Marbled Banana Bread Recipe

It's moist; it's chocolaty; it's the absolute perfect banana bread. And it looks cool, to boot.
Marbled Banana Bread Recipe

Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


3 large very ripe bananas
½ cup|115 grams unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup|145 grams light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table or fine sea salt
1 cup|130 grams plus ¼ cup|35 grams all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup|20 grams dark cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
¾ cup|130 grams chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick baking spray. Melt butter in the bottom of a large bowl in the microwave. Mash the bananas right into it until mostly smooth.
  2. Whisk in brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt until thoroughly combined. Add 1 cup of the flour, stirring just until it disappears.
  3. Pour half the batter into a second bowl. (You can eyeball it, it's fine. Or you can know that my batter halves were roughly 12.9 ounces|365 grams each, but weights will vary with banana sizes.) Into one bowl stir the remaining ¼ cup of flour and ground cinnamon. Into the other bowl, stir in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
  4. Dollop batters in large alternating spoonfuls into bottom of prepared loaf pan. Attempt to "checkerboard" the rest in, roughly meaning that you'll drop a chocolate batter on a chocolate-free one and vice versa until both batters are used up. Use a butter knife or small offset spatula to make a few figure 8's through the batters, marbling them together- but just a little, say, 2-3 figure-8s. Any more and the swirls may not look distinct when you cut the cake.
  5. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake and comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. Do ahead: The banana bread will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature. I keep mine wrapped in foil.

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