Banana bread holds a special place in my heart. Its a great treat that rescues those overripe bananas from going to waste! If you have a few bananas that have hung out on the countertop too long attracting fruit flies, try making this tasty loaf of banana bread with chocolate chips.
Now, do chocolate chips belong in banana bread? It’s a question that has been debated many times in my home, but I’m firmly in the ‘yes’ camp. The addition of chocolate chips really takes this already delicious bread to the next level. They add little pockets of sweetness, and a great texture contrast to the soft bread. Plus, who can resist melty bits of chocolate? If you’re on the fence about it, give it a shot!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s vegan and kid-friendly: This recipe uses absolutely no animal products, making it ideal for vegans and those allergic to eggs or dairy.
- It’s easy to make: You don’t need any fancy equipment or culinary skills to make this banana bread. If you can mix and bake, you can make this recipe.
- It’s versatile: The recipe can easily be adjusted based on personal preference. Not a fan of chocolate chips? Sub them out for nuts or dried fruit.
- It stores well: This is a good recipe to make ahead of time and freeze. It also makes a great gift around the holiday season.
Optional add-ins to this banana bread recipe
If you are looking to switch up the flavor of this recipe, any of these additions will be really tasty:
- Walnuts: A classic addition to banana bread, they add a nice crunch and a dose of healthy fats.
- Pecans: Similar to walnuts but with a distinct, slightly sweeter flavor.
- Almonds: These can be added whole, sliced, or chopped for a bit of crunch.
- Flax Seeds: A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, they don’t alter the flavor much but add a nutritional boost.
- Chia Seeds: These tiny seeds add texture and are packed with fiber and protein.
- Sesame Seeds: Sprinkle these on top of the loaf before baking for a decorative touch and a slight crunch.
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas): These add a bit of color and a unique flavor to the loaf.
- Sunflower Seeds: A tasty, nut-free option that adds a delightful crunch.
- Dried Cranberries: These add a tart, fruity contrast to the sweet banana bread.
- Raisins: A nice addition that adds pockets of sweetness throughout the loaf.
- Dried Apricots: Chopped into small pieces, they add a sweet-tart flavor.
- Dates: These add a rich, caramel-like flavor and sweetness to the bread.
Tips for making the best banana bread
I have made a lot of banana bread over the years. I love the way it makes my house smell, and I find it to be the perfect mid-morning snack. Here are my best tips for making vegan banana bread:
- Use overripe bananas: The best bananas for banana bread are those that have ripened to the point of being covered in brown spots. These will have the most flavor and will be easy to mash.
- Don’t overmix the batter: Overmixing can produce a dense, tough loaf. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened – it’s okay if there are lumps.
- Add extras at the right time: If you’re adding nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit, fold them into the batter after it’s mixed and right before pouring into the pan.
- Check for doneness correctly: Don’t just rely on the top of the bread turning brown to tell if it’s done. Insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center – it should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Cool before slicing: It may be tempting to slice into the warm bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, but resist! Let your banana bread cool for at least 15 minutes. This will make it easier to slice and the flavor will have had a chance to develop.
- Store properly: Keep leftover banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature. It’s best eaten within 1-2 days, but can be stored for up to a week.
- Freeze for later: Banana bread freezes well. Just wrap the loaf or individual slices tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature when ready to eat.
Recipe FAQs and substitutions
- Can I substitute the vegetable oil with something else?
Certainly! You can substitute vegetable oil with equal amounts of vegan melted butter or coconut oil.
- What kind of non-dairy milk can I use in this recipe?
You can use any unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk or coconut milk. I like using soy milk.
- Can I use regular white sugar instead of light brown sugar?
Instead of 1/4 cup of each sugar, you can also use 1/2 cup of one type of sugar.
- Can gluten-free flour be used in place of all-purpose flour?
Gluten-free substitutes are tricky, as they are not always 1:1. If you are substituting a flour, make sure it is a 1:1 substitution.
- Can I add more than 1 teaspoon of cinnamon?
Absolutely! If you like your banana bread to have a stronger cinnamon flavor, feel free to add more. You an also add pumpkin pie spice which I find levels up the flavor quite a bit.
- What if I don’t have ripe bananas?
Ripe bananas are the best for banana bread because they are sweeter and easier to mash. I would give them a few days in a brown bag to ripen up!
- How can I tell when the banana bread is fully baked?
To check if your banana bread is done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, the bread is done. If there’s wet batter on the toothpick, it needs more time.
- Can I freeze banana bread?
Yes, banana bread freezes very well. Wrap the cooled loaf tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to serve.
Chocolate chip banana bread
- 1 Standard loaf pan
- 3 large overly ripe bananas or 4 small
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup soy milk non-sweetened
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a loaf pan. Use parchment paper to help prevent sticking.
- In a large bowl, mash the overly ripe bananas until they form a smooth consistency.
- Add the vegetable oil, soy milk, light brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla extract to the bananas. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Fold in the vegan chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.