When my kids were young, I was making banana muffins studded with chocolate chips every week. My son and daughter loved these moist muffins, and my son in particular, loved them so much that I always had to hide half the batch or they would be gone the same day I made them. My daughter is now making them for her kids, and my sixteen-year-old grandson devours them just as quickly as my son did. My kids are now grown and have their own families, but every so often I have a craving for something sweet baked with bananas. Now that I am baking for myself, I prefer banana bread to muffins, and I use chopped dark chocolate or even bittersweet chocolate in place of the chocolate chips.
When baking quick breads, I prefer my loaves to have an attractive domed top rather than a flat top, so despite what the recipe calls for, I almost always bake my bread in 8 x 4-inch pans rather than a 9 x 5-inch ones. These loaves are very moist and full of banana flavor and delicious with my morning cup of cappuccino. If you prefer, feel free to use chocolate chips in place of the chopped chocolate, and although I love to add a little cinnamon to my banana bread, that is an optional ingredient. To create an attractive appearance, save one banana, slice it in half lengthwise, and lay it across the batter before baking. The banana will caramelize and brown and add extra flavor to each bite. This recipe makes two loaves, and I have had great results with freezing one loaf for later.
Deborah Mele 2017
- 3 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Cup White Sugar
- 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon (optional)
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Large Eggs
- 3 Cups Mashed Bananas (About 5 to 6 Medium)
- 1 Cup Melted Butter, Cooled
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chunks (or Chips)
- 1 Banana
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. and spray two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans with baking spray.
- In one bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, whisk together the butter, bananas, and vanilla.
- Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well between each.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones, and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chunks.
- Divide the batter equally into the prepared loaf pans.
- Peel the remaining banana and cut in half lengthwise.
- Lay the banana halves cut side up on each loaf and then bake for about 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool ten minutes, remove from the pans and continue to cool on a wire rack.