Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
There's banana bread and then there's dark chocolate banana bread. They're not the same thing. Putting the words "dark chocolate" in front of anything instantly makes it better. Combining banana with chocolate takes a staple breakfast treat to a whole new level. You could even call it a dessert, but it's dessert you can eat for breakfast. Oh happy day.
My kids call it "chocolate bread." I'm not sure they even realize it contains bananas. I've never bothered to tell them. Eating chocolate bread for breakfast is the highlight of their day.
This was one of the first banana bread recipes I've made and it continues to be my favorite. Years ago I ran a half marathon and had four slices for breakfast. I realize that seems like a lofty amount but I did have 13 miles to run. It was an excuse to carbo load and I was happy to oblige. I was also happy to learn that chocolate and bananas provided excellent fuel for a workout. Oh happy day again!
Rich dark chocolate cocoa powder and melted bittersweet chocolate is what gives this intoxicating treat its depth in flavor. It's an ideal pairing for your morning coffee, toasted with a light spread of butter. Or, if you're in the dessert mood, warm it up and top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Pure bliss.
The batter will seem thicker than your typical banana bread, so don't be surprised. It's loaded with cocoa and melted chocolate, creating a heavier texture. I strategically sprinkle a handful of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips (my favorite) over the top before baking. It gives the loaf an enticing finish, and there's never complaints for extra chocolate.
Gorgeous, right? I love how the top rises and breaks open; it's like a dark chocolate canyon of yummy goodness. It'll give you incentive to wake up in the morning. And who knows, maybe there will be some left over for dessert.
Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa, Special Dark
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (if at high altitude decrease by 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
- 2 large eggs (if at high altitude add an egg)
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips for sprinkling (Ghirardelli is my favorite)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (375°F at high altitude). Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. About 3 minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate to the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix till combined.
- Add the bananas and vanilla. Mix till combined.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Mix till combined, don't over beat.
- Pour batter into the loaf and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick in the center, it should come out clean.
- Transfer to a rack to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
* Baker's Note: See my post on high altitude baking for more information on ingredient and temperature adjustments.