Dark Chocolate-Olive Oil Skillet Banana Bread

January 7, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: You may be asking yourself, do I really need another recipe for banana bread? The answer to that question is yes, yes you do, because dark chocolate (in two forms), olive oil, tangy sour cream, and banana are pretty great together. If you don’t have a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, the batter bakes up nicely in a loaf pan.

Featured In: Banana Bread Meets Olive Oil Cake (And Chocolate, Too)

Serves: at least 8


  • 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)
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously butter or grease with olive oil a 10-inch enameled or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, or a 9x5-inch loaf pan. (If your skillet isn't well-seasoned, you can line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and pecans (if using), again just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet.
  4. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 28 to 35 minutes (start checking at about 22 minutes for doneness). Let cool in skillet for about 20 to 30 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature, straight from the pan. (If using a loaf pan, the baking time will be closer to 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the loaf pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert it onto a cooling rack.)

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Banana Bread|Fruit|Pecan|Sour Cream|Olive Oil|Dark Chocolate|Serves a Crowd|Make Ahead|Cast Iron|Father's Day|Mother's Day

Reviews (84) Questions (2)

84 Reviews

Marie-Claude S. January 16, 2019
This recipe looks amazing! Any idea what I could replace the sour cream/yogurt with? One of my guests is allergic to dairy products. Thank you!
Natalie G. January 17, 2019
Maybe you could use a nut yogurt plus a 1/2 tsp of baking soda, Or a vegan sour cream.
Marie-Claude S. January 18, 2019
Thank you Nathalie!
Barbara January 5, 2019
Wow, what a delicious cake! So moist and tender! Made it exactly according to directions. Next time (and there will be a next time very soon!) I’ll add 1-2 tsp of granulated espresso granules to intensify chocolate flavor. Turned out perfectly in my 10 in cast iron pan. A sure winner!
Author Comment
EmilyC January 6, 2019
So happy you liked this, Barbara!! Love the espresso idea—yum! Thanks for trying and circling back!
bobbie J. December 30, 2018
So easy to throw together! Used frozen bananas and pureed them in the food processor - worked great! Another Food52 winner!
Author Comment
EmilyC December 31, 2018
Bonnie—so glad you tried and liked this—thank you for the note. Love your tip on using frozen bananas!!
Dianne November 3, 2018
Wow- this is so good! I have never, until now, found a really good chocolate banana bread recipe. It’s delicious and easy to make. I didn’t have yogurt or sour cream so instead I used powdered buttermilk that I had in my pantry with 1/4 c of water. [I wonder if I could convert this to regular banana bread by replacing the cocoa with flour? Altho don’t know why I’d ever not want chocolate :) ] So perfect - thank you!
Author Comment
EmilyC November 7, 2018
Yay, so happy to hear this! Thanks Dianne for your note!!
Jayde M. October 10, 2018
I had bananas I needed to get rid of - I NEVER bake, because it's dangerous - I just made this but left out the dark chocolate & pecans. My God this was INSANE. I don't have a skillet so popped it into my loaf tin. 15 minutes after it had come out the oven, my (3) kids & boyfriend totally smashed the whole thing. No cream on the side, just like that haha! It was so amazing, I'll definitely bake this again.... Not any time soon otherwise I'll need to spend double sessions in the gym LOL!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 10, 2018
Haha, so glad this was a hit! : ) Thanks Jayde for the note!
Suffused May 10, 2018
Major hit. So moist it is great days later. Banana flavor ripens with a day's rest. I topped with cardamon whipped cream. Yum
Author Comment
EmilyC May 20, 2018
The cardamom whipped cream is a lovely touch...will have to try that!
Danielle W. March 16, 2018
I made the cake with 1 c. almond flour and 1/2 c. buckwheat flour and used a 12-inch cast iron skillet. The taste was great but, oddly, it was both moist and crumbly! I am guessing the buckwheat flour may be the reason for the latter and may try another flour next time. It was very good, however, and I would definitely make it again.<br />
Diane March 16, 2018
Easy Peasy and absolutely delicious....thanks for sharing. Made it in the loaf tin today but will try the skillet next time....and there will definitely be a whole lot of next times!<br /><br />
Author Comment
EmilyC March 16, 2018
Hooray to a whole lot of next times! : )
Jordan March 9, 2018
The batter is great as cupcakes too! Some of the most delicious and moist cupcakes I've come across. I didn't change the recipe at all, just checked the doneness with a toothpick about 5 earlier than the suggested baking time. Top with a rich chocolate buttercream frosting and you've got Triple Chocolate Banana Cupcakes!
Alice April 23, 2018
Sweet! I was just wondering about cupcakes and frosting versions, thanks for sharing your review.<br />Was also wondering if a banana cream frosting exists...
Lesley March 9, 2018
Can I freeze leftovers?
Tomoose February 25, 2018
Allergic to bananas. Would it be OK to substitute apple sauce for the bananas?
Author Comment
EmilyC February 27, 2018
Hi -- I really have no idea if the swap will work, but I feel like it's worth trying. Please report back if you give it a go.
Ingridvs March 8, 2018
What about pumpkin purée?
Author Comment
EmilyC March 9, 2018
Go for it! The flavor will be different, of course, but it could work well!
Alyena November 3, 2018
I tried using canned organic pumpkin from TJ's and it came out with more of a cake-like texture and it needed a little more sugar. This pumpkin from TJ's tends to be of a thinner consistency than the Libbey's. Should I add more flour? I want to try it again but want more of a quick-bread texture than that of a cake.
Elena February 18, 2018
Made this recipe yesterday in a cast iron skillet, delicious! Never liked chocolate banana bread till now. Perfect balance of banana and chocolate flavor. Not only is it yummy, it’s easy to make. Might play with spices next time, maybe some cardamom, etc. Thank you for posting this recipe.
Author Comment
EmilyC February 27, 2018
So glad you liked it, Elena! Thanks for your note.
Donna H. March 29, 2018
Cardamom? That's a great idea!
Ashley M. February 11, 2018
Made this morning and it is AMAZING. I didn't know I needed another chocolate banana bread but I do! Love how it uses 1.5 cups of bananas! Really has a banana flavor. And because you bake it in a skillet it comes out a little thinner than a traditional banana bread in a loaf pan. And cooks in about 1/2 the time. Definite "keeper" recipe!
Author Comment
EmilyC February 11, 2018
Wonderful to hear--thanks Ashley! I think the halved baking time is one of my favorite things about this bread...quicker to bake, quicker to eat! : )
Katie F. February 10, 2018
I made an account to comment how delicious this recipe is! I did make some adjustments based on pantry needs. I made 12 large muffins instead (34 mins in the oven), used a mix of semisweet and milk chocolate, and used chopped figs instead of nuts. Because of the increase in sweetness, I lowered the brown sugar to 1/2 cup from 3/4. They are so incredibly moist, complex, and just sweet enough. Happy baking!
Author Comment
EmilyC February 11, 2018
How sweet of you to create an account to comment here--thank you!! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
McWoods February 4, 2018
Made this today using my cast iron skillet (10 inch) passed down from grandma. I used sliced almonds due to a teen with a nut allergy. Fantastic result!! Such a deep chocolate flavor. First time baking with olive oil. While still warm it's like a dense cake. Upon cooling seemed more bread like. Thanks for the great recipe. Love Food52!!
Author Comment
EmilyC February 5, 2018
Wonderful, so glad you tried and liked it!
Charles January 29, 2018
Can this be scaled up for a 12" cast iron skillet? Thanks!
Author Comment
EmilyC January 30, 2018
Hi Charles -- at least one person said that a 12" skillet worked just fine for the recipe as written (bake time will be less, however, since it'll be a slightly thinner bread).
Amy January 28, 2018
This recipe is a winner for so many reasons. No electrics needed, easy, and DELICIOUS. I made it with my 8 year old son for a brunch this morning, and it was the hit of the party. Also gives me a whole new use for my cast iron pan, and serving it that way is so much more romantic. EXCELLENT.
Author Comment
EmilyC January 30, 2018
So happy to hear this! Thanks Amy!
claudia January 28, 2018
Really loved this recipe because it wasn't overly sweet. Just right amount of savory with olive oil to the sweet of the banana. Thank you for the inspiration!
Author Comment
EmilyC January 30, 2018
Thank you for trying it--so glad you liked it!
Ditas S. January 25, 2018
I used frozen bananas because I have tons of them in the freezer and it came out pretty good, moist and delicious. Thank you for an awesome recipe!!!💕
Author Comment
EmilyC January 26, 2018
So glad you liked it! Thanks for the note!
Natalie G. January 23, 2018
I just got this really lovely nutty olive oil so i was really excited to try this recipe. I added a four banana and substituted mascarpone for yougurt or sour cream (since i had some), for brown sugar (bc im out and not going to the store til tomorrow) white granulated and a couple teaspoons of molasses, added freshly grated cinnamon, and last minute drizzed in a little leftover pecan maple syrup. Used what was left in my kitchen for chocolate: a bit of a leftover <br />Bar of "wicked dark with puffed quinoa" from taza and about a handful of Ghirardelli semi-sweet. In the cast iorn skillet with olive oil And after i put it in the oven i realized i totally forgot the olive oil in the wet ingredients. But it came out fluffy and moist and beautiful. So then I topped it with 8 oz mascarpone, pinch of salt, 8 oz heavy cream, 1/3 c. powdered sugar and 1 tlbsp vanilla whipped til peaks formed YUM! Thank you for the inspiration!
Natalie G. January 23, 2018
Oh i also folded in a handful of chia seeds with the chocolate.
Author Comment
EmilyC January 26, 2018
Nice improvisation! : ) So glad it turned out well!