While we love tried and true banana bread, we can’t get enough of this vegan chocolate banana bread. Adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips takes basic vegan banana bread to a rich, fudgy, indulgent level!
This recipe is super simple but tastes spectacular- your family and friends will love this unique spin on banana bread. Cutting into the first slice fills the kitchen with a rich, brownie-banana wave of goodness.
(This post may contain affiliate links. That means I’ll get a small commission on any sales made through those links. Read our full disclosure.)
Ingredients For Chocolate Banana Bread
This recipe comes together quickly and uses common pantry ingredients– no strange ingredients and no flax eggs required! We’ve made this a number of times for friends and nobody can ever tell it’s vegan! Bananas provide so much moisture and flavor and the chocolate/banana combo is just to die for!
Bananas: We’re flexible! Use 2-4 bananas that are ripey ripe, depending on size. If you have extra large bananas use less, if you have smaller bananas, use more.
Cocoa Powder & Chocolate Chips: The cocoa powder is essential for this recipe, the chocolate chips just take the chocolate to another level and add a nice fudgy bite. Note: Cocoa powder should always be sifted as it has a high tendency to clump! Use regular vegan chocolate chips, mini-chips, or a finely chopped baking bar.
Flour: This recipe has only been tested with all-purpose flour.
Sugar: We opted for brown sugar as those rich molasses flavors hit just right with chocolate. You can substitute cane sugar, white sugar, or even coconut sugar.
Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Baking soda is activated in this recipe by the banana, cocoa powder, and brown sugar to help create loads of lift! Baking powder assists in this effort. If you don’t have baking soda, you can use 2.5 teaspoons of baking powder. Baking soda assists with browning but as this is a chocolate banana bread, you won’t notice much difference!
Butter or Oil: You may use either! Our preference is melted butter for a superior banana bread that keeps well for several days.
Salt: Even in sweet dishes, a pinch of salt brings forward all the delicious flavors at play.
Flavorings: Vanilla extract, cinnamon, or nutmeg are all lovely in banana bread– for chocolate banana bread we lean towards only vanilla extract! Vanilla compliments chocolate wonderfully without overpowering it. Cinnamon and nutmeg, which are common in banana bread, can compete with the chocolate so we leave them out but you do you! Go for the good stuff btw.
Method For Making Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
Baking up a loaf of banana bread is similar to all other quickbreads like muffins, pancakes, and waffles. The process is a mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients, and mix together! This can be done in 1 bowl.
Into a mixing bowl, add peeled bananas and mash thoroughly. Add remaining wet ingredients and combine. Sprinkle dry ingredients across the wet and mix until just incorporated. If using chocolate chips, fold these in after the batter is mixed.
While parchment paper is not required and this loaf will bake up firm enough to remove, a parchment sling in your loaf pan guarantees easy removal and makes sure no chocolate chip is left behind 🙂
Banana bread can take anywhere from 45-70 minutes to cook (more on this below) and is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs.
Once baked and removed from the oven, it’s best to leave the loaf to cool for 15-20 minutes in the pan before handling it. It will firm up as it cools and will be easier to cut with slices more fully intact. Vegan banana bread doesn’t have eggs (which provide structure) so it is a bit more delicate.
How To Tell When Banana Bread Is Done
Now, in quickbreads with mix-ins- like chocolate chips- it can’t be a bit more difficult to tell when goods are done via the toothpick test. You may have to poke the loaf a few times in a few different spots to be certain the center is fully cooked 🙂
Additional things to note on checking doneness:
#1 Look at the edges of the loaf, they should have pulled inward from the pan a bit and feel firm/set.
#2 Banana bread always gets a crack down the center as air escapes, the area around this crack is usually last to cook up as the crack runs through the center. If this area is still doughy, it’s not ready.
#3 The amount of bananas you use plays a part here! More mashed banana = a wetter dough and more moisture to cook out. This is ok, just keep in mind banana bread can take anywhere from 45-70 minutes!
#4 The size of the loaf pan you bake in. There are two very common loaf pan sizes: 8×4 and 9×5. The 9×5 pans create shorter, wider loaves that cook up a bit quicker. An 8×4 pan takes longer as it’s a taller loaf! (which we prefer)
#5 The material of the pan! A light-colored metal pan is ideal for all your baking projects as light-colored metal evenly distributes heat and cooks things most evenly. For dark metal or glass pans, the heat transfer is more intense- meaning the edges will cook up faster than the center. If using a metal or glass pan you may need to kick down the temp by 25* or tent the loaf with aluminum foil for the last 10-20 minutes if you notice the edges becoming too dark or dry.
Storing Chocolate Banana Bread
Vegan chocolate banana bread will stay good for up to 4 days at room temp. The bread’s taste and texture are best the first 2 days. We recommend storing the loaf in a Tupperware with the lid slightly ajar so the top doesn’t get sticky. Or you can store it in a sealed tupperware in the fridge.
Chocolate banana bread freezes excellently! Wait for loaves to come completely to room temperature (4-6 hours) then wrap them several times with plastic wrap and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer to prevent freezer burn.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread FAQs
- How to add a banana to the top of a loaf of banana bread? For dramatic effect and a gooey, banana-y bite in each slice, you can add a whole banana to the top of your loaf before baking. Slice the banana lengthwise and place it into the loaf, cut side (center of the banana) up and gently push down into the batter. Stagger both halves of the banana on the loaf if you like. Or, you can slice the banana into rounds and add those to the top.
- What kind of cocoa powder to use? This recipe does not require Dutch-processed cocoa powder, the good ol’ natural cocoa powder you find in stores is ideal!
- What’s the difference between using butter and using oil? While you can use either interchangeably, oil makes a moister banana bread that has a shorter shelf life. It could be a bit gummier as vegan banana bread recipes don’t have oil. Using melted butter adds better flavor and still provides moisture, but just the right amount. Banana bread using melted butter holds up better being stored.
Vegan chocolate banana bread is a divine variation of banana bread! This fudgy, chocolaty loaf cake is an easy 1 bowl recipe that’s sure to delight. Use both cocoa powder and chocolate chips for an indulgent chocolate cake!
- 3–4 peeled bananas* note
- 1/3 cup melted butter or neutral flavored oil* note
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (sub-white, cane, or coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips
- Mix the wet ingredients. Add peeled bananas to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash very well. Add vanilla extract and melted butter and mix to incorporate.
- Sprinkle dry ingredients across the top of the wet. Be sure to sift your cocoa powder. Mix together until just combined. Add chocolate chips (if using) and fold into the batter.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour the batter in. Bake in a pre-heated 350* oven for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle removes with only a few dry crumbs and no wet batter.
- If using a 9×5 loaf pan, the loaf will take less time to cook. Begin to check at the 45-minute mark.
- If using dark metal or glass pan, you may need to dial back the temp 25* as these pans tend to cook up the edges faster than the center.
- If using a large amount of bananas, the loaf will take longer to cook! Banana bread can take up to 70 minutes to complete cooking.
- Leave the loaf to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing and slicing for best results. The loaf will firm up a bit as it cools.
On Bananas: If using 4 large bananas, the loaf may take a bit longer to cook. If using smaller or fewer bananas, you may need to add a small splash of milk to help the batter come together appropriately. Splash meaning 1-2 tablespoons! The batter should be thick but not resistant to incorporating all dry spots of flour in.
Oil vs Butter: Melted butter makes banana bread with a better flavor and texture. Using oil creates a very moist banana bread but it may have a gummier consistency.
Keywords: Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread