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.

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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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

Description

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


Ingredients

Bread

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

126 Comments

  1. Hi dear! Question – is your basic bb recipe everything here minus choc chips and caramel? I want to just make a basic banana bread. I used to eat it all the time for breakfast and forgot about it until just now! And since I know no one will have a better recipe than you….figured I’d ask!

    Xoxo

    1. Katy! Yep, my go-to banana bread recipe is this recipe but minus caramel and chocolate chips. You will LOVE it. Sometimes I add walnuts! =)

  2. i had no idea about banana bread day – I just made some with caramel – but no chocolate:( your loaf looks so good, I may just have to go buy some more bananas

  3. I love the look of that creamy caramel swirl in the bread – you’re right, Sally – peanut butter is amazing with bananas and chocolate, but caramel really takes the “cake”!

    1. Hey Jess! Every time I make a recipe with chocolate and caramel I go… why don’t I do this more often? I have a cookie recipe with caramel and chocolate next week! =)

  4. I haven’t made banana bread in such a long time, and I just remembered how amazing it is. Love the caramel and chocolate swirled through this version. The chocolate raspberry would probably be my favorite, too. I also buy bananas not for eating fresh, but for freezing and blending into smoothies and/or letting rot and using in baked goods, oatmeal, etc. Justin’s (my boyfriend) mom habitually buys way too many bananas and always pawns them off on me. I never complain!

    1. Oh Jodye, you have to try the raspberry dark chocolate version. It’s probably my favorite banana bread EVER. I never eat bananas fresh – always frozen in my smoothies or baked into breads! I would never complain getting some free leftover bananas. There will always be a bread or smoothie to make =)

  5. Oh my word – look at that little caramel puddle sitting in that slice! You are dangerous Sally, downright dangerous! I love it! 😀

    1. Sally, I have a neighborhood produce store that sells as much locally grown foods as they can. No local bananas tho. Lol. But I do look for a plain brown sack that has a handwritten $1.00 on it and full of old spotted half rotten bananas. SCORE!!! Too many? They freeze just fine. Tomorrow they will be thawed and backed in this bread!

      1. Hey Jannelle! Sometimes I wish I could find “banana bread bananas” at the store instead of waiting days for them to ripen! My store only has green ones! I’m jealous of the brown sack of perfect bananas you can find. 🙂 ENJOY this bread!!

  6. Isn’t it funny how valuable those gross bananas are? I remember my mom hoarding bananas until they were beyond edible so she could bake with them 🙂

    1. Hey Anna – yes, exactly! They are so valuable! I never have rotting bananas around when I crave banana bread. So now I try to keep them around all the time!

  7. it’s like you’re reading my mind….or my kitchen… i have had 3 brown bananas and caramels laying around on the counter for a week …AWESOME !

  8. I bought a ridiculous amount of bananas yesterday (like… 12). I must’ve been hungry at the store. I’ve been using bananas all over the place lately, but I haven’t had banana bread in a while (and definitely not with a caramel swirl! One of the best kinds of swirls). Sounds soooo yummy

    1. Kelly, that’s not ridiculous!! I buy bananas in bulk too. I let them brown on the counter for several days and then peel, chop them up, and freeze them for smoothies or throw them into banana bread. 🙂 Caramel IS the best kind of swirl, you are right! Thanks Kelly!

  9. Oh My! This looks amazing! Yours totally looks way better than the bread I made. Thank heavens I am not posting mine until later in March. Ha Ha Ha! I am going to make this one next time!

  10. Caramel and chocolate banana bread? Gah. Delicious. I haven’t made banana bread in way too long, it’s one of my favorites too I really need to get baking!

  11. I’m always on the hunt for different kind of banana bread recipes because I love snacking on them in the morning. This here seriously looks so perfect. I mean any excuse to have caramel for breakfast, right?

  12. The ever increasing list of things I need to make from your blog is not going to do any good to my waistline!! Haha, I love banana bread and caramel so I’m sure I’d love them together!

  13. I was so glad to see that you and Erin use practically rotten bananas too, because I have right now that are right about there! I really need to use them up! I am seriously loving this with the caramel swirled in. So amazing!

  14. SALLY – how am I supposed to decide which kind of banana bread to make now?? I was totally set on the cinnamon swirl one, but then I could go nutella…and now caramel?!? My stomach is utterly confused (in the most delicious way possible lol)

    1. Jess! I just tried to comment on your post about the orange creamsicle cupcakes but my browser didn’t show a “post” button to actually send it through! I wanted you to know how much I love creamsicle EVERYTHING! And cupcake everything too of course. Those cupcakes were made for me. 😉

      1. Thanks so much Sally! It means a lot that you left another reply here since you couldn’t comment over there on my blog. 🙂 And they are so citrusy and sweet I feel like you’d LOVE them!

  15. I’m not usually a huge fan of banana bread but with chocolate chips AND a caramel swirl??? I think this is something I could get behind. I always love a good swirl : )

  16. I have a stash of frozen bananas and may need to break them out for this awesomely decadent banana bread. I’m pretty sure I could eat the caramel alone with a spoon. Love it!

  17. My husband has currently started eating the browning bananas. It is a pain. I need to start buying double. Hopefully he won’t start eating double.

  18. Oh my, your banana bread looks so inviting and decadent. I love those caramel swirl going through the loaf, so gorgeous. I have a few ripe banana that need to used up quickly. This would be perfect timing for the National Banana Bread day….which I have no idea of until I read your post. 😛 Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

    1. I love having ripe bananas on hand! 🙂 And happy national banana bread day! I hope you enjoy this bread if you make it. Thanks Amy!

  19. Sally, it is official. You ARE the Swirl Queen. I would have sworn I already possessed the ultimate banana bread recipe, until I saw this. Oh, my. Another must-try. Thanks!

  20. Sally, I think you love banana bread as much as I do! I have a banana/caramel recipe scheduled for Monday, but I’m totally drooling over yours. It looks so soft and gooey and PERFECT! I’m definitely trying this version next time.

  21. Hello Sally!
    Just wanted to let you know that I baked this wonderful banana bread this afternoon and it was a HIT with all my family! I was P-E-R-F-E-C-T!
    Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try your other recipes!

    Chantal

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