Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

CHRISTMAS MORNING PERFECTION – Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread takes top honors thanks to its cake-like texture, sweet banana flavor and rich chocolate taste.

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from Holley Grainger

Banana bread may just be one of my all time favorite recipes. I love it for breakfast with a glass of milk, as a snack with a smear of peanut butter or for dessert with a dollop of Greek yogurt or ice cream! In fact, in an effort to quench my persistent hankering for all things banana bread, I’ve created quite a few recipes over the years. Here are 3 favorites that made it to the blog:


Marbled Banana Bread for Christmas Breakfast

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from Holley Grainger

Do you have a traditional recipe that your family eats every Christmas morning? Growing up we ate cinnamon rolls (usually Sister Shuberts) most every year and now that the girls are little, I find myself going back to that same tradition. However, this year, I am hoping to spice it up a bit (while selfishly satisfying my chocolate tooth) with a loaf of this marbled banana bread 

Whether you bake a loaf for your family to enjoy Christmas morning or have a loaf on-hand to snack on throughout the day, this is the recipe you want to be serving. Oh, and fun thought…if you’re making a charcuterie board, add a few slices of banana bread to it!


Chocolate Swirled Banana Bread for Christmas Gifts

Chocolate swirled banana bread recipe takes top honors thanks to its cake-like texture, sweet banana flavor and rich chocolate taste. Swirled with decadent chocolate ribbons, this impressive quick bread makes a beautiful holiday food gift for friends, teachers, family and neighbors.

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from Holley Grainger

When gifting, I like to wrap the bread loaf with a festive tea towel and tie with a ribbon. (Side note…) Be sure that you let the bread cool completely before wrapping in plastic wrap, foil and/or the towel. 


Healthy and Allergy-Friendly Banana Bread

When you take a look at the ingredient list, you may notice a few traditional ingredients missing like butter, eggs and granulated sugar. Don’t worry – you wont miss them! In fact, this is one of the most tender and moist banana bread recipes I’ve ever made. 

To make vegan banana bread, make these two simple swaps. First, use water (or a milk substitute) in place of the milk and maple syrup in place of honey.

I also swapped out butter with a neutral tasting oil such as canola or vegetable. However, I’ve used olive oil in a pinch (you can slightly taste the flavor) as well as coconut oil. 


How to Quickly Ripen Bananas for Banana Bread

How to quickly ripen bananas in the oven

Don’t you hate when this happens? You’re ready to make the most amazing loaf of banana bread or banana bread muffins and your bananas just aren’t ripe? Don’t worry! I have the solution. Here’s how you can ripen bananas in the oven in less than 30 minutes!


How to Make Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread from Holley Grainger

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

  • Author: Holley Grainger
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


CHRISTMAS MORNING PERFECTION – Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread takes top honors thanks to its cake-like texture, sweet banana flavor and rich chocolate taste.



2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup oil (such as vegetable, canola, coconut, etc)

2 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp lemon juice

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.*
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together bananas, honey, oil,  milk, vanilla and lemon juice in until completely combined. Whisk together if necessary.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa powder and 1/4 cup boiling water. Set aside.
  5. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and gently stir until the ingredients are combined. Divide the batter in half.
  6. Stir the cocoa mixture in to one of the batters .(You now have one chocolate batter and one original banana batter.)
  7. Scoop a layer of plain batter into a greased loaf pan, followed by a layer of chocolate. Repeat until all of the batter is used. Take a spoon and gently swirl the batters together for just a few seconds so there are still two distinct colors present.
  8. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.


*If using a glass loaf pan, reduce temperature to 325F and reduce cook time to 55 minutes.

Be sure to avoid over swirling so that the chocolate ribbons don’t looked muddled. Use a knife or the back of a spoon and swirl for just a second – maybe four or five times from one side of the pan to the other.

VEGAN option: To make this recipe vegan, replace the milk with water and swap honey for maple syrup.



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Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread


Want more ideas for a Cleverful Christmas? Check out my Christmas Idea Central.

Christmas Menu Planner from Holley Grainger


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Mini Carrot Cake Pancakes

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4 Fast & Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos for the Freezer

4 Fast & Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos for the Freezer


Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal

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Cranberry Oatmeal Pecan Breakfast Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Pecan Breakfast Cookies, from Holley Grainger


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

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