swirl the batter more thoroughly and, if you notice the top is browning before the inside is done, cover it with foil for the remainder of the baking time.

      - Jenn on April 4, 2017 Reply
      • Thank you, again. I love your recipes by the way.

        - Karen Calanchini on April 4, 2017 Reply
  • I missed the part where it said to add one cup of the banana batter to the melted chocolate and cocoa powder until after I started spooning. I imagine that it will not look pretty, but fingers crossed it still tastes good!

    - Vanessa on April 2, 2017 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Very tasty, came out looking very pretty. However, my marbling technique could use some work, ended up with just a chocolate core to the loaf. I made the mistake of doing one layer plain batter, one layer chocolate then one layer plain and swirling that with a knife (they said careful to not over swirl, I was too careful I think) next time would literally alternate spoonfuls of each. Also, even though my bananas were VERY ripe (like I mean, almost completely brown skins) and I was on the side of generous with the 1 cup measure, it wasn’t very “bananaey” lol. I would probably up it to 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana. Still very flavourful though thanks to the sourcream and the chocolate. Worth the effort.

    - Natasha on March 27, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this when was my daughter was home from college on spring break — it’s delicious! Very easy to make, but the rich chocolate flavor definitely takes it up a notch from standard banana bread. Great as a snack, but also pretty enough to serve to company. I’ll definitely make this again!

    - Jo Ann on March 19, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved the recipe, it was great morning snack. I didn’t have ripened bananas, so I cheated and put them in the oven (300 for 40 minutes) until the skin turned shiny black. So much for my diet… Thank you for sharing this with us.

    - Scott on March 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Perfect! Super moist and delish!! Added pecans as my hubby loves bananas, chocolate and pecans! THANK YOU! Will be adding to my recipe box.

    - Jacks on March 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Beautiful banana bread, perfect as it can be :) instructions easy to follow and the result mouth watering. Thank you for posting this recipe!

    - Pilar Infante on March 8, 2017 Reply
  • I just prepared the batter and decided to place it in a heart-shaped ceramic pan. How will the baking time differ? Btw… if the cake tastes as good as the batter & chocolate mix, it’s going to be amazing!

    - Angie on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Angie, It may take about the same amount of time that the recipe indicates, but hard to say without knowing the dimensions of the pan. Just make sure to keep an eye on it!

      - Jenn on February 14, 2017 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Thank you. The dish was approx 11″ x 9″ with 3″ sides. It took 1 hour to bake. It was very moist. I messed up a little with one of the steps adding the banana to the chocolate instead of the batter! Tried to fix it by adding more banana to the batter & some batter (not 1 cup) to the chocolate. Still came out fine, but the chocolate parts were pretty wet because of my error. Still a great cake. I will definitely try it again. Thanks!

        - Angie on February 14, 2017 Reply
        • Hi Angie, glad to hear that it still turned out well despite your minor “oops.” Thanks for the follow-up!

          - Jenn on February 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this doubling the recipe and using a nonstick bundt pan. It took about 15 minutes longer, but I think maybe it was a little dry so perhaps it could just be 10 minutes extra. I was timid about mixing the chocolate in, so the marbled effect wasn’t as good, but I was worried about scratching the coating on the pan, or over mixing it. It was delicious, and especially good as a dessert with some vanilla ice cream, but it was also great for breakfast. The recipe instructions were terrific and clear, I love the step by step approach. It was all gone after the weekend, as six of us enjoyed every bit of it!

    - Dianne Friedman on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • I too doubled and baked in a non-stick bundt pan – 10 minute back time perfect. I mixed/swirled the chocolate in with the stick side of a wooden spoon.. No scratching. Swirled-in nicely.

      - Marianne Folino on March 8, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This turned out so well…perfect for breakfast!

    - Nicole Rodriguez on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • Can I use dark chocolate instead of semisweet?

    - Angie on February 14, 2017 Reply
    • You definitely can Angie, but depending upon the level of sweetness of the chocolate, you may need to adjust the sugar a bit. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • On busy work mornings, I keep some breads and muffins in the freezer. My husbands favorite ingredients are bananas and chocolate. This bread was the best of his favorites.

    - Becky Holley on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this over the weekend to test it for our AirB&B guests. Absolutely delicious! It is so moist and flavorful. I can hardly wait for our next guests to come so I can try it on them.

    - JanMarie Weston on February 6, 2017 Reply
  • Could I double the recipe and bake this in a bundt pan?
    Thanks!

