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Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread

Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread
Gluten free chocolate banana bread, with plenty of melted chocolate and cocoa, plus sour cream and of course plenty of bananas.

Gluten free chocolate banana bread, with plenty of melted chocolate and cocoa, plus sour cream and of course plenty of bananas.

An excess of ripened bananas is really never a problem. Every single week, I buy loads and loads of bananas, and I never have to throw them out.

I used to spy them out of the corner of my eye in the kitchen and invent ways to use them. Then, when I wanted to bake with bananas, I often didn’t have any. Whoever discovered that ripe bananas freeze beautifully is a genius. Full stop.

Just peel those ripe bananas, chop them into large chunks and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then, pile them into a zip top bag. If you don’t use them for smoothies or n’ice cream, well, you know where I’m going with this…

Gluten free chocolate banana bread, with plenty of melted chocolate and cocoa, plus sour cream and of course plenty of bananas.

Whenever I post a banana recipe, there are always a few who either can’t or won’t eat them. Sometimes, there’s a substitute (applesauce sometimes works). But this rich, moist and tender gluten free chocolate banana bread is not one of those times!

This quick bread is designed to be made with bananas, and bananas alone. The marriage of chocolate and bananas is just such a blessed union.

Gluten free chocolate banana bread, with plenty of melted chocolate and cocoa, plus sour cream and of course plenty of bananas.

To develop this recipe, I began with my recipe for one-bowl gluten free banana bread. Often, I can develop a chocolate version of something by replacing some of the butter with melted chocolate and finding a way to sneak in some cocoa powder.

Not this time! I tried a simple swap of ingredients like that, and it was a disaster. The recipe failed so badly that it simply wouldn’t bake all the way through without positively burning on the outside.

Gluten free chocolate banana bread, with plenty of melted chocolate and cocoa, plus sour cream and of course plenty of bananas.

This bread tastes richly of both chocolate and bananas, with neither taste overpowering the other. The crumb is moist and tender, and just sweet enough.

If you love chocolate and bananas, don’t just throw some chocolate chips in ‘regular’ banana bread. Go all the way with this recipe. Go big or go home!

Substitutions

With a hard-fought recipe such as this one, though, substitutions are hard for me to recommend in good conscience. But here are my best guesses:

• Since there is only one egg in the whole loaf, you can try a “chia egg,” and let us know how it goes.

• For dairy free, nondairy sour cream and butter-flavored shortening should work. But I can’t promise anything!

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, chopped

2 ripe bananas (200 g), mashed very well (from about 2 medium bananas)

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (85 g) sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, tossed with 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 ripe banana, chopped (about 1/4 cup), optional

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside. In a medium-size, heat-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and butter. In the microwave in 30-second bursts, or over a simmering pot of hot water, melt until smooth. Set aside to cool briefly.

  • In a large bowl, place the mashed bananas, granulated sugar, sour cream, vanilla and egg, and beat to combine well. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture, and beat again until well-combined. Add the cocoa powder, flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, beating to combine well. The batter will be very thick. Add the chocolate chips tossed with cornstarch, and the optional chopped banana, and mix until they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.

  • Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan, and press into an even layer in the pan. Again, the batter will be very thick. Smooth the top with a wet silicone spatula or wet hands.

  • Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate 180° and continue to bake until the loaf is firm to the touch on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about another 25 minutes. If you’ve added the chopped banana at the end, the baking time will likely need to be increased by about 5 or 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

Love,
Nicole

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  • oh my goodness, this looks insanely good :)

    Rachael xx.

  • Sherry

    Hi, could I use yogurt as a substitute for the sour cream? Thanks!

    • You could try plain, full fat Greek yogurt as a substitute, yes, Sherry.

  • Mare Masterson

    I am sitting here at my desk drooling right now!

  • Alene Wendrow

    I have a general question. I have made your recipe for g.f. banana bread and other gluten free things. Why do the cakes, etc. get so soggy on Day 2 or 3 +.
    I have tried freezing slices, and that is not always the best option. What do you do? Please don’t tell me you finish it the first day! Lol! And still look good! By the way, I live in Florida. We have good a.c., but could that be the answer? Soggy air, outside, but soggy cakes and breads inside? And I stick to your recipes. Thank you!

    • I’ve honestly never had that experience, I’m afraid, Alene. A humid climate will of course affect everything in it, but it isn’t something that is particular to gluten free baking. The only thing I can think of is that you’re enclosing them in a wrap or container when they’re still warm? The heat retained in the baked goods will create condensation and make them soggy. Hope that helps!

      • Alene Wendrow

        I always let things cool totally. I’ve tried tinfoil, plastic wrap, and cake containers. I’ve actually thrown out the leftovers as they are swimming in moisture. Cookies too! Day 1 divine; day 2, not so much, and day 3, forget about it!

        • Then I have to guess that it’s your flour blend, as that’s the biggest variable. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help, but it’s not something I have ever experienced, not even once. Or if you’re making other substitutions, like a vegan butter alternative, etc.

          • Alene Wendrow

            Better batter, just like you, and no substitutions, ever. Thanks Nicole. I just thought I’d ask and to see if anyone else experiences that.

  • Faith

    I just about choked when I saw this recipe. A couple of months ago, I added cocoa powder and chocolate chips to a banana bread recipe-just to experiment. I don’t know how much I added-just tossed some in. My husband thought it was fabulous and I said, I should ask Nicole to come up with an actual recipe for this. Ha! Here we are! Thanks! You’re just so awesome like that! :)

    • So funny, Faith! You and I are apparently very simpatico. :)

  • Mother of a reader

    I made this yesterday. Substituted the sour cream for unsweetened yoghurt as didnt have sour cream. Worked well but did take 50 mins to cook. Very moist and chocolatety but no strong banana flavour. Very nice and thanks so much for trying all these recipes out for us and sharing. Made black bean brownies and they are sooooo yummy ! Served as dessert with chocolate custard and cream. Very impressive.

    • The recipe as written anticipates that it will take about 55 minutes to bake: an initial 30 minutes, then about 25 minutes more. Glad your substitutions worked out!

  • Jennifer Filosa

    I used both the chia egg, soy sour cream, and I subbed 5 Tbs room temperature coconut oil for the unsalted butter (my 1-year-old is both dairy and egg free) and it was delicious. She loves it and I loved it (I’m GF). The bread was moist with a nice crust on top. I will be making this often! Thanks Nicole! – Jen F.

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