Rich chocolate brownies and light banana bread are swirled together in these Banana Bread Brownies! It’s the perfect mashup of two of our favorite recipes!
It seems like I can’t keep bananas in the house until suddenly everybody decides at once they don’t want to eat them anymore. Then we are stuck with overripe, spotted bananas on the counter! We love banana bread with chocolate chips in, but this time instead of making our go-to banana bread recipe, I decided to do a twist on brownies by swirling in banana bread batter to see how it worked. Turns out, banana bread and brownies are a great match!
Bananas and chocolate are really a fantastic combination. If you have ever had a frozen chocolate covered banana, these brownies are sort of like that, except in brownie form. I was worried about the banana bread batter making the finish brownies too “cakey”, but these banana bread brownies are still fairly dense and fudgy, just how we like them.
What You’ll Need
Most of the ingredients are shared between the two batters but rather than dividing them up you make one base. Then split it in half to flavor it either with chocolate or bananas before swirling them together.
- Flour: We like to use regular unbleached all-purpose flour for most of our baking needs.
- Sugar: A mix of both granulated and brown sugar provides the perfect balance of sweetness with a little complexity of flavor.
- Butter: Melted butter helps keep these brownies rich and fudgy.
- Eggs: These are both for binding and a bit of leavening. Really beating or whisking in the eggs well is what creates the crackly crust on top.
- Vanilla: A bit of vanilla extract enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients.
- Salt: This ingredient helps make sure the finished brownies taste delicious instead of bland.
- Cocoa Powder: Once the batter is divided, the cocoa powder is stirred into one bowl to create the brownie base.
- Bananas: Be sure to use ripe bananas with brown spots. They have developed their own natural sweetness that contributes to the flavor of these brownies.
- Baking Powder: Just a little bit is added to the banana bread batter to help give them a bit of lift.
- Chocolate Chips: These are stirred into the brownie batter for a bigger chocolate boost, and also sprinkled on top of the brownies before baking.
How to Make Easy Banana Bread Brownies
You will need two bowls for this recipe, one for each batter, but it all starts with the same base. Be sure to line your pan with a parchment paper or foil sling for easy removal and easier cutting once the brownies have cooled.
- Make the base batter: Beat or whisk together melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat or whisk well. This actually helps create the shiny, crackly finish on top of the brownies that reminds you of a box mix. Stir in the flour and salt.
- Make the banana bread batter: In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and sprinkle them with the baking powder. Stir those together, then pour about half of the base batter into the bowl and stir together to make the banana bread batter. Set this aside.
- Make the brownie batter: Add the cocoa powder and most of the chocolate chips to the remaining batter in the first bowl. Stir just until combined.
- Swirl in the pan: Use a spoon to drop about half of the brownie batter around a prepared 9-inch square pan. It’s okay that it won’t cover the bottom of the pan. Pour all of the banana bread mixture over top, then drop the remaining brownie batter over that. Use a knife to swirl the two batters together a bit.
- Bake: These brownies take about 40 to 45 minutes to bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven. They are done with a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean with just a few crumbs sticking to it.
Tips and Variations
This is really a simple recipe, but you could add a few different elements to really take them over the top.
- If you really want to amp up the chocolate aspect even more and you like frosted brownies, try frosting these with chocolate buttercream frosting!
- Add chopped walnuts or pecans to either banana bread mixture. They add wonderful flavor and texture with a little crunch.
- We used regular unsweetened cocoa powder, but if you want an even darker chocolate taste, try using dutch processed cocoa powder.
- Try dolloping in a few spoonfuls of peanut butter with the last of the brownie batter and swirling that together to make chunky monkey brownies!
Storage and Freezing Instructions
It’s not hard to eat the entire pan of these brownies in just a day or two, but if you have any leftover, they keep well thanks to the mashed bananas in the batter.
- Storing: These brownies stay incredibly moist and delicious on the counter in an airtight container for about 5 days, or a couple days longer if kept in the fridge.
- Freezing: You can freeze leftovers for 2-3 months. Just let them thaw on the counter before serving.
More Recipes for Ripe Bananas
- Banana Cookies
- Best Banana Pancakes
- Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cinnamon Swirl Cream Cheese Banana Bread
- Strawberry Banana Oat Muffins
Banana Bread BrowniesRich chocolate brownies and light banana bread are swirled together in these Banana Bread Brownies! It’s the perfect mashup of two of our favorite recipes!Servings 16 servingsCalories 271kcal
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Banana Bread Batter
- 1 cup over-ripe mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with a parchment paper sling.
Stir in flour and salt, just until combined.
In a separate medium bowl, mash the bananas and sprinkle the baking powder on top. Stir to combine. Pour half of the batter into the bowl with the bananas and stir to combine. Set aside.
Add the cocoa powder and most of chocolate chips, reserving a handful for sprinkling on top of the brownies, into the remaining half of the batter. Stir to combine.
Dollop spoonfuls of about half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. It doesn’t need to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour the banana bread mixture over the brownie mixture. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter on top, then use a knife to gently swirl the mixtures together a bit. Sprinkle with the extra chocolate chips.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean with just a few crumbs on it. Cool completely before slicing into squares.
NutritionCalories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
The Recipe Critic