Marbled Banana Bread

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Marbled Banana Bread

With a gorgeous ribbon of chocolate running through it, this marbled banana bread is as impressive as it is delicious.

Marbled Banana Bread

I haven’t been shy about offering up banana bread recipes on this site (pick your flavor: chai-spiced, chocolate, coconut, or basic) but this one is such a beauty, I couldn’t resist adding one more. Tender and sweet with a gorgeous ribbon of melted chocolate running through it,  marbled banana bread is as impressive looking as it is delicious. 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.

What You’ll Need To Make Marbled Banana Bread

ingredients for marbled banana bread

How To Make Marbled Banana Bread

Begin by combining the flour, baking soda and salt.

dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked dry ingredients

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

creaming butter and sugar

Add the eggs one at a time.

adding the eggs

Beating well after each addition.

eggs beaten into creamed butter mixture

Add the dry ingredients.

adding the dry ingredients

Beat on low speed to combine.

dry ingredients incorporated into batterAdd the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla extract.

adding bananas, vanilla, and sour cream

Mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.

finished batter

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

chocolate pieces in bowl

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 to melted chocolate

Add one cup of the batter to the melted chocolate.

adding banana batter to chocolate

Stir until well combined.

finished chocolate batter

Spoon the two batters alternately into a greased loaf pan.

spooned batters in loaf 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.

swirled batters in loaf pan

Bake for about an hour and ten minutes.

baked marbled banana bread

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

Marbled Banana Bread

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Marbled Banana Bread

With a gorgeous ribbon of chocolate running through it, this marbled banana bread is as impressive as it is delicious.

Servings: 1 (9 x 5-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, such as Hershey's

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-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 to 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.
  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)
  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 276g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 246mg
  • Cholesterol: 56mg

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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Reviews & Comments

  • It turned out really great. My family loved it. Thank you for the amazing and detailed recipes!!

    • — N.K. on October 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • can i use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chopped semi sweet chocolate?
    thanks?

    • — Carol O'Neill on September 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, Chocolate chips contain stabilizers in order to maintain their shape when heated. For best results, I’d stick with the chocolate in bar form for this -sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Would it be possible to use a low-fat plain yoghurt instead of sourcream? Thanks!

    • — Caroline on August 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Caroline, as long as it’s Greek yogurt. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • Given that I seem to always have overly ripe bananas (is it just me, or does everyone seem to not know the appropriate amount of bananas to buy on any given week???) I’m always on the hunt for creative ways to use them up. Look no further – THIS is what you should do with them! This is an upgraded banana bread – a cross between a quick bread and a dessert. I backed down the sugar a bit as my bananas were very ripe, and I only needed to bake my bread for 60 minutes. Will definitely make again!

    • — Terri F. on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Have you ever tried it with Raspberries instead of Bananas? If so, suggestion on how many Raspberries to use? Thanks!

    Loved this recipe

    • — Kelly on June 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it, Kelly. 🙂
      Unfortunately, I don’t think raspberries would work here — sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello! Want to know if I can use baking powder instead of baking soda?

    • — Klarizza on June 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Klarizza, wouldn’t recommend it — they’re not interchangeable. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely best chocolate banana bread ever ! Moist and the marbling looks great !

    • — Yola Rager on May 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Used a dark loaf pan but I forgot to lower the oven temp to 325.
    So I have a delicious cake with a burnt bottom. Lesson learned.

    • — Sandra Berube on April 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Super yummy! And impressive to look at!
    I packed an extra piece in my lunch to have at work and gave it to a coworker. They said it was incredible.
    Modestly I think so too.
    Easy to follow. I used chocolate chips and melted those and added extra whole chocolate chips into the “plain” part of the batter.

    Backstory: I had bananas that had gone too far ripe… My husband wanted regular banana bread with chocolate chips and I wanted the chocolate banana bread from King Arthur. We compromised and made your recipe haha. This one is a winner!

