Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

October 14, 2013

Every week, we’re unearthing Heirloom Recipes -- dishes that have made their way from one generation's kitchen to the next.

Today: Todd and Diane of the White on Rice Couple pass along a recipe for Todd's grandmother's top-rated banana bread. 

The biggest influence in my culinary life is my grandmother. When growing up, despite being 800 miles away and growing up on a ranch that rarely afforded us the opportunity to visit her, it was my grandmother’s cooking which inspired me as a young teenager to begin cooking on my own. 

Shop the Story

Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend much side-by-side time with Grandma in the kitchen. However, through the cookbooks I inherited from her, I’ve been able to explore and learn through her sources of inspiration. 

Grandma loved to make notes in her cookbook: scribbles with variations she liked, or ingredients that appealed or didn’t appeal to her. And of course, her ever-present “x” ratings: she would give recipes she tried a rating from one to four “x”s.


She had enough savvy to rarely choose a recipe which she rated a meager single “x," so when I came across a top rated “xxxx,” I knew it was a recipe I needed to try. I’ve yet to make one of Grandma’s “xxxx” rated recipes and not love it. And this banana bread recipe is based off of one of those four "x" ratings. 

The cookbook this came from is called Private Collection: Recipes from the Junior League Palo Alto. Based on the amount of scribbles and notes, Grandma loved this book. The original recipe was named “Kona Inn Banana Bread”. 

We’ve adapted it slightly to our own taste -- incorporating a bit of vanilla extract and including dark chocolate chips. One could always add nuts, or even use regular chocolate chips, but since Grandma loved to cook to the tastes of the family, I follow suit and always include dark chocolate chips for my mom -- even when she isn’t going to get a slice.  

Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

Yield: 2 Loaves

2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ripe bananas (3 cups when mashed)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 


Listen Now

On our new weekly podcast, two friends separated by the Atlantic take questions and compare notes on everything from charcuterie trends to scone etiquette.

Listen Now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Leah Hammond
    Leah Hammond
  • EatsMeetsWest
  • omgyummy
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • White On Rice Couple
    White On Rice Couple
Eaters, Drinkers, Photographers, Travelers and Garden Geeks. Sharing stories of food that connect us all.


Leah H. December 19, 2016
Does this recipe work with regular all purpose flour instead of cake flour?
EatsMeetsWest October 14, 2013
Banana bread is the first recipe I baked from the first dessert cookbook I bought. I loved the fact that you could take old bananas that no one in your family wanted to touch and turn them into something extra special that *everyone* wanted to touch. A few tips: if you don't have the time to make banana bread but want to 'save' the overripe bananas, you can freeze them - and then when you needed them, peel the blackened banana peels off with a knife and let the banana warm to room temperature, until it is soft enough to be mashed. Then proceed with the banana bread recipe. The texture and colour of the frozen banana won't make a difference since it's all going to be incorporated and baked. Anyways, I like to add milk chocolate chips and walnuts to my banana bread for a nice kick and crunch respectively. Thanks for the heirloom recipe!
omgyummy October 14, 2013
Banana chocolate chip loaf is the first recipe I remember cooking in middle school home ec class (yes I'm old enough to have gone to school when they still taught home economics). We still eat it to this day - it is a family standard that can be requested by merely pouting in a certain way, it's that well understood :-). I don't even spell it out anymore - it's bccl. This recipe is similar to the one I started with from the San Jose Mercury News a million years ago. Just double the quantity. Love the "x's" and the dark chocolate chips. Thanks for sharing.
Merrill S. October 14, 2013
This looks totally delicious -- I love chocolate chips in banana bread!
White O. October 14, 2013
thank you Merrill!