This is a variation of our whole wheat quick bread base recipe. Is there anything better than a loaf of warm, spicy, and fluffy bread? We don’t think so! Packed with fresh fruit, toasted nuts, and sweet chocolate chips, this banana chocolate chip walnut bread is sure to satisfy!
Three Must Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
Measure the flour properly to prevent dense bread. Fluff, spoon, and level; don’t scoop and pack!
Whisking the dry ingredients together mimics sifting and evenly distributes the ingredients, so don’t substitute another utensil.
Toast the walnuts before adding them to the flour mixture for better flavor.
Add the walnuts and chocolate chips after whisking the dry ingredients to ensure even distribution.
If your bananas aren’t quite ripe, roast them at 400ºF for 10 minutes with the peel on. Cool slightly, then mash.
Because this recipe has ripe bananas and chocolate chips (both sweet ingredients), we reduced the brown sugar from our base recipe. When measuring brown sugar, pack it in the cup. If you are trying to reduce your sugar consumption or prefer less sweet bread, reduce the sugar to ¼ cup; the recipe will still come out great!
Don’t overmix the batter! Watch our muffin method culinary technique video to learn how to mix the batter just enough so that you end up with light and fluffy quick bread.
If your oven runs hot, check the bread for doneness after 45 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it’s done! If it’s not done but the top of the loaf is getting too dark, loosely cover with a piece of foil and return to the oven.
The type of loaf pan will impact cook time. Dark metal pans will cook bread faster than ceramic pans.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: substitute whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour for a similar taste, color, and texture. You can also substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour. Don’t substitute all regular whole wheat flour, as the bread will come out dense and grainy. To make gluten-free quick bread, use a gluten-free flour mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour.
- Chocolate Chips: use any variety you like – white, semi-sweet, or dark. We recommend dark chocolate for optimal nutrition. Want a vegan banana bread? Choose dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Walnuts: substitute toasted chopped pecans or slivered almonds.
- Buttermilk: substitute plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, kefir, or sour cream. You can also make your own buttermilk by mixing ½ cup milk or milk alternative with ½ Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice.
- Brown Sugar: substitute cane sugar, but note that the flavor will be slightly different.
- Canola Oil: substitute avocado oil. Do not substitute olive oil, as this has a strong flavor. Do not substitute vegetable oil, as this is not a heart-healthy oil.
- Eggs: to make vegan banana walnut bread, substitute the eggs with flax eggs. To make one flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and let rest for 10 minutes. Eggs help leaven the bread, so a vegan version might not be quite as fluffy.
- Vanilla Extract: substitute almond or coconut extract.
Want to make mini banana bread loaves? Prepare mini loaf pans with parchment paper or non-stick spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Love spices? Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or a dash of cardamom for a sweetly spiced loaf.
This batter works for whole wheat banana muffins too! To make muffins, prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with liners or non-stick spray. Use a portion scoop to divide out the batter. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Want some more whole wheat quick bread recipe inspiration?
Use our base recipe to make it your own, or try out these other variations!
You just need a few pieces of equipment to make the best banana walnut bread recipe:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Nested mixing bowls
- Tovolo scoop spatula
- Dark bread loaf pan
- Parchment paper (optional)
Is this a Healthy Banana Walnut Bread Recipe?
Many pre-made breads or store bought mixes contain way too much added sugar. Some even contain up to or even more than your daily allowance of sugar – yikes! The key ingredients that make this chocolate chip banana bread healthier than store bought varieties are whole wheat flour, bananas, walnuts, and less sugar than leading brands.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals, and phytochemicals. Replacing refined grains (i.e. white flour) with whole grains (i.e. whole wheat flour) may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (1)
Bananas contain prebiotic fiber, vitamins, and minerals – important for digestion, steady energy, and metabolism. Greenish bananas are firm and higher in prebiotic fiber. Brownish bananas are soft and higher in natural sugar, making them sweeter. Ripe bananas are preferable for this recipe because they are easier to mash.
Nuts of all varieties contain plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients promote heart health and help you feel satisfied until your next meal. Walnuts contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids that promote brain and heart health. (2)
Less Added Sugar
High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much. Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. (3) Each slice of bread in this recipe has ~2 teaspoons (8 grams) of added sugar.
Serving Suggestions for Banana Walnut Bread
We doubt you’ll be able to resist slicing a warm piece of this moist chocolate chip banana bread bread when it’s fresh out of the oven! Enjoy on its own for a satisfying snack or dessert, topped with almond butter for a balanced breakfast, or as a tasty treat after lunch.
Storage Tips for Homemade Chocolate Banana Bread
Because this is a moist banana walnut bread, it will spoil more quickly at room temperature. Store banana bread in a bag or container at room temperature for a couple of days or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure the bread is entirely cool before storing.
Want to make a batch of this easy banana walnut bread for later? This bread is great for the freezer! Once cooked, cool completely, wrap, then store in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. You can also freeze individual slices for quick single-serve options. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or warm individual servings in the toaster or microwave.
Want more healthy recipes with bananas?
Try out these favorites, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
- 3 very ripe medium bananas
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 9×5 bread loaf pan with nonstick spray or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add chocolate chips and walnuts to flour mixture. Toss to evenly coat.
- In a separate medium bowl, mash banana, then add buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold ingredients just until moistened. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into the prepared bread loaf pan. Bake 50-55 minutes or until slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!