Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread {and Classic Banana Bread}

A few years ago, Cooking Light did an entire series of a-mazing banana breads. I’m sad to say that I haven’t even tried them all yet because a) I love the Classic Banana Bread and the Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread so much and b) my kids go through bananas so fast that I rarely have any brownish ones to use for banana bread. I literally had to hide the bananas for this recipe so I didn’t have to face the wrath of my tiny destroyer.

Anyway, there are lots of recipes for banana bread out there, but I guarantee you, this is the best one. Because the Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread uses the Classic Banana Bread as its base, I’m going to include both recipes (even though I only have pics of the chocolate) and I really think you should go wild on bananas at the store this week and then hide them from your children so you can try them both!
Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread

2 c. flour

¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
¼ c. butter, softened
1 ½ c. mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 medium bananas)
2 eggs
1/3 c. plain lowfat yogurt or sour cream
½ c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream sugar and butter. Add bananas, eggs, and yogurt, beating until just blended. Add flour mixture. Beat on low until just moistened. Microwave chocolate chips in a medium bowl for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add 1 c. batter to chocolate, stirring until well-combined. Spoon chocolate batter alternately with plain batter (so you have stripes of plain and chocolate batter) in an 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Swirl batters with a knife.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes (give or take a little; I’d probably set your timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes to be safe) or until a knife comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

If you really want something yummy, spread a little peanut butter on top of a toasted (or at least warm) slice. Really, can you beat a combo of peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate? No, you can’t, in case you were wondering…

For those of you who want to give the Classic Banana Bread a whirl, here you go:
Classic Banana Bread2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


  1. Hey, we have the same banana problem at my house! I even tried putting them up high in the cupboard but my husband wasn’t aware of my plan and he found them and ate them.
    It’s been ages since we had banana bread–this recipe looks wonderful!!

  2. Oh yum! I love banana bread!! I have a bunch of ripe bananas right now that I’ve been saving for a banana cake for my son’s b-day, but maybe I’ll have to steal a few for some bread. Can’t wait to try these!

  3. I really am not a fan of yogurt and I never have it in the house except for those gogurt things I give to my kids. Is there anything I can substitute?

  4. Mmmm, these are the recipes I use as well. One good thing to know is that those single serve kiddie-size yogurts that come in little packs of 6 or so are the exact amount you need for this recipe. Since I have those around for the kids, I usually grab one. And I’ve made this bread with vanilla, banana, even strawberry flavored. It’s all good, and it doesn’t really affect the flavor much other than adding sweetness so use whatever you have if you’re in a pinch!

  5. Were you reading my mind? I just happen to have 3 very ripe bananas on my counter right now. These sound really good. I have a favorite recipe from my grandma that has maraschino cherries in it. Sounds weird, I know, but it is wonderful.

  6. Mmmmm I love banana bread. I haven’t tried the chocolate swirl one, but it looks delicious! I also must add in that the brown sugar sprinkled on the plain one before baking makes the top SOOOOO good! I usually add a little coconut in with it as well.

  7. Lol Eric. I think you should clarify that as a Scooby Doo reference. And that’s a sign that it’s on waaaay too much at our house!

  8. I just bought bananas so I can try this! And, I love putting brown sugar on top…I started doing it a few years ago and it’s so yummy!!

  9. My kids are sometimes weird about banana bread or any cakie bread (weird, I know) but they have loved this. My 19 month old is in a very bad eating phase and he loves it. My 4 year old loves it with peanut butter. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Amy, I’m so glad your kids liked it. My son is a stinker eater, too, so I know how great it is when you find something they’ll eat!

  11. This was so good! Thanks for the fun twist on banana bread. I even tried the peanut butter which had never occurred to me to try on banana bread. Might be a new favorite!

  12. Made the Chocolate Banana Bread last night. Oh my is it yummy! This recipie is a keeper for sure. My little girls love it and that’s a huge plus for me.

  13. I used the classic banana bread recipe in a Banana Nutter Butter Trifle that I made a few days ago…it was perfect! You never let us down! Thanks! (You can see the trifle on my blog if you want to try it…so yummy!)