    • — Bethy on March 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! The sour cream does make the cake super moist so don’t leave it out. Tnx Jenn

    • — The Sudden Cook on March 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is outstanding. We loved it. Perfect blend of flavors. Another great recipe from Jen!!

    • — Geri on March 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi! Is it possible to do this recipe without chocolate chips and just cocoa powder? Excited to try!

    • — Maya on March 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Maya, I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

      • — Jenn on March 3, 2021
      • Reply
    • Probably but you’d need to add butter and maybe more sugar

      • — Bethy on March 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • I baked this in an 8×8” glass pan for 45 minutes. I didn’t have any chocolate left so I used 50g of ganache. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe. 🙂

    • — Christi on March 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi, can I use coconut sugar in this recipe. Thanks

      • — Vrishali on October 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Vrishali, I’ve never worked with coconut sugar so I can’t say for sure, but from what I’ve read online, it looks like it’s possible. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

        • — Jenn on October 25, 2021
        • Reply
  • I had some overripe bananas and as I had loved the marble cake recipe so much, I decided to try this one out. It did not disappoint!! The perfect amount of sweet and banana flavor, it was a hit even with my fiancé who is not the biggest banana bread fan. I will definitely be making this again! I always use Valrhona unsweetened cocoa powder as it is my favorite, and ended up using 3 bananas because that is what I had, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.

    • — Eva on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe has become an all time favorite, especially for my grandson Riley after I changed the flour to a GF flour blend to accommodate his severe allergies to gluten! With its rich and decadent ingredients, no one else knows that I changed the flour contents and we all can enjoy it together!

    • — Sherry on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Super easy. I didn’t have sour cream so substituted plain yogurt and it turned out perfectly.

    • — Chandra on December 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wow it smelled delicious cooking and it tastes even better. Gave my neighbours some otherwise, I might have eaten the lot!

    • — Julie on December 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! I had a slight bit of burning along the edges so I’ll decrease my time next time by a few minutes. Just wondering, whenever I’ve seen recipes before for banana bread, they always involve using parchment paper. Is there a particular reason why you prefer to grease the pan instead? Would this help with preventing burning on the edges? I have a gas stove if that makes any difference.

    • — Andrea on November 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrea, glad you like this but sorry to hear it got a little burnt along the edges. Did you by any chance use a glass loaf pan? If so, glass conducts heat more efficiently than metal so if you see the edges starting to brown before the center is done next time, you could reduce the heat by 25°F. I don’t think the burning is a result of greasing the pan, but if you’d prefer to try it with parchment, that would be fine too. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi,
    I just discovered your recipes three days ago and have already made six of them! They’ve been foolproof until tonight, so thank you very much.
    I just made the marbled banana bread and it’s delicious. My marbling want great but I’m sure I’ll do better next time. My sad and puzzling problem was that almost right out of the gate, the bread smelled like it was burning in the oven. I didn’t think much of it because it was the right size pan in an accurate oven, so I figured it was a drip or something. Lo and behold, when I pulled it out some five to ten minutes early, it was burned on all sides but the top. I sliced it all of and what was left was scrumptious but I’m so ☹️. I double checked everything, the middle rack, the pan size, the oven setting. I’d love to make this again as gifts but only if I can prevent it from burning. The three cookie recipes and pumpkin bread all came out perfectly. ( I’ve been baking up a storm since the night before last, as I like your chatty recipes.)

    • — Nyny Suzanne on November 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve made so far but sorry to hear you had a problem with this one! Did you use a glass or dark metal loaf pan? Both glass and dark metal conduct heat more than light metal and can cause the outsides of a loaf to cook before the remainder of the bread. It is strange though that you started smelling a burning smell so early into baking!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • Another winner! Deceptively easy and so delicious!

    • — KB on November 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is very very similar to Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread from Cooking Light magazine Sept 2003. You really should site it. The only reason I noticed is it is a family favorite We have made for years. I think you just switched out the yogurt for sour cream. Love your site.

