This super easy homemade chocolate chip banana bread recipe is so tender it almost eats like cake. One of my most requested recipes on the blog, this is the best of both worlds — high-quality Lindt dark chocolate and my (most tender ever) classic banana bread. If you’re looking for a bakery-style chocolate chip banana bread recipe to enjoy for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert, this is the last one you’ll ever need. And it costs way less than Starbucks…and tastes better too.
Why We Love This Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
- It’s super quick and easy to mix
- It’s full of intense natural banana flavor
- It uses up overripe bananas you might otherwise discard
- Everything tastes better with dark chocolate chunks
- It freezes really well
- You can use the batter to make chocolate chip banana bread muffins
4 Steps For Making Making Perfectly Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
How to Avoid Dry + Dense Banana Bread
Below are four tips and techniques that make this banana bread better than most. It’s tender, light, moist, and easy to make. Use these tips and techniques below to avoid dense, dry, and flavorless banana bread.
- Use completely black-brown or very dark and spotted bananas. It’s a well-known baker’s ‘secret’ that you never use yellow bananas for making banana bread. In fact, we usually wait until the bananas are 100% black (like the color of vanilla beans, tobacco, or leather) before we even think about making banana bread. As the banana ages (ripens) it turns carbohydrates into sugar changing both the flavor and texture of the banana flesh. It becomes intensely fragrant (full of “super banana flavor”) and much sweeter. Never let bananas age so long that mold starts to form (that would be gross and unsafe).
- Always thoroughly whisk the dry ingredients together before adding liquid (i.e. flour, baking soda, salt, and dry spices like pumpkin pie spice). This helps ensure the leavening agent (baking soda in this case) is evenly distributed and therefore enables the banana bread loaves to properly (and evenly) rise.
- Do not over-mix the banana bread batter. When adding the eggs, don’t mix too long after each addition (mix just about 3 to 5 seconds in between each egg for a total mixing time of around 15 seconds). And even more importantly, when adding the dry ingredients alternating with the wet ingredients it’s important to only mix just until everything is combined and no more. I like to stop the mixer just after I’ve added the last of the flour and the buttermilk. Then use a rubber spatula to easily fold the ingredients together, add the mashed bananas and fruit or nuts and fold until well combined (or add the fruit or nuts to each filled loaf pan). This is how I avoid over-mixing banana bread batter. If you mix too vigorously, or for too long you will further activate the gluten (protein) in the flour and end up with dense banana bread instead of a light, moist banana bread (similar to cake).
- Use buttermilk or homemade faux buttermilk instead of whole milk. The tang and acidity from buttermilk are needed for both the flavor and for the baking soda to activate (allowing the banana bread to rise). If you don’t have buttermilk, you have two easy options:
- Make soured milk (aka faux buttermilk). Add 1 tablespoon (14g) freshly squeezed lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill with enough whole milk to reach the total amount of buttermilk called for in the recipe. Stir and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes on the counter before using.
- Make homemade buttermilk by making homemade butter first. Add very cold heavy cream to a quart Mason jar that’s been chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (even longer is better). Pour very cold heavy cream into the jar, tighten the lid and shake vigorously until the mixture starts to separate and butter has formed. Strain the butter solids out. The strained liquid is homemade buttermilk. Freeze unused buttermilk for making pancakes, scones, waffles, or biscuits.
Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cake Ingredients
You only need 10 ingredients to make this homemade chocolate chip banana bread and that includes salt. And you probably have most of them in your kitchen right now.
- baking soda
- pure vanilla extract
- buttermilk or faux buttermilk*see recipe card notes for making faux buttermilk
- overly ripe bananas
- 70% Lindt dark chocolate bar or semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to Make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Did you know that Banana Bread is the single most searched “bread recipe” on the internet? When you taste our recipe, you’ll understand why. Making homemade chocolate chip banana bread is very easy to pull together. Plus, this is an especially good recipe to get kiddos into the kitchen to help out.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C + Prep the baking pans. Turn on the oven and generously butter two loaf pans (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Add about 1/2 cup of flour to one pan and turn the pan while tapping it to ensure the flour coats every surface well. Tap out the excess flour into the second loaf pan and repeat. Tap both pans well to remove excess flour, set aside.
