Dark Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread

by cakeduchess on November 28, 2011 · 45 comments


I know you may be expecting some pie recipes from me. I did send out on twitter a photo of what I baked for Thanksgiving, and there was a new pie in the mix. That pie will be appearing this week. Frankly, I’m sort of over pies for a moment. Ever since I took the last bite of Thanksgiving pie, I’ve had CHOCOLATE on my mind.

I bake a serious amount of banana breads every month. In my opinion, it’s the most logical thing to make with bananas going mushy. It’s the perfect breakfast and after school snack. I tend to buy an excessive amount of bananas just so I can make more banana breads. I usually throw in a handful of chocolate chips. 
I came across this recipe and I had to try it. Like, immediately! I did make it right before bed. The smell of chocolate and bananas baking was just perfect. I was dreaming of taking that first bite after I quickly shuffled the kids off to bed. They could get their piece in the morning for breakfast.
I took the bread out of the oven and noticed it shrunk in size. To be specific, in half. How could it be? I followed the recipe exactly as it was written. I make Isa’s other banana bread recipe every week. I compared the recipes trying to figure out where I went wrong. I thought maybe it was my baking soda gone bad. 
I didn’t give up. I waited about a week and tried the same recipe again. Before making the recipe, I scanned the web and found other food bloggers that had massive success with this banana bread recipe. I thought it maybe was just a fluke the first time when it wasn’t perfectly fluffy as I was hoping it would turn out. It wasn’t a fluke. May I present to you, “Marbled Banana Bread Fail, Part 2.” 
The one on the left (obviously) is the one that did not turn out right.


My mom came over that morning to do some baking with us for Thanksgiving. We talked about why a recipe sometimes does not go as planned. Fresh ingredients. Measuring accurately. Being sure to not over mix.  Not assuming you can make a recipe even if you’ve made a similar recipe before. 
I discussed it some more with Marisa (my next door neighbor)as I handed her over the back fence a chunk of the successful banana bread and the one that was not so good. She happily welcomed flat/unattractive banana bread and said her daughter loves breads that are mushy like that.
I asked Marisa at the fence, “How could it turn out terribly twice when I saw a few other bloggers make the exact same bread and theirs turned out perfectly like the photo.” We discussed the baking soda possibility (but I used the same baking soda in the successful banana bread). Maybe my bananas were too ripe. Eric (her husband)said maybe it is the altitude (funny, Eric!). Marisa shrugged and smiled, “Blame it on the Santa Ana winds.”


And so I blamed it on the Santa Ana Winds.  I had to let the first recipe go. The recipe just did not work for me.  I decided to take charge and make the banana bread work. I couldn’t give up. I used Isa’s other banana bread recipe that is incredible. I melted chocolate chips instead of using cocoa powder mixed with boiling water as it is in the other recipe. Moist, rich, decadent; this banana bread is delicious and I suggest doubling the recipe because one is simply not enough. 
Holy cow it is torture looking at these photos knowing there isn’t any left to eat at this very moment. Make this bread. Hurry!:) It is vegan (without regular milk, eggs, or butter), but you won’t miss those ingredients. If you want to use real milk, go ahead and do it. The oil and bananas make it super moist. If you want the link to the original recipe, here it is. If you make it and have a smashing success, go ahead, write me and brag about it! It is also absolutely gorgeous!
As for pumpkin love and the post I never got to writing, I decided instead to Pin my favorite pumpkin recipes on Pinterest as a board. If you have one you’d like me to Pin, send me the link.:)


Dark Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread

slightly adapted by: PPK, IsaChandra


3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer), mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 8×4 bread pan with non stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with margarine. Place chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth (or melt chocolate in double boiler on low heat stirring constantly).Cool slightly.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream together the oil and sugar. Add bananas, milk and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well.  Add 1 cup batter to chocolate, stirring until well combined. Spoon alternate 1/2 cupfuls of chocolate batter with plain batter into an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper coated with cooking spray. Don’t get caught up with precision. When batter is all in the pan, swirl the batter around gently with a butter knife. Don’t overswirl or you will take away the marbled pattern.

