sliced chocolate banana bread on a surface

Deliciously dense, moist, buttery and full of sweet banana, brown sugar and dark chocolate flavors, trust me: You will want to eat this chocolate banana bread recipe for breakfast, snack time, dessert and then some.


chocolate banana bread on a cooling rack

The Best Chocolate Banana Bread of Your Life, Truly

Let me start this post with a fun story: My youngest daughter, Addy, recently had to go on a dairy-free diet. SUPER FUN, I know. The good news is she doesn’t have a dairy allergy — this is just a precaution to figure out some digestive issues she’s been having. The bad news? She’s two and a half and wants no restrictions put on what she can and cannot eat (or any restrictions on anything, really). Coupling that inclination with her general two-year-old tantrum-ness, it’s been a great time so far.

While I’m thankful she doesn’t have a dairy allergy (and I’m hopeful we won’t have to keep up with this plan forever), in the meantime, I’m stocking our pantry and refrigerator with wholesome foods that, with a few simple tweaks, can be deliciously dairy free without anyone becoming the wiser. Enter: this chocolate banana bread. With its deeply chocolaty, sweet banana flavors and its dense and moist crumb, this is one breakfast/snack/dessert everyone in our household can get behind (without a tantrum in sight).

sliced chocolate banana bread on a cooling rack

How to Make Dairy-Free Chocolate Banana Bread

For those of you who live your entire life dairy-free, BLESS. I am discovering it is not easy to find foods when a restriction of any kind is put in place on one’s diet, so kudos to you, whatever your reasons. Thankfully, the swaps to make this chocolate banana bread dairy-free are pretty stress-free (meaning you can find the ingredients at Target, which is the number-one indicator of convenience to yours truly).

I share specifics in the Notes section on the recipe below on how to make this recipe dairy-free, so give yourself a good scroll downward to find out how to do it!

a slice of chocolate banana bread on its side

All the Good Chocolate Banana Bread Ingredients

Here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients that make this magnificent quick bread:

  • Dutch-process cocoa powder. Ah, we meet again! This nifty ingredient has been popping up on the blog many times recently (looking at you, Black Forest Cherry Brownies and Double-Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies). It gives baked goods a uniquely soft texture and dark, deep chocolate flavor without any bitterness. See the Notes section of the recipe for more info on this special (and necessary-to-this-recipe) ingredient.
  • Very, very ripe bananas. I’m talking those one-day-away-from-being-taken-over-by-fruit-flies kind of bananas: the spotty bananas that are past the point of eating as a snack and have nowhere else to go… but into a banana bread, where their concentrated banana flavors will shine and live a new, very fulfilling life.
  • Brown sugar. One of my favorite versatile ingredients, I love the softness and moistness (and of course, sweetness) brown sugar lends to any baked good. That combination of molasses + sugar can’t be beat, especially when it marries with super-ripe bananas and chocolate.
  • Chocolate chips. Because one cannot simply have chocolate banana bread without adding a generous handful of chocolate chips to the batter so that, once baked, they turn into molten pocket-pools of chocolate goodness. Have mercy.

 

sliced chocolate banana bread

How to Freeze Chocolate Banana Bread

Honestly, this bread didn’t make it past a couple of days in our home so I have no firsthand experience with freezing this particular banana bread, BUT: I have frozen many a quick bread and many a banana bread in my day, and here is how I do it with great results every time.

  1. Cool the loaf completely.
  2. Wrap the loaf, whole or sliced, tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap.
  3. Place the whole loaf (or slices) into a large, freezer-safe, resealable food storage bag.
  4. Freeze up to 3 months.
  5. How to thaw frozen banana bread: Leave the frozen bread wrapped or unwrapped, in the fridge or on the counter and let it thaw. Thassit.
  6. Eat said banana bread.

While our dairy-free days in this home are likely numbered, our love for this chocolate banana bread is endless, and it will be making many returns to our kitchen for an easy, wholesome, special breakfast, snack, dessert and/or all of the above. Time to go grab more spotty bananas!

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sliced chocolate banana bread on a surface

Chocolate Banana Bread

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Dark chocolate banana bread is rich, dense and full of delightful chocolate-banana flavor. Perfect for breakfast or snacktime!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 medium bananas, very ripe, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted*
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips*
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place a parchment paper sling (see Notes) inside a nonstick 9×5-inch loaf pan. Spray bottom only with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash 3 bananas until as smooth as possible. Whisk in melted butter, then stir in brown sugar, egg and vanilla.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  4. Pour and spread batter into prepared loaf pan. Slice remaining banana lengthwise into 3 even-size planks, then place on top of loaf; press down gently. Sprinkle with demerara sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then use parchment paper sling to gently remove from pan. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days, or up to 1 week refrigerated.

Notes

  • *To make this banana bread dairy-free: Swap butter for melted coconut oil and use dairy-free chocolate chips (I love this brand!).
  • Do not swap the Dutch-process cocoa powder for regular unsweetened cocoa powder. You can read more about why and when it is important to use Dutch-process cocoa powder in the Notes portion of my Devil’s Food Cake recipe.
  • To make a parchment paper sling, cut one strip of parchment as long as the pan (in this case, 9 inches) and wide enough to hang over the longer edges of the pan on both sides by about 2 inches. Place strip inside loaf pan, then spray bottom only with cooking spray.
  • You know that funny “lip” some quick breads can get on the top edges? You can avoid the lip by spraying the bottom of the loaf pan ONLY — not the sides. Spraying the bottom + using the parchment sling will help you get the loaf out of the pan with ease, and there will be no lip!

Keywords: dairy free banana bread, dark chocolate banana bread, banana quick bread

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