  14. This looks amazing and I want it RIGHT NOW! 🙂 But I only have non-fat plain greek yogurt on hand. Do you think that will work even thought it is a different texture and has no fat at all? Maybe I will just go to the stupid store . . .

  15. Yum. Yum. Yum! You guys never let me down! I needed to make bread for some people in RS that have been helping me out and this was easy to make and delicious (and I am picky with banana breads!!!) This one was soft, moist, dense, sweet and delicious. I doubled it and made two 9×5 inch loaves at a time and then made the chocolate with the second batch of two more and they were both great. I have to make another set since I couldn't smell the house like this and not share some with my own family! Thanks for the recipe. It is a keeper!!!

  16. The Ross Family–I think it would probably just make your life easier if you baked the loaves and then froze them. I've heard you can freeze batter, but I've never tried it, but I do know that freezing that baked loaves is a great solution.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  17. This looks sooooo wonderful! I can't wait to try it.

    Just a thought for you and your readers. When bananas are really cheap, I over-buy. For those that don't get eaten, just toss them in the freezer as they are. When you want to make banana bread, thaw the bananas (in a dish or you'll have a puddle). Once thawed, snip off the bottom and squeeze out like toothpaste. Easy peasy!

    Oh .. and chocolate, banana, and peanut is the bomb!!! I keep thinking I want to try making frozen chocolate bananas with a layer of peanut butter under the chocolate.

  18. Its a shame that you do not have any sort of conversion chart for us UK (European) readers as I have no idea what measurement 'c' is!

    We use kg and g, or if you are old school, lbs and oz.

  19. Made this today and it was really good. However, I need some more help with the swirling technique. LOL I think I swirled too much or didn't place my batter in the right sort of orientation to achieve that dramatic swirled look I was after. Hints?

  20. I made this recipe into muffins for my sons preschool class. They were a hit with my kids too. The only thing I would do differently the next time, and there will be a next time, is reduce heat to 325 for the muffins. The chocolate batter didnt cook as fast as the plain and they got a tad bit dry. Thanks for another tasty recipe girls!

  21. Just finished baking this, but sadly it wasn't a success for me. The top of the bread was still 'raw' and the bottom was cooked more than enough. Will give it a shot some other time…

  22. This is on the menu tomorrow morning! I just read your recipe for the whole grain banana muffins, and you mentioned that you really like whole wheat flour in banana bread. Is there a reason you didn't use ww flour in this recipe?

  23. I made the classic version banana bread. It was delicious. I did substitute sour cream for the yogurt. Very moist and everyone loved it.

  24. Ladies,

    This is the 4th or 5th recipe of yours I’ve tried, and it’s another complete success! So delicious and easy to make! All of your instructions are easy to follow from start to finish, and I love that the ingredients are everything you’d have on hand already. I (and my family!) are so glad to have found you! 🙂

    Thank you!

  25. I just found this recipe today and was wondering if there was anything that needs to be done differently for those of us living in high altitudes. Thanks! 🙂

  26. Holy smokes!! This is delicious, and not to mention the tempting aroma of warm chocolate in the air!!! I made this to snack on during our road trip, but I’m not entirely sure it is going to last long enough to even get to the car!

  27. I’ve made several banana bread recipes in the past, and this one trumps them all. Mine turned out as beautiful as yours in the post. I’ll be making the zucchini bread later today, as well, and I’m excited for the wonderful outcomes I’m sure I’ll have thanks to your great directions and tips!

  28. Best. Banana. Bread. Ever. I’ve made tons of different recipes, trying to find the perfect one. Holy cow, this is the best I’ve ever made. But I actually made mine into muffins (my little boy prefers muffins over a slice of break) and they were to die for. Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  29. oooo….so excited! mine are in the over as I type!! I LOVE your site!! And can’t wait to take a bite of this loaf!!!
    Thanks for sharing all your wonderful yummy goodness!!!

  30. This is in the oven right now and LOOKS and SMELLS wonderful! I cannot wait to taste it… I was kind of confused on how to layer the 2 batters in the pan. If it was more layers, or side by side? Oh well, I don’t think you could really go wrong! Thanks you guys are awesome!

