The Best Banana Bread Recipe (with Chocolate Chips)

This recipe is a one-bowl wonder that’s just the thing when you could use a little comfort food with some nutritional saving grace. Quite a few years ago now, I started making the banana bread from Simply Recipes with some frequency (and, at times, with some urgency). Over time, I adapted it to our own tastes. Less sugar. More banana. Dark chocolate. Walnuts. But always in the one-bowl, no-fuss spirit that makes the original a thing of beauty.

Best Banana Bread Recipe | Umami Girl 780

Why we love this recipe

Banana bread should be comforting, breezy, and dead-simple to make. If you’ve got four big overripe bananas on your counter or in your freezer, you should be able to mash them up in a single bowl, stir in some common ingredients, and end up really, really happy.

Our banana bread does all that and without a ton of added sugar, to boot. It’s flexible enough to be delicious even if your bananas aren’t exactly the size we were thinking and you can’t read our minds.

Also, you guys? It has chocolate. Our recipe calls for half a cup, but we’ve HEARD you can add kind of a lot more than that if you’re so inclined.

Collage of steps to make banana bread

Banana bread ingredients

For this recipe, you need just a few pantry ingredients, plus some overripe or frozen bananas. You’ll use:

  • 4 medium- to large, very ripe bananas. You can make banana bread we have overripe bananas on the counter, or you can plan ahead by freezing your overripe bananas. (Just peel them and pop them whole into a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag.) When ready to use, you can defrost them with a short stint in the microwave.
  • Melted butter
  • An egg
  • Brown sugar (not too much — lots of the sweetness comes from the bananas)
  • Vanilla extract
  • A splash of brewed coffee, if you have it, to deepen the banana and chocolate flavors
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour (or a combo of all-purpose and whole wheat pastry flours, if you like)
  • Finely chopped dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Chopped walnuts
Collage of steps to make banana bread

How to make banana bread

For this easy recipe, ingredients simply get stirred into the bowl with a fork. You can see it all in action in the video that accompanies this post. You will:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center and grease a loaf pan
  • Mash the bananas well with a fork
  • Stir in the melted butter
  • Make a little space on one side of the bowl to crack the egg into
  • Tip the bowl and beat up the egg a bit with the fork
  • Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and coffee to the bowl and stir it all up well
  • Sprinkle the baking soda, salt, and flour over the wet ingredients and stir until just combined
  • Pour in the chocolate chips and walnuts and stir to distribute
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake the bread for 45 to 60 minutes until a tester comes out not smeared with banana
Collage of steps to make banana bread

Healthy banana bread, give or take

Look, banana bread, like all quickbreads, is a treat. But our version goes heavy on the banana and uses only 1/2 cup of brown sugar. We usually make it with all-purpose flour, but if you like you can use whole wheat pastry flour as designated in the recipe below. All of this adds up to a not-too-sweet, moist, and totally delicious banana bread that’s a little better for you, and is more banana-forward, to boot.

More brunch favorites

Hosting brunch, or just looking to make a fabulous weekend breakfast? Here are some of our favorites:

A quick, funny anecdote

Since we first published this banana bread recipe on Umami Girl back in 2010, some of our best friends have been making it even more often than we do.

They live in a different city, and we recently spent the weekend at their house.

When I woke up Sunday morning, my friend said, “I almost introduced you to your banana bread. I forgot it was yours.”

That’s my dream come true. Because it’s not my banana bread now. It’s theirs. And that’s the whole point of this operation.

Maybe go ahead and make it yours, too.

Best Banana Bread Recipe | Umami Girl 780

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Best Banana Bread Recipe with Chocolate Chips

Several years ago, Elise Bauer's terrific banana bread at Simply Recipes became my go-to recipe. I loved her rustic one-bowl, one-utensil technique, which seems just right for a homey quickbread. Over the years I substantially reduced the sugar and made a handful of other additions and modifications, such that now when someone asks me for a banana bread recipe I want to share this one instead of the original.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Serves 12


  • 4 medium to large, very ripe bananas
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon brewed coffee (if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (see note)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center. Grease a medium (8-cup/9 x 5 x 3 inch) loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
  3. Mix in the melted butter.
  4. Crack the egg into the bowl near one of the sides, tilt the bowl slightly, and use the fork to lightly beat the egg.
  5. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and coffee to the bowl and mix with the fork to combine well.
  6. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the batter.
  7. Add the flour and mix with the fork until just combined.
  8. Add the chocolate and walnuts and mix just until they're well distributed in the batter.
  9. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until a tester inserted in the center comes out cleanish. It's fine if it has some banana or chocolate on it, but lots of wet batter ain't right.
  10. Cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes (before unmolding to cool completely, if you're positively made of steel).


When possible, it's best to weigh your ingredients for baking. If you don't have a kitchen scale, fluff the flour with a spoon and then lightly spoon it into your measuring cup, mounding it over the top. Then swipe the flat back side of a knife across the top to level the flour with the top of the measuring cup.

Instead of 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, you can use 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour if you like.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 315 Total Fat:: 19.6g Carbohydrates:: 32.7g Fiber:: 2.5g Protein:: 3.9g

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  1. Miche

    I just made this bread an enjoyed a piece still warm! Wonderful.

  2. Jordan

    Forgot to mention that instead of adding nuts I just doubled the chocolate chips. Totally worth mentioning although obvious to the other chocoholics out there.

  3. Jordan

    Just made this tonight for a potluck BBQ (you know the one) and wanted you to know that Pierre reported having to dive in through crowds to get a piece. He said it disappeared “at an increasing rate.” From one economist/foodie family to another, I thought you’d appreciate the detail. Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. That is a gorgeous loaf of one of my fave breads!

  5. I love love love banana bread, and usually have to end up either buying ridiculous amounts of bananas or hiding some so they get ripe enough for me to make it, but it’s always so worth it. I’m always down to try a new banana bread recipe, so I’ll be giving this one a spin. And with chocolate chunks? Mmm, heavenly!

  6. Rachel

    I’ve missed you! So great to start my day with your two recent blog posts (banana bread and farmers pasta). Such good stuff indeed. Looking forward to trying both recipes soon!

  7. Hi Amy, thanks for the note on cooking time. I’ll add a range to the recipe.

  8. This looks wonderful…
    Banana bread is like the ultimate comfort…. You can never have enough…
    I love it so much that sometime I am scared of baking it…..

    Yours look absolutely fabulous!!

  9. Amy

    Hi Carolyn,
    I hope your family situation is okay, and you are feeling better and rested! I tried this recipe and LOVE IT! Just one note. I have a convection oven and routinely reduce baking times, so I set my timer for 50 minutes instead of the hour, and it was still just a bit dry. So, for other readers out there, just a cautionary note to be watchful on the baking time!
    Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  10. @Amrita Good point! I think I need another slice.

    @SimplyTia Thank you!

  11. your photography is amazing and this banana bread just sounds awesome!!

  12. A banana bread is never just a banana bread is it? Its one of those goods that we stretch and pull till it fits us perfectly!