Black Cocoa Banana Bread

Unlike regular cocoa, black cocoa is void of any acidity, so it’s able to deliver a deep cocoa punch without overpowering the banana flavor. This indulgent black cocoa banana bread is brimming with chocolate chips and smooth chunks of mashed banana. You can find more bread recipes in our Bread 2020 special issue!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Black Cocoa Banana Bread
Makes 1 (81⁄2x41⁄2-inch) loaf
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 teaspoons (86 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons (207 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1⅓ cups (167 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (31 grams) black cocoa powder*
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • 1½ cups (341 grams) mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (95 grams) sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (85 grams) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Lightly spray a 8½x4½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, black cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add banana mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Fold in chocolate morsels. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
* Black cocoa is available online or in specialty food stores. We used King Arthur Flour Black Cocoa, but any brand will work.
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  1. I didn’t have a loaf pan so used a 8″ cake pan. and it was more like a cake. The top was not a layered with the turbinado sugar as it would’ve been in a loaf pan (more surface area in a cake pan) but it was very, very good. Fantastic recipe.

  2. This is the best banana bread, truly! Don’t sleep on the Back cocoa it is essential! My own twist is to add a thin peanut butter glaze, yummy!

  3. This is a fantastic twist on the classic banana bread! I made the recipe exactly as stated, but I would love to try the idea from Joe H to add a thin peanut butter glaze.


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