    - Dianne on January 8, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Dianne, If you’re referring to a 10″ bundt pan, I think that making 1 1/2 times the batter would work. I’d just make sure to generously grease the pan with butter and a good dusting of flour. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      - Jenn on January 9, 2017 Reply
      • I just reviewed the recipe and did exactly what you suggested with 1 1/2 times she the ingredients. And with buttering and dusting the pan, it came out so easily, I was shocked.

        - Dianne Friedman on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • Can I substitute the sour cream for buttermilk? Could it bake a little bit more taller and fluffier?

    - melissa on December 12, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Melissa, I haven’t tried it this way. I’m a little concerned that the batter may be a bit thin, but I suspect it should work. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      - Jenn on December 12, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I had some very ripe bananas and decided to use them up with this recipe since it didn’t have nuts like the usual banana bread recipes. It turned out exactly as the recipe is written. Very moist. The outside crust texture was a little more rigid as a bread should be. It was super easy to make and clean up was a breeze. I was actually running to get somewhere and didn’t realize the time it took to bake it which for me was around an hour give or take a couple of minutes longer. So I actually had to carry the bread which was still in it’s pan in the car with me then while my husband was driving I inverted it after 10 minutes and it turned out perfectly fine! I had it cooling in the car while we went to our appointment and when we got back to the car, it smelled of heavenly banana bread!! Wish I could capture that scent, and use it as an air freshener…
    My only tip for someone making this is, it is on the sweet side so if you’re not into that try decreasing the sugar by 1/4 cup and increasing the bananas to another half of a banana or so. Or just decrease the sugar alone.

    - Anne G on November 8, 2016 Reply
  • I looked at all of your banana bread recipes and I’m curious about the varying amounts of flour while the rest of the ingredients are essentially the same – specifically 1/1/4 c in the Chocolate Banana Bread and 1/3/4 c in the “Swirl” version. Would love to know why!

    - CJ on July 27, 2016 Reply
    • Hi CJ, They are all a little bit different, with a slightly different texture. But with the chocolate banana bread, there is also cocoa powder, which acts as a dry ingredient and takes the place of some of the flour. Even though there is also a little cocoa powder in this recipe, it is used in a different way. In the end, there is only slightly less flour (or dry ingredients) in the Chocolate Banana Bread. But if you make the two recipes, you’ll notice that the one with less flour is a little more cake-like and doesn’t dome as much. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on July 27, 2016 Reply
      • Thanks Jenn! Will try one tomorrow!

        - CJ on July 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is delicious! It’s so moist and the marbling makes it look pretty. It’s the perfect way to incorporate chocolate into banana bread.

    - Laura Kargov on February 9, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another winner Young Lady….and I’m just getting started on your site. I’ve not much else to do in these harsh winter months, so I go around testing new recipes, and new sites, for my “Faves Book”. Keep it up, and thanks.

    - Carol on January 19, 2016 Reply
  • I was wondering what’s the sour cream for? Can it be omitted. Also, can I use vegetable oil instead of butter? I love your bread recipes I already three of them banana bread, banana coconut with pecan and pumpkin bread. I thoroughly enjoy each one of them. Thanks again

    - Doan on November 29, 2015 Reply
    • The sour cream helps to add moisture to the bread. If you’d prefer, substitute yogurt for the sour cream, but I would not eliminate it entirely. Also, because the sugar and butter are creamed, I would not recommend oil, but you could use margarine in place of the butter.

      - Jenn on November 30, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was moist and delicious! I never knew how to marble anything, and my Family was very impressed. Thank you!

    - Angie D on November 22, 2015 Reply
  • Hi, can I omit bananas?

    - Siran on November 12, 2015 Reply
    • Sorry, Siran, that won’t work.

      - Jenn on November 14, 2015 Reply
  • I made a mistake and bought bittersweet rather than semi sweet chocolate. Will that make a big difference? Is there any adjustment that I can make with the bittersweet chocolate?

    - Cheryl on November 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Cheryl, It won’t make a big difference — no need to worry :)

      - Jenn on November 12, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    this is so delicious and moist! I substituted gluten free “Cup for Cup” flour to create a gluten free version and it is so yummy. My non g-free kids and husband love it too!

    - Kyle L on September 3, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I really like this recipe. I only cooked mine for 50 minutes in my gas oven @ 350. I didn’t have semi sweet chocolate so I used 85% cocoa dark chocolate. I was in a rush so I did not layer the colors before Marbling. I just put the banana and then the chocolate on top and swirled. I still liked it. I have a pic but I don’t see a way to post pictures.

    - Carol on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I usually make just plain banana bread, but decided to change the pace and used this recipe for banana bread. It was absolutely delicious. Took some in to share at work and it got rave reviews. Will definitely make it again soon.

