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I have been going bananas waiting to publish this Chocolate Banana Bread recipe.
OMG you guys. This might just be my new favorite banana bread recipe.
This Double Chocolate Banana Bread recipe is ultra moist, flavorful, and rich. Every bite is heaven. It was actually inspired by a trip to NYC where I hit up a ton of East Village bakeries. The midnight banana bread loaf at Red Gate Bakery was so incredible I knew I had to make my own version of it when I got home.
This perfectly sweet treat is going to become your favorite breakfast/dessert/snack too!
It’s a chocolate lover’s dream come true.
How to Make Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Ingredients for Double Chocolate Banana Bread:
- All-purpose flour – Measured correctly! Too much flour will create a dense, heavy, dry banana bread, rather than the ultra-moist deliciousness this loaf should be.
- Cocoa powder – I used Dutch-processed cocoa powder to achieve a deliciously decadent chocolate flavor and dark color for this banana bread. Learn about the differences between natural cocoa powder and Dutch-processed cocoa powder here. If you need to, you can use natural cocoa powder in this recipe instead.
- Sugars – We are using a combination of light brown sugar and granulated sugar in this chocolate banana bread, to get the best of both worlds in terms of flavor and moisture. Sugar does much more than simply sweeten your baked goods! Read more about the role of sugar in baking here.
- Baking soda – Check out my Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder article to learn about the surprising differences between these two leaveners, and learn how to test that your leaveners are still fresh.
- Salt – I always prefer to use fine sea salt instead of table salt, simply because I prefer the flavor. Learn more about the differences between types of salt here.
- Mashed banana – The star of the show! Be sure to use appropriately overripe bananas and mash well with a fork or potato masher. More about this below.
- Sour cream or plain full fat yogurt – Either one will work just fine to give you a super moist banana bread with a beautiful crumb. Plain Greek yogurt is fine, too, so long as it’s full fat. Make sure it’s at room temperature.
- Eggs – Two large eggs, at room temperature.
- Butter – Melted and cooled to just warm. I prefer to use unsalted butter in baking so I can control the amount of salt used.
- Oil – I prefer to use vegetable oil, but any neutral oil will work fine such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil. I have not tried this recipe using coconut oil.
- Vanilla extract – For additional delicious flavor.
- Chocolate chips – For using inside our chocolate banana bread and for melting and drizzling on top to complete this decadent loaf! I used semisweet chocolate chips, but dark or milk chocolate chips will work fine, if that’s your preference.
Instructions on How to Make Chocolate Banana Bread:
- Prepare the pan. Line a 9 by 5-inch metal loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Don’t use a smaller size pan; otherwise your banana bread may overflow while baking!
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugars, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sour cream or yogurt, eggs, butter, oil, and vanilla.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Gently fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just barely combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Be careful not to overmix. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until slightly domed and the internal temperature registers at least 200°F with an instant read thermometer. Cool on a wire rack until completely cooled.
- Make the chocolate drizzle (optional, but highly recommended!). Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Drizzle over the top of the cooled loaf. Let set before serving.
How Ripe Should Bananas be for Banana Bread?
Be sure to use very overripe bananas. This goes for any banana bread, including double chocolate banana bread. They should be very soft and covered with dark brown speckles, as shown in the photo below. Overripe bananas not only provide the sweet flavor but also help to add more moisture to banana bread and give you the most perfect texture. Underripe bananas will create a more dry and bland banana bread. If you have more overripe bananas than you need for this recipe, you can always peel them, mash them, then freeze for baking up later. Or use them in smoothies!
HOW TO RIPEN BANANAS QUICKLY:
To speed up ripening, place bananas in a paper bag and store in a warm area for a day or two. The peels create ethylene gas, which fills up the bag and helps them ripen faster.
To ripen bananas today, place whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skins are darkened and the fruit is soft. This doesn’t yield the same effect as allowing the bananas to ripen naturally, but it’ll work in a pinch.
How to Mash Bananas for Baking:
Mash the bananas very well by hand with a fork or potato masher. I find mashing with an electric mixer makes the batter too thin to rise well, often leading to banana bread that’s slightly gummy, mushy, or even slightly sunken in the center.
How do I Make Chocolate Banana Bread MOIST? How do I Prevent Banana Bread From Being Dry?
I experimented with using melted butter vs. oil in banana bread and found a mixture of both led to the best results. You get the rich flavor from the butter, but the sensation of moistness from the vegetable oil.
Oil is a liquid at room temperature, so it feels moist on the palate even though it has no water.
Brown sugar and sour cream (or plain yogurt) are the other key ingredients that help make the banana bread moist, tender, and flavorful.
Lastly, since this is a chocolate banana bread, I highly recommend using a high-quality, high-fat Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Read more about that here!
Can I Add Nuts or Other Chips to This Chocolate Banana Bread?
