Chocolate Banana Bread

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

I really hate wasting food, maybe it comes from growing up seeing sponsor-a-child commercials as a kid, or maybe I just love food too much to throw it away. Whatever the case, I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out ways to use up neglected odds and ends.

But using up left-over ingredients is only a bandaid for the root problem: buying ingredients I’ll never finish. Take banana bread for example. It’s a classic way to polish off those stragglers at the bottom of your fruit bowl, but if you have to go out and buy a quart of buttermilk to make it, what’s the point?

After some recent success making blueberry pancakes with plain yogurt(which I always have on hand), I decided to try and adapt my banana bread recipe as well.

Ripe Banana Recipe

But before we get into the details, I want to share with you the key to making good banana bread: use ripe bananas. I’m not talking yellow with a light speckling of black, I’m talking a full on black banana that’s a fruit fly away from the garbage can. Bananas ripened to this point are not only ridiculously sweet, they have a pungent banana aroma that gives our eponymous bread its flavor.

To maximize the flavor of the bananas in the bread, it’s important to limit the amount of other liquids we add. Since bananas aren’t exactly a juicy fruit, this can be tricky. What I’ve found is that they can be made juicy by cooking them. A brief stint in the microwave along with the butter and sugar will not only release a lot of banana juices, it also melts the butter in the same step.

Tossed in a blender along with the eggs, yogurt and vanilla and you have an emulsion that’s ready to mix with the dry ingredients. The blending also purees the banana, giving the banana bread a uniform crumb with a pound-cake-like consistency.

As for the chocolate it’s a personal preference. I grew up eating banana bread with chocolate chips in it. This time I decided to go nuts and added coco powder to the batter for a double dose of chocolate. It worked nicely balancing out the sweetness of the banana and chocolate chips with a mild bitterness that gives this banana bread a grown-up feel.

Speaking of grown-up, this banana bread is even better glazed with some dark rum right after it comes out of the oven;-)

Equipment you'll need:

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    Chocolate Banana Bread
  • Chocolate chips and coco powder make for an extra chocolaty banana bread.
ServingsPrep TimeCook Time
8 10 minutes 50 minutes


  • 2 large bananas very ripe
  • 8 tablespoons butter - unsalted
  • 1/4 cups sugar - unrefined
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup yogurt - plain
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coco powder - unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F (175 C). Use a paper towel to evenly spread some vegetable oil or butter along the bottom and sides of a 9" loaf pan, and then dust with flour. Flip the pan over over the sink and tap out any excess flour.
  2. In a large glass bowl, microwave the bananas, butter, sugar and salt for 3 minutes. Watch it closely and stop it for a few seconds if it looks like it's going to boil over. Let this mixture cool until it's luke warm.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, coco powder and baking soda to remove any clumps. Add the chocolate chips and then whisk the mixture together.
  4. When the bananas have cooled, put them in a blender or food processor along with the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extra. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold together with a spatula until it's just combined, it's okay if there are still some steaks of flour remaining, but do not over mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place it in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool the banana bread on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely.
  • Ari

    Rather than going out and buying a quart of buttermilk, I always make my own with vinegar or lemon juice and milk. It tastes the same and it’s much cheaper. :) Thanks for the great-sounding recipe, I can’t wait to give this a try. I have a pair of overripe bananas hanging in the kitchen now.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Ari, thanks for the tip! I’m not sure if I’ve just been doing something wrong, but using lemon+milk as a substitute has never worked out as well as cultured buttermilk for me. —
      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Blur ting

    Oh, I had a bunch of over-ripe bananas last week and made choc banana muffins. I like your recipe and would try it the next time I end up with almost black bananas. This week, I had to get rid of 2 over-ripened mangoes and made mango bread. So mushy. Not exactly the most delicious thing.

  • Mel

    Oh this recipes looks so tasty! My sister dislikes bananas so i hope making this might change her mind!

  • Dorothy Wandruff

    This looks wonderful. I’ll give it a go today. I throw whole over-ripe bananas in the freezer. The peel acts as a ziplock. When the pile gets too high, I thaw, squish into a freezer container and keep until I am ready to make a huge batch of banana bread. I wonder what the measurement of two bananas is? Anyone know? I tend to quadruple recipes because I have a large mixer. The bananas return to the freezer as banana bread.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Dorothy, according to, 1 cup equals 3 mashed bananas, so 2 bananas would be about 2/3 of a cup. —
      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

      • Dorothy Wandruff

        Thanks for doing the legwork.

  • loulew

    Step #6 – Bake for how long?

    • Linda1255

      Loulew, I wondered the same thing, but also noticed at the top he wrote: “prep time 10 min ; cook time 50 min”. So I am assuming 45-50 min?

      • Marc Matsumoto

        Sorry about that, yep it’s 40-50 minutes depending on your oven (convection ovens will go faster).

  • Agnes

    Marc, What type of yogurt needed? Regular or Greek type.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Regular plain yogurt. Greek would be too thick.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Laura Fuentes Schneller

    I made this tonight. BEST banana bread EVER.

  • Lauren

    How do you think it would be possible to replace butter?! (not with margarine?)

  • Yogicfoodie

    Hi Marc,

    question for you. Can I boil instead of microwaving (step 2)? I no longer own a microwave. (yes, yes, I am very low-tech.) If it’s ok to boil, for how long? Am I trying reduce the liquid or just meld the ingredients together?
    I have the ingredients ready to go! I will have this for dessert soon!!!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep should work on the stove though you may want to let the butter melt a bit before adding the bananas to keep them from sticking. The idea is to draw out as much liquid from the banana as possible so we can avoid adding other liquids that would water down the flavor. You can stop when the banana is cooked and very easily broken apart. —
      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Emilye

    Hi Marc,

    Can this recipe be doubled? If so, do I simply double the amount of each ingredient?
    Thank you!!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, you’ll just need 2 loaf pans, and you may need to increase the microwaving time on the bananas and butter by a little bit. Otherwise all else should be the same.

  • Carmen

    Made this for a gathering and it was a big hit with friends. Thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Carmen, I’m glad to hear you and your friend enjoyed!

  • Yogicfoodie

    Made two loafs, every one loved it!
    Your food never let me down!!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear it

  • Yogicfoodie

    Made two loafs, every one loved it!
    Your food never let me down!!

  • claviyvonne

    I made this choc banana bread yesterday. I dunno what step went wrong, and my banana bread did not turn out with the correct texture like your first picture. My banana bread looks very dense and too moist at the bottom. I did check the bread with skewer at various spot, and it came out clean each time.
    I did not use a food processor but I used a handheld smoothies maker (with two blades) to blend the banana mixture and it was smooth.
    My next suspect is probably the baking soda I used which somehow doesn’t make the flour mixture expand …
    Apart from the texture, the bread tastes really good. I also added in some walnuts in the mixture and the surface , as I like walnuts very much.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Claviyvonne, sorry to hear it didn’t turn out. From your description it sounds like it wasn’t cooked all the way through. When you tested it with a skewer, did you send the skewer all the way to the bottom of your pan? Also, about how long did you bake it for? If it was for much longer than 50 minutes, its possible your oven runs cool, which could lead to the baking soda using all it’s leavening power before the cake sets. You could try setting your oven a little hotter next time.

      • claviyvonne

        Hi Marc, thanks for the advice. . I usually set my oven with a hanging oven thermometer. I will try this recipe again today and adjust the temperature slightly higher ..

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!