Classic Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips
A Timeless Recipe
This is my mom's recipe for banana bread, but it's no secret! It's from a bread book that was published the year my mother married my father, 1968. The bread book was a gift to my mother from her sister and has been lovingly illustrated by my sisters and me over the years (lots of scribbles!).
Growing up, my mom and I made this togetherand then when the internet showed up in my teens, we started trying other recipes. We always came back to this one, though. This recipe calls for walnuts, which my husband hates and I only mildly enjoy, so I make it without or sometimes I add mini chocolate chips, instead. I also substituted regular milk for buttermilk, as I had some left over from baking my chocolate buttermilk bread. I make banana bread about once a month, and this is the only recipe I use.
- 3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, semi-sweet
- 4–6 bananas, ripe and mashed
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl, mash bananas.
- In a third bowl (large), cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes).
- Add eggs to butter and sugar and beat thoroughly (approximately 2 minutes).
- Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk, starting with dry and ending with dry.
- Fold in bananas, ensuring all ingredients are well mixed. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into greased loaf pans and bake at 350° for 40 minutes–60 minutes. Smaller loaf pans take about 40 minutes while larger loaves take the full hour.
- Test with cake tester or toothpick to ensure bread is fully baked.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and let stand in frig overnight (don't slice until the following day).
Visual InstructionsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Tips for Baking a Great Banana Bread
- The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. There have been times that I have forgotten to put it in or simply didn't have a lemon to use and so far as I can tell, it came out the same. I can't say that I taste a difference. The lemon juice helps the bananas from oxidizing too much (turning too brown) and is said to balance out the sweetness of the bread. Again, I can't tell a difference. To stick to the original recipe, if I have the lemon juice, I tend to use it.
- Make sure your bananas are super ripe! The riper they are, the sweeter your bread will be. I have tried making banana bread with bananas that simply weren't ready yet and my impatience was not rewarded. The bread, although edible, didn't taste nearly as yummy. I buy the biggest bunch of bananas I can find when shopping. By the end of the week, in my small household, I'm left with a few who are on their way to looking pretty sorry. I can speed up the process by sticking them in the fridge, but this trick usually takes longer than 24 hours.
- When I say wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight, I mean it! Eating this banana bread the very same day will not be as delightful. It will be much drier and needs to rest and to its magic. Wrapping it well keeps all the moisture inside and is very important!
This banana bread hits the spot and reminds me of a time when I only "helped" to make it. Helping meant getting bored halfway through and going to watch cartoons, but it was still more "hands-on" than helping my dad, which usually entailed holding a flashlight!
This bread tastes great by itself or with some butter; I like it both ways. I love it all year long, but really love it from October-February as it's one of my comfort foods during the colder months.