Marbled Banana Bread

I appreciate all the individual comments and questions you send me, especially when you tell me about your experiences with my recipes or how you changed some ingredients around and made them your own. I also appreciate when you ask for specific recipes like a recent follower did for banana bread. Like many of you I have bought beautiful bananas at the grocery store or farm stand and it seemed like they went from green to brown in only a few short days. While I know there are multiple factors that contribute to bananas ripening, I refuse to waste food and will turn those brown bananas into something delicious. One of my favorites is this marbled banana bread.

Banana bread on its own is delicious, but often its loaded with sugars or fats that I don’t recommend, especially for pregnant women. A few simple changes to the ingredients and you not only get a lighter version of the traditional recipe but a more moist, flavorful cake that slices perfectly and works well as a dessert, snack, or quick breakfast.

My recipe uses a ribbon of dark chocolate to balance out the sweetness of the cake and some buttermilk for texture. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? No problem- simply mx ½ cup of non-fat, 2% or whole milk with 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon juice (you can even use the kind of the bottle or the plastic lemon but fresh squeezed is always best).

This recipe is pure comfort food and you can control the thickness of the slices. It also stores well and can be toasted over low heat or on a grill for extra flavor. No need for butter or other spreads–it’s perfect just as it is!

Marbled Banana Bread

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (and 1 tablespoon for dusting or use a non-stick baking spray that contains flour)
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour (or spray) a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, cook the chopped chocolate at 10-15 second intervals on high, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the bananas and sugar and mash with a fork or a potato masher until smooth. Add the olive oil and eggs and stir to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture gradually to banana mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Add in buttermilk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  7. Stir half the cake batter into the melted chocolate. Spoon ½ the banana batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Add a thin layer of the chocolate batter. Repeat with remaining batters until finished.
  8. Drag a knife, skewer, or end of a spoon through the batter from end to end several times to create the marble effect.
  9. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until the bread is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool 10-15 minutes on a rack then flip the bread out carefully and allow to cool completely.

Featured photo by Klara Avsenik 

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