A towering loaf of double chocolate banana bread loaded with chocolate and chocolate chips from the inside out. This is a simple, minimalist recipe for just one loaf of chocolate banana bread; as easy to make as it is to eat!
As you know from my double chocolate peanut butter banana muffins, I think bananas and chocolate are always an amazing combination.
But in this rich, moist double chocolate banana bread recipe they get even more up close and personal with each other. And the results are spectacular.
Try eating a slice of this double chocolate banana bread for breakfast with peanut butter, for dessert with a cold glass of milk, or as a mid-day snack on its own.
About This Recipe
This is a tweaked version of my 6-ingredient banana bread recipe, which uses shortening and easily accessible ingredients to make a super reliable, moist and tender banana bread.
Of course, the best thing about that recipe is how dang easy it is. No complicating mixing steps, no waiting for ingredients to come to temperature. Just mix and go.
So in this version I introduced as few new ingredients as possible (chocolate, two ways, of course), while keeping the process of making it just as straightforward as the original.
You do have to sift the dry ingredients in this version, but otherwise it's exactly the same; put everything in the mixer, mix well, and it's ready to bake.
I made just a few other adjustments to accommodate the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. There's a bit more shortening, and I've subbed in brown sugar to keep it moist. I also increased the baking powder slightly to help the loaf rise around the weight of all those chocolate chips.
(Seriously, it's so many chocolate chips.) (You're welcome.)
Eagle-eyed readers will also notice that this recipe adds salt, where the original one did not. The small amount of salt really helps enhance those chocolate flavors. And double chocolate banana bread is ALL about the chocolate.
The combination of cocoa powder and chocolate chips makes this double chocolate banana bread super fudgy and chocolatey without losing that great banana bread flavor.
There's a total of one and a half cups of chocolate chips in this banana bread recipe, and that half cup is fully reserved for topping the banana bread for maximum chocolate vibes. So good, perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Here are the ingredients that you'll need to make this super easy double chocolate banana bread recipe! See recipe card (at the end of the post) for quantities.
- Brown Bananas - You'll need about 3 medium brown bananas, or 4 small brown bananas. I've given a weight measurement for the bananas in the recipe for precision, but don't sweat it if you're over the amount by about 25 grams or so. If you're under the weight amount, you'll want to add extra shortening to make up the difference!
- All-Purpose Flour - Regular all purpose flour is just fine here. Unbleached or bleached, both will work.
- Brown Sugar - This adds flavor and moisture to your double chocolate banana bread. Light or dark brown sugar, either one is fine.
- Shortening - I keep a small container of Crisco in my pantry specifically so I can make banana bread on a whim. Store brand vegetable shortening will also work.
- Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - The standard box of Hershey's cocoa powder is fine. Just make sure you're not using a "Dutch processed" cocoa powder, as those have been treated to remove their natural acidity and won't help activate the baking soda; you'll end up with a flatter banana bread.
- Baking Soda - The chemical leavener in this banana bread. Make sure your box of baking soda is fresh!
- Eggs - Large eggs, brought to room temperature before use. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, submerge them in a cup of hot water for about 5-10 minutes before cracking them open.
- Chocolate Chips - I use standard sized semi-sweet chocolate chips most of the time, but this double chocolate banana bread is also so good with dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or a chocolate chip blend.
- Salt - I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which half as salty as other brands. If measuring by weight, it doesn't matter what brand of salt you use. But if you're measuring by volume and using a different brand of salt, even a different brand of kosher salt, cut the amount of salt in half.
Why do we use brown bananas for banana bread? Brown, overripe bananas are softer and sweeter than ripe yellow or unripe green bananas. As bananas ripen, their starches turn to sugars, making them ideal for baking.
🍽 Mise en place (aka "the setup")
Mise en place is a French culinary term which literally translates to "putting in place."
It basically means: Measure all your ingredients and make sure you have all the right tools and equipment ready to go when you need them before you start working.
This can make a huge difference in a) how enjoyable you find the baking and cooking process and b) the success of your recipe!
Here's the mise en place you'll need for this recipe:
- Preheat the oven and prepare your pan. You don't want the batter to hang out too long after mixing — the baking soda will start activating, and we want it to activate in the oven, not on the counter.
- Bring the eggs to room temperature. Submerge them in a cup of hot water for about 5-10 minutes.
- Measure the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl or container. This will make sifting much easier!
- Measure out one cup (170 grams) of chocolate chips. The recipe calls for 1½ cups (255 grams) of chocolate chips. Of that, 1 cup (170 grams) gets mixed into the batter, while the remaining ½ cup (85 grams) goes on top of the banana bread. If you're like me and have ADHD, you know if you don't measure them out separately, you'll accidentally end up adding the whole amount of chocolate chips to the batter and not have enough for the top of your banana bread! Measure them out before you start baking to avoid a mistake later.
Bananas not brown enough? Poke the bananas through the peel a few times with a fork, then bake for 10-15 minutes at 350F until deeply browned (blackened even!) on the outside. Let cool before peeling and scooping. The bananas won't be quite as sweet as if you let them brown naturally, but this shortcut does work in a pinch!
This is such an easy recipe, you hardly need the step-by-step images. But I spent the time photographing and editing them, so here you go!
Start by combining all the ingredients in your mixer bowl. I recommend putting the wet ingredients and sugar in first, then sifting the remaining ingredients on top to prevent lumps.
You know I wouldn't tell you to sift unless it was really important. In this case, sifting is definitely worth the extra step.
Cocoa powder is notoriously lumpy; if you skip this step, you may end up with a banana bread that has dry hidden pockets of raw cocoa powder. Yuck!
