This easy double chocolate banana bread recipe is for serious chocolate lovers only! Made in one bowl with no mixer required, this loaf bakes up super dark and chocolatey with a plush, soft texture. Add extra chocolate chips and a sprinkle of sugar on top for a crunchy, caramelized chocolate crust.
I say this a lot, but this double chocolate banana bread may be one of my most tested recipes ever! I’ve made it no less than 8 times and I finally think I’ve achieved the perfect balance of dark chocolate AND banana flavor.
So let’s chat about it.
You’ll love this double chocolate banana bread recipe
It’s no secret that I love banana bread. My recipe for the easiest banana bread is not only one of the most popular recipes on this site, but also in my own kitchen. I make it at least once or twice a month, and Brian strategically leaves bananas on the counter to go spotty because he knows I’ll make it once they’re no longer edible. He’s sly that way.
What I love about that classic banana bread recipe, Brian’s machinations aside, is that it only requires one bowl and no mixer, and the ingredients are very simple. No one wants a super complicated banana bread – it’s supposed to be comforting, nostalgic, and easy.
So when the great banana bread baking of 2020 commenced and it seemed like everyone in the world was baking it at once, I knew I needed to work on some variations that were just as easy and satisfying as my go-to. First up: creating the best double chocolate banana bread I could find.
Replacing some of the flour in my original recipe with cocoa powder turned out to be more complicated than I originally thought, but after many (MANY) tests by both myself and my ever-supportive, ever-patient recipe testers (yes, they’re my parents) we finally hit the perfect ratio.
This loaf is soft and plush — almost like a chocolate banana cake but with the coarser crumb we love in a cozy banana bread. Suddenly, what was once a breakfast or snack item could be…a decadent dessert. We’re talking warm, melty chocolate, ice-cream-on-top, sheer bliss dessert. Or add a schmear of peanut butter and call it breakfast, or a snack.
You win in every scenario. And trust me, I’ve experienced every scenario.
- Large mixing bowl – this is a one bowl recipe, hooray!
- Whisk (or fork) and rubber spatula
- Kitchen scale – I highly recommend weighing your ingredients for most accurate results, especially the flour! This is the primary way I bake these days as it is much more precise than using measuring cups (and there are less dishes to clean).
- Loaf pan – 9″x5″ or 8.5″x4.5″ both work, and metal or ceramic loaf pans will work equally well. I haven’t tried this with any other cake pan sizes but let me know if you do.
Who knew such simple ingredients could produce such rich flavor and moist crumb texture! See recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients with measurements.
- Overripe bananas (3 of them) – and I mean very spotty, or ideally completely brown bananas. The more overripe and gross-looking, the better flavor. This should equal about 1 and 1/2 cup mashed banana.
- Unsalted butter, melted (can substitute a neutral oil if you prefer)
- Brown sugar (just 1/3 cup; can substitute granulated sugar or coconut sugar)
- Granulated sugar (just 1/3 cup of this too! or just use all brown sugar)
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- Plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream, or plant-based Greek-style yogurt)
- All-purpose flour (you can sub an equal amount of all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum like Bob’s Red Mill 1:1)
- Baking soda as our leavening agent for lift
- Dark or semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks – mini or regular sized
- Turbinado or granulated sugar, for bakery-style crunch on top
If you’ve made my easiest banana bread, then you will recognize the steps of this dark chocolate banana bread recipe:
- Melt your butter in a large bowl (I use glass but any microwave-safe bowl will work) and mash bananas (3 VERY ripe ones) directly into the melted butter. Make sure they are super mashed and smooth; I use a fork but a potato masher will work too. You’ll want 1 and 1/2 cups of mashed banana. I don’t generally measure it out but you can if you’re concerned!
- Whisk in just 1/3 cup each of brown and white sugar, followed by 2 eggs, vanilla extract, Greek yogurt, salt, and baking soda. Yes, you mix the baking soda in with the wet ingredients. I do this before adding the dry ingredients because it ensures even distribution (i.e. no gross pockets of baking soda in your final product).