- Measure + whisk the dry ingredients. Whisk the dry ingredients together well to ensure everything is evenly distributed and set aside.
- Cream the butter + sugar. Using a handheld mixer (or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Add the eggs + vanilla. Crack 3 eggs into a small prep bowl and add the vanilla. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add eggs one at a time waiting about 5 seconds in between each addition blending just until the eggs are incorporated. The addition of all three eggs should take no longer than 15 seconds to incorporate. Turn off the mixer.
- Incorporate the flour mixture + buttermilk. Add about 1/2 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Turn the mixer on low speed to gently incorporate the ingredients. With the mixer still on, add about 1/3 of the buttermilk, then add some more flour, then a 1/3 more of the buttermilk, then add the last of the flour, ending with the last of the buttermilk. Turn off the mixer and gently stir the mixture to finish combining the ingredients.
- Add the bananas + chocolate chunks. Add the mashed bananas and chocolate chunks (or chips) and gently stir with a rubber spatula until everything is just combined. *You may also just sprinkle the dark chocolate on top of the banana bread instead of combining it with the batter. Divide the batter evenly between two loaf pans and tap the pans on the countertop about 10 times to remove any air bubbles from the batter.
- Bake the chocolate chunk banana bread. Place the loaf pans onto a baking tray and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean when inserted directly into the middle of each loaf. Remove from the oven and allow the banana bread to cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pans, then gently remove the loaves and place them right-side-up onto a cooling rack to finish cooling to room temperature. When loaves have cooled, you may slice and serve. Chocolate chip banana bread should be stored wrapped in sustainable cling film and placed into an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or longer in the refrigerator. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months in the freezer, Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread step-by-step recipe photos
Ways to Customize Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Our classic banana bread recipe is really versatile and tastes great with a few add-ins and toppers. So, if you’re in the mood for banana nut bread, something a little fruity, or even pumpkin-spiced here are a few ideas to help your banana bread stand out.
- use it to make banana bread french toast
- add 1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- add up to 1 cup of toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or pistachios)
- Use this recipe to make chocolate chip banana bread cupcakes (line muffin tins with paper or aluminum foil cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set and the cake tester comes out clean)
Looking for More Delicious Banana Bread & Quick Bread Recipes?
Above are a few of our favorite banana bread and pumpkin bread recipes (photographed above).
- Best Ever Strawberry Banana Bread Bread Cake
- Super Moist Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seed Crunch
- Best Ever Classic Banana Bread Bread Cake
- Easy and Moist Pistachio-Pecan Banana Nut Bread
- Bakery Style Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Bread (w/Toasted Walnuts)
- Granny’s Perfect Pumpkin Bread w/Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (a Vintage Recipe)
Looking For Something Else Sweet to Eat?
If you have a sweet tooth, here are a few more scratch-made desserts we think you may like.
- White Chocolate Creme Brûlée Cheesecake w/Biscoff Cookie Crust
- White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake w/Oreo CookieCrust
- Strawberry Shortcake Scones w/Jam + Clotted Cream
- Bakery Style Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Crispy + Flaky Southern Fried Cherry Pies (Best Ever)
- Super Fudge Biscoff Brownies w/Cornflake Crunch
- A Better Key Lime pie with Biscoff Cookie Crust
- Biscoff Peanut Butter Cups (Even Better than Reese’s)
- Pecan Tassie Cheesecake with Biscoff Cookie Crust (w/Mini Cheesecake Option)
- Aunt Betty’s Southern Pecan Tassies (Like Mini Pecan Pie Cookies)
- NYC Black and White “Cookie” Cheesecake (1/2 Milk Chocolate-Caramel & 1/2 White Chocolate-Vanilla Bean Cheesecake)
- Dump Truck Royale Cookies (our take on Kitchen Sink + Compost Cookies)
- Best Ever All-Natural Strawberry Cake From Scratch (w/Strawberry Gelée & Strawberry-Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream Toppings)
Essential Banana Bread Making Tips & Tricks
Can I Freeze Homemade Banana Bread?
