Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by

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.

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by

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.

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread-4

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…

Caramel Dipped Pretzels

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:

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by

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!

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by

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.

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! 

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.



  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour) (measured correctly)
  • 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 vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet, or milk chocolate)

Easy Caramel Sauce

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


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. 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 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.
  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.

Recipe Notes:

*This banana bread, like most, tastes best the next day after the flavors have melded together. You'll love it!

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A few more favorite banana bread recipes:

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread


Chocolate Glazed Banana Bread Muffins

Chocolate Glazed Banana Bread Muffins


Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread

PB Nutella Banana Bread


White Chocolate Mango Banana Bread

White Chocolate Mango Banana Bread


Baked Banana Bread Donuts with Dark Chocolate Glaze

Banana Bread Donuts


Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread (my favorite!)

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread




  1. Hi Sally! I just found your blog for the first time because I was searching Pinterest for a great banana bread recipe and found this post. I tried this recipe this afternoon (without the caramel swirl because I was just going for basic) and it turned out wonderfully! Not too dense, not too dry… it also got a nice rise on the top which my banana bread never seems to do. Perfect and delicious! Thanks!

    1. I love this banana bread – just as a simple banana bread or with chocolate chips. I’m so glad you tried it and loved it, Julie! Thanks for letting me know.

  2. Hi Sally! I am really looking forward to making this tomorrow… bananas almost perfectly black. 🙂 I hope you can give me some tips on a substitute for your caramel sauce. I don’t have any caramels in the house, but I do have a jar of Dulce de Leche caramel creme spread in the fridge, and a package of butterscotch chips in the cupboards. Any thoughts?

    1. You could definitely use about 1/3 cup o f the dulce de leche, but I’m not sure if the dulce de leche will just sink to the bottom of the bread. I would just use butterscotch chips instead! About 1/2 cup.

      1. Thanks Sally. Will the butterscotch chips harden after baking? Perhaps I could also use the Caramel syrup (ice cream and dessert topping) in my fridge?

      2. If the caramel syrup is thin, do not use that. The butterscotch chips will not harden, just as they do not harden if you bake them in cookies.

  3. Sally! I made this before work this morning as a Happy Friday gift for my co-workers… so amazing! Next up, the peanut butter nutella version! But that special loaf will be for my own personal stash! Can’t wait…. 🙂

  4. Hi Sally, do you think I could make this recipe in mini loaf pans? Im assuming it may work for 2 mini loaves…If so, would you change anything? Baking temperature, perhaps?

    1. Baking the bread in smaller pans wouldn’t change the oven temperature, just the bake time. Since I’ve only used 1 larger loaf pan, I’m unsure of the time. I would just keep your eyes on it and check with a toothpick for doneness. Enjoy!

  5. 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!

  6. 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:

  7. 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!

      1. Thank you!
        I’m going to make it on saturday and I bet it’s going to taste awesome ;D
        Btw I’m going to try the glazed apple bread from your cookbook tomorrow, I’m reallly looking forward to it. I love your cookbook!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.


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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