Sure! You can add 1 cup of coarsely chopped nuts instead of the chocolate chips, if you prefer – but I love chocolate, so I recommend adding ½ a cup of nuts along with ½ a cup of chocolate chips (or whatever ratio you prefer; just keep the total volume of mix-ins to about 1 cup, as written in the recipe). You can alternatively add a mixture of milk, white and/or dark chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, or even peanut butter chips, if you wish – the fun variations are endless!
Pro tip: if adding nuts, lightly toast your walnuts or pecans before adding them to the batter. Toasting the nuts adds so much depth of flavor!
The CORRECT Pan to Use for Double Chocolate Banana Bread
This makes a shockingly big difference. The pan I recommend using is a reflective METAL 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Anything too dark in color will risk scorching the edges. Glass and ceramic loaf pans can take MUCH longer to bake, and you risk the banana bread collapsing in the center and being underbaked in the middle.
Additionally, use the correct size loaf pan for best results: 9 by 5-inches. I know that an 8-1/2 by 4-1/2-inch pan seems basically identical, but the difference in volume capacity is 15% and that has a surprisingly large impact on the final loaf. If you use the smaller pan size, you may end up with a loaf that spills over the edges and remains underbaked in the center. If that’s all you have, you can withhold about 15% of the batter from the pan.
What if I Only Have a Glass or Ceramic Pan?
If you only have a glass or ceramic loaf pan, drop the temperature to 325°F and increase the baking time by about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the center of the loaf registers at least 200°F with a digital instant read thermometer.
How to Bake Banana Bread WITHOUT COLLAPSING!
Firstly, follow my notes above for using the correct baking pan. The correct size and type is integral to baking any banana bread well.
Secondly, make sure your oven is completely preheated. Wait at least 10 additional minutes after your oven emits that preheat beep before placing your loaf in to ensure it’s hot enough. I also highly recommend investing in an oven thermometer to see just how accurate your oven actually is. Learn more about ovens here!
How to Save Underbaked Chocolate Banana Bread:
We’ve all been there. You go to slice your cooled loaf only to discover it’s gummy and underdone in the center. Putting it back in the oven will only scorch the exterior before the interior can heat through.
Instead, place those slices on a buttered griddle and fry them up, kind of like French toast! You can also do this with stale banana bread (if it lasts that long!).
Why Did My Banana Bread Turn Out Gummy?
Banana bread can get gummy if the batter was overmixed or the loaf was underbaked. Learn how to know when your bread is done baking below!
How to Know When Chocolate Banana Bread is Baked:
Bake your banana bread until it registers an internal temperature of 200 to 205°F. Use an instant read thermometer inserted into the center. This is the best and easiest way to ensure your bread is perfectly cooked through, but not overdone.
You could also insert a toothpick into the center, and the loaf is done baking when there are a few moist crumbs still attached – but this can be tricky since you can hit a chocolate chip and mistake the melted chocolate for underdone batter, so be sure to carefully test several spots just to be safe.
How to Turn Chocolate Banana Bread into Banana Muffins:
I haven’t tried that with this recipe, but you could turn this banana bread recipe into about two dozen muffins, if you wish. Fill the batter about 3/4 full into the cavities of two standard muffin tins. Bake at 350°F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
I also have a fabulous recipe for Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins here!
How to Store Double Chocolate Banana Bread:
Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. The banana flavor will intensify the longer it sits, and the chocolate coating will harden as the loaf sits and may bloom (slightly discolor). If you prefer, microwave slices before serving to soften.
How to Freeze Banana Bread:
This Double Chocolate Banana Bread also freezes beautifully! To freeze, tightly wrap the completely cooled loaf or slices of the loaf in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in a ziptop bag or an airtight container and place in the freezer. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours at room temperature. If freezing the entire loaf, I recommend waiting until it’s thawed to drizzle the chocolate on top to avoid the chocolate blooming or discoloring while thawing.
More Banana Recipes:
- Butter Pecan Banana Bread
- Classic Banana Bread Recipe
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
For the bread:
- 1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (43 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder*
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) mashed banana (from about 3 very overripe bananas)
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream or full fat plain yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm
- 3 tablespoons (34 grams) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
For the chocolate drizzle (optional):
- 1/4 cup (43 grams) semisweet chocolate chips**
Make the bread:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 by 5-inch metal loaf pan*** with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugars, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sour cream or yogurt, eggs, butter, oil, and vanilla. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just barely combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips, being very careful not to overmix. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until slightly domed and the internal temperature registers at least 200°F with an instant read thermometer, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before using the parchment overhang to remove the loaf from the pan to finish cooling completely. Bread will collapse slightly as it cools.
Make the chocolate drizzle (optional):
- Once the bread has cooled, place the chocolate chips in a double boiler set over simmering water or place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Drizzle over the top of the cooled loaf (coating will be thick). Let set before serving, serve same day for best appearance.
- Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or foil and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. The banana flavor will intensify the longer it sits, and the chocolate coating will harden as the loaf sits and may bloom (slightly discolor). If you prefer, microwave slices before serving to soften.
Photos by Joanie Simon.