Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread that is sweetened with bananas, maple syrup, gluten-free friendly and loaded with chocolate chips! A dairy free banana bread recipe made with simple ingredients.
So this healthy double chocolate banana bread is kind of amazing. One could argue this would be suitable for breakfast… or perhaps, a healthy dessert. Either way it’s best you add this to your baking list as soon as possible.
Once you have a recipe like a classic banana bread down and you’re familiar with substitutions, making variations is fun (and delicious).
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Made with simple pantry ingredients and fridge staples.
- This recipe uses whole grain flour and is sweetened with maple syrup for a lighter, healthier banana bread recipe.
- A quick bread with rich chocolate flavor and soft fudgy texture, perfect for chocolate lovers.
Ingredients Needed for Chocolate Banana Bread
- 1:1 gluten-free baking flour or whole wheat white flour – Make sure to use a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour that includes xantham gum, if you need this recipe to be gluten-free. You can also make this bread using whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or even half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat flour.
- unsweetened cocoa powder – This recipe was only tested using unsweetened cocoa powder and cacao powder. I do not recommend using dutch process here.
- baking soda & salt – the leavening agent and salt to balance flavor.
- bananas – for the best flavor, use overripe bananas, the ones with lots of spots (or those that you’ve let go black on the counter). This will give the bread the right amount of sweetness.
- maple syrup – We’re using pure maple syrup to help sweeten the bread. I do not recommend subbing entirely for granulated sugar or the wet-to-dry ratio of ingredients will be off.
- oil – You can use a mild oil here such as avocado oil or light olive oil. Coconut oil may also be used, just be sure your eggs are at room temperature to avoid the coconut oil solidifying as you mix the batter.
- vanilla extract – to bring out the sweetness in chocolate baked goods.
- eggs – You’ll need two large eggs for this quick bread recipe. Eggs help provide lift and structure. Keep reading for more notes on vegan subs with flax eggs.
- non-dairy milk – Milk helps to thin out the batter slightly. Feel free to use the milk of your choice such almond milk, cashew milk, or use soy milk or oat milk to keep this recipe nut-free.
- chocolate chips – Use dietary friendly chocolate chips as needed. I like dark chocolate chips and
How to Make this Quick Bread
With muffins and quick bread recipes using whole grains, it’s a good idea to mix together the dry and wet ingredients separately. This will ensure the ingredients are incorporated properly and the texture of the bread stays soft. There is a reason I write the directions in a certain way, so it’s best to stick to the steps as written. For the full recipe with ingredients, amounts and directions, keep scrolling to the recipe card below.
Gather all of your ingredients and read through the recipe first. Then as you get started, it will make working through the recipe much easier.
First mix the dry ingredients in a separate medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, begin to incorporate the wet ingredients by starting with the (very well) mashed banana, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and eggs.
Then slowly and gently stir in the flour until almost combined, and carefully add the milk to until the banana bread batter almost comes together. You can stop mixing when there are just bits of flour remaining, because everything will get fully mixed when you fold in the chocolate chips.
Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into a parchment paper lined loaf pan – a 9×5 metal loaf pan is recommended here for the best results (glass pans bake differently than metal pans and can cause a large difference in the baking time).
I like to top the batter with some extra mini chocolate chips and chocolate chunks for a super chocolate-y top.
Bake the chocolate banana bread for a total of 50-55 minutes, covering with foil at about 25 minutes, and checking with an inserted toothpick at 45 minutes.
How to Tell When Banana Bread is Done
Baking chocolate loafs or chocolate muffins can be a little tricky. I like to tent the loaf pan with foil at the halfway mark, then check the middle for doneness using an inserted toothpick. The bread will be done if the toothpick comes out almost clean – moist, crumbs are okay, but wet batter covering the toothpick means you need additional baking time.
Every oven is different, but if you feel your oven is off from baking other recipes, you might want to invest in an oven thermometer. I got this one and it seems to be pretty accurate!
Flour – This recipe was tested with both 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour and Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. You can also use half whole wheat, half all-purpose. All whole wheat white flour will also be fine, just slightly more dense in texture.
