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waste not

Recipe: chocolate chip banana bread

I am not a banana enthusiast. If all of the fruits were lined up on stage for me to select one-by-one for eating, the banana would definitely be among the last remaining few, looking awkward and feeling self-conscious… I tend to prefer fruits that are juicy and refreshing. The banana makes me thirsty and drowsy. But I do know what is good for me and bananas are certainly that. I periodically buy some, hoping that the guilt of watching them rot will be enough incentive to chop one up to eat with some yogurt.


spotted bananas, my favorite!



Alas, I have outwitted myself. Overripe bananas don’t go into our compost – noooooo. Overripe bananas go into banana bread. For the longest time, my feelings about banana bread were pretty similar to my feelings about bananas. Thirsty-drowsy. That was until my good friend, Mary, suggested the addition of some chocolate around the same time that I was experimenting with an unsatisfactory recipe for the bread. There are two key ingredients to my banana bread recipe.

sour cream adds moisture

chocolate chips add… love



When I can find mini chocolate chips, I use them. They suspend nicely in the batter and for some reason, I am drawn to tiny foods. If I can’t find mini chocolate chips, I chop dark chocolate. That works too. Larger chocolate chips are fine, but I usually see a stratification as they settle to the bottom. You could try tossing them in flour first to see if it helps suspend them. Then again, my friend Sarah doesn’t care as long as there is chocolate in there.

batter up



I typically bake this banana bread in loaf pans or a bundt pan, but digging through my boxes of cooking pans, I re-discovered my old mini bundtlettes. I think it frightens Jeremy that I am delighted upon finding random baking equipment that I forgot I had.

the ugly banana is transformed into a beautiful bundtlette



My only gripe with my bundtlettes is that the chocolate chips stick to the pan and it’s quite the time-consuming ordeal to get them out without destroying the delicate shapes. Our neighbor, Tom, prefers the bundtlettes because there is more crispy surface area per bite as opposed to a loaf pan or a large bundt. Duly noted, sir!

you are looking at a cross-section of joy



Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
[print recipe]

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups smashed, very ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mini chocolate chips (I usually put in 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Mix in the bananas. Combine dry ingredients and mix into batter alternately with the sour cream. Add nuts and chips. Mix well. Pour into two greased loaf pans (8×4-inch), or one bundt pan, or 12 bundtlettes (or anything you want, really) and bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. (Not wet and gloppy, but moist crumbs are okay). Dusting the pan with flour may be advisable for the bundtlettes.

37 nibbles at “waste not”

  1. Anh says:

    I am not very much into banana either. But they make damn good cake. I made a lot of variations on banana bread, too. But sour cream and chocolate chips rule!

  2. Francesco says:

    I am very happy to have got this this blog last week … another wonderful and simply recipe I can try this week-end!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. holybasil says:

    I love re-discovering my baking equipment. I usually shout with joy and then do a cartwheel or two. Seriously though, the bundtlettes are so cool.

    Jen, how do you feel about banana chips?

  4. Nan says:

    I’m also not that into eating bananas raw, although I always buy them because they’re so cheeeeeeeap. And then they go old from disuse and become banana bread! Your bundtlettes look so cute. Don’t know why I didn’t think of the chocolate chip thing earlier!

  5. Mandy says:

    I know I couldn’t find these mini bundts in my baking box no matter how long I dig. I have to put it on my Christmas wishlist. :D

  6. Meeta says:

    Yum! These are looking good. I hate wasting bananas too. And guess what I have lying around just as we speak. A few rip, spotted bananas. Guess what I’ll be making?

  7. Mrs.W says:

    Your photos are gorgeous. And so are those little bites of banana-bread heaven. Do you know that if you have some speckled bananas that you’re not ready to use you can toss them into the freezer? They bake up nicely, even after months in the freezer (the skins will turn BLACK… but never fear, it works).

  8. Anita says:

    I always made banana bread with my old bananas…sometimes I didn’t even bother to eat them fresh because I knew I’d like them better as bread! I love that you made them as little bundt-lets – so cute!

  9. tian says:

    how odd, i guess i’m gonna be one of the few commenters who absolutely love love bananas.
    perhaps you guys should try the asian variety – sweeter, smaller and less starchy.

    and of course i love love banana bread .. i like the sour cream addition and like your neighbour, i love the edges .. i always go for the corner of the loaf ( :

  10. Coffee & Vanilla says:

    Beautiful recipe!!
    I wish my Technorati was picking up changes on this page so I could visit more often, but for some reason it is not showing updates.
    Greetings, Margot

  11. Kevin says:

    Bananas are one of the last fruits that I would grab to to eat as is as well… but they are great for baking with. They add a really nice moisture, flavour and aroma.

