Do you know that February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day?
Besides peanut butter, there is quite nothing that pairs with chocolate better than caramel. Sticky sweet caramel and luscious chocolate join forces in this incredibly moist, sweet, dense loaf. I created this bread for the sole purpose of using my near-death bananas.
When it comes to the bananas used in banana bread, I like to say the browner the better. Almost too brown/black to eat. Bananas that make you step back and question, “are these really ok to eat?” The answer is: yes, they are. Mushy and thick and practically rotten bananas are the secret to an unbeatable moist, dense, and sweet banana bread.
A good banana bread recipe is priceless, but you’ve come to the right place.
I typically use the same base recipe for my banana breads. The result is always a true banana bread taste, with an incredible soft, “oh-my-god-it’s-melting-in-my-mouth” texture. And today we’ve got a river of caramel flowing through it and studs of melty chocolate chips.
Making your new favorite banana bread is SO simple. I mean, you’re going to think you did something wrong by the time you pop it into the oven. But no, you didn’t. Simple, straight forward, and approachable recipes are the bread (no pun intended!) and butter of my website.
The batter only takes 5 minutes to throw together. To start, you’ll need flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Always cinnamon. I can never get enough of it. The flour I use is white-whole-wheat. All-purpose flour may be substituted, but the white-whole-wheat makes me feel healthy eating this.
For the wet ingredients: only 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 stick of butter, eggs, 3 mashed very ripe bananas, yogurt, and vanilla extract. I love how this recipe does not call for an obscene amount of sugar and butter. The super ripe bananas provide natural sweetness and the presence of yogurt replaces the need for more butter. I used 0% vanilla Chobani as the yogurt, but any plain or vanilla yogurt will do here.
Bonus: I’m hosting a Chobani giveaway right now!
Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. I never use an electric mixer to mix the two together. Always a whisk or rubber spatula. While you’ll need a mixer to cream the butter, put that darn thing away in the next step.
For mixing the wet and dry ingredients, I like to say less is more. Mix the two together *as little as possible,* just enough to get all of the flour pockets out. Overmixing will give you tough, rubbery banana bread. Eww… I think I’ll pass on that.
And finally, gently mix in the chocolate chips. I used Nestle dark chocolate morsels because they are my weakness, but milk chocolate or semi-sweet will be just fine.
Oh! The caramel. Let’s not forget about that…
It’s practically the same caramel recipe I used in my Loaded Caramel Dipped Pretzels. I say practically because I used more heavy cream today than before – I wanted a thinner caramel sauce for the banana bread’s center. Also, please note that the photo you see above from my pretzel post is more than you’ll make in the recipe I post below.
Ok, are you ready for how easy this homemade caramel sauce is? It’s easier than making the banana bread batter! Get out a saucepan, heat some soft caramel candies and heavy cream over medium-low heat, and stir it around until the caramels are melted. That’s it. You’re done. Now it’s time to add the caramel to the batter.
Pour half of your banana bread batter into your loaf pan. Layer it with the easy homemade caramel sauce. Top with the remaining batter. Grab a knife and swirl the caramel sauce around. Sprinkle with a few more chocolate chips to complete the outfit:
The bread takes anywhere from 45-55 minutes. I covered the loaf with aluminum foil about halfway through the baking process to avoid the top from browning too much. Some of the caramel will bubble up the edges and in the corners. You’ll know the banana bread is done in the oven when you insert a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean (with maybe some caramel on it).
Besides seeing a few spots of caramel sauce on the top of the bread, unsuspecting bread taste-testers will be pleasantly surprised to find a melty, gooey river of caramel sauce inside.
Hidden caramel swirls? What a treat!
Perhaps a little too decadent for breakfast but let me tell ya… I didn’t mind waking up to a piece of this beauty last weekend. Just wait until you taste the caramelized edges where the caramel bubbled up the edges during bake time. Whoa. Heaven.
May I even suggest a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top? You didn’t hear that from me.
So let me ask you this, how will YOU be celebrating banana bread day? Share some of your favorite banana bread recipes with me, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of trying new varieties!
Fact: I buy bananas for the sole purpose of rotting them to make decadent banana bread. Love!
makes 1 loaf
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
- 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I used vanilla greek yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet, or milk chocolate)
- 25 soft caramel candies, unwrapped
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter with a stand or handheld mixer on medium speed until well blended – about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides as needed. With a spoon, whisk, or spatula, stir in the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix. Batter will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips, leaving a few aside to sprinkle on top of the bread.
- Make the caramel sauce next. In a medium saucepan, stir caramels and heavy cream over medium-low heat just until caramels are melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 1 minute.
- Spoon half of the banana bread batter into prepared loaf pan. Drop spoonfuls of caramel sauce on top. Cover with the remaining batter. With a knife, swirl the batter around allowing some of the caramel to come up to the top. If caramel sticks to the knife, just scrape it off and put back on top the batter if desired. Sprinkle the top with the few chocolate chips that you set aside.
- Bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan by running a sharp knife around the sides to get any caramel off. Cool completely on the wire rack. Bread stays fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 days. *This banana bread, like most, tastes best the next day after the flavors have melded together.
Recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com
© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.
Are you ready for one fabulous banana bread round-up? Of course you are.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread (my favorite!)
And if you like caramel, you must check out these two recipes. Mmm.