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Chocolate Banana Bread

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Chocolate Banana Bread

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Chocolate chips and cocoa powder give this chocolate banana bread deep chocolate flavor, while the addition of sour cream makes it tender.

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 chocolate banana bread 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, while the addition of sour cream makes it rich and tender.

What You’ll Need To Make Chocolate Banana Bread

ingredients for chocolate banana bread

Be sure to use very ripe, brown bananas for the best banana flavor. To ripen bananas quickly, store them in a loosely sealed brown paper bag. If you have extra brown bananas, they freeze beautifully; simply peel them and store them in a resealable bag in the freezer (I usually freeze them 2 to 3 bananas to a bag, since that’s what most recipes call for). Alternatively, bake more banana goodies straight away, like banana muffins or banana pancakes.

Also, note that the recipe calls for natural cocoa powder, not Dutch-process. These cocoa powders are not interchangeable. 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.

How To Make Chocolate Banana Bread

flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl

To begin, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk well and set aside.

whisked dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

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

creaming the butter and sugar

Add the eggs one at a time.

adding eggs to butter/sugar mixture

Incorporating well after each addition.

butter, sugar and egg mixture combined

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.

adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients

Beat gently until just combined.

chocolate banana bread batter in mixing bowl

Mix in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

adding mashed bananas and sour cream to batter

Add the chocolate chips.

adding chocolate chips to batter

Fold with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated. Do not overmix.

finished batter for chocolate banana bread

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

Chocolate banana bread ready to bake

Bake until done, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

cooling chocolate banana breadLet the chocolate banana bread rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Banana Bread

More Banana Bread Recipes

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate chips and cocoa powder give this chocolate banana bread deep chocolate flavor, while the addition of sour cream makes it tender.

Servings: Make one 9 x 5-inch loaf
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey's (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 brown bananas
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. 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 or beaters, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 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, run a blunt knife around the edges to loosen, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
  5. Note: There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural (such as Hershey's) and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed will not work in this recipe.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Calories: 273
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Sugar: 24 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 327 mg
  • Cholesterol: 58 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • What a truly rich and delicious treat this is. I followed the recipe as written using full fat sour cream and it was amazing with a deep chocolate flavour and warm banana accent. I put on a cream cheese icing just for fun and the crowd went wild!

    Because I live dangerously, I made cupcakes with the recipe the second time around and they were equally as good. I baked them at 350 for about 22 minutes, came out perfect and they were gone in a day. (The recipe makes 18 regular sized cupcakes, if you were wondering.)

    I know for a fact that I’ll be making this again. Thanks for this recipe, Jenn!

    • Joel Duncan, thank you. I was wondering about making them into muffins and now you have answered my query.

      • — margaret walker on March 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • What temperature did you pre-heat the oven to?

    • Hi Chris, the oven temp is 350°F/175°C. Hope you enjoy!

  • Delicious, Jenn’s recipes never disappoint

  • I made this and my husband, who is not a big chocolate fan loved it! The recipe is very moist and almost cake-like. I may try baking it in muffin cups for cupcakes next time.

  • Can you suggest a substitute for sour cream as it has a very strong taste . I love buttermilk . Can I get away with a direct substitution of 1:1 ? Thanks

    • Hi Louise, Buttermilk may give the bread a slightly different texture but it should work. Hope you enjoy!

      • How about yogurt as a substitute for sour cream? I have made this substitution in other recipes & it seemed to do fine.

        • Hi Cindi, that’s perfectly fine (as long as it’s plain greek yogurt). Hope you enjoy!

  • Amazing! Came out perfect. I made it dairy free replaced butter with plant butter and sour cream with coconat milk combined with lemon. Thank you Jen!

  • Baked this the other day and I love it! I think you could safely omit the chocolate chips if you want to make it a bit more ‘breakfasty’ but its fabulous with the chips as desert. Wonderful twist on the traditional banana bread we’ve been making for months 🙂

  • I made this last night. My teenage daughter said ‘nice’ which is the best compliment I can get! I used almond milk (+ 1 tbsp lemon juice) and nearly 2/3 cup coconut sugar and 1 and 1/2 medium bananas. Consequently was ready 12 minutes earlier in oven. I also loosely covered the cake tin in foil after about 20 minutes as it was catching. Cake was lovely and moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. Tasted delicious warm and like everyone said – rich chocolatey banana bread.

  • The idea of chocolate banana bread never really resonated with me. Banana bread is already a delight just as is it is. But my daughter encouraged me to try this recipe and I have to say it surprised me. It is absolutely delicious! Both the banana and chocolate flavors shine through. I will absolutely make this again.

  • Looks delicious. I am going to try this weekend. One improvement I would make is to add some nuts to balance the carb intake.

