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This tender and delicious Chocolate Banana Bread is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It’s easy to make with no mixer required and comes together in just a few short minutes.
Rich and moist Chocolate Banana Bread
- ripe, soft bananas, mashed
- unsalted butter, melted
- canola or vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
- light brown sugar
- all-purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) (I usually substitute 1 tablespoon of cocoa with black cocoa for a richer, darker color)
- espresso powder (optional)
- baking soda
- bittersweet or semisweet bar chocolate or dark chocolate chips, rough chopped. Milk chocolate chips will also work but the bread will be rich.
- mini chocolate chips or coarse sugar for topping
How to make Chocolate Banana Bread
1. Prepare the pan and preheat the oven
Lightly grease or spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line with parchment paper if desired for easy removal. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the wet ingredients
Mash the bananas until almost a liquid. In a small bowl combine the mashed bananas, melted butter, oil, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
3. Whisk the dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, espresso, salt and baking soda. Whisk until combined.
4. Mix the batter
Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together using a spatula. Stir just until blended scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with the spatula. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top with mini chocolate chips or coarse sugar, if using. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing.
How to store Chocolate Banana Bread
Once cool Chocolate Banana Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days or refrigerated for longer storage.
This bread is freezer-friendly! Cover tightly in plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight, sealed container for up to 2 months.
How to rewarm cold or frozen Banana Bread
Chocolate Banana Bread is still pretty great served cold. However, it’s over the top fantastic when served slightly warm.
Rewarm slices of banana bread straight from the freezer. Warm a slice in the microwave at 50% power for about 30 seconds. Repeat again if needed for a total of 1 minute. Serve and enjoy!
Why this recipe works
I’ve made this quick bread recipe more times than I can count. We’ve shared it with all our neighbors, friends, co-workers and family. I believe I’ve made this recipe once a week for the entire summer.
When I first started working on this bread I tweaked it mostly by adjusting the leavening using numerous combinations of baking soda and baking powder. Finally we ended up loving this version the best made with just baking soda.
Mix by hand
We also found that by mixing the banana bread by hand instead of using an electric mixer you don’t run the risk of over-inflating the batter. Too much air can cause the bread to sink in the middle as it cools.
While this loaf doesn’t have an extremely giant domed top, it has just the right amount of lift for great texture and appearance.
With or without added chocolate
We’ve tried this recipe with and without chocolate pieces mixed in the batter. Personally, I’m very fond of coarsely chopped dark chocolate chips baked right in the bread.
Having chocolate chunks in the batter is especially wonderful when eating a slice warm from the oven. The puddles of chocolate meld into the tender crumb making each bite moan-worthy!
Variations and add-ins
Feel free to use any kind of chocolate chips or baking bar chocolate you have on hand. Semisweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate all work well.
You can also substitute peanut butter chips for the chocolate but the bread will be a bit sweeter overall.
Walnuts, pecans and even peanuts are all great mixed in. Chop the nuts fairly small so they’ll stay distributed throughout the bread and not sink to the bottom.
While I love Dutch-process cocoa powder in most baked goods, it doesn’t do as well in this recipe. I don’t recommend using it in place of the all-natural unsweetened cocoa.
For a darker, richer banana bread with great chocolate flavor, replace 1 tablespoon of natural cocoa powder with black cocoa.
A little goes a long way so Black Cocoa should be used sparingly to create an intense, dark color with unsweetened-chocolate highlights.
Great recipes featuring bananas 🍌
If you love baking with bananas then this Banana Cake with cream cheese icing is a great dessert for a special occasion or just because.
And don’t miss these Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies! What a treat ❤️
Don’t throw away old, dark, over-ripe bananas! Bake something delicious instead.
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Chocolate Banana Bread
- 3 ripe bananas mashed with a fork
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (113g)
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed (226g)
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (164g)
- ½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (42g)
- ⅛ teaspoon espresso powder optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped or 1 cup dark chocolate chips rough chopped
- mini chocolate chips and/or coarse sugar for topping
- Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl combine the mashed bananas, melted butter, oil, eggs and vanilla.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, espresso, salt and baking soda. Whisk until combined.
- Pour the banana mixture into the dry and fold together using a spatula or wooden spoon. Mix just until blended scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with the spatula. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, if using.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top with coarse sugar or mini chocolate chips if desired. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
- Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve slightly warm or room temperature. Cool completely before storing.
- Once cool Chocolate Banana Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated for longer storage.
- The bread can also be covered tightly in plastic wrap and frozen in an airtight, sealed container for up to 2 months.
- Rewarm slices of banana bread in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute.
The BEST Chocolate Banana Bread recipe
Of course we believe our Chocolate Banana Bread recipe is the best. We’ve tested and perfected this recipe and eaten way more than our share. That makes us chubby experts!
Finally, we’d love to know what you think about it. Give it a try and let us hear from you.