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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

  • 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

Keywords: Banana Bread, Chocolate Banana Bread, Easy Chocolate Banana Bread, How to Make Banana Bread

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

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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    1. I just made this bread & it was Very Moist & delicious! I’m making again into muffins now. Thanks for the great recipe!

  1. I completely agree, about sugar! I had been avoiding processed sugar for some time and dove into a bag of small candy bars my finace bought for our (nonexistent) trick or treaters. Wooo man, that sugar gives a rush when you haven’t had it for a while! But, that being said, sometimes you just need a loaf of banana bread, right? : )

    1. Agreed about the sugar rush – and it tastes so much stronger too after a while without it, doesn’t it? Yes, banana bread hopefully isn’t the strongest of offenders in the sugar camp :)

  2. Gorgeous looking bread! Drooling over here! I definitely notice if I lay off the sugar for a while, then I want it less. Once I start popping little chocolates in my mouth, it’s hard to stop. In fact, I think I would probably inhale this entire loaf of bread!

  3. I think I need to do one of those sugar fasts too – I’ve noticed a similar creeping pattern in my eating habits too and it’s always good to hit the reset button every now and then.

    1. I love the idea of a reset button – that’s exactly it! It’s kind of scary (I didn’t think I could do it), but ultimately worth it! Let us know if you give if a try…

  4. I am with you on eating in moderation. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking as long as it’s sweetly naturally, then a lot is okay. I always have to remind myself that even natural sugars need to be eaten in moderation!

    1. Yes! I used to use the excuse that it was just honey or maple syrup, but Alex reminded me that it’s still sugar!

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