  31. This bread is awesome!! My house now smells like chocolatey-banana goodness. Wish it would last all weekend. The smell and the bread. 🙂

  32. Ok, I don’t get the stripes part with the chocolate batter. Layers? Please help!
    PS, I made the pizza sauce the other night and am sold! Thanks.

    1. It’s really not complicated Amy- don’t worry about stripes! Just pour in a little of each batter at a time (alternating) and then take a knife and give it a few swirls and you’ll get the same effect!

  33. I just made this last night, but my bread started burning on top after about 55 mins. I had to leave it in for about 1:05 so that it cooked through the middle. a few details: my oven is about 40 yrs old and I cooked it in a dark pan. I double checked the temp and everything. What should I have done differently? help!

  34. Got a question about this. Would it change the amazingness of this recipe to use 1/2 whole wheat flour? I am trying to sneak heatlthy things in for my husbands breakfast and this is more like dessert bread (cause it’s so good) than something for breakfast.

    1. I’ve never tried it with half wheat, but I do make a yummy banana muffin with part wheat and it’s really good, so I don’t think it would be horrible 🙂 Give it a shot!

  35. I’ve made this twice already, but both times, when I take it out after about an hour and 10 minutes, it’s clean when I poke it, but it gets all crumbly…both time I used 4 bananas and sour cream instead of yogurt since that’s what I had on hand. Any ideas on why it’s so crumbly?

    1. I’m not sure Brittany, I’ve never had that problem. Are you letting it cool off before cutting it? If you cut into hot bread it will crumble all over, so make sure to let it cool down a bit.

  36. The chocolate swirl banana bread is a family favorite for sure! I am wanting to make it and I see that my sweet husband picked up MILK chocolate chocolate chips instead of semisweet which I have always used. I am wondering if I should just make the classic recipe or would the milk chocolate be okay?

  37. Again, you ladies have made me look lie a rockstar (only because you yourselves are!) I just made the classic banana bread, and it is sooooo good! Thank you!

  38. So I tried this and it was delish BUT I split it up in two smaller tin forms and it just wouldn’t bake on the bottom! I’ve had this problem before with banana bread.. I put the chocolate batter on top and gave it a little swirl but so that the chocolate would still stay mostly on top if you get what I mean… It was all crispy and cracking on top and the knife I stuck in it came out clean – but it was way dense and not baked at all on the bottom. Any tips?

    By the way I love you guys and the way you always make me wanna read every recipe even though I don’t even eat it;)

  39. This recipe just changed my life!!! LOL I made both the chocolate swirl & the classic & LOVE them equally. They were SO good, in fact that my husband & I drove to my sisters house & woke up my nephews to make them try it while it was still warm… and yes it is 12:38 AM in Utah 🙂 This is the recipe that is making me want to fulfill my lifelone dream of opening my own bakery!

  40. Again another winner from you ladies. My mom who doesn’t even like banana bread likes this recipe. I have made both twice already and my next attempt will be in muffins for easier built in portin control.

  41. Amazing. Just to let you know back in 2009 when this recipe was first posted I tried it. I am waiting for the two swirl loaves and the mini muffins to finish cooking after doubling the recipe and having LOTS of batter left over 🙂 I’ve never made (nor even wanted to look for) another recipe for this banana bread. Amazing! I love your recipes. =)

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  43. Just made this! Soooo good! Hopefully there will be some left for my family when they get home! Or maybe I won’t ever tell them I made it… 🙂

  44. Just made this and had a warm, unbelievably delicious slice! I will never make anything but the swirl version again. My kids are getting a nice surprise in their lunches tomorrow!

  45. Does the chocolate swirl version need vanilla like the plain banana bread? I just noticed that on the choc swirl recipe there is no vanilla.

  46. This is my new go-to banana bread recipe! I had been using a different recipe for about the last 2 years. I think the additional amount of walnuts plus the brown sugar rather than white sugar makes a big difference. The crust browned up nicely and had a sweet crunch to it that my husband loved. Thanks for sharing!!

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