This chocolate chunk banana bread recipe is moist, flavorful, and full of melty chocolate puddles hiding throughout. This banana bread will be your new favorite recipe to use those ripe bananas!
Here it is! Another snow day. This is our third one of the already-short week, but the first snow day that I actually don't have to work. I can’t say that I really used my time in the way I had envisioned last night when I got the news I’d have an extra day off.
I always tend to have big hopes of tackling long-awaited projects around the house or sitting around with my legs up with a good book in hand reading next to the fireplace or reflecting on the meaning of life. In reality, the day started with us having a lot of fun outside as a family, shoveling snow and playing. Then things turned as they inevitably do with too much idle time. The kids were at each other's throats, which resulted in some meltdowns (from all of us) and everyone was forced to retreat to their separate rooms until said parties could make up.
I’m not gonna lie – it was a nice break. I didn’t get to reflect on the meaning of life, but there was 30 minutes of peace.
We haven’t been to the grocery store since last weekend, so we’re getting pretty resourceful at using what foods we have available, including some overly ripe bananas. When I tell you this banana bread is the only banana bread recipe you need in your life…I MEAN IT. This banana bread doesn’t use chocolate chips because chocolate chips have that same ooey gooey quality. It uses a chocolate bar so there are chocolate pieces that bake into the moist bread, leaving you with pools of chocolate goodness in every bite. I haven’t been this excited to share a recipe with you all in awhile.
Why You’re Going to Fall in Love with This Recipe
- Less sugar. I did a lot of experimenting with sugar amounts in banana bread. How low could I get the sugar without messing up the texture or compromising the flavor? I’ve found the answer!
- So moist - I know, I know. No one likes the m-o-i-s-t word. But this banana bread with chocolate chunks actually is moist.
- Chocolate puddles hiding all over the place – is there anything better?
- Uses those black bananas – You’ll give yourself a high-five for making something so delicious out of what was almost relegated to the trash can.
- Great to make with kids, eat with kids. There is no mixer required to make chocolate chunk banana bread. Everything is done with two bowls and a fork. Truly. And kids love this banana bread. They can stop their moaning and groaning like they do with this healthier Oatmeal Banana Bread I did awhile ago.
Why Banana Bread is Better with Chocolate Chunks Than Chocolate Chips
Chocolate chips don’t melt well. They are made to keep their shape in the oven because they have less cocoa butter. The less cocoa butter in the chocolate, the higher the melting point will be. This is why you bake chocolate chip cookies and they come out a tad bit melty but as they cool, they quickly go back to their original shape for the most part.
A chocolate bar, on the other hand, has a good amount of cocoa butter. This makes for a completely melty melty situation when the banana bread goes in the oven. This is better than a good thing – it’s heaven in banana bread!
I buy one of those huge "Pound Plus" chocolate bars from Trader Joe's and use for a variety of things like a no bake pomegranate tart. You can use a dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate bar or a combination of all of these types. I personally prefer using a dark chocolate bar that comes in the red wrapper.
Ingredients You'll Need
You'll need the following ingredients to make this tasty chocolate chunk banana bread recipe:
- unsalted butter - melted butter is the secret to keeping the banana bread moist.
- ripe bananas - you'll need three bananas
- pure vanilla extract
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar - most banana bread uses 1 cup of sugar, but this one reduces that by ¼ cup without compromising on flavor or texture.
- baking soda
- cinnamon - just a touch for some added flavor
- dark chocolate bar - you'll need 1 cup worth of chocolate chunks. Use all the chocolate -- from the tiniest pieces to the bigger 1-inch chunks.
How to ripen bananas quickly
We always have bananas on hand - and they always seem to be too ripe when you want to eat a banana for a snack and not ripe enough when you need to use them for baking. Here’s how to ripe bananas quickly so you can use them for making banana bread:
- Ripe bananas in a paper bag.
This method takes the longest amount of time because you need to let them sit at least overnight like this.
- Place bananas in the oven.
You can place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake at 300F for 30 minutes. The peel will become black and the inside will become mushy. Perfect for banana bread!
- Place bananas in the microwave.
I’ve never tried this method but I’ve heard you can place bananas in the microwave for 30 second increments until they are at the desired softness. Just be sure to poke holes in them with a fork first like you would do for baked potatoes. This would appear to be the fastest method .
How to Make the Best Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
Step 1: Preheat the oven and get your pan ready.
I always spray my loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper for easy removal. line my loaf pan
Step 2: Melt butter in the microwave.
Melt your butter in the microwave in 30 second increments. Do this in a large bowl because your whole batter will eventually be in this bowl.
Step 3: Add the over-ripe bananas, vanilla extract, and eggs
Mash, baby, mash. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and combine with a fork. No fancy equipment needed.
Step 4: Whisk together the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until just combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gently combine with the banana mixture, using a fork or spoon to mix until just combined. Mixture will be lumpy and that's okay!
Step 5: Fold in the chocolate chunks that you cut from a chocolate bar with a serrated knife.
Cut chocolate bar using a serrated knife until you have about 1 cup (more on how to cut a chocolate bar into chocolate chunks in the FAQs below). Add the chocolate chunks to the batter, gently folding with a spatula. Add the batter to your prepared loaf pan. Top with remaining chocolate (this is for aesthetics mostly - so you have melted chocolate on top).
Step 6: Bake and enjoy!
Bake at 350˚F for about 45 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing the loaf to a rack to cool further. Don't wait too much longer though because this banana bread is the most delicious when it's still warm and the chocolate is still melted.
How to Store Banana Bread with Chocolate Chunks
This banana bread will stay fresh for about 4 days if you store the bread properly. Place the banana bread loaf in an airtight container or a zipper-sealed bag, removing as much of the air as possible. Make sure the bread is completely cool when you do this.
Freezing Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
Yes, you can freeze chocolate chunk banana bread. Wrap the banana bread loaf tightly in plastic wrap, then one layer of aluminum foil. Be sure the chocolate chunk banana bread is fully cooled when you wrap and freeze. You can also freeze each slice individually using the same method.
Frequently Asked Questions
No worries! You can make this banana bread into muffins just as easily.
Nope – no matter how black your bananas are, as long as they’re not rotted when you peel the banana, you are good to go.
Use a serrated knife. I start with the diagonal of the chocolate bar and cut against the grain of the chocolate. This makes larger chunks and smaller chunks, even some “chocolate dust” (the itty bitty pieces of chocolate). Don’t waste any of it. Put it all in a measuring cup until you get to 1 healthy cup of chocolate chunks.
You’ll go bananas over these other recipes
Wishing you a warm snow day with minimal meltdowns!
Easy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
- ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup dark chocolate bar chopped into chunks with a serrated knife, plus a few chocolate pieces for the top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9"x5" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Melt stick of butter in a large bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments until butter is melted but not too hot.
- Add the bananas to the melted butter and mash with a fork.
- Add the vanilla extract and egg until combined.
- In a different medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Gently add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until no flour is visible. Fold in the chocolate chunks, saving a few for the top of the banana bread.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, topping with remaining chocolate pieces on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow bread to cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing. Enjoy!