  12. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I have bought some mini chips by Callebaut that are wonderful in baking. Your cakes look so good!

  13. peabody says:

    Ah the dreaded left over bananas. I once made the mistake when I was on a banana kick of buying a whole bunch at Costco. We were eating banana baked goods in what seemed like forever.
    Your little breads look adorable.

  14. Hillary says:

    I’m a big fan of the addition of a little cinnamon and nutmeg to my banana bread, it makes worlds of difference! Along with toasting the nuts, YUM!

  15. christi says:

    Freeze peeled bananas in a freezer bag. We always buy more than we eat and then we freeze them for smoothies (Mark Bittman of the Times says a banana is a smoothie element). The best smoothie has peanut butter, any sort of frozen berry, honey and for some reason, cooked oatmeal. The oatmeal is to make sure you get your fiber and it’s delicious.

  16. Rasa Malaysia says:

    I could smell the aroma from my monitor…brilliant combination. I loooooove looooooove banana cake/bread/muffin.

  17. jenyu says:

    Anh – yup! Oddly though, I love applesauce and that goes great in some baked goods too – just not so much with fresh bananas for me ;)

    Francesco – I hope it works for ya.

    HB – I’m neither here nor there with banana chips. I like them fine, but they aren’t things I actively reach for. However I am nuts – absolutely nuts over plantains. Maybe if I had bananas prepared like plantains? :)

    Nan – oh, living with a chocoholic, you think of putting chocolate in just about everything eventually ;)

    Mandy – ha ha ha! That’s great – I hope you find them in your stocking!

    Meeta – awesome. I just love it when I find a recipe to use up all of the random ingredients I have lying around. Hope you like the recipe.

    Mrs. W. – an excellent bit of advice – thanks! I must admit that I forget about freezing them, usually because my freezer is so full. I’m fighting the urge to get a new freezer/fridge and putting the current one in the basement. It scares me to store that much food :)

    Anita – thanks. I should just fess up to myself and accept that I buy bananas for the baking and not the eating. hee hee.

    tian – I say good for you! I always envy folks who enjoy bananas. I really want to love them, but my hand will automatically swerve for an apple over a banana. Wish I could be more like you.

    Coffee&Vanilla – Hmm, not sure why it isn’t picking up on Technorati. Is there something I should be doing to help it along? I don’t use it, so I wouldn’t know.

    Kevin – I’m with ya on that.

    Patricia – oooh, where do you get the Callebaut mini chips? I use Nestle dark which is fine but… I definitely prefer Callebaut and would use them if I found them!! :)

    Peabody – leave it to you to buy a bunch of bananas at Costco for TWO people! You crack me up.

    Hillary – that is a great suggestion. I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks!

    Christi – I like the freezing idea, especially pre-peeling. I like my smoothies sans bananas though. The flavor really overwhelms all others and I can’t take it.

    RM – thanks :)

  18. Seth says:

    Just made this and put it in the oven. MMMMMmmmMMMMM.

  19. jenyu says:

    seth – great! it’s good stuff.

  20. Bridget says:

    I made this last night, with a few small changes because I didn’t want to go to the store to get the exact ingredients. It was really good – very moist and flavorful. It didn’t rise as much as I was expecting, but that might be because my baking powder is really old.

    This is the first time I’ve added chocolate to banana bread, and wow, it’s so good. I love it.

  21. jenyu says:

    Bridget – I think chocolate added to anything makes it extra delicious :) I have rising issues too, but it’s my elevation. I’m glad it was good, though!!

  22. Shauna says:

    You should check out this contest for the best banana bread recipes. You could win a $50 gift card!!

    http://www.squidoo.com/moist-banana-bread-recipe

    There aren’t very many recipes competing either, so you could probably win it pretty easily!! I could just copy your recipe and win it myself, but that would be cheating. Plus I’m the one sponsoring the contest!!! :)

    blessings,
    Shauna

  23. jenyu says:

    Shauna – that’s nice of you to suggest :) Thanks for the link.

  24. wonderment » Blog Archive » More Banana Recipes says:

    [...] Chocolate Chip Banana Bread [...]

  25. bookaholic_au says:

    As a child we had a stand of lady finger banana plants in our backyard. However you never have just one stand of bananas and they kept popping up every where. When they fruited, Dad would hack off the purple leafy thing, from which hung nearly hundreds of small delicate bananas, and hefted it up to the veranda to ripen away from the possums (although the veranda, and the house, were invaded regularly, it was better than outside). Despite the overflow of bananas, Queenslanders all wailed when cyclone Larry devastated northern banana farms driving the price up to a record $15 a kilo. Banana prices were reported on the radio in the morning with the all-ordinaries. I confess. This banana bender is a not so closet banana lover.

