When you can’t decide between the nourishing goodness of whole-wheat banana bread and the sweet decadence of chocolate banana bread, you don’t have to. You can have both! Try our healthy chocolate banana bread for breakfast, snack, or an after-dinner treat! It is moist, delicious, sweet and 100% whole grain!
Why We Love Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread
You don’t have to give up on your healthy eating goals just because you’re craving a little chocolate! If you love banana bread and are also a chocolate lover, then you must make this healthier chocolate banana bread recipe with wholesome ingredients.
- Rich and chocolatey (it’s made with both cocoa and chocolate chips!)
- Bananas make it moist and deliciously flavored
- Whole wheat flour for hearty whole grains
- Sweetened with maple syrup
More Healthy Classic Banana Bread Recipes To Try
Ingredients for Whole-Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread
- Whole Wheat Flour: Preferably white whole wheat flour. It has a mild taste and light color, but it still carries the same nutritional benefits as darker whole wheat flour.
- Dark Cocoa Powder: Sifted
- Bananas: Ripe or over-ripe, smashed. If you don’t have enough mashed bananas to make 1 1/2 cups, you can use additional ingredients to make up for it.
- Oil: Avocado or organic canola oil
- Maple Syrup: For a natural sweetener. It makes this recipe more wholesome than one with white sugar.
- Vanilla Extract
- Dark Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Kitchen Basics: Baking powder + baking soda, vanilla extract, salt.
How To Make Chocolate Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large glass loaf pan with cooking spray, or line it with parchment.
Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients
Whisk the banana, eggs, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
Step 4: Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients Together
Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture with a silicone spatula. Stir for 50 strokes.
Step 5: Add Chocolate Chips
Add in the chocolate chips and stir them to combine.
Note: Reserve some of the chips to add on top if desired.
Step 6: Add Batter to Pan
Scrape the banana bread batter into the prepared pan and top with the reserved chips, if desired.
Step 7: Bake
Bake until the loaf is domed, set up when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with moist crumbs attached. This should take 55 to 60 minutes.
Step 8: Cool
Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes. Turn it out to cool on a wire rack.
FAQs and Expert tips for chocolate banana bread
Is chocolate banana bread healthy?
While many chocolate banana breads are more like chocolate cake or dessert than a wholesome snack, this one is a little healthier than most with simple ingredients. It is made with whole grain flour, heart-healthy avocado oil instead of butter, and uses natural unrefined sweetener in the form of pure maple syrup instead of white sugar.
Can you make this gluten-free?
You can sub cup-for-cup gluten-free flour in place of whole wheat flour. If you prefer a grain-free option, try our paleo chocolate chip banana muffin recipe and add 2 tablespoons of Dutch process cocoa powder to the dry mix.
Can you bake this in a metal loaf pan?
Yes, you can use a metal loaf pan. Line it with parchment and coat lightly with cooking spray. If the pan is made of dark metal, the edges of the bread may brown more quickly so keep an eye on it. Test it for doneness about 5 minutes early.
Make Ahead Instructions
- Make Ahead: This lower-sugar quickbread is best when freshly baked and still a tiny bit warm from the oven. If you make it ahead, use our rewarming instructions.
- Leftovers + Storage: The chocolate bread can be kept at room temperature while wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to three days. This bread can also be frozen.
- Reheating: We suggest warming each individual slice in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds. You can also reheat the whole loaf in the oven, wrapped in foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. From frozen, for the best results and texture, warm the loaf up as directed in the oven before serving.
This healthy chocolate bread is delicious paired with a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite morning beverage. Here are a few more serving suggestions that’ll inspire you to create a menu fit for entertaining.
Tips For Freezing Banana Chocolate Bread
This bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. Wrap it in foil and then place it in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure to press out as much air as possible. When you’re ready to enjoy, unwrap it to prevent it from getting soggy and defrost the bread on the counter for 4 hours.
Wrap it again in plastic to store it at room temperature. For the best texture, warm the loaf up as directed in the oven before serving.
Substitutions and Variations
- Use melted coconut oil to give your easy chocolate banana bread a slight coconut flavor.
- Add 1 ½ teaspoons of espresso powder to the dry ingredients. The espresso will make the chocolate flavor even more rich for all you chocolate lovers.
- Add chopped toasted walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, or another nut to your batter for additional texture and healthy fats.
- Add three tablespoons of unsweetened flaked coconut to the batter for more flavor and texture.
- Replace some of the whole wheat flour with almond flour.
- Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the dry mix to give it a warmer flavor.
- Use chocolate chunks, or a blend of milk and white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate chips. Peanut butter chips would also be yummy!
- You need 1 ½ cup mashed bananas for the batter which is about what you’ll get from three large overripe bananas. If you mashed what you have and didn’t have quite enough that’s fine! You can make up the difference with a little unsweetened applesauce, almond milk, or leftover coffee.
To Bake As Chocolate Banana Muffins
Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray, or line it with muffin liners. Divide the batter among the wells and then bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed, a tester comes out clean and springs back lightly when pressed.
Additional Healthy Chocolate and Banana Recipes To Try
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~Katie
When you can’t decide between the nourishing goodness of whole-wheat banana bread and the sweet decadence of chocolate banana bread, you don’t have to. You can have both! Try our healthy chocolate banana bread for breakfast, snack, or a sweet after-dinner treat!
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, preferably white whole wheat *see ingredient note
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup mashed ripe or over-ripe bananas, about 3 large
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or organic canola oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large glass loaf pan with cooking spray or line with parchment.
- Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Whisk banana, eggs, oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture with a silicone spatula. Stir 50 strokes.
- Add in chocolate chips and stir to combine. (Reserve some of the chips to add on top if desired.)
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with the reserved chips, if desired.
- Bake until the loaf is domed, set up when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes.
- Let the banana bread cool in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes. Turn out to cool on a wire rack.
Make Ahead: Can be kept at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap up to three days. We suggest warming each slice in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds. You can also reheat the whole loaf in the oven, wrapped in foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. This bread can be frozen up to 1 month. Wrap in foil and then place in a plastic freezer bag. Make sure to press out as much air as possible. Unwrap to prevent it from getting soggy and defrost on the counter for 4 hours. Wrap again in plastic to store at room temperature. For the best texture, warm the loaf up as directed in the oven before serving.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Active Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins
- Category: Snack
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/9th loaf
- Calories: 329
- Fat: 17 g
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 6 g
Keywords: chocolate whole wheat banana bread, healthy chocolate banana bread, whole wheat chocolate banana bread recipe, chocolate banana bread recipe with whole wheat flour
About the Author
Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple Quirk Books was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.