Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

The best banana bread recipe studded with chocolate chips and a gooey sweet swirl of easy homemade caramel sauce inside.

slices of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread

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.

slices of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread

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.

slices of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread on a teal plate

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…

soft caramel candies and heavy cream in a saucepan

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:

collage of 3 images of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread

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!

slices of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread on a white plate

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.

slices of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread on a teal plate

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slices of caramel swirl chocolate chip banana bread

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


The best banana bread recipe studded with chocolate chips and a gooey sweet swirl of easy homemade caramel sauce inside.



  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup packed 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 pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips*

Easy Caramel Sauce

  • 25 soft caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the bread: 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.
  3. Make the caramel sauce: 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This banana bread, like most, tastes best the next day after the flavors have melded together. You’ll love it!
  2. Chocolate Chips: You can also use milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Keywords: caramel banana bread


Comments are closed.

  1. Made this yesterday and wow! Amazing!!! 🙂 I couldn’t make it with the caramel swirl bc I didn’t have have the ingredients but I’ll make sure to make it with the swirl next time! Thankyou so much Sally for sharing such awesome recipes! 🙂

    1. Very glad you tried this banana bread. It’s a favorite Bree. I’m excited for you to try it with the caramel next time. You’ll love it!

  2. Hi Sally, I am trying to look for a really, really good base B/Bread recipe that I can “healthify” (to suit times where I shouldn’t overly indulge :)). I have done the following to this recipe:
    1c Oat flour, 3/4c White Whole Wheat flour, 1/4c Spelt flour, 2Tbspns Flaxmeal (for all the flours)
    2oz (equiv to 4 Tbspns) Coconut Oil (instead of butter)
    I saw that your Nutella B/B has baking soda and powder whereas this recipe calls for only the soda – what is the difference in the texture of the bread? Should I add any baking powder to my dry ingr? And because I am using oat flour here (gluten free), would I benefit from adding some b/powder for rise purposes? I do also have Xanthan Gum in my pantry. If you ever get a chance, can you please briefly explain what each of these do in baked goods? I know that explanation probably could get long and complicated. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Faye! I don’t have many tips for you to bake this bread with “healthier” alternatives, especially subbing oat flour for any of the all-purpose. I do not have adequate experience baking with xanthan gum, but I can tell you that baking soda and powder are used in my bread recipes for leavening. If an acidic agent is present, I use baking soda. If not – baking powder is used. Here are some of my healthier recipes if you’re interested:

  3. This looks delicious! I’m going to make banana bread for the first time when the bunch of bananas i’ve got sitting on the counter is finally ripe enough and I think its going to be this recipe 😀
    Since i am going to make the caramel sauce from your cookbook for another recipe anyway, I wanted to ask whether I could use it for this one as well. If possible, how much do I need?
    Btw is it possible to make “unsalted” caramel sauce if I just use slightly less salt?

    1. Hey Anna! Yes – just do not add salt to the salted caramel recipe. I would use about 1/3 cup. That sounds like enough in my mind when I think about it. Enjoy!

  4. Hi sally!
    I was wondering if I could replace whole wheat white flour with just whole wheat flour?! Will it be just as good?
    Love your recipes!
    Thank you 🙂

    1. That would be fine– the bread’s texture will be a little heavier due to WW flour’s density. But if you don’t mind that– enjoy!

  5. Dear Sally,

    I absolutely love your recipes and have been trying different ones over the last year for my fiancé to take to work with him (it won us an award!). I made your salted caramel last weekend (from the Apple Streuse recipe which was delicious) and wondered if I could use the leftover caramel from that for this recipe or is it too thick?

    Thanks for sharing all your lovely recipes.


    1. That caramel would work just fine here, Sarah! Thank you for the sweet comment.

  6. Linda Marin says:

    Sally !!!
    You’re my go to for all my baking needs. There should be a side note on your books, baking for dummies ;cause that’s me. I started using your recipes and got a book almost 4 years ago when I was pregnant craving peanut butter cookies. This banana loaf is my go to. Sometimes I add nuts sometimes I don’t .
    Thanks for making baking easy and fun!!!

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Linda! I’m thrilled to hear you have been enjoying my recipes for so long!

  7. Hi Sally,

    Yesterday I made your recipe for brown sugar and butterscotch cupcakes — they’re delicious!! I LOVED the homemade butterscotch sauce 🙂 I have some sauce leftover in the fridge, I was wondering if I could use it for this banana bread as a substitute for the caramel sauce. If so, I may or may not add the chocolate chips and just have the butterscotch sauce in case those two flavors conflict (?). Thank you!

    1. Hi Amanda! I actually haven’t tested it, so I can’t say for sure. The butterscotch sauce is much thinner so it will likely melt and combine right with the batter as the bread bakes.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally