Chocolate chunk banana bread

I’ve made this recipe 3 times within the past 2 weeks. It’s probably the most delicious and rewarding treat you can bake from overripe bananas. In fact, I’ve started to buy bananas for the sole purpose of letting them turn overripe for this recipe!

As you probably already know, I’m an advocate of having a sweet treat mid morning, daily (and not necessarily after dinner). This way I get my pastry or cake or chocolate fix along with a strong cup of coffee, bringing me tremendous joy, energizing my mind while working, and keeping the hunger at bay until a much later semi-lunch snack (I rarely eat a large lunch during the week). Dinners are for balanced meals like proteiens, veg or salad. But in the mid-morning, I eat like an Italian.

This dark and decadent loaf contains 5 medium size overripe bananas and 150 g dark chocolate. I don’t even bother with buying expensive 70% stuff (I used Cadbury’s Bournville large slab and cut it into small-ish chunks with a chef’s knife – I also use the same chocolate for choc chip cookies).

The loaf is incredibly moist (I know that’s a trigger word for some, but there’s no better way to describe it!). I love how the generously soft bananas really bring that squidgy texture – it’s not a wheaty, crumby kind of loaf at all. Although it might look like the loaf contains cocoa powder, it doesn’t. The colour is literally from the browned top and from the residual chocolate crumbs and chunks – you’ll see on the inside that there’s more of a traditional banana loaf colour inbetween the generous chocolate chunks. Also, no raisins, only chocolate!

The chocolate chunks bake to a crunchy top layer, which will soften on standing when you keep the loaf covered. Because it’s so fruity, I prefer keeping it covered in an airtight container in the fridge after day one, but it’s good for at least 3 days in total.

A note about overripe bananas: You can really push the boundary with overripe bananas. If they’re ripe to the point that you won’t eat them anymore, with blackened skins and very soft flesh, but NOT smelling sour/fermented, they’re good to go. Some might even seep a drop of liquid – don’t be alarmed. Overripe bananas will give a much better flavour result than ripe bananas.

Ingredients: (makes one loaf of about 23x13cm)

  • 180 g (1 1/3 cups) cake flour (I use stone ground)
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
  • 2,5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup tightly packed) soft brown sugar (demerara or muscovado)
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 350-380g overripe mashed bananas (about 5 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup (130 g) plain yoghurt (I use double cream, but low fat will also work)
  • 1 XL egg
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 150 g dark chocolate, chopped into small-ish chunks


Preheat your oven to 160 C with oven rack in the middle position. Line a loaf tin of about 23 x 12,5 cm with non-stick baking paper.

Place the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. In a second medium size mixing bowl, add the sugars and butter, then mix with an electric whisk on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the mashed bananas, yoghurt, egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed until well incorporated. Now add the flour mixture and fold in by hand until almost mixed, then add most of the chopped chocolate (reserve some for sprinkling on top) and continue to fold in lightly until no floury pockets remain (do not overmix). Scrape the batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate all over the surface. Bake for 1 h 15 minutes until brown on top and fully cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When completely cool, remove the paper and place on a serving board. Slice and serve – no butter needed, but a dollop of whipped cream wouldn’t be off sides.

(This recipe was adapted from Jenna Barnard’s fabulous recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.)

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