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This easy chocolate banana bread recipe is moist and rich. Chocolate bread is the perfect recipe for brunch, a snack, or even dessert!

Chocolate Banana Bread | A Couple Cooks

In honor of the upcoming holiday that celebrates sugar, here it is: a recipe with flour, sugar, and butter. Unlike our normal habit, we didn’t try to make it gluten-free or naturally sweet. It’s lightly adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen, though admittedly we did health-ify it a bit by adding a walnut topping and removing the chocolate chips. What results is a lightly-sweet, moist, dark chocolate-y bread that should definitely be consumed as a dessert. We tried it with a bit of maple mascarpone and it was delightful. And if you’re looking for decadence, chocolate chips would be divine.

Want classic banana bread instead? Try our Our Best Banana Bread Recipe or browse 10 Fun Banana Bread Recipes!

Some thoughts on sugar

We made this recipe before I decided to spend the last week fasting from sugar. Yes, fasting from sugar. Even as a self-proclaimed healthy eating advocate, I was finding ways to slip in sweets every day: chocolate in the evening, drowning my oatmeal in maple syrup. Though much of it was natural sugar, I realized I was becoming a bit too dependent on the sweet stuff to get me through the day, rationalizing that I had a long day at the office and deserved it.

Last week, I ate only vegetables and whole grains. Here’s what surprised me: #1. The food was delicious, and I did not feel like I was depriving myself. Once I was in the “cold turkey” mindset, I didn’t keep running back to the chocolate drawer (yes, I have one — err, had one). #2. I now feel great, lighter somehow, and less dependent on my fix.

This is not a rant to convince you to go on a sugar fast. In general, Alex and I focus less on deprivation and more on moderation, which we find helps us eat the way we want without becoming legalistic and setting ourselves up for failure. But all that moderation is a slippery slope. For me, one piece of chocolate per night was becoming two, three, four pieces of chocolate, with various other random snacks thrown in. It was constant, and I couldn’t shake it.

There’s research out there about sugar being an addictive substance. I used to find it a little sensational, but I’ve realized maybe my “moderate” relationship with sugar was becoming a little too friendly. I’m not planning to set up new rules for the future, but cleanse has definitely given me a new perspective. So it’s a bit ironic, but here’s a sweet recipe…after a week without sweets!

How about you – what are your thoughts on sugar?

Chocolate Banana Bread | A Couple Cooks

How to make chocolate banana bread

This chocolate banana bread is a pretty standard quick bread, and it’s very easy to make. As with all banana bread recipes, make sure to use very ripe bananas so that they’re sweet and easy to mash. Once you’ve mashed the bananas, mix them with the melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Then add the dries and pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan. You don’t even need a stand mixer!

There are lots of variations on chocolate banana bread recipes. For our recipe, we’ve added chopped walnuts to the top of the bread of a protein-filled crunch. We’ve also nixed the traditional chocolate chips to keep the bread dark and moist, but not too rich. We hope you enjoy our chocolate banana bread: let us know in the comments below!

Chocolate muffins

Variation: turn them into muffins!

Imagine: a bite that’s perfectly chocolaty, crunchy on the top and moist on the inside. Yes, these chocolate banana muffins are calling you! We turned this chocolate banana bread recipe into muffins, and they’re just as delicious. They’re the perfect texture, not too rich and just sweet enough, with crunchy turbinado sugar! Head over to that recipe for more.

This recipe is…

This chocolate banana bread recipe is vegetarian.

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Chocolate Banana Bread

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


This easy chocolate banana bread recipe is moist and rich. Chocolate bread is the perfect recipe for brunch, a snack, or even dessert!


  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 3 to 4 very ripe bananas (enough for 1 cup total)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Chop the walnuts.
  3. Mash the bananas in the bottom of a large bowl, enough for 1 cup. Melt the butter, then whisk it into the bananas along with the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the baking soda, kosher salt, all-purpose flour, and Dutch-process cocoa powder to the bowl and stir together with a spoon.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and top with chopped walnuts.
  6. Bake 55 to 65 minutes (insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf: if it comes out clean, it’s done!) Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge and invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. The bread keeps up to 4 days at room temperature wrapped in aluminum foil.


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Looking for more chocolate recipes?

Outside of this chocolate banana bread, here are a few more of our favorite chocolate recipes on A Couple Cooks (we’re choco-holics over here):

Looking for more bread recipes?

We’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorite bread recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Wari says:

    Hi! Do I add caster brown sugar or granulated one?

    1. Sonja says:

      Hi there! The recipe calls for brown sugar. Let me know if you had another question?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! These actually left me speechless at how amazing they are! I made mine in a muffin tin instead of a loaf pan. It really tastes just like a chocolate cupcake! (in fact I’ll be making these for my birthday in a few weeks and topping them w/chocolate peanut butter frosting) I subbed the sugar for 1/2 c maple syrup, oat flour for the all-purpose flour and swapped out half the butter for 3 tbsp. applesauce and they still came out beautifully!

  3. Jen says:

    Just made these cookies and they are great. Not too sweet, just right.

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