This Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread is as beautiful as it tastes. Sweetened with bananas and a touch of maple syrup, a hint of nuttiness, and no gluten, it’ll be gone in no time.
Our team is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
Throwback to every time school or camp made me participate in color war. I never forgot the cheers the team captains made us stand on chairs to scream at the top of our lungs. For three days fashion flew out the window as we dressed from head-to-toe in one color. Our schedules filled with games and meetings, rather than the usual activities and classes.
Not a particularly competitive person, it was never my thing. I try to block out the memories, except this darned chant always creeps into my head when I make banana bread. Each time I play a little game of “would you rather” with myself.
Sara, which would you rather– keep color war buried in the cobwebbed corners of your mind? Or fill your kitchen with the scent of freshly baked Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread?
You can tell which one wins.
Funny story about this particular loaf. I bought bananas for the sake of over-ripening them because spotty skins are the banana bread jackpot. When I got back from the store, I learned that my 3 roommates each successively made banana bread the week before. There must be something in the air, something I seem to have caught.
Take heed, this year there’s an extremely virulent strain of ‘Nanner breaditis floating around. Indulging it is the only known cure.
I’m a big believer in the importance of chocolate in your life. Anytime, anywhere, it’s always welcome. While I considered doing a full-on chocolate-lover’s supreme treat, I was feeling more artistic. A couple of bowls, some eggs, and a swirl of the wrist later, my mouth was watering as I watched the clock impatiently. The numbers s l o w l y got lower and lower, until the oven finally beeped and I leaped off my chair to grab the oven mitts. (We won’t talk about how many times I was so excited that I forgot to use the mitts. Let’s just say lesson learned.)
All appendages remained unharmed in the making of this Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread. Many fantasies of healthy marbled cakes were fulfilled and several hungry stomachs were satisfied.
This loaf set a new record for lasting the shortest amount of time of anything I’ve made. Within 2 days only crumbs remained in the pan. I’m giving it a blue ribbon so that you know it’s a winner and calling it “bae-nana bread” from here on out.
Speaking of which, other wins of the week: It’s warm enough not to wear tights. I went to sleep before 11 PM one night. Two friends made this recipe and one sent it in the mail to share the banana bread love. I discovered a banana-ripening hack for when you have a hankering for these chocolatey swirls but the grocery store doesn’t have your back. Just put them in the oven at 350ºF for 15-30 minutes. They may look all black and gross, but they’re actually perfect for baking.
By now you should be in the final countdown before taking the pan out of the oven. I know it’s tough, but trust me when I say that you need to let it cool off. The top probably won’t stay in that domed shape as the steam evaporates. This also lets the bread firm up a bit more because baked goods continue to cook a little while they cool. That’s why it’s important to remove treats to a cooling rack (unless otherwise specified) so that you don’t end up with burnt bottoms.
Are you ready to cut thick slices of Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread? Look at all the melty chocolate chunks on top. The recipe says those are optional, but who are we kidding. Chocolate chunks are never truly optional.
P.S. The other recipe tester happens to have also caught the banana bread bug! She made this banana bread oatmeal over at The Savvy Plate, since you can’t really have too much ‘nanner bread.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram so that I can see your creations!
- 1¼ cups almond flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 overripe bananas, about 1½ cups mashed
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup, divided
- 1½ tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Optional: ⅓ cup chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 7x3 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, coconut oil, peanut butter, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well.
- Take 1 cup of the batter and put it back into the (now empty) bowl, then mix in the last tablespoon of maple syrup and the cocoa powder.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan in alternating layers of regular and chocolate, swirling with a knife. Top with chocolate chunks if desired. Bake for 55-60 minutes.*
- Allow to cool fully before covering tightly. Store at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for 5.