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…
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.
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.
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!
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!
Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread
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
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.