- Stir in your cocoa powder and flour. If you’re worried about lumps in the cocoa powder, feel free to sift it first. (See below notes about the different results from Dutch process vs. natural cocoa powder – spoiler, you can use either one in this recipe!) Stir until there are no pockets of dry ingredients remaining and everything is fully incorporated, but stop at that point. Don’t keep stirring or your chocolate banana bread will develop too much gluten and turn out tough!
- Fold in chocolate chips, pour batter into a prepared loaf pan (either greased or parchment paper-lined), sprinkle with more chocolate chips and just a tablespoon of sugar for a caramelized, crunchy top, and
- Bake! This takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your pan (smaller loaf pan = longer bake time). 10 minutes after it comes out, remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Substitutions and Common Questions:
It’s totally up to you – they will both work in this recipe! Dutch process cocoa powder (which you can reliably buy at Whole Foods) will yield a denser, darker loaf that won’t rise quite as much but has a nice smooth and mellow chocolate flavor. Natural cocoa powder (aka Hershey’s and most store brands) will result in a higher rise due to its natural acidity reacting with the baking soda. It will have sharper chocolate flavor, but a lighter color. The flavor will settle a bit as the loaf sits on the counter; I like it best the next day. Both versions are delicious!
Here’s a photo showing the clear differences between the two cocoa powders – all other parts of the recipe were made with the same ingredients.
Simply replace the all-purpose flour in this recipe with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 (this is what I use) or King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure.
You can use a Greek-style plant-based yogurt (make sure it’s thick, not the runny kind) or sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt.
Yes, you can use 1/4 cup of any neutral oil you like – such as olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or melted coconut oil. I think you could substitute 1/4 cup of applesauce as well for an oil-free chocolate banana bread, but I haven’t tried it so sub at your own risk!
Yes – use flax eggs or a commercial egg replacer, plant-based Greek-style yogurt, melted coconut oil or vegan butter, and vegan chocolate chips.
Double chocolate banana bread, like most quick bread recipes, can be stored as follows:
- Room temperature: 1-2 days wrapped in foil or in an airtight container, or individually wrap slices in plastic wrap to take on the go. I find it helps to put a paper towel underneath the bread while storing it to absorb excess moisture.
- Fridge: up to one week wrapped tightly and stored in an airtight container; microwave slices for 15-20 seconds to reheat.
- Freezer: up to 3 months, well-wrapped and stored in a freezer bag with excess air released as much as possible. You can freeze the whole loaf or individually wrapped slices. I like to microwave slices for 30 seconds to reheat and eat for dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth! You can also thaw the loaf at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or slices for 30 minutes to an hour.
I’m fairly certain this has ruined all other banana breads for me. You get the perfect balance: comforting soft and plush texture of banana bread, and the intensely satisfying dark chocolate that makes it feel decadent. A few extra dark chocolate chips never hurt anyone either. The entire loaf will disappear faster than you’d believe.
More Chocolate Recipes
- Small Batch Brownies in a Loaf Pan
- Molten Chocolate Cakes for Two
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Single Layer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- Salted Brownie Cookies
If you make this recipe for double chocolate banana bread, please leave it a star rating and review below! Your feedback helps others find and make the recipe, and it means so much to me. Thank you!
Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter (4 tbsp or 1/2 a stick)
- 3 overripe bananas (mashed should equal 1.5 cups or approx 270g)
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (67g) brown sugar (packed)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (70g) plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup (50g) cocoa powder*
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (85g) chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top (optional)
- 1 tbsp (!2g) turbinado or granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease an 8.5 x 4.5″ or 9 x 5″ loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the bananas to the bowl and mash them very thoroughly into the melted butter until completely smooth, using a fork or potato masher.
- Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until well-combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk in each until well-combined. Add the yogurt, vanilla, salt, and baking soda to the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Add the cocoa powder and stir until it is incorporated and smooth. Add flour and stir gently with a fork or a spatula until flour is incorporated and a slightly lumpy batter forms. Do not over-mix! Fold in the chocolate chips gently with a spatula until evenly distributed.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle the additional tablespoon of turbinado or granulated sugar evenly over top if desired, then evenly sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top as well. Bake for 45-55 minutes (this will depend greatly on the size of your pan and type of cocoa powder used, further explanation below), until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs attached.
- Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (if you can stand to wait that long).