  • This is the best banana bread ever. It’s quite simply addictive and now my go to recipe for banana bread.

  • I would like to try this cake . I find the taste of sour cream a bit acidic even though the texture is lovely and moist . Sometimes I swap it out with buttermilk in some recipes . Can I do so here ? Do I need to make any adjustments to the rising agent or is it just a straight swap ? Thanks

    • Hi Louisa, The baking soda in the recipe should neutralize the acidity of the sour cream. Did you find this particular bread acidic or are you referring to other recipes or sour cream in general?

  • I made this recipe a few days ago to use up some overripe bananas and it was outstanding. The bread was fluffy and the outside was a little crusty, almost like a perfect brownie. I love a good banana bread like this because it tastes like cake but since you call it bread you can eat it for breakfast guilt free!

  • Yum, yum, yum! What a tasty way to transform banana bread! This is my young daughter’s new favorite snack, and the rest of us are enjoying it too. It is moist and, well, I just want to say, “yummy.” I’ve used both Hershey’s regular cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder, and while both breads were good, we preferred the one made with dark cocoa powder because it elevated the chocolate taste. Thank you Jennifer!

  • This is a reliable standby for when I can’t decide between chocolate cake or banana bread.
    Hybrid winner! I make it regularly to bring to friends/family and in fact pre-Covid would
    make it for church funeral receptions. (we have a committee that volunteers for this, and
    after making it once or twice, it became a requested item)
    In fact, especially in the winter when bananas do not ripen as quickly as the summer months, or when I don’t plan ahead or have run out of frozen ripe bananas (I keep a ziplock bag in freezer for just this reason), I buy bananas and bake at 300F for about 30 minutes. They turn a scary black color and the peel is very shiny (so, weird!) but let them cool and then use for baking. (be sure to line baking sheet with foil or use a disposable pan to bake the bananas or you will have a mess to clean up).

  • The flavor is good but the texture is more like a tender cake than a banana bread.

  • Delicious moist chocolate banana bread! I have made this recipe a few.times now to great reviews. My husband likes to serve it warm topped with whip cream. I recently purchased a tea loaf pan which yields a longer loaf that takes a little less time to bake and is easier to slice. Thanks for another winner Jenn!

  • This banana bread is so moist and chocolaty, almost like chocolate cake!

  • This recipe is absolutely fabulous!! I made in miniature bundt pans and it turned out perfect.

  • Doubled it and made two. Delicious! My bananas were not ripe enough so I baked them in the oven in their peels for 30 mins. I think it helped. Have you ever tried this method Jenn? Thanks for all of your delicious recipes!

    • Glad you liked it! And I can’t say I’ve ever tried that method for speeding up the ripening of bananas. I’ll try it when I’m in a pinch!

  • Hi can I use yogurt instead of sour cream ?

    • Sure, that will work. Enjoy!

      • Thank you, it came out so wonderful with that substitution! My 17 month old loved it too:)

        • So glad — thanks for reporting back!

  • This is amazing I made this today for the first time and it came out absolutely perfect. I am good at cooking but lack baking skills and this came out fabulous, I love the way the pictures are listed so you know what the consistency should look like thank you Jen super Fan of all of your recipes and love your cooking book!

  • I have already made this a few times – never lasts long around our house. Turned out perfectly each time.

  • Holy macaroni this is so good! Super simple to make and I had most of the ingredients already. I cut out the added granulated sugar and used oil instead of butter- so good! You feel like you are still indulging without the sugar. Wahoo keep posting more recipes

  • This was so good! I made it in a sheet pan that could fit in my toaster oven instead of the loaf pan it cooked in less time. I also had dutch process cocoa on hand so I goggled that you can substitute by using double the amount of baking powder for the amount of baking soda it calls for and it turned out great. It was like a moist cake. I topped mine with nuts and didn’t have chocolate chips. So good this will be a favorite in our home for sure.

  • Can I substitute something else in chocolate banana bread than sour cream

    • Hi Wendy, plain yogurt is a good substitute for the sour cream. Hope that helps!

  • The chocolate banana bread is, as my family says, devilishly delicious! Super easy to make. When I ran out of semisweet chocolate chips, I substituted dark chocolate chips. They’re somewhat larger and sunk to the bottom. However, once the bread was completely cooled, they lent a crunchy bite that my family liked. The dark chocolate also cut down on the sweetness which meant we could eat more it in one sitting.

  • Hi Jen,

    I love your recipes, and I am looking forward to trying this one as well.
    Quick question though: the classic banana bread has both baking soda as well as baking powder. This one has only baking soda. Why the difference, and is it supposed to be like that? I am a little surprised, since cocoa and chocolate chips are heavier, and theoretically need more oomph to rise and bake. Can I add raisins, and if ok, would you possibly guide as to how much quantity? I try to bake very precisely and I use metric system for measurements.
    Thank you again,

    • Hi Loretta, so glad you like the recipes! I developed the two banana breads pretty far apart so honestly, I’m not sure why one includes baking soda and one does not (but I do know that they both rise nicely)! And yes, it would be fine for you to add raisins to this; I’d suggest about 1/2 cup. Hope you enjoy!

