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Does anyone really need another recipe for banana bread? (There are 230 versions, and counting, on this site alone.) Make room in the recipe box, because you need this one: banana bread made with dark chocolate in two forms, sea salt, olive oil, and tangy sour cream. It’s a pretty great thing, especially when baked in a skillet and sliced like a cake. And it’s the most delicious way I’ve found to use the endless supply of bananas on my kitchen counter.
I started putting olive oil in my banana bread several years ago, after making Melissa Clark's Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread by way of Heidi Swanson. I liked it so much that I created this cranberry-pecan version. But every time I made it, my kids would ask for chocolate chips in place of the cranberries. At some point, I relented. They came by their love for chocolate honestly. And, I figured, while I’m at it, why not add cocoa powder to make it more chocolaty, and flaky sea salt to keep the sweetness in check? So that’s how this skillet bread came to be. I haven’t looked back.
This concoction is most charming when baked in a skillet, but a loaf pan works nicely, too. The recipe is flexible: substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, use a combination of all-purpose and whole-grain flours, and add walnuts or almonds in place of the pecans (or omit the nuts entirely). If you don’t have cocoa powder in your pantry, replace it with an equal amount of flour. If you don’t have a chocolate bar to break into shards or a bag of chocolate chips, it’ll be good with just the cocoa. If you don’t have any chocolate whatsoever, then get yourself to the grocery store!
And when you’re at the grocery store, and every time after that, grab the biggest bunch of bananas you see with confidence. With this foolproof recipe in your back pocket, you know they’ll never go to waste.
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (43g) unsweetened cocoa (regular or Dutch-process)
- 3/4 cup (140g) dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups (350g) ultra ripe bananas (from about 3 large bananas), mashed with a fork into a smooth puree
- 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (full fat is best)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (113g) coarsely chopped dark chocolate (equals a 4-ounce bar), or an equal amount of dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (65g) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
How do you like to use up bananas? Let us know in the comments!