Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Banana Cocoa Frosting

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My dear friends, this is a banana cake that is going to change your life.

Vertical image of a slice of a dark yellow cake with a dark brown frosting on a white plate next to a yellow fruit, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

I am a HUGE fan of banana bread, especially when there are chocolate chips involved. A moist and dense slice of this seemingly magical fruit-filled creation is exactly what I want to wake up to in the morning, alongside my mug of coffee.

There’s something about the scent of baking this delicious fruit that fills your home in the most warming and cozy way.

And it’s different from what you get if you’re baking cookies or one of the other many types of baked goods that so many of us are used to whipping up from scratch. Instead, the ripe fruit is super sweet and it brings much-needed moisture to whatever baked treat you add it to.

Beyond breakfast, I would happily eat said bread for dessert every single day of the week too. But I know some of you out there might not be quite ready to hop on that train.

Vertical image of a whole dessert covered in cocoa icing lined with circular cut pieces of yellow fruit.

For something more typically dessert-like, let’s bake a cake instead. Or something like it…

If you ask me, this dessert is more like what would happen if a cake, a banana bread, and a chocolate chip cookie all got together in one pan. It’s crazy-delicious magic.

Every morsel of this sweet treat is divine. You get a double dose of the ripe, sweet fruit, plus a double dose of chocolate in every bite. There’s melt-in-your-mouth fruit and chocolate chips in the cake, and there’s more fruit and cocoa powder in the frosting.

I mean, that’s pretty dang YUM if I do say so myself.

This reworked spin on a unique bundt cake recipe is topped with soft and creamy frosting that’s nothing short of a miracle. The soft fruit is combined with butter and powdered sugar so it’s perfectly sweetened and delightfully light, the ideal accompaniment to the moist and dense crumb.

Vertical image of a slice of a dark yellow dessert layered with brown frosting on a white plate next to a metal fork.

My number one tip for making this recipe is to make sure the fruit that you use is very ripe. The more ripe they are, the more sweet flavor they will definitely have.

This will have a big impact on the flavor of the final product, and the ripe bananas will impact the texture of the crumb and the frosting as well.

If you’re only able to find unripe ones at the store, be sure to keep reading through to the end of this article for my tips on how to quickly ripen them at home. We’ve all had to deal with those times when only the ones with green peels are available, but the good news is there are ways around that which will help to shorten the wait!

This dessert is fantastic for a party, and it can easily be transported as long as you have a cake plate with a lid or a cake carrier. It took many years before I finally invested in a specific carrier and let me tell you, it’s well worth having one, even if you only use it a few times a year.

Vertical image of a bite taken out of a two-layered dessert brown icing on a white plate next to a metal fork.

It takes the headache and fear out of transporting your favorite desserts that you’ve made from scratch!

Ready to add one to your collection? I love this stylish blue one from Freeport Park, with zipper enclosure and fabric carrying handle. It’s available online via Wayfair.

A note on the flour: You know how we love einkorn flour, but if you don’t have any on hand, you could try swapping in the same amount of spelt flour or another all-purpose-type flour to achieve fairly similar results.

Print
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Horizontal image of a whole dessert covered in a brown icing and lined with slices of round yellow fruit in a white plate next to a white napkin, metal silverware, and yellow fruit.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

This is hands down the best chocolate chip banana cake you will ever eat. It’s soft, moist, rich, and dotted with chocolate.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups (200 grams) white granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose einkorn flour
  • 1 cup (275 grams) mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips

For the Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed very ripe banana
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Instructions

To Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C or gas mark 4). Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch-round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter with a hand mixer on medium speed, until smooth and light. Add sour cream and eggs, and mix until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, salt, and flour. Add this dry mixture alternately with the mashed bananas to the butter mixture until combined. Add vanilla and chocolate chips, and fold together until fully incorporated.
  4. Divide evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge of the pans for easy removal, and turn them out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

To Make the Frosting:

  1. Beat the butter and salt in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, until combined.
  2. Alternate between adding the mashed banana and the confectioners’ sugar to the butter mixture, blending to combine after each addition. Beat in cocoa powder until combined. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. To assemble the cake, frost one layer, then top with the second layer of cake, and top that layer with the remaining frosting. Slice and serve!

Notes

Inspired by a slice of cake enjoyed at R. Thomas Deluxe Grill in Atlanta and this banana-centric frosting from The Kitchn.

