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Marbled Banana Bread

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Marbled Banana Bread

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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 banana bread, chocolate banana bread, or coconut banana bread) 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.

“I am pretty sure that my kids beg me to buy bananas at the grocery store, only to let them go brown, so that I have to make this banana bread. So delicious!”


What You’ll Need To Make Marbled Banana Bread

ingredients for marbled banana bread

Step-by-Step Instructions

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 batter

Add the mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla extract.

adding bananas, vanilla, and sour cream

Mix until just combined. The batter will be thick.

Bowl of 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


  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (a heaping ½ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Hershey's


  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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  • curious whats the purpose of adding cocoa pwdr to the chocolate? wondering if i can add extra, because we are low on semisweet, and are making up for it with white chocolate. if i could add extra cocoa pwdr, would it ruin the consistency?

    • — alison on April 9, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Alison, adding cocoa powder to the chocolate makes for a more intense chocolate flavor. Unfortunately, it can’t act as a substitute for the semi-sweet chocolate – sorry!

      • — Jenn on April 10, 2024
      • Reply
  • I have baked this recipe twice and it tastes great, but when it bakes, the top does not form a dome. It bakes like Yorkshire pudding, the sides rise, and the top remains flat. I’m using the right size pan that I bought from King Arthur. The pan I’m using looks identical to the pan that you are using in the photo on your website. Any idea why it is baking up in this weird shape?

    • — Julie on March 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, sorry you’ve had a problem with how the bread bakes up. You mentioned that the top remains flat, but I know that Yorkshire pudding is more sunken in the middle. If it sinks like Yorkshire pudding, it’s likely that the bread is a bit underbaked and needs a few more minutes in the oven. If it’s not really sinking, but just a little flat. You could add a few more tablespoons of flour to give it a bit more of a dome. Just go easy as the more flour you use, the less moist the bread will be.

      • — Jenn on March 8, 2024
      • Reply
  • I randomly ran into this recipe and I followed it to the T!
    It came out amazing but I found the top of the loaf a little crumbly maybe a mistake from my end.

    • — Lammy on February 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • Can I use 3 mini loaf pans instead of the one 9 x 5 loaf for this recipe? If so, what should temperature be ? and approximately how long? Thank you.

    • — Lily on September 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lily, Sure, that will work. The oven temp should remain the same; bake time will be less, but I’m not sure by how much, so keep a close eye on them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 25, 2023
      • Reply
  • Dear Jenn,
    Your readers might be interested in how I served this Marbled Banana Bread. In between two thinly sliced pieces, I put a slice of vanilla ice cream, and then dripped chocolate sauce over the masterpiece. It was a hit!

    • — Linda on August 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this bread and everyone loved it. I especially loved the chocolate parts, such a beautiful moist and intense chocolate taste that I think is thanks to the addition of chocolate and cacao powder. I know that you have a chocolate banana bread recipe that uses chocolate chips and cacao powder, but what would I have to do to adapt this recipe to make it a fully chocolate banana bread one? Double the amount of chocolate and cacao or triple it? Thanks for all your recipes! Everything I have tried is really tasty.

    • — Shoko on June 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Shoko, I’ve never tried it, but if you want to give it a whirl, I’d use 8 ounces of chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on June 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • Baked this morning. My chocolate portion of batter was very thick and hard to swirl. Followed recipe exactly, except used FAGE plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Using chocolate is always a bit of a challenge

    • — Pearl on May 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hey Jenn I haven’t made this yet but definitely will be trying it because I always love trying your recipes because they are always awesome. But I’m trying to reduce sugars in my diet and wondered if apple sauce could be substituted in equal amounts for the sugar? I understand apple sauce is a great substitute but I don’t know if it would change the flavour profile. I’ve never cooked with apple sauce before. TIA!

    • — Judy on February 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, I wouldn’t recommend using applesauce in place of the sugar — I think it would make the bread too moist — sorry! You could bake this as is but reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2023
      • Reply
  • I had some overripe bananas sitting on my counter (again) that I needed to use up. I found this recipe and as I know that your recipes always work, I whipped it up.
    I had to upscale the amount to fit my pan a made some minor tweaks (a little less sugar, used milk for the missing 1/4 cup sour cream, and used dutch processed cocoa, as this is what I have). I had to cover the cake with foil after 30 minutes, but baked it as indicated for 70 minutes.
    My marbling was not as pretty as yours, but I love the taste. I tasted it still slightly warm from the oven (couldn’t resist :-D), it had a nice crunch on the outside. I stored it in refrigerator, so the next day, it had no crunch at all, but it is super moist and especially my vanilla extract came through. The chocolate part of the batter has also benefited from the night in the refrigerator, as all chocolate cakes do 😀
    Kids loved it too, and I think I will “have to” do this again soon 😉 😀

    • — PJ on January 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • I am pretty sure that my kids beg me to buy bananas at the grocery store, only to let them go brown, so that I have to make this banana bread. So delicious!

    • — Connie M on January 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent

    • — Debbie on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Doubled the recipe and shared with neighbors.it was delicious and moist. This is a keeper. I love the addition of chocolate when you get tired of just banana bread .

    • — Liliana on November 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Our oldest son is now “adulting” and started baking a few years back – just basic stuff. However, he’s beginning to venture out and cook more complex recipes from scratch (the way we taught him). He dropped by yesterday with this banana-chocolate bread and shared the recipe. It was really good! Proud of him for cooking it and thankful to whoever shared it!

    • — Paul Vaunhefflyunn on November 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • That’s wonderful that your son has gotten more into cooking (and that you got to enjoy the byproduct of it yesterday)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2022
      • Reply

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