  26. Rita says:

    This is a FANTASTIC recipe! However, and this is just a couple minor adjustments to the recipe for my taste…….I found that when creaming the butter and sugar together, they didn’t cream. I read the recipe twice and realized it was just a 1/4 cup of butter. So, I added a little bit of vegetable oil, probably quite less than a 1/4 cup.
    Another change I made after making the first one ( I had enough bananas to make two ) is the sweetness. I am not one who likes sickeningly sweet baked goods, but after reading a lot of other recipes that called for 2 cups of sugar, I thought it probably wasn’t to much of a problem to add just a little more. My sugars were 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and 1/3 cup of brown sugar. I also felt there could be more vanilla, so I poured a touch more than a teaspoon in my next batch.
    Oh, and I also toasted the walnut pieces before I chopped them.

    No offense to the baker, just another take on this recipe. I thank you for posting it! The sour cream makes it VERY moist.

  27. jenyu says:

    Rita – great, glad you found something you like.

  28. Tuquynh says:

    I am making this recipe for the 5th time tonight, it’s always a hit! :) I cook them in my boyfriend’s apt because his oven is more reliable than mine and it’s hilarious watching his roomates slowly file out and stare at the oven. Thanks for yet another awesome recipe! <3

  29. Bread Lover Mommy says:

    Sadly, I’m the only one in the house who’ll eat bananas so they always go off if we get a bunch. It seems they’ll all eat it if I make this bread out of them though!

  30. Vicky says:

    I can’t wait to try your recipe. I have some over ripe bananas and thought mmm banana bread. Then I thought mmmmmm chocolate chip banana bread, time to look for a new recipe. So I checked out google images for photos first and your chocolate chip banana bread looks the yummiest to me and the recipe sounds delicious, so this is the one for me to try. I read some of the comments and I agree that adding a bit of cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg to the recipe enhances the flavor of the banana (especially the nutmeg which I use a bit more of so the cinnamon doesn’t over power it.)

    I don’t have any sour cream so I plan to substitute french vanilla yogurt. Though I have banilla (banana-vanilla) yogurt which might boost the banana flavor, yet I think I will save my banilla for my work day breakfasts of yogurt, grapenuts and fresh or frozen fruit. A good size bowl of this keeps me full until lunch time and some if I work through lunch.

    Another good way to eat bananas is to drink them. I love a milk or soymilk smoothie with banana, wheat germ, yogurt, some kind of berries and perhaps a splash of OJ. I also add water to thin it out a bit, I don’t like over thick smoothies, plus I always need some extra water to keep hydrated. This also fills me up until lunch time. And it tastes so good. A simpler version is either some kind of milk with a banana blended in with a pinch of nutmeg or a banana with OJ and wheat germ. Yum! Now I have to go bake some chocolate chip banana bread. Can’t wait to taste it! :)

  31. Vicky says:

    Best Banana bread I’ve ever made or eaten. My ingredients varied a bit, french vanilla yogurt instead of sour cream and I added some wheat germ and nutmeg because I like those in banana bread. But I followed the basic recipe, and it was so delicious that I received a big hug from my hubby. Needless to say it was gone by the end of the day. :)

  32. Regina says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Personally I love bananas, they are one of my favorite fruits, but I don’t like over ripe bananas-too sweet, now I can do something with them besides eating them against my will :) I do have a question though, by Vanilla do you mean vanilla extract or actually vanilla bean? Thanks again.

  33. jenyu says:

    Regina – oh, in this recipe I mean extract.

  34. Lisa says:

    I am always gushing about your blog! This recipe is one of the reasons why! I keep meaning to write this one down but instead I get bits or flour and baking soda dusting my laptop while I whip this together!
    Thank you Jen! I am willing to ruin my computer if you are willing to keep your blog going!

  35. Barb says:

    This is the first Banana Bread I have ever made. I bake cupcakes all the time, and sell them as a small business and I am ALWAYS worried they will come out dry. Sour cream definitely works in keeping things moist. This is one of, if not THE best banana bread I have ever had, and I made it! I immediately cut this cake up in several pieces and distributed it amongst family members to “show it off”. Keep the great ideas and recipes coming!!!!

  36. Banana Bread (and Banana muffins) | In One Kitchen says:

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  37. Corinna says:

    I just tried this recipe and am so happy with it! I had to make a few changes because of lack of ingredients and the bread turned out great. The loaf of bread was so amazingly moist and flavorful and I used the remaining batter to make mini cupcakes. I love this recipe and am so happy you shared!

    Here are my changes: Instead of 1c sour cream, I used a mix of 1/3c each of sour cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Also, Instead of 1 1/3c sugar, I used 1/2c white and 1/2c brown sugar (I used less sugar since the condensed milk is pretty sweet).

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