  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: banana, chocolate chip, cake, frosting

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Mash Bananas and Measure Ingredients

Mash enough very ripe fruit for the base (1 cup) and the frosting (1/2 cup). You will use about 4 medium to large bananas total, about 3 for the base and 1 for the frosting.

Measure the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list. For the chocolate, we prefer to use at least 85% dark chocolate, but you can also go higher if you like an even darker variety.

Horizontal image of assorted measured ingredients, seasonings, and mashed yellow fruit in assorted sized bowls on a gray surface.

I am the worst about softening butter, so you can try my trick of setting it on top of the oven while it’s preheating and you’re greasing and flouring your baking pans. Be sure to shake off any excess flour.

By the time I needed it to make this recipe, after removing it from the fridge, my butter was actually soft! Bless our heat-expelling electric oven.

If your butter is frozen or you forget to soften it in advance, you can also accomplish this in the microwave, in short bursts on low power. Be careful not to melt it.

Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch-round pans.

Step 2 – Make Cake Batter

Add the sugar and butter to a large bowl. Cream these together with a hand mixer until smooth, on medium speed. Beat in sour cream and eggs until combined.

In a separate bowl, stir together the baking soda, salt, and flour.

Horizontal image of a light yellow batter studded with chopped chocolate in a metal bowl being stirred by a red spatula.

Alternate adding the dry mixture and the mashed fruit to the butter mixture until combined.

Stir in the vanilla until combined, and then fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 3 – Bake and Cool

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared round pans. Smooth the surface and place in the oven.

Horizontal image of two metal round pans filled with a light yellow batter studded with dark candy chunks.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of each pan should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 5 minutes.

Horizontal image of a golden-brown round baked dessert on a dark slate.

Use a knife to loosen the edge of the entire baked product. Remove from the pans and turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4 – Make Frosting

Add the butter and salt to a medium bowl, and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined.

Horizontal image of a fluffy brown icing in a blue bowl.

Alternate adding the mashed fruit and the confectioners’ sugar to the butter mixture. Blend until combined after each addition.

Beat in the cocoa powder, then continue to beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 5 – Frost

Cover one layer of cake with the frosting. Top with the second layer, and frost the second layer with the remaining frosting. Learn the best tips on decorating, and be sure you have all the right tools, too!

Horizontal image of a whole dessert covered in a brown icing and lined with slices of a yellow, round fruit on a white plate.

Slice and serve.

The final decorated dessert may be stored in an airtight cake container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

How Can I Ripen Bananas Quickly?

If you have 24 to 48 hours to ripen them, there are two simple ways to accomplish this.

First, keep them together if they were purchased in a bunch, and do not separate them. The longer they stick together, the quicker they will ripen.

Why, you ask? When they are still attached in a bunch, more ethylene is emitted, causing them to ripen quicker.

Horizontal image of a whole dessert covered in a brown icing and lined with slices of round yellow fruit in a white plate next to a white napkin, metal silverware, and yellow fruit.

Another way is to place them in a warm area, near a heat register or on top of the fridge. Check them occasionally and pull them out as soon as brown spots begin to develop.

If you only have 12 to 24 hours, place them in a brown paper bag and close it loosely.

This will speed up the process because the ethylene that is emitted stays within the bag. Be sure to check the fruit every 12 hours or so and remove them from the bag before they ripen too much.

Need even more banana baked goods sprinkled with chocolate in your life? Try these recipes next featuring this favorite ingredient:

Do you love the chocolate or the fruity flavor more? Or maybe you can’t choose? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe after you’ve tried it as well!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on April 30, 2014. Last updated on December 1, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

14 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Banana Cocoa Frosting”

  1. Your description of this cake has almost made me think I could like bananas (maybe because of the amount of chocolate involved too? ;))

    Reply
  2. Ummmm, it’s Friday morning and I’m thinking about this cake for the weekend! Do you know how I can swap einkorn flour for almond flour/meal? I’ve been off wheat for the most of this year already.

    Reply
    • For swapping flours, I’d recommend trying an all-purpose GF blend. Next idea that a friend of mine has had success with, at least in banana breads/cakes, is half almond flour and half quinoa flour in place of the einkorn. Good luck and hope that helps! : ) -s

      Reply

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