Most of the time, my classic Healthy Banana Bread does more than nicely. It’s pretty much perfect as far as banana bread goes. That said, we must not forget about the special times. Like Wednesday. Or you are having a good hair day. Or you need chocolate before 10 a.m. Then, only Chocolate Banana Bread will do!
Marvelously moist with an intense chocolate flavor that balances the banana-ness just right, this recipe celebrates the divine combo of chocolate + banana in a fashion so sublime, our loaf hardly lasted two days.
This recipe has chocolate two ways, plus a pinch of espresso powder to intensify the chocolate flavor.
This bread is a little bit extra, which is exactly the point. If we are going to do this, let’s do it right.
This decadent-tasting double chocolate banana bread is an adaptation of my favorite healthy Chocolate Banana Muffins.
Like the muffins, like my Chocolate Muffins (and many of my other healthy quick bread recipes), it’s made with wholesome ingredients, yet could pass the inspection of even the most ardent of chocolate lovers, including yours truly.
With this recipe, you can feel redeemed enjoying chocolate for breakfast any morning (or let’s be honest—any afternoon or evening) the craving strikes.
For me, that craving was in full force every day this lovely loaf remained on our counter…which sadly wasn’t many.
I bet it disappears quickly in your kitchen too!
How to Make Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread
It was important to me to make this dark chocolate banana bread healthy.
Banana bread is bad for you when it is high in sugar, uses a large amount of oil or butter, and is made with refined flour instead of whole grains.
You can make a great-tasting banana bread without those excess additions.
Banana itself is so naturally moist and sweet, it’s one of the very best ingredients for nutritious baking (hence I have so many banana recipes! This Oatmeal Banana Bread is another favorite).
To make this chocolate banana bread healthy, I used a few simple swaps.
In addition to breakfast, this banana bread is a healthy snack that’s sure to perk up your afternoon.
- Flour. For a healthy swap, I used white whole wheat flour for part of the flour in this recipe (the rest is all-purpose flour). The swap is imperceptible, and the whole wheat flour provides more protein and fiber.
- Banana. Banana adds delicious natural sweetness to the bread and gives it that signature, beloved flavor. Bananas are packed with potassium and fiber.
- Cocoa Powder. The key to the bread’s irresistible and rich chocolate flavor.
- Espresso Powder. While optional, this gives the chocolate flavor an extra intensity boost that you don’t want to miss.
- Cinnamon + Vanilla. The dynamic duo of warmth and coziness. Both ingredients pair perfectly with the chocolate and banana flavors.
- Greek Yogurt. One of my favorite healthy swaps! Instead of making the chocolate banana bread with sour cream, a favorite for making moist baked goods, I used Greek yogurt. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and offers the same moisture and tanginess as sour cream.
- Honey. I used honey as a healthy, natural swap for refined sugar. It pairs nicely with the other flavors and gives just the right amount of sweetness.
- Chocolate Chips. A must-have addition to banana bread in our household! If you prefer chocolate banana bread without chocolate chips, you can omit them or swap in a different kind of baking chips (like peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips).
- Melt the coconut oil.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to a pan and top with more chocolate chips. Bake the chocolate banana bread at 325 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing it to a wire rack. DIG IN!
Why Did My Banana Bread Fall in the Center?
An out-of-date leavening agent, using too much banana, or inaccurate oven temperature can cause banana bread to fall in the center. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you:
- Be sure your baking soda is active and hasn’t expired. To test, add 1 ½ teaspoons of it to 1 tablespoon of vinegar. It should be very fizzy.
- Measure your banana after mashing it. “Large” can mean different things to different people, which is why I also give you a volume measure.
- Use an oven thermometer. Some ovens can be off by 10, 20, or even 30 degrees, all of which make a difference.
- Bake your banana bread fully. Because it can be hard to tell when banana bread is done, I like to use an instant read thermometer. When quick breads (like banana bread) are done baking, the center will be 195 degrees F.