Bake for a 1/2 hour at 350 F. Lower heat to 325 for the remaining time (about another 30-45 minutes), or until a skewer inserted in middle comes out clean.

*I always lower my oven 1/2 way through baking b/c the bread gets too brown baked all the way through at 350 F. If you don’t have that issue with your oven, bake all the way at 350 F.

How was your Thanskgiving ? What was your favorite part of the day?

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips November 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm


WOW..this sounds and looks SO good. So good that I want some right now!

Why did I just start a diet??? :-(


Angie's Recipes November 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I just told myself not to indulge in so much baked stuff…and now I came to read your chocolate banana loaf..sighs…I guess I wouldn’t be able to stay away from the sweets before new year arrives…
The loaf looks gorgeous!


Kiri W. November 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Oh wow! That looks… I mean… WOW.
I can see the moistness, and dark chocolate goes so very well with bananas… mmmm!


Farmgirl Gourmet November 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Gorgeous!! What a beautiful bread. I have the same issues from time to time when I make banana bread. Not sure why it happens. Could be barometric pressure too. Who knows. Looks great though!!


The Mom Chef November 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I admit that I would have given up after the second try. I’m impressed that you pressed on and came up with something so amazing. It does look delicious.


Junia November 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

i am totally bookmarking this! i love how this banana bread is vegan and has no butter in it! and who can resist marble swirls in bread? beautiful!


Jennifurla November 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

omg, you are torturing me now!


Sandra November 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I love that you didn’t give up and how your bread look, and would love it right now instead of my cereals:)) Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Monday!


Carolyn November 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Wow, girl, that is dedication that you kept going when they didn’t turn out. I always have to take a break from the recipe and come back to it, sometimes months later. The final version looks delicious!


Priscilla - She's Cookin' November 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm

The final version looks gorgeous – I’m glad it finally turned out for you! I’ll tell my daughter to blame the Santa Ana winds for the vegan pumpkin pie she made for Thanksgiving that didn’t turn out.


Asmita November 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Wow, this cake looks so good. Looks like it’s a banana cake day! Just posted a recipe for old fashioned banana cake.
Your cake looks fabulous!


Lizzy November 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I’m glad your perseverance paid off…your banana bread looks amazing. I know my kids would love this (especially with the chocolate!) for breakfast! Hope you had a fabulous turkey day…can’t wait to see your pie :)


Dionne Baldwin November 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm

You did such an incredible job on this bread! I hope you don’t take it personally. I have seen you create some really incredible things and I know you are such a talented baker. It can be quite puzzling though for sure. Thank you for sharing this beautiful bread! I will be making this one for sure and I love having go-to vegan recipes!


Mari @ Mari's Cakes November 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

It looks amazingly DELICIOUS! I am sure we will ALL love it at home!

Have a great week.


Karen November 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I think I would’ve cut my losses, but your end result looks perfect! Good for you to keep trying. I could go for a huge slice of this right now! (I have made your other banana bread recipe so I may have to try this one too.)


Emily Malloy November 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Unbelievably delish!


Carol Egbert November 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Grey skies demand chocolate on the table. Yummy post.


Sandra November 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Just when I decided I was not going to bake anything this week, you tempted me.


Zoe November 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Chocolate and banana are always yummy for all bakes. This is great.


Monet November 29, 2011 at 12:16 am

I loved seeing my family…and sharing so many great eats! And how perfect that I’m baking a loaf of banana bread right now?!? I hope mine looks as tasty as yours does! Thank you for sharing, Lora!


Barbara | Creative Culinary November 29, 2011 at 1:02 am

I love banana and chocolate together; it’s like banana split bread, well minus the strawberries, ice cream and maraschino cherry. :)


Amalia November 29, 2011 at 1:32 am

This sounds fantastic, the chocolate and banana, yum! It looks so delicious, I love marble cakes even though I’ve never made one before…I definitely need to get on that!


