This healthy chocolate banana bread is (almost) guilt-free and is a perfect way to start your morning. Tastes great with coffee!

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Although it’s a sweet treat, it has a lot of healthy ingredients.

How long it takes: 15 minutes to stir up, 1 hour to bake
Equipment you’ll need: oven, mixing bowl, 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
Servings: makes 1 loaf

A slice of chocolate banana bread on a white plate with 2 dabs of butter melting on it, loaf in background.
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Banana bread is a classic, isn’t it? It is everyone’s go-to recipe when they have a few brown bananas sitting on the counter top that no one wants to eat. We go through a lot of bananas but occasionally a few get a little too speckled, especially in warmer weather.

It doesn’t happen often and if it does, I like to freeze ripe bananas for smoothies. We go through about 4 bunches of bananas a week (seriously!) so I often buy even more to ensure that there will be at least a few to turn into banana bread.

About This Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread

  • Reduced fat: I’ve been making reduced fat whole wheat banana bread for a long time and it is a family favorite. Reduced fat banana bread uses a minimal amount of oil because I substitute applesauce to replace most of the oil. It’s never dry because it has four mashed bananas and applesauce to provide plenty of tenderness and flavor.
  • Whole wheat flour: In addition, I use whole wheat flour which adds nutrition and fiber to the bread. We love the flavor of whole wheat and I use it for much of my baking. If you prefer, you can substitute all-purpose flour or a combination of both kinds of flour.
  • Cocoa powder: I like switch it up a little by adding cocoa powder for extra antioxidants. Yeah. For that reason. And for the great taste of cocoa. The best part is that cocoa powder doesn’t add hardly any calories.
  • Chocolate chips and cream cheese? I have to really fight the urge to throw in chocolate chips, too, but I like to keep this whole wheat reduced-fat chocolate banana bread something I can feel good about eating for breakfast. Try it with delicious vanilla bean whipped cream cheese. Here I go again!
Baked bread in metal loaf tin on cooling rack.

Variations of banana Bread

partially