What to Serve with Chocolate Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter. A warmed slice of chocolate banana bread with a smear of peanut butter is a taste of heaven. (Almond butter would also be delish.)
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. Lean into the chocolaty goodness by topping your bread with a smear of chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella).
- Fruit. Both of the above options would be extra delicious with an added layer of fresh fruit. Banana slices, raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries would be wonderful. A fruit spread would also work great.
- All on its own. This bread is wonderful warmed, with a cup of coffee, tea, or even milk.
- To Store. Store bread in a paper towel-lined airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftover bread slices in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired.
See my guide for How to Store Muffins for even more storage tips.
What to Pair with Banana Bread
Greek Yogurt Smoothie
Breakfast & Brunch
Breakfast & Brunch
Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Loaf Pan. Ideal for this banana bread recipe.
- Mixing Bowls. This set has multiple sizes, and they’re all dishwasher-safe.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The easiest way to know if your bread is cooked through.
Mornings (and afternoons and evenings and midnight snacks) are better with double chocolate banana bread in it! Your future self is thanking you already.
Chocolate Banana Bread Video
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Chocolate Banana Bread
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled to room temperature or canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional for a more intense chocolate flavor
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana about 3 medium-large bananas
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt at room temperature
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips plus additional for sprinkling on top if desired
- If using coconut oil, melt it now and let it come to room temperature. (If using canola oil, skip this step.) Be sure you have 1/2 cup when it is in its liquid state.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add the mashed banana (if you are mashing the banana directly in the mixing bowl, double-check that you have the correct amount), then whisk in the eggs, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla, and oil. If the oil resolidifies, warm the bowl in the microwave in 10-second bursts, just until it melts.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir gently and patiently to combine. The batter will look dry at first but will begin to come together as you go. It will also be thick and shaggy, which is just right. Stop as soon as the dry ingredients disappear and don’t over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake the chocolate banana bread for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean without any wet batter clinging to it. Test a few times to make sure the bread is cooked through (and that what stuck to the knife was in fact batter and not a melted chocolate chip). For total accuracy, use an instant-read thermometer. When the loaf reaches 195 degrees F, it’s done.
- Place the pan on a wire rack. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using the parchment “handles” gently lift the loaf onto the rack and let cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
- TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Use a 1:1 all-purpose GF baking blend like this one.
- TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: Use a non-dairy yogurt.
- TO MAKE VEGAN: **Not yet tested. This is my best estimate.** I believe you could swap flax eggs for the regular eggs, use a coconut milk-based yogurt, and swap maple syrup for the honey. If you decide to try this, I’d love for you to report back in the comments.
- TO STORE: Store bread in a paper towel-lined airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. See my guide for How to Store Muffins for more tips.
- TO BAKE AS 12 TO 14 MUFFINS: Coat a standard muffin pan with nonstick spray and fill with the batter almost all the way to the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 22 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Adapted from my Chocolate Banana Muffins.
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More Favorite Healthy Banana Bread Recipes
Thanks to their utter deliciousness, you can enjoy all kinds of healthy banana breads. Here are some of my favorites:
Breakfast & Brunch
If you like CHOCOLATE you will LOVE this recipe! I did not have the espresso powder on hand and since it was optional I went for it without it. This chocolate banana bread is so moist and so chocolatey. I hid a few pieces in the back of the fridge from my family. I have made Erin’s banana bread, blueberry bread, lemon pound cake, carrot cake and now this chocolate banana bread and they are ALL ah-mazing!!!!
If you have not jumped on the Well Plated recipes band wagon…you are truly missing out!!!
I’m SO happy that you enjoyed it, Jami! Thank you for sharing this wonderful review!
Saw this recipe on her video and not only fell in love with her but also this recipe and just had to try it. It did not disappoint! It was soo chocolaty and so moist. I was afraid at first for the espresso powder because I don’t like coffee and the coconut oil because my daughter doesn’t like coconut but you couldn’t taste either, they just heightened the other flavours and it was so tasty. I made this at night for breakfast the next morning but it didn’t last till then. I have five teens in the house all with different tastes and it was a hit with all of them!
