Treat yourself to a healthier dessert or snack with this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread. Scroll down the post for step-by-step illustrated instructions and answers to your most common questions.
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This recipe post was originally published on July 13, 2019. It was updated with new recipe FAQ's on August 13, 2020 and with new photos on August 24, 2020.
Banana bread just got an upgrade. With peanut butter and chocolate ribbons and chocolate chips on top, this Marbled Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread is a new way to enjoy a classic treat. It's also lower in sugar and fat than most classic banana bread recipes.
A few weeks ago, this Marbled Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread was exactly what I needed to recover from a busy week.
After a busy few days in the salon and a handful of interviews for a business networking group, on top of blog posting, my training schedule, and taking care of the dogs, I was spent.
The uncertainty of how I am going to continue growing the blog and the hair studio was wearing me down more than usual, so I decided I needed to disconnect and unwind for a day. To reconnect with myself so I would know that everything would be okay, regardless of what happens.
So, after leaving at 6 AM for a 10-mile hike in a more remote area of Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoying a relaxing brunch at Bird & Jim in Estes Park, and making a surprisingly pleasurable drive home through a rainstorm, I decided that baking (and a mini "The Office" marathon!) would wrap up my day.
There's something about the predictability of baking -- maybe even more so than the result it creates -- that is therapeutic when the rest of life is uncertain. Something about the A+B+C=D that helps my mind relax and know, that even if just for a few hours, life will have some certainty to it.
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This Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread is...
- Peanut buttery
- Lower in sugar
- Lower in less healthy fats (that is, butter and oils)
- Full of whole grains
- Easy to freeze
- A healthier banana bread option
- A great gift
- Perfect for breakfast
- Tasty as a snack
- A Delicious Dessert
Whether you make it for yourself, a friend, or your new neighbor, this bread is sure to please because it's lower in sugar and butter than your average marbled banana bread recipes, but is just as big on flavor.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread ingredients:
- Unsalted butter
- Peanut butter - I used natural peanut butter for this recipe, but you can also use regular peanut butter
- Dark brown sugar - we need just a touch
- Granulated sugar - and we need even just a bit less of this
- Large eggs
- Pure vanilla extract
- Overripe bananas - the more brown spots the better, but totally brown and borderline rotten bananas are too ripe for this recipe
- White whole wheat flour - we're going to sneak some whole grains into this recipe! They add a great texture and nuttiness to the bread, too
- Baking soda + baking powder
- Cocoa powder
- Semisweet chocolate chips
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How do we make this recipe healthier, but still taste great?
- Use a higher proportion of healthy fats - peanut butter, conveniently, adds great flavor from healthy unsaturated fats
- Use whole wheat flour - this flour adds whole grains and fiber to the bread
- Rely on natural sweeteners (bananas) to replace some of the processed sugars - overripe bananas are naturally sweet and add moisture and sweetness to the bread. Because we are using 3 bananas we only need to use 3/4 cup sugar in this loaf of bread (compared to 1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups sugar used in most banana bread recipes!)
How to Make This Marbled Banana Bread:
Below are the steps to make this banana bread. For the detailed directions and specific measurements, please see the recipe pin at the bottom of this post.
- Preheat the oven and spray a loaf pan with non-stick baking spray.
- Cream together the peanut butter, butter, and sugars.
- Blend in 2 eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add 3 bananas to the bowl and blend them in.
- Combine the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and slowly add into the creamed butter mixture.
- Scoop out half of the batter into a medium-size bowl. Leave the rest of the batter in the original mixing bowl.
- Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave.
- Mix the melted chocolate and cocoa powder into one of the bowls of batter.
- Layer the two batters into the loaf pan, alternating 3/4 cup scoops of batter into the pan.
- Gently tap the pan on the counter. Run a knife through the batter lengthwise, snaking it back and forth.
- Sprinkle the bread with remaining chocolate chips and bake!
Tips for making the best peanut butter banana bread:
- Use overripe bananas -we don't want bananas that are so ripe they're rotten, but we want a good amount of brown spots on our bananas
- Let your butter and eggs come to room temperature - the batter mixes together the best when everything is the same temperature
- Melt your chocolate slowly - if you melt your chocolate too quickly, it will scald. I melt mine at low heat in the microwave and stir it frequently (see my tips on this below).