Yes, banana bread freezes really well. Always allow any baked good (including this banana bread) to completely cool to room temperature before wrapping with parchment and then sustainable cling film. Place the wrapped loaves into an airtight freezer bag or another container and freeze. You can defrost wrapped banana bread loaves in the refrigerator overnight, or on the countertop for a couple of hours.
Can I Use Baking Powder Instead of Baking Soda in Banana Bread?
Yes, you can use baking powder instead of baking soda in this banana bread recipe. The rule of thumb for substituting baking powder with baking soda is to use 1 teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour called for in the recipe. In this case, you would use 2 teaspoons of baking powder to substitute the 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
Why is My Banana Bread Tough and Dense?
As explained above in the “4 STEPS TO MAKING PERFECTLY MOIST, SWEET, FRAGRANT BANANA BREAD”, if you over-mix the ingredients when combining the dries with the wet ones, you’ll over-activate the gluten in the flour which will cause your banana bread (or any quick bread or cake) to become rubbery and dense. In yeasted bread, it’s important for the gluten to be activated (which is why we knead bread dough), but for quick-breads and cakes, it will make the finished product undesirable. Gently combine the elements and if you’re ever in doubt, use a rubber spatula to combine all of the ingredients instead of a handheld or stand mixer.
Why Does My Banana Bread Taste Bitter?
If your banana bread tastes bitter it’s because the recipe you’re using calls for excessive amounts of baking soda or baking powder. Never use more than 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of flour called for in a recipe. And don’t use more than 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour called for in a recipe. This will keep your baked goods from tasting bitter and will allow them to perform their leavening function without wreaking havoc on your baked goods (like sinking cakes and collapsed quick-breads).
What Can I Substitute in Banana Bread if I Run Out of Bananas?
If you’re in the middle of making the batter for banana bread and realize you are short of the full amount of mashed bananas, supplement the missing amount with either applesauce or ripe mashed avocados.
Why is My Banana Bread Dry?
If your banana bread is dry it’s probably because you added too much flour or baked it too long, or there’s not enough fat or moisture in the batter. Start by using an all-purpose or low-protein flour for Banana bread. Avoid using bread flour because it has too much protein. Then make sure you are measuring the flour properly. Correctly measuring flour starts with using the scoop and level’ method which. means that you use a scoop or large spoon to add flour to the measuring cup. Add more flour than what the measuring cup will hold, then using the back of a butter knife (the straight side) scrape the excess flour off back into the bag, leaving a perfectly measured amount of flour in the measuring cup. You can really mess up a recipe if you don’t use the ‘level and scoop’ method and instead take your measuring cup and dig straight into the bag or container holding the flour. As for baking the banana bread, if you still have several minutes of baking time left, but feel the top is browning too much, just place aluminum foil over the top. If your oven bakes hotter than it’s supposed to, you may also reduce the temperature by 15 to 25 degrees as well.
Why Did My Banana Bread Collapse, fall, or sink in the Middle?
Typically the collapse of quick-breads and cakes happens for a couple of reasons.
- Underbaking banana bread can cause it to be too moist on the inside and not adequately set up. As it cools, the “wet” middle will sink. Always make sure a toothpick or cake tester poked into the middle of the banana bread comes out clean before removing it from the oven.
- Adding too much baking soda and/or baking powder causes too many (and too large) air bubbles to form (from the carbon dioxide that’s produced when the leavening agent and liquid are combined). The bubbles grow too large and then deflate onto and into themselves causing cakes and quick-breads to collapse in the center.
- Adding too many bananas to a banana bread batter can also make your banana bread sink in the middle. If the batter has too much moisture, the air bubbles created by the leavening agent (baking soda in this case) will never be enough to help create and set the air pockets that create the desired crumb (texture). Instead, the banana bread will be dense and “wet” in the middle.
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