I’m SO happy that you enjoyed it, Sarah! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
As decadent as promised. One of the best breads we ever made; fluffy moist and healthy (but doesn’t taste like it)! And as always, Erin has great step-by-steps and helpful tips for baking and storing. KEEPER!!
I’m SO happy that you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I tried this yesterday and I must say, this is perfect. I followed the recipe except that I replaced honey with maple syrup and it was just so delicious! My family cannot stop popping into the kitchen for a slice of this delicious, chocolate banana loaf. Definitely a must try if you haven’t already!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Susan! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I have to agree with all the other positive reviews that I’ve read. This bread was incredibly moist and the right combination of chocolate and banana. It’s another success at creating something healthier that my kids absolutely loved! Very easy to make especially for a non-baker (like me)!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Marc! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Could I make this into muffins instead of a loaf ?
Hi Lisa! This recipe is an adaptation of my favorite healthy chocolate banana muffins! https://www.wellplated.com/chocolate-banana-muffins/ Hope you enjoy them!
I love your recipes. I was wondering if there is a swap for the honey, perhaps could I use king Arthur’s flour, Baking Alternative? I’d love to bring the saturated fat down. I go to weight watchers and we found the calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein in an item’s points.
This chocolate banana bread looks so scrumptious.
Thanks so much
Hi Marcia! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so it would be hard for me to say. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!
I love this recipe because it seriously is so tasty and moist. I don’t like the regular banana bread and the cocoa powder does the trick! You get a hint of bananas and it freezes well too!!!
Hi Ann! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
Can I substitute more all-purpose flour for the whole wheat flour? I don’t keep whole wheat on hand and would love to not have to buy it.
Hi Claire, yes that should work. Let me know how it goes!
Absolutely, amazingly delicious!!! Deep chocolate favor, not too sweet, everything I could ever ask for in banana bread!! :) Cooking your recipes has helped me bridge the gap between delicious and healthy, which I never found as compatible or easy as I would have liked in the past! Not-so-healthy cooking meant weight gain for me, but easy-to-please kids’ meals (and easy to please meals for guests). Healthy cooking meant weight loss for me, but not-so-easy to please kids’ meals (and embarrassment in explaining why the dessert my guest is trying to swallow down is not that great because it’s “healthy”). But your recipes??? The PERFECT mix of healthy and delicious!!! Happy mama, happy husband and kids, and happy guests who stop by and might want a snack. I don’t know how you do it, but I cannot thank you enough for making my life better!!! :)
Hi Cathi! So glad you enjoyed the bread and thank you so much for your kind review and feedback!
Loved this recipe! I didn’t have honey on hand and subbed brown sugar and it was still great. Was devoured by everyone in my family, including my picky 2 year old. It’s decadent enough to feel like a dessert, but also healthy enough to feel okay eating for breakfast. Will be my new go-to with overripe bananas!
I love your blog and have tried several of your recipes and have loved them all! You’ve introduced me to some new flavors I would have felt overwhelmed to try to cook. :) Your recipes are approachable, clearly written, and easy to follow. I appreciate your healthy angle! Thank you so much!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Mandy! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I’m going to make this in the next few days. My question is, can I add nuts. If so what kind, how much is recommended, and does it affect the baking time. Thank you.
Hi James! I’ve only tested the recipe as is but you could probably add nuts. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes! Remember when baking quick breads, they are done when internal temperature hits 195 degrees F so you’ll know when it is done! ENJOY!
can I use sour cream in place of non-fat greek yogurt?
Hi Neema! Yes you could.
Came out great. Very tasty. I was gonna dd nuts but forgot to add them. Thanks to my oven I probably overcooked the bread just a little. Not enough to mess it up. Thank God I had a thermometer. Highly recommend.
Hi James! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!