This is not your ordinary banana bread. The basic ingredients are classic, but chocolate chips, a splash of vanilla, and a bit of bourbon make it special.
This Chocolate Chip Bourbon Banana Bread recipe is so easy to make and over the top delicious. It has been my favorite way to use up overripe bananas. Don’t let the addition of bourbon steer you away, it is simply a flavor enhancer. Any alcohol cooks off in the oven, but imparts warm flavors that make it unique.
The bread is tender and rich, packed full of nuts and chocolatey goodness. Far from the dense and more simple version of my childhood. Banana nut bread has always been one of my dad’s favorite treats. He loves a good “freckled” banana. In fact he is notorious for stealing my ripe bananas that have been patiently waiting their turn for this bread.
I came across this recipe several years ago when I was looking to try something different. I just so happened to have a bottle of bourbon collecting dust in my pantry and thought it was the perfect opportunity to get creative. This is my adaptation of a recipe I found at Leite’s Culinaria. I loved her rendition, but as always in my kitchen I tweaked a few things over the years to suit our tastes.
It’s on my “list” of go-to’s as my husband would say and I hope it makes it’s way onto yours.
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What You’ll Need:
Ripe Bananas- From “freckled” to fully brown, just make sure they are starting to get darker on the outside so they are soft and sweet on the inside. You will need exactly 1 1/2 cups (340 grams). About 2-3 bananas, it will vary depending on the size of your fruit. Also be sure to mash them very well with a fork.
TIP: If my schedule is too busy and I am looking at bananas that need to me used ASAP, I will mash, measure, at the teaspoon of lemon juice and freeze them for a later date.
All-Purpose Flour, Baking Soda & Salt
Butter- Softened to room temperature, unsalted butter. If you only have salted, just adjust when you add the salt to the flour. Reduce it to about 1/4 teaspoon if you like. However, in my experience, because this is such a sweet bread. Using salted butter and making no adjustments works just fine. Sweet desserts need a touch of salt for balance.
Large Eggs- room temperature.
White Sugar & Brown Sugar- I like to add a small amount of brown sugar. A touch of molasses flavor goes well here. You can skip the brown sugar and do just 1 cup of white. You can also reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup if your bananas are particularly ripe and sweet.
Bourbon & Vanilla Extract- I use a combination of both.
Nuts- Walnuts are traditional, but pecans are wonderful. Both work, use what you like or what you have. Toasted walnuts are my favorite.
Chocolate- Semi-sweet chocolate chips are what I usually have on hand and they are easier, however chunks also work great. Dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate if that’s your cup of tea.
9 x 5″ Loaf Pan– I prepare my pan with anon-stick spray that has flour in it, but you can butter the pan and give it a light dusting of flour to prevent sticking.
TIP: If you are using a darker non-stick pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
Digital Scale– Weighing is my preferred method for baking and metric measurements are included below.
Digital Thermometer- The internal cooked temperature of banana bread is 205 F.
Cooling Rack– Using a cooling rack prevents the bread from getting soggy. Remove it from the pan about 10-15 minutes after taking out of the oven. Transfer to the rack and cool completely before cutting if you can wait that long!
How do I keep my banana bread fresh?
Seal the whole loaf or slices with plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 days on your kitchen counter once it has cooled completely.
Banana bread lasts up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Freezing & Re-heating: Seal with plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer Ziploc bag or store in a large airtight container for up to 3 months. You can also slice it up and freeze in single-sized portions. To reheat a slice, just in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, or defrost it on your kitchen counter.
Be sure to use the middle rack of your oven.
If you are concerned about the size of your loaf pan and it over-flowing, just add a baking sheet underneath to catch any drips that my happen.
Because it is a dense bread and may require a longer amount of time in the oven, use foil during the last half of the baking time if needed.
If you find that it is browning more on one side, turn for the last 20 minutes or so of cooking.
Chocolate Chip Bourbon Banana Bread
- 1 9 x 5" Loaf Pan
- 1 Cooling Rack
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white sugar, see notes below
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, see notes below
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (about 2-3 bananas) see notes below
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks, see notes below
- 1 cup unsalted chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare your 9 x 5" loaf pan by using a non-stick baking spray with flour, or grease with butter and lightly flour (tap out excess flour over the sink).
- Measure the bananas in a bowl, mash and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another medium bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) add the butter, white and brown sugar. Beat with your hand mixer (or stand mixer) for 3-5 minutes until fairly light and fluffy. You want it to be a whipped consistency. (Scrape down the sides as needed)
- Add the eggs to the butter/sugar one at a time. Beat in the first egg for about 1 minute. Add the second egg. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add your mashed bananas, bourbon and vanilla extract. Mix well. It will look curdled.
- Add the flour mixture and stir just until you don't see anymore flour. Fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips with a spatula, just until it is evenly incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan (place on a baking sheet to prevent any possible spills just incase). Bake on the middle rack for 45-60 minutes. Check on the bread after about 30 minutes of baking and cover with foil if it is starting to brown. Bake until the internal temperature is 205 F.
- Rest in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then release the bread onto a cooling rack and let cool cool completely before slicing. Once cooled you can wrap it well in plastic wrap, or slice and place in an air-tight container. It will keep on the counter for up to 3 days and in the fridge for longer.