Mix everything together with the paddle attachment (or standard beaters on a handheld mixer) on medium speed until well combined. Try not to overmix, 60-90 seconds is usually plenty. Scrape down the bowl and repeat.
Switch to a spatula and stir in the chocolate chips. This is gentler than an electric mixer and will help the chocolate chips distribute evenly without over mixing.
Pour the chocolate banana bread batter into a greased and lined loaf pan (or a loaf pan greased and dusted with cocoa powder) and use an offset spatula to spread the batter out into all the corners of the pan.
TIP: If you're using a parchment liner (I like Kana Goods' quarter sheet pan parchment sheets which fit perfectly!), make sure you leave enough paper overhanging or use all-metal oven safe binder clips to hold it in place.
Top the banana bread loaf with an additional half cup of chocolate chips. You can also add chopped nuts, use a blend of chocolate chip sizes, a blend of chocolate types, etc. Go wild here, have fun with it.
Now your chocolate chip banana bread is ready to bake!
How To Tell When It's Done
Bake your double chocolate banana bread for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick or small knife inserted comes out mostly clean.
TIP: It's okay if a few crumbs or melted chocolate sticks to the toothpick or knife, but you shouldn't any see raw batter, and the loaf shouldn't look jiggly.
If you want to be precise, use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. Insert it into the center of the loaf; you're looking for a temperature of 195-205F.
Remove the pan to a cooling rack, run a knife around any edges that are flush with the pan (e.g. not lined with parchment paper) and let it cool for at least an hour before removing it from the pan.
Double chocolate banana bread is best eaten within 3-4 days of baking. Good luck trying to keep it around that long!
To store this double chocolate banana bread, let it cool completely, then wrap it well in plastic, aluminum foil, or in a resealable bag with as much air pressed out as possible.
Why Use Shortening?
Because shortening is 100% fat (unlike butter which is about 80% fat and 16-18% water) it produces very soft, very tender baked goods. Banana bread made with shortening is very soft and very tender and the banana flavor truly shines.
I generally don't think of banana bread as a "buttery" quickbread. So I prefer shortening for the added tenderness and moistness, and because it doesn't add that buttery richness that I expect from cakes.
In the 80s and 90s shortening was popularly promoted as a "healthy alternative to saturated fats." These days it's seen far less often due to an increase in concern about trans fats (just another reminder that what we consider "healthy" is often the result of successful marketing campaigns).
As with just about any ingredient diet culture has championed and/or vilified, shortening does have its place in the kitchen. And it's great for making a super simple, tender quickbread like this one.
Practical Tips and Recipe Notes
- To get a tall banana bread loaf with straight sides and a square bottom, I used a small pullman loaf pan without the lid. This recipe will also work in a standard 1 pound (8x4") or a 1.25 pound (9x5") loaf pan.
- I used a quarter sheet pan sized parchment paper liner which perfectly fits inside the small pullman loaf pan. Use all metal binder clips (plastic ones are not oven safe!) to hold the edges of the paper in place while it bakes.
- If you don't line the pan with parchment paper, you may want to dust the pan with cocoa powder after you grease it. This will help prevent sticking and, unlike flour, cocoa powder won't leave a white residue behind.
- As soon as the chocolate banana bread comes out of the oven, run a knife around any edges without parchment paper, then leave it in the pan to finish cooling.
- You can absolutely add in chopped nuts, M&Ms, use white chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, etc. Just make sure to keep the amount of mix ins the same — you can replace some of the chocolate chips with other things, but I wouldn't recommend adding more than the recipe calls for!
A kitchen scale is more accurate than cup measurements and will give you the right ratio of dry and liquid ingredients so that the cookie dough behaves the way we want it to. I tested and developed this recipe using weight measurements. If I were to convert it to volume measurements, I would be using Google — just like you would. And there's no set standard for how much "1 cup" of flour weighs (I use 120 grams, like King Arthur Baking does, but other recipe developers use as much as 150 grams as "1 cup"), which means I wouldn't be able to promise you'd get the same delicious results!
This is called sugar or fat bloom and, first of all, it is totally safe to eat. Sugar or fat bloom is caused by a few things, like chocolate that isn't tempered properly (not something you can control here), or chocolate that isn't stored properly (too much exposure to air or moisture or extreme hot/cold temperatures). As long as you store your double chocolate banana bread in an airtight container after it is completely cool, you should be fine!
Loaded Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- 325 grams brown bananas (3 medium or 4 small brown bananas)
- 200 grams brown sugar (1 cup)
- 200 grams all-purpose flour
- 120 grams shortening
- 30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon diamond crystal kosher salt (use half as much of any other brand)
- 255 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips (1½ cups, divided)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a loaf pan with a parchment paper sling (or grease and dust with cocoa powder). Set aside.
- Add the bananas, sugar, eggs, and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer, Sift the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt overtop. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about one minute. Scrape down the bowl and beater. Mix 45-60 seconds more on medium speed.
- Stir 1 cup of the chocolate chips into the batter on the lowest speed or by hand to avoid over mixing.
- Pour banana bread batter into the pan, tapping it against the counter a few times to release air bubbles.
- Top with the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes (70 minutes) until a toothpick or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean. It may need an extra 5 minutes! A few crumbs on the toothpick is fine, you just don't want wet batter clinging to it.
- Remove from oven and run a paring knife around any sides not lined with parchment to release, then let cool in the pan on a wire rack. When mostly cool, release from pan and let finish cooling on the rack before slicing.
- If using defrosted bananas, discard any excess liquid in the bag before using them in the batter. You may also need more bananas!