This is seriously the banana bread to end ALL banana breads. It's everything banana bread should be. Impossibly moist and full of giant chunks of chocolate that melt into ooey gooey bits. It's hearty enough to withstand, and benefit by, a brief glide through the toaster. I call this super chocolate chunk banana bread. Feel free to add nuts, which I totally would have done, except for the fact my daughter would have literally picked out every.single.one of them. You can also add even more chocolate. Because more chocolate is always a good thing. BUT, if you have an aversion to chocolate you can omit it altogether and it will still be delicious. For an extra special sugary crackle, I finish it off with a generous sprinkling of demerara sugar.
Since this is the very first recipe I've posted on the blog, I thought I'd chat for a really quick second about how I like to approach a recipe. Any recipe. First, I read the WHOLE recipe and double check that I have ALL of the ingredients. One of the most frustrating things is to find a recipe that sounds amazing, only to find out, when you dig through your fridge and pantry, you're missing key ingredients. Sound familiar? I've been there, too!
When I know I have all the ingredients, the next step is to create a mis en place. Mis en place is a fancy term that means assembling, measuring and laying out all the ingredients BEFORE you start cooking. This makes baking and cooking much easier and faster because you're not having to stop all the time to measure your ingredients.
First, you want to beat your marscapone, butter and brown sugar until it's incredibly light and fluffy. The longer you beat, the more air you incorporate, and the lighter your bread will be.
I like to get the mixture beating in my stand mixer, and assemble the other ingredients while I'm waiting. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this with a hand mixer, too. Whichever method you choose, it will still take about 4-5 minutes.
Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Then give your bananas a really good mash. I like the fork method best. Don't worry about getting them completely smooth. The bananas will retain a bit of lumpiness which is just fine.
When the marscapone, butter and brown sugar is lovely and light and fluffy (it should take about 5 minutes), add the eggs one at a time. Be sure to incorporate the first egg before adding the second egg. Then you add the flour mixture all at once and beat just until the flour is combined. If you over beat you will create a dense and heavy bread. And that is never a good thing. It should be incorporated in just a few turns of the mixer.
Now you'll have a gorgeous light and fluffy batter just like this one. I did an extreme close up, to show you how amazing it will look.
After you take a taste, or two, of the batter, it's time to scoop it into a parchment lined loaf pan. I highly recommend you butter the loaf pan first. The easiest way is to melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a microwave safe bowl. Then use a silicon brush to brush the butter all over the pan. Next, line the pan with parchment paper.
It will look just like this.
Then it goes in the oven for about 1 hour. My oven tends to run on the extra hot side, so it baked in just a little over an hour. If you're not sure how your oven bakes, I recommend setting a timer for 45 minutes. Add more time in 5 minute increments until it's done. This will save you from over baking the bread.
Insert a toothpick in the center (because that's the part that will take the longest to bake) to check and see if it's done baking. The bread is done when a toothpick comes out clean with just a few crumbs. YAY!
It will look like this.
Oh, how I wish you could smell how heavenly the aroma is that will fill up your entire kitchen. It's one of the best smells. Someone should seriously make a candle in this scent. I would totally buy it.
If you bake this, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! And if you post a gorgeous photo of your finished banana bread on Instagram, don't forget to tag #amenuforyou so I can see it!
Speaking of Instagram, that's where I hang out when I'm not blogging. Follow along to see what's cooking in my kitchen, behind the scenes pics, tasty recipes and tips on how to make menu planning fun.
Happy Cooking, friends!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup mascarpone (you can also use plain whole-milk Greek yogurt or sour cream)
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
- 1 cup chocolate chunks
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Demerara sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat 8½x4½" loaf pan with a bit of melted butter. Then line with parchment paper making sure to leave a generous overhang on long sides. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat brown sugar, mascarpone, and butter on medium high until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend completely after each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed with a spatula.
Reduce mixer speed to low, add flour mixture all at once. Mix until just combined. Add the bananas and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate and/or walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; smooth the top.
Bake bread until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60–65 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, sprinkle bread with demerara sugar and let it cool in pan 1 hour.
Turn out bread and let cool completely before slicing. This will be hard. I made it a whole 10 minutes before I sliced into it.
Inspired by a recipe from Bon Appetit