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Lusciously moist chocolate chip banana loaf

I know most of you are familiar with banana bread, but I refuse to call it that. It’s not bread folks. With butter, sour cream, eggs, sugar and more, it’s really cake. So why does everyone call it banana bread? And more irritating, why do I sometimes find it in the bread basket on restaurant tables, when what I really want with my steak dinner is a good baguette or crusty piece of Italian bread.

This recipe is from a website cooked Cookies and Cups  and it’s referred to as “The Best Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe.” While it’s pretty darn delicious, another pet peeve of mine is when recipes are referred to as “the best” or “world’s best.” I mean, come on, have you really tasted every single recipe for that particular dish that’s out there? But enough kvetching. I guess that class decades ago at Columbia Journalism School with Judith Crist critiquing (no, savaging) my work taught me and my classmates how to write without hyperbole. Moreover, years of working in a newsroom with editors breathing down your neck also forced me to write “just the facts, ma’am” (except the editors weren’t so kind in their comments.) But I digress.

What I can honestly say though, is this is the best chocolate chip banana bread/cake/loaf I’ve ever eaten. My decades-old version of this recipe is getting the heave-ho to make room for this one. And you may feel the same way if you give this a try.

It’s simple to make using just a bowl and a wooden spoon to mix. It contains both butter and sour cream, and in addition to the mashed bananas, it uses thinly sliced bananas, making for one moist cake. Make sure your bananas are really ripe — dark brown and ready-for-the-trash can ripe. You’ll get the most intense flavor that way.

After lining the pan with some parchment paper and pouring in the batter, sprinkle with some additional chocolate chips. And use the mini chips, since the large ones have a tendency to sink to the bottom.

Bake it for at least an hour (it took 65 minutes for mine to cook completely), slice and enjoy. It’s especially good when warm, but the next day it’s even better since the flavors have had time to meld.

You could omit the chocolate chips and the walnuts too, if you like, and you’ll still be left with one delicious banana bread, er, loaf, or cake or whatever. It may even be the world’s best. But I doubt you’ll hear that from me.

Click here to connect with me on Instagram and find out what Ciao Chow Linda is up to in the kitchen (and other places too.)

Chocolate chip banana loaf
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 medium bananas, divided
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (and more to sprinkle on top)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom and up the short sides with a strip of parchment paper. Spray again with nonstick spray.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl mash 2 of the bananas with a fork, leaving them slightly lumpy.
  5. Slice the remaining banana thinly, and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl stir together the butter and sugar.
  7. Mix in the eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the sour cream, mashed bananas, baking soda, and salt, and stir until blended.
  8. Next mix in the flour until incorporated.
  9. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and sliced banana.
  10. Pour batter into the prepared pan - sprinkle with a few more chocolate chips -- and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (mine took 65 minutes to completely cook)
  11. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then using the parchment paper as handles, carefully lift the banana bread out of the pan to cool on a wire rack.
 

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

When you want a cake that’s not fussy and sure to be a crowdpleaser with adults and kids (alright so some of you who are from another planet may not like chocolate), this is the cake to turn to. Made with mini chocolate chips, that are less likely to fall to the bottom the way regular-sized chips do, this cake has a nice crumb and a delicious flavor, even without the chocolate glaze. So if you’re inclined to serve it without the glaze, at least give it a dusting of powdered sugar to elevate its plain Jane looks.

BUT, I highly recommend the chocolate glaze. I mean, come on, don’t you just want to stick your fingers onto that plate and lick those drizzles cascading down the cake? By the way, for baking, I almost always use Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars. You can buy them at the supermarket at a fraction of the cost of the more expensive brands, and years ago on a blind taste testing at America’s Test Kitchen tv show, Hershey’s Special Dark came out as the number one favorite. It’s delicious just for snacking straight from the wrapper too.

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Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons. vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 1¼ cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • four ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer of a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until well combined and fluffy, about two minutes.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and beat on low until combined.
  6. Add the Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and beat to combine.
  7. Add the remaining half of dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  9. Do not overmix.
  10. Spray a small, 10 cup bundt pan with a baking spray with flour or use a light spray of baking spray and dust the inside of the pan with flour. (I smeared butter inside, then sprayed with a cooking spray, then dusted with flour.)
  11. Spoon the batter evenly into the pan and smooth the top of the batter. It will be thick.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven for about 55-60 minutes or until the top of the cake is set, with no jiggling.
  13. Allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack or serving platter until completely cool.
  14. When ready to ice, add the chocolate to a small bowl and heat the cream until almost bubbling.
  15. Add the warmed cream to the chocolate, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap, and allow to sit undisturbed for five minutes.
  16. Stir to combine and add in the corn syrup, if desired.
  17. Pour over the cake.