    - Jane Palmer on August 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this for the first time tonight and WOW!!! It is amazing! Wonderful flavour and an amazing velvety texture. Will definitely be making this one again. Thanks so much, Jenn.

    - Linda on August 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is my go to chocolate banana bread recipe. This bread is so moist and is truly a treat! Thank you for the great recipe, this is a great way to use up old bananas :)

    - YunYum on August 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    A winner. I don’t usually like banana cakes but needed to use up some ripe ones. Well this was possibly the best cake I’ve made. Used gluten free flour and due to a lack of chocolate only used half the chocolate (really worth using the best chocolate/ cocoa you can get). The flavours were amazing- great with a cup of tea!! The banana/ chocolate combo works so well.

    - Corydora on May 7, 2015 Reply
  • Hi,

    Can I make the Chocolate Banana Bread recipe in a 9″ round cake pan?

    - Fatima on May 7, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Fatima, Yes, that should work.

      - Jenn on May 9, 2015 Reply
  • Can i omit the cocoa powder and just use bittersweet chocolate?

    - Monique on May 6, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Monique, I recommend using the cocoa powder for the best flavor.

      - Jenn on May 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jenn,

    Another slam dunk! I hid my bananas from my family for a week in anticipation of this recipe. It was worth it! Absolute perfection.

    Thanks! Please keep the good stuff coming!

    - pmm on April 4, 2015 Reply
    • 5 stars

      I made this again but this time as muffins. yay!

      - pmm on May 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Turned out fantastic! I substituted all purpose flour with half whole wheat and half all purpose. My daughter and husband devoured it! Thank you!

    - Uma Mahajan on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is the best banana bread ever! It’s moist and delicious. I’ve made it several times and it’s always perfect. Once I substituted yogurt for the sour cream. It was just as good. I made this for several neighbors who pitched in to help the neighborhood dig out of all our snow this winter. It was a huge hit.

    - tania on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My kids and I love this banana bread! It is our new favorite and I have made it several times already.

    - Kelley on March 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This banana bread disappeared before I even had a chance to taste it! The kids came home from college for a weekend and it was gone before I knew it. I made it again into 2 smaller breads; adjusted the baking time to 43-45 minutes and they had a bread “to go” back to college with the next day. I used to just add chocolate chips to my banana bread recipe, but this tastes and even looks better!

    - Norma on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 3 stars

    The first time I made this the chocolate was way too intense. I omitted the melted chocolate using only cocoa powder and
    even used much less of that. Now my marble loaf comes out with the perfect ratio of chocolate to plain.

    - Lynne Levine on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Could we substitute baking soda with baking powder? We always think baking soda leaves a funny tatse in our mouth …
    Maybe because of our Mediteraneean origins ;) !

    - Nadira on March 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Nadira, Unfortunately they are not interchangeable. If you can taste the baking soda, the recipe might call for too much.

      - Jenn on March 19, 2015 Reply
      • I used to be able to taste baking powder in certain recipes, as well. Since switching to aluminum-free baking powder, I no longer have that problem.

        - Mrs T on June 7, 2016 Reply
        • Good to know– thanks for sharing!

          - Jenn on June 7, 2016 Reply
  • Can you use self raising flour.not sure what you mean by all purpose flour

    - Indira on February 16, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Indira, Unfortunately, you can’t use self-rising flour for this recipe. Self rising flour has leavening agents mixed in, while all purpose does not — it is just your standard, everyday flour.

      - Jenn on February 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious! Family favorite

    - Julia on February 12, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    YUM YUM YUM! Thanks Jen always SO delicious and a pleasure cooking from your site!

    - Deb on February 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have made other chocolate marbled banana bread recipes before and my kids have always complained that they don’t taste chocolatey enough, so they prefer that I just use chocolate chips. I decided to give this one a try because I think your recipes are always amazing and my kids are never disappointed. I am so glad I did!! The chocolate in this bread had a much richer flavor and my kids loved it!! It was incredibly moist and not overly sweet. Thanks for another winner!!

    - Alisa on February 9, 2015 Reply
    • Glad they liked it, Alisa. The key is adding a little cocoa powder to the melted chocolate :)

      - Jenn on February 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This banana bread is delicious! The chocolate flavor is subtle, yet rich. I adore this recipe and will definitely make it again!

    - Sarah on February 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    LOVED this banana bread! The chocolate swirl was divine. I made it with my two daughters and we all loved learning how to “marble!” Thanks, Jenn!

    - Kate on February 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Very good! Maybe a few walnuts next time.

    - Susan Levings on February 6, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Susan, I agree; walnuts or pecans would be excellent in this.

      - Jenn on February 6, 2015 Reply

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