What’s better than banana bread? CHOCOLATE banana bread! This vegan version is loaded with flavor and bursting with rich dark chocolate chips and walnuts.
Chocolate is my love language. I’m a firm believer that it makes nearly everything better. If it can possibly be added to a recipe, it should be added.
My vegan banana bread is one of my most popular recipes on this site, so I got to thinking, could I add chocolate to it? I certainly could. And so I did, and my vegan chocolate banana bread turned out to be my new favorite sweet treat.
I get a lot of questions on this topic, so pay attention if you’re new to banana bread baking.
Your bananas need to be overripe. This is non-negotiable. Using bananas that aren’t ripe enough will result in banana bread that’s not only lacking in flavor and sweetness, but that’s also overly dry and has a terrible texture.
Make sure your bananas have lots of brown spots. At least a third of the skin should be covered in them.
You’ll also want to use bananas that are medium in size. A medium-sized overripe banana weighs about 5 ounces (or 140 grams).
- Bananas. Again, they should be overripe and medium in size.
- Sugar. Make sure it’s organic if you’re buying it in the United States. Using sugar that’s organic keeps the recipe vegan.
- Brown sugar. Again, use organic.
- Canola oil. Feel free to substitute your favorite baking oil.
- Vanilla extract.
- Flour. We’re using plain old all-purpose wheat flour. Other types of wheat flour may work, but I haven’t tested the recipe with any.
- Cocoa powder. Make sure it’s the unsweetened variety.
- Baking soda.
- Cinnamon. You can leave this out if you like, but it really enhances the chocolate and banana flavors.
- Vegan chocolate chips. I use Enjoy Life brand.
- Chopped walnuts. Feel free to sub another type of nut, like pecans, or leave them out altogether.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Peel and place your bananas into a large mixing bowl, then mash them up with a fork or potato masher.
- Add the sugars, oil and vanilla.
- Stir until everything is evenly mixed.
- Add your flour to the bowl, then sprinkle the cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt over the flour before stirring it in.
- Stir everything together just until fully mixed. Don’t overmix the batter.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
- Spread the batter into an oiled loaf pan, smoothing the top out with a spoon.
- Evenly sprinkle a layer of brown sugar over the top of the loaf before popping it into the oven. This will form a delicious crust when it bakes! You can also garnish the top with a few extra chocolate chips if you like.
- Bake your loaf until it’s fully set, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (just make sure you’re not inserting it into a chocolate chip, or it will definitely come out covered in melted chocolate).
- Let your loaf cool a bit before removing it from the pan and slicing it. It will fall apart if you slice it too early!
Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread Tips & FAQ
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? I’m really not sure. It might work with an all-purpose gluten-free blend, but I haven’t tested this.
- Shelf-life & storage: Once cool, wrap your banana bread in plastic or seal it in a zippy bag. It will keep at room temperature for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
- Can I use whole wheat flour? I haven’t tried, so I’m not sure. If you’d like to give it a try, I’d recommend starting with a 50/50 blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flour, and using whole wheat pastry flour if possible.
- My banana bread isn’t rising. Why not? Usually old baking soda is the cause of this. Test yours by sprinkling a small amount in a glass of vinegar. It should fizz. If not, it’s time to replace it.
- Can this recipe be made into muffins? Probably! The bake time will be less, but I haven’t tried, so I can’t say exactly how much. Start checking them at around 20 minutes.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
What's better than banana bread? CHOCOLATE banana bread! This vegan version is loaded with flavor and bursting with rich dark chocolate chips and walnuts.
- 3 medium overripe bananas
- 1/3 cup organic granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup organic brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- 1/3 cup canola oil (or your favorite baking oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips, plus a few extra for topping
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 9-inch loaf pan.
Peel the bananas and place them into a large mixing bowl. Mash them well with a fork or potato masher.
Stir the sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla into the mashed bananas.
Add the flour and cocoa powder to the bowl, then sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt on top.
Stir everything together just until thoroughly blended. Don't overmix. The batter will be very thick.
Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top out with a spoon.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar evenly over the batter, and optionally sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.
Bake the loaf until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. (If the toothpick goes into a chip and comes out covered in melted chocolate, try inserting a clean one at another location).
Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack to cool. Let the loaf cool for at least 25 minutes before removing it from the pan.
Slice and serve.