Sweetener – Maple syrup is the main sweetener here. You can also sub agave, honey and likely date syrup. I found I preferred the taste of this chocolate banana bread with an additional ¼ cup of granulated sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness (i.e. cane, Swerve or coconut sugar). But if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, the added chocolate chips may be enough. Making sure you use really spotty bananas (black even) will help with not needing any additional dry sweetener.
Bananas – I did not test this with applesauce (it’s banana bread, duh) but if you’re short on bananas, you should be able to make up the difference with applesauce, more oil, or yogurt. For example, if you only have 3/4 cup mashed bananas just add 1/2 cup applesauce. Or greek yogurt. If adding oil I think you’d only need 1/2 cup total (not in addition to what’s already called for). Banana bread recipes are often forgiving if you know how to substitute different wet ingredients into the mix.
Eggs – I did not test this recipe to be egg-free yet, but let me know if you try. You would use 2 tablespoons flax seed meal mixed with ⅓ cup water, let sit until it gels (about 5 minutes), then add in where the original recipe calls for eggs.
How to Make this Bread into Muffins
I love when a quick bread recipe easily converts into a muffin recipe. I went ahead and tested the banana bread using a muffin pan so you had accurate baking time and temperature.
This particular recipe will yield about 15 regular-sized muffins. Simply fill your muffin pan about 3/4 way full. Bake at 375ºF (a touch higher than what is used for the bread) for about 20-25 minutes.
Every oven is different so you could even check at 18 minutes. Use the toothpick method. If the inserted toothpick comes out with wet batter, add another 3-5 minutes. Mine took 23 minutes.
How to Store & Freeze
Banana bread is a great loaf to make ahead and freeze for later.
Store leftover banana bread in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for 5 days or in the fridge for one week.
To freeze, cool completely, then wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or right on the kitchen counter. You can also do the same freezing method with individual slices.
Best Banana Bread Recipes
- Carrot Cake Banana Bread
- Whole Wheat Banana Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Let me know if you try this healthy chocolate banana bread recipe by leaving a comment and review below the recipe! I love hearing from you and it helps others find the recipe too! XX AshleyPrint
Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread made with whole grain flour, gluten-free friendly, sweetened with bananas, maple syrup and chocolate chips. Dairy-free recipe and also makes about 15 muffins!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 9x5 loaf or 15 muffins 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour + 2 tablespoons* (see notes)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1.25 cups well mashed banana, equal to 3 medium extra ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional, see notes in post)
- 1/4 cup oil (melted and cooled coconut oil, avocado oil or light olive oil)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature if using coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (plus more for topping or add in chunks too)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 9×5 metal loaf pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl mix together dry ingredients; set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a large bow whisk mashed banana, maple syrup and oil until combined. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Combine: Begin to add about half of the dry ingredients to batter, gently stirring. Then pour in milk and rest of flour and stir until just combined, then fold in chocolate chips. Be careful not to over-mix, especially if using whole wheat flour.
- Bake: Pour batter in lined pan and add more chocolate chips/chunks for topping; bake for 45-55 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cover bread with foil at 30 minutes. Check bread at 45 minutes. Inserted toothpick should come out with no wet batter when done. My bread took 50 minutes, uncovering for the last 5 minutes.
- Cool: Allow bread to cool in pan on wire rack completely before slicing. Store bread at room temperature or fridge in covered container, about 3-5 days.
*If using whole wheat pastry flour, whole wheat white or half all-purpose and half whole wheat, use 1 1/4 cups flour.
To make muffins: fill muffin pan 3/4 full with batter – I got 15 muffins. Bake at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
To make egg-free / vegan: You can likely sub the eggs for flaxseed meal. Use 2 TBSP flaxseed meal + 1/3 cup water and sit for 4-5 minutes. I did not test this way but this method works for many of my quick bread and muffin recipes. Let me know if you try!
- Serving Size: 1/15th
- Calories: 120
- Sugar: 7
- Sodium: 178
- Fat: 5
- Saturated Fat: 1
- Unsaturated Fat: 4
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 18
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 2
- Cholesterol: 025