Ilke November 29, 2011 at 1:51 am

Looks amazingly good, chocolate and banana are a good pair, I think even better than strawberry-chocolate!
Sometimes things happen. At least you have some winds to blame. I always blame the Southern humidity :)


Sanura // MyLifeRunsOnFood.com November 29, 2011 at 2:42 am

I’m swooning at this banana and chocolate bread idea. Quick question: When you add a teaspoon of vinegar to the almond milk, are you making a vegan-type of buttermilk? For example, if someone wanted to make vegan buttermilk pancakes, could they use the almond/nut milk and vinegar mix as a substitute?


Becky November 29, 2011 at 2:56 am

Lora-I had a similar failure with banana bread, and then I read in Cook’s magazine to flour the bread pan, after it is greased. I now do that every time I make quick bread, and haven’t had a shrunken loaf.

I also admire you your perseverance to finally get a beautiful loaf of bread!


Nancy November 29, 2011 at 4:18 am

I can see the that kitchen gremlins made a visit to your kitchen! Sometimes a recipe fails for no apparent reason and I always attribute it to the gremlins!! Good for you for persevering!


Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } November 29, 2011 at 4:23 am

OMG – this looks just simply divine! Just home from work and saw your post and I just wish that I had a slice right now. Hope your thanksgiving was wonderful!



Lo-mo November 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

I love the looks of this banana bread!! Dark chocolate and banana, together?? Divine! Too bad the first recipe didn’t turn out…I wonder why? So glad the other loaf turned out, looks fabulous Lora!


overtimecook.com November 29, 2011 at 5:38 am

This looks amazing! I love chocolate and banana combination!


Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook November 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

This looks delicious! I love banana bread, but I love chocolate more. Great combo. I’d love to learn why the first load didn’t turn out so great. Were the ingredients not at room temp, perhaps?


Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} November 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Those darn Santa Ana Winds! Lol!!! Great liaf though – I’m happy you stuck it out. I have had plenty of flops too.


Cake Duchess November 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi Chris-Every thing was room temp. Becky says maybe b/c I didn’t flour the pan?I didn’t flour this last one that did succeed so am still not sure. Could be the gremlins like Nancy said;)
Hi Sanura-Yes, that is exactly what it does:)I do that w/my waffles and they are just wonderful:)
Thank you for all the sweet comments:)xx


Shulie November 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm

This chocolate marbled banana cake looks perfect!! sometimes we hot a snag, I saw a recipe recently that an ingredient was listed but didn’t appear in instruction, so I admire your determination to get it right. :)


Lauren at Keep It Sweet November 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm

That looks moist and delicious! I wish I knew how to get sick of pie, cookies or any kind of baked good…


Julie at Burnt Carrots November 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I have such a difficult time baking too, which is why I like cooking better. If it doesn’t turn out well, you simply just add more butter or cream! I’m happy to hear it turned out well in the end!


Maria November 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Such a pretty and tasty loaf of bread!


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. November 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm

fabulous! My mouth is officially watering


Rachel November 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm

The good loaf turned out beautiful! I’ve always wanted to try this idea for hubs but he always makes a funny face at me when I suggest it lol. Maybe I’ll just do it and make him eat it haha


Rosita Vargas November 30, 2011 at 12:01 am

Una belleza exquisita,me encanta abrazos hugs,hugs.


Baking Serendipity November 30, 2011 at 3:17 am

I am so glad that you didn’t give up! This bread looks fantastic…I make banana bread often too with our mushy bananas, but haven’t added the chocolate…must try!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. November 30, 2011 at 4:19 am

Those darn Santa Ana winds!! Glad you were able to get it right! I love that you also added chocolate!


momdecuisine.net November 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I love chocolate and bananas. What a beautiful bread you have made!


Jamie December 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Too funny! That first loaf is sad indeed, but we’ve all had that result! The next batch looks scrumptious, indeed! Am I invited for coffee and cake?


kita December 12, 2011 at 3:01 am

I can’t even tell you how many times I have had a recipe flop – and you are miles ahead of me because I often don’t go back for a second try. I have had soda issues in the past with cookies. It was sooo sad. It also makes me super sad to know not only am I really late catching up on blog loving but there is a 100% chance of no leftovers to mail to me. I love banana bread and the second attempt looks divine.


Judit @WineDineDaily February 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I could use a slice or two from this delicilous chocolate banana bread.
Cheers :)


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