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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

My Mother's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

A banana bread that is really a cake.

Course Dessert
Keyword banana, banana bread, chocolate chip banana bread


  • 2 c. (260 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 c. (150 g) sugar (or increase to 1 c. / 200 g)
  • 1/2 c. (113 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large bananas (very ripe)
  • 1 c. (6 oz.) mini chocolate chips (use up to 2 cups/12 oz. if you're a chocoholic!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease a standard (8 inch by 4 inch) or larger loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  3. Peel and mash the bananas and set them aside.

  4. Sift the flour and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.

  5. Place the sour cream in a bowl, stir in the baking powder and baking soda, and set aside for about 5 minutes--the mixture will bubble up delightfully as the leavening agents react with the sour cream.

  6. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla, then the sour cream mixture. Add the mashed bananas and beat until well incorporated.

  7. Using a wooden spoon or rubber or silicone spatula, fold in the flour/salt mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; as you do, you can incorporate any lingering bits of flour.

  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out free of batter. If you are using an 8 by 4 inch pan, this may take up to 90 minutes. If you're using a larger pan, start checking the banana bread at 60 minutes.

  9. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes, then turn out onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

  • If you ever have overripe bananas, but don't feel like making banana bread at that moment, just chuck the bananas in the freezer! This recipe works just as well with bananas that have been frozen then defrosted.
  • Yogurt, buttermilk, or sour milk can be substituted for the sour cream, just make sure it's NOT nonfat.
  • If you want to make the banana bread ever so slightly healthier, you can reduce the butter while increasing the amount of sour cream/yogurt/buttermilk/sour milk. When I use 6 tbsp butter, I use at least 1/3 cup of sour cream. When I've gone down to a 1/4 cup of butter, I've used about 1/2 cup of sour cream. I wouldn't recommend reducing the butter to less than 1/4 cup.
  • If you don't have parchment paper, you can use a piece of a brown paper grocery bag to line the bottom of the pan. Indeed, when I was a kid, before every Safeway and CVS carried baking parchment, that's what my mother used.
  • Although my mother always sifted the flour and salt together (as called for by the original recipe), I'm often lazy and just whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl. I don't think the banana bread has suffered much.
  • The baked banana bread freezes beautifully. Just wrap the loaf well in aluminum foil, place in a sealed freezer bag, and then allow the package to defrost at room temperature when you're ready to eat it.