When two of the best flavors combine into one delicious loaf, you get this incredibly moist and rich dark chocolate banana bread. This soft banana bread is baked with dark chocolate and studded with chocolate chips. It’s sweet, deep, lush, and has the perfect balance of both banana and chocolate.
I’ve also included vegan baking instructions in the notes of the recipe!
What makes this the best chocolate banana bread?
For starters, this recipe is based on my very popular chocolate chip banana bread recipe. It’s a reader favorite because of its super moist texture and loads of chocolate chips. Not wanting to mess with perfection, I used that as the base to this recipe to create a perfect dark chocolate banana bread.
Using my original recipe, this banana bread is also incredibly moist and stays that way for days. Since this is an oil based banana bread, it will continue to taste soft and fresh.
Plus, the use of dark chocolate helps balance out the sweetness of the banana. Baking with a dark chocolate cocoa powder adds a bit of depth to this recipe, creating a flavor that isn’t too sweet or too bitter.
Last but not least, this loaf is made all in one bowl with no special equipment required. Just mix by hand, pour, and bake!
Tips for baking perfect banana bread
This is a VERY easy recipe to follow, but here are a few tips to ensure it turns out just right:
- Flour – It’s very important to properly measure the flour, otherwise the bread could turn out too dry. To use the right amount, your first option should be to measure the flour using a food scale. If you don’t have one available, simply spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. Don’t shake it or pack it down into the cup and don’t scoop directly from the flour bag or container.
- Bananas – Use ripe bananas and make sure to measure them to an even 1 1/2 cups before mixing into the batter. If you just go by the amount of bananas used, you may end up with too much or too little banana in the loaf which can completely change the bread.
- Cocoa powder – To get that rich flavor, use dark cocoa powder. I use Hershey’s Dark Unsweetened Cocoa Powder which can be found at just about any grocery store. If you don’t have it on hand, you can also use dutch processed cocoa powder or regular unsweetened cocoa powder. Either way, make sure to sift it beforehand for a lump-free batter.
- Baking – This loaf bakes for about 1 hour. It should be completely puffed and cracked in the center, but test it with a toothpick to make sure it’s baked through. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. If not, continue baking for 10-15 minutes.
- Cooling – Allow the loaf to cool for at least 45 minutes before removing it form the pan. This ensures the center completely sets so each slice holds together.
Can I use different chocolate chips?
I prefer mini chocolate chips in banana bread for an even distribution of chocolate. If you prefer larger chunks or just have different chips on hand, use whatever you have. Whether that’s chunks, dark chocolate, regular chips, chopped chocolate, or a combination. Either way, just make sure to use 1 cup plus about 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top.
Can I use different cocoa powder?
Yes, I use Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder in this recipe to get that deep color and flavor. It’s very accessible and can be found in just about any grocery store. If you can’t get your hands on it, you can use any unsweetened cocoa powder. The loaf just won’t be as dark in color but will still taste chocolately and delicious.
Different banana options
If you don’t have room temperature ripe bananas on hand (or are short a few tablespoons), here are a couple options to consider:
- If using frozen ripe bananas, allow them to thaw completely before adding to the batter.
- If you have greenish-yellow bananas on hand, bake them on a sheet pan at 300F for 15-20 minutes. They should come out completely brown. Let them cool and then peel and mash.
- If you’ve measured your bananas and are short by a few tablespoons, you can use unsweetened apple sauce to fill that gap. This is only to be used as a filler and not a replacement. Using any more than a few tablespoons of apple sauce could disrupt the texture of the bread.
How to make into muffins
I haven’t tested these as muffins, but I don’t doubt they’ll turn out just fine as I’ve had so many readers turn my chocolate chip banana bread into muffins. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and fill each about 3/4 full (it should make roughly 12-14 muffins). Top each muffin with more chocolate chips and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
How to make vegan chocolate banana bread
This I did test, and it turned out delicious. Simply replace the eggs with two flax eggs, the oil with melted coconut oil, the yogurt with coconut cream, and the chocolate chips with vegan chocolate (all measurements are included in the notes of the recipe). Bake for 50-55 minutes and allow it to cool before slicing. It turns out a bit more dense, but it is still just as good! And even though coconut products are subbed in, you cannot taste any bit of coconut in the final loaf.
For more delicious banana recipes, check out my:
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Gluten Free Banana Bread
- Banana Scones
- Cinnamon Banana Bread
- Vegan Banana Cake with PB Chocolate Frosting
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make this Dark Chocolate Banana Bread. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!