  • This tastes delicious. Unfortunately, mine didn’t rise and I noticed afterwards that my baking powder had expired….doh.
    I cant wait to make it again, properly this time!

  • Love the recipe! I have made this a bunch of times. I usually bake using a scale. I was a little short on bananas this time and subbed some unsweetened apple sauce for 30 g of banana. It turned out just as beautiful and delicious as usual. Unsweetened applesauce is a great sub by weight for banana.

  • Excellent and easy to make! So moist and the chocolate is decadent. I cut salt in half as suggested by other reviewers, but wish I had cut the sugar in half as well as (did cut by 25%) as it was a bit sweeter than I like. Another great recipe 🙏

  • Wow! It is so good and incredibly moist. I have never made a bread before and it was so easy. Delicious!

  • Absolutely incredible! Dangerous to have in the house because you will eat it all!

  • Amazing! Soft and moist and so easy to make!

  • Delicious!!

  • I had several overly ripe bananas and told my husband I was making this recipe. He said ‘not a big fan of bananas’. Well I will make it anyway. Guess what…..he cannot stop eating it. Amazing. Super moist and great flavors.

    Another great recipe, Jenn.

    • — Patticakesdarien
    • Reply
  • Very good. Made with fresh banana’s from my son’s tree. Didn’t have chocolate chips but substituted peanut butter chips.

  • This came out wonderfully! I think this might be my favorite banana bread recipe!

  • This is an Awesome bannana bread! So moist& the chocolate addition is an incredible flavor!

  • Delicious!!! Used mini chips in batter because that’s what I had on hand. They worked perfectly in this recipe. My husband and I had slices after dinner and now I know what I’ll be eating for breakfast, too. I Can’t wait!!

  • Jenn-
    Do you prefer using table or kosher salt in baked goods? I think I remember reading once that kosher salt isn’t as salty as table salt.

    • Hi Mary, I recommend table salt for baked goods. 🙂

  • This recipe is off the charts!!! Super moist with a great chocolatey/banana flavour. A winner!

    • — Lauren Percival
    • Reply
  • I did not have cocoa powder and sour cream so I used cultured yogurt and still the bread came out to be lovely and moist! Can we substitute sugar with honey? I want to make it more healthy.

    • — Shreya Srivastava
    • Reply
  • Just popped it in the oven for the first time. Is it 1hr and 10 min or 1 hr and 30 min to bake?

    • Hi Joel, It’s 70 min. Hope you enjoy!

    • Hi Joel, Bake time is 1 hour and 10 minutes (the 1 hour and 30 minutes you see at the top of the recipe includes both the prep and bake time). Hope you enjoy!

  • Yummy! I also added 1/4 cup of walnuts and it was delicious!!

    • — Barbara L Landers
    • Reply
  • Why won’t Dutch process chocolate work? I used it in the recipe not realizing it. It’s in the oven now.

    • Hi Rosalyn, Dutch-processed cocoa powder doesn’t have certain acids that regular cocoa powder contains and the lack of them may impact the rise of the bread. Please LMK how it turned out!

  • Another winner Jenn! What a lovely, moist chocolate banana cake. I followed your recipe except for the chocolate chips..I added pecans instead. I didn’t have any natural cocoa powder, so used the Fry’s Cocoa I had on hand. The cake rose beautifully, so will continue to use it for this recipe. Really think the sourcream is a wonderful addition..this and the Ovenly banana breads are the best. Thanks so much for sharing these recipes.

  • My husband loves anything chocolate. But now his favorite “anything chocolate” is this delightful Chocolate Banana Bread! The bread is moist and oh so chocolatey! It is my only “go to” banana bread recipe. Why make something else when this guarantees perfection every time? To make it extra special, instead of baking in a bread pan, I bake in a round cake pan. A bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream dresses it up for a lovely, satisfying, and even decadent dessert. Enjoy!

  • Hi, I’m very keen to try your recipe. I have two questions..
    1) can I use regular butter instead of unsalted and omit the salt?
    2) I don’t have chocolate chips but I do have some lovely semi sweet chocolate in a bar, can I just chop it up and go ahead ?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Radhika,
      1. While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed.
      2. Yes
      Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • Absolutely amazing , but did anyone feel that it was tad much salt at 1 tsp, next time I will perhaps stick to 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt. Would that work?

    • I always use 1/2 of what the receipe says so I used 1/2 tsp and it was delicious!

      • — Barbara L Landers
      • Reply

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