    • — Sharon on November 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sharon, I think it’s really important to give attribution to another website/chef if I’ve done a “riff” or have tweaked their recipe in some way to make it my own but in this case, any similarities are purely coincidental. Thanks for pointing it out though as I would want someone to do the same for me (and so glad you enjoy the recipes)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2020
      • Reply
  • I love this recipe but I have a question. It calls for a 9 X 5 loaf pan. I looked up the volume for a pan that size and it says it holds 8 cups(2 quarts) . Since most glass loaf pans hold only 1.5 quarts can I use the 1.5 qt. pan for this recipe?

    • — Carol O'Neill on October 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately, I don’t think the batter will fit in a 1.5-quart pan.

      • — Jenn on October 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was delicious and so beautiful! Thanks for another great recipe!

    • — Ashley on October 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • This banana bread was delicious! I would not change a thing, perfect as is. Moist and very flavorful! My friends all asked for the recipe 😊

    • — Cindy on August 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Second time making this recipe. It was a hit first time around and gone within hours!

    • — Wendy on July 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello! Can you make this marbled banana bread in a bundt pan?

    • — Julie T. on July 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Julie, that should work. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • I’d cut back on the sour cream in this recipe. The flavor of it overpowers the banana.

        • — DH on October 25, 2020
        • Reply
  • Great recipe, had no chocolate, and just substituted it with 1 tablespoon instead of 1 teasoopn cocoa powder, worked out fine 🙂

    • — Donja on June 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Are the metric measurements accurate? Sorry from the UK! Thank you

      • — Ellie on August 3, 2020
      • Reply
      • Yes, Ellie, they should be accurate. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on August 3, 2020
        • Reply
  • I made a double recipe, and both loaves turned out great. It wasn’t much more work to get two loaves – one for now, and one for the freezer.

    • — Phyllis on June 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • lost count how many times I’ve made this and shared with people. Everyone is always amazed how good it is, yummy!

    • — ann on April 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Great recipes! The first recipe tried last year was the pumpkin bread. Since then I have tried several other, all turned out to be great. This particular recipe is very forgiving, I switched almond meal for half of the flour; and didn’t even measure the mashed bananas (I used 3 small ones), cut the sugar to 3/4 cup. It is still fabulous !

      • — Stephanie on August 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Great recipe really enjoy eating and sharing it with others. I love your step by step recipe directions. I shared a slice with my daughter and she said OMG I need the recipe.

    • — Kathym on April 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can you substitute dark brown sugar instead of white?

    • — Jess on April 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend that here – sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Excellent banana /chocolate bread! I substituted buttermilk for sour cream, added toasted chopped walnuts and chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate for the melted chocolate so it wasn’t too sweet and also cut the sugar by a little) and my husband cannot stop eating it. Will definitely make it again!

    • — J.T. on April 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • This banana bread recipe is IT! I’ve made it twice now; the first time, it was good but darker than I wanted on the outside, despite only baking it for 50 minutes. This time around, I knocked the temp down to 325 because I use a dark nonstick loaf pan, and baked it for an hour, with foil on top between minutes 50 & 60. It is PERFECT. So moist and delicious. This will be my go-to from now on!

    • — Trixie on April 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was so delicious! Making another now!

    • — Jill on April 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have made three of your cakes recently. After the first two, I was convinced anything you create is the BEST!!! This one was just okay. nothing spectacular like the others. I used yogurt because I didn’t have sour cream. That did not affect it at all. the texture was great. I just felt it basic. The other two I will review are the apple and the Birthday cake. Today I will pick something else :). I love your recipes.

    • — Tracey Mata on April 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Thanks Jenn for this terrific recipe, it elevates the standard tasty ( but boring, dense and homely) banana bread into a beautiful, light, sublimely delicious tea time treat. This recipe is another keeper!

    • — Chris on March 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I use greek yogurt in this instead of sour cream? Thanks!

    • — Brooke on March 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yup – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 19, 2020
      • Reply

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