My family banana bread recipe is one of my easiest and simplest treats. This is a smaller batch version of chocolate chip banana bread. It will serve to make a one loaf banana bread with chocolate chips - after all, life is short, add more chocolate!
Banana bread is a staple recipe in my house. I pretty much never buy bananas without a few going a bit too far in the ripening process. My basic banana bread recipe makes three loaves, which I know may seem a bit off putting if you only have one or two bananas and no space in the freezer to store leftovers. To remedy this, I've created the following as a small batch version. A simple one-loaf banana bread, with chocolate. While technically the chocolate chips are optional, I'd definitely recommend giving it a try. Banana and chocolate is a great pairing! It will go down especially well if you have any chocoholics in the house!
Banana Mashing - the stages of ripeness
One of my friends and I always have quite heated arguments about the stage at which a banana should be eaten. I'm very much a ripe banana eater - if there is any green on it, I won't touch it. My friend, on the other hand, believes the firmer the better. If it isn't green, its too far gone for her. When we shared an office, it was actually handy since there wasn't a stage of a banana pack's office life cycle that we couldn't cover. She would eat some in the first days when they were too firm for me. I would eat a couple once they ripened. And then, once they'd been around for about a week and were well and truly spotty, I took them for baking.
For banana bread and most other baking, you will want a ripe banana. Ideally overripe - the step before composting. I like mine to be quite spotty, but I do prefer to avoid bruised fruit even in baking. Once they hit this stage, they are perfect for easy mashing with a fork.
In the below recipe, you'll want one large or two small bananas, mashed well with a fork.
Making My One Loaf Banana Bread
Banana bread is super easy to throw together in just a few easy steps:
- Preheat your oven and prep your loaf tin. I use a standard sized loaf tin (usually about 8½" long x 4½" wide x 2½" deep or a 1lb/450g capacity), buttered and dusted well with flour.
- Mix your dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda and spices) in a small bowl and set aside. This step is technically optional and I'll explain below a handy alternate way to make your bread that can make this a one bowl recipe.
- Cream together your butter and sugar until well combined.
- Add your egg and yolk to your butter and sugar mixture and beat to combine.
- Add your flour mixture and your mashed banana in alternating additions (starting and ending with your flour). Mix until just combined.
- Add in your chocolate chips and stir through to incorporate.
- Pour into your loaf tin.
- Optional Topping: slice a banana in half and place on top of the loaf (inside facing up) and sprinkle with a handful of spare chocolate chips.
- Bake in the centre of your preheated oven for about an hour. Depending on your oven, you may want to start checking about 45 minutes and remove from the oven once a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If it has molten chocolate on it, this is fine and not a sign of underdoneness. You just don't want wet batter.
One Bowl Banana Bread
Sometimes you might want to whip up banana bread without the hassle of extra bowls to wash up. One bowl banana bread is a quick amendment to this recipe that basically just involves a couple of tips and tricks for how you mix your ingredients together.
- Preheat your oven and prepare your loaf tin.
- In your large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar.
- Add your egg and yolk, beating to combine.
- Add half of your flour, all of your baking soda and spices. Mix well.
- Add in your mashed banana. To avoid any excess bowls, you can mash the banana with a fork on the side of the bowl as you add this to the mixture. Stir to incorporate.
- Add the rest of your flour - again stirring until just combined, but ensuring there are no patches of flour left unincorporated.
- Add in your chocolate chips, stirring through to evenly distribute.
- Pour into your loaf tin and add any optional topping.
- Place in the centre of the oven and bake as normal.
Ideas for Recipe Alternatives
This recipe can be made as is, leaving out the chocolate chips or replacing these for a variety of alternatives:
- Try nuts instead of, or alongside, chocolate chips. Swap out about half of the chocolate chips for chopped walnuts and you have a delicious banana walnut loaf with chocolate chips.
- Try different types of chocolate. I have a fondness for dark chocolate, so will always opt for dark or semi-sweet morsels. Depending on your chocolate preferences, you could easily make this recipe with milk chocolate, white chocolate or a mix.
- Try chopped chocolate for a chocolate chunk banana bread. If you want larger chunks of chocolate (or are out of chips), feel free to chop up any chocolate you have going spare. I have made this with chopped Easter chocolate before with much success.
FAQs for My Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Yes - absolutely! The below recipe can be doubled, though rather than double the egg yolks, I would recommend using two whole eggs for a batch of two loaves. If you're looking for a larger batch of banana bread, try my original recipe for a three loaf version (which can also be scaled).
Yes, the specific size of the baking tin is just a recommendation. I have made this in smaller and larger tins and as muffins. Due to the leavening agent, the recipe does rise quite a lot, so I would recommend not to fill any tin more than ¾ full. Using a different size will also require adjustments to your baking time - so watch your bread in the oven and check earlier than 45 minutes.
Absolutely! I have successfully frozen my loaves for several months and they keeps well. I'd recommend allowing to cool completely on the wire rack, then either bagging in sturdy sealable bags or wrapping tightly in a layer of cling film and then a layer of foil. Be sure to label with the date. Defrost before slicing and eating.
No, the chocolate chips are entirely optional (see above for some alternative options). The loaf will also bake fine without the chocolate if that is preferred.
This is a lightly spiced banana bread recipe. I would highly recommend giving it a try, even if you aren't a great fan of one of the spices, as these are very light touch and mainly just add warmth. If you have an aversion to one or all of them though (or find you don't have them in the cupboard), you can leave these out - it won't have any impact on the baking process of the loaf, only on the flavour.
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
- 1⅓ cup plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 small ripe bananas, mashed (or 1 large)
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- small banana and handful of chocolate chips for decoration (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (165C/150C Fan). Grease and flour a standard sized loaf pan.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well incorporated, light and airy. Add the egg and yolk, beating to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in alternating additions with the mashed banana. I would recommend adding a third of the flour mixture, mix to combine, then add half of the mashed banana, mix to combine, then repeat (ending with the last third of the flour mixture).
- Add your chocolate chips and stir to distribute throughout the batter.
- Pour your mixture into the prepared baking tin.
- (Optional): For decoration on your finished loaf, you can slice the last banana lengthwise in half, taking care not to break this apart too much. Lay this on top of your batter (cut side facing up) and press down lightly so that it is firmly set on the top of the bread batter. Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Start checking after about 45 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly in the pan for about 5 minutes and then carefully tip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.