- Measure your flour accurately -- weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure your flour. Thankfully, you can find a great food scale on Amazon for less than $10! If you don't have a food scale at the time of first reading or making this recipe, spoon the flour into your measuring cup (instead of scooping the cup into the flour)
How do you bring an egg to room temperature quickly?
A quick and easy way to bring an egg to room temperature is to place it in a cup of room temperature (not warm or hot!) water for 5-10 minutes.
How do you melt chocolate without burning it?
You can melt chocolate without burning it by melting it on a lower heat. I melt mine in the microwave on lower heat on 30-45 second intervals, stirring between every interval, or until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
How long does chocolate peanut butter banana bread last?
This banana bread should last in an airtight container like a gallon Ziploc bag for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze this banana bread?
You can freeze this bread for up to 2 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight and freezer-safe container.
If you want to be able to defrost the bread piece by piece, you can slice the bread before freezing it. Otherwise, you can freeze the whole loaf.
Can you make this banana bread gluten-free?
I haven't personally made this banana bread gluten-free yet, so proceed with caution, but this bread recipe should work just fine with the same amount of 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
My favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free flour is from Bob's Red Mill. It has great texture and flavor!
Can you double or triple this recipe?
You certainly can double or triple this recipe. Just multiply all the ingredients by the desired amount and follow the directions as listed, spreading the batter into the number of baking pans that you multiplied the recipe by.
One thing to note: if you're multiplying by 3 or more, double-check the size of your mixing bowls to make sure they can accommodate the according amount of ingredients 🙂
What tools you will need to make this healthy banana bread:
- A stand mixer or hand mixer
- Small mixing bowl
- Large mixing bowl (if using a hand mixer)
- Measuring spoons
- 2 rubber scrapers
- A butter knife
- Loaf-sized baking pan
- A food scale (optional, but highly encouraged)
Other healthy dessert and baking recipes you might like:
- No Yeast Dinner Rolls
- Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
- 3 Ingredient Healthy Yogurt Popsicles
- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Protein Breakfast Cookies
- Coconut Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Classic Coffee Cake (Two Ways!)
- Healthy No-Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Bars
- Whole Wheat Naan Bread
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This tender Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread bakes up for a great snack, dessert, or breakfast while being lower in sugar and full of whole grains. For an illustration of the steps, refer to the blog post.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (preferably at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large (or 2 cups) overripe bananas
- 2 1/4 cup (or 270 g) white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, DIVIDED
- Preheat oven to 350 (365 degrees if at high altitude) degrees and spray your 8 x 4-inch loan pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cream the peanut butter, butter, and sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl (if using a hand mixer). Blend until the mixer is a creamy, yet still pretty thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add 2 eggs and vanilla to the creamed mixture and mix on medium-low until the eggs are mixed in, about 30-45 seconds, scraping down the sides with a rubber scraper halfway through. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through mixing.
- Add the three bananas to the bowl (there's no need to mash them ahead of time). Run the stand mixer on low to medium-low to start and blend in the bananas until they are no longer in chunks, or about 1- 1.5 minutes. You can increase the speed as the bananas break down.
- Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, & baking powder in a small mixing bowl and whisk together lightly with a fork. Add the flour mixture to the creamed banana mixture and mix in on low until there are no streaks of flour left, but no further (this will keep the bread tender). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Scoop half of the batter into the small bowl you used for the flour. Add the cocoa powder and stir the flour in with a rubber scraper, or until it's all absorbed and evenly distributed.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips on 20-30% heat for 1.5-2 minutes, mixing the chips every 30 seconds, or until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir the chocolate into the cocoa powder batter.
- Layer in the two batters by the 3/4 cup fulls, alternating them and spreading them in unevenly.
- Gently tap the pan on the counter once or twice to settle the batter in the pan and then run a butter knife through the batter, snaking it from one end of the pan to the other about 4-5 times.
- Sprinkle the batter with the remaining chocolate chips and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out without any streaks of batter on it.
1. This bread will keep in an airtight Ziploc bag for 3-5 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer. Just use a freezer safe bag and slice the bread before freezing.
2. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour for the most accurate results. They're super affordable on Amazon and 100% worth it. It's totally changed my baking game. Otherwise, make sure to scoop the flour into measuring cups, instead of scooping the measuring cup directly into the flour when measuring.
Serving Size1 slice (1/14 of loaf)
Amount Per Serving Calories 260Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 9mgSodium 210mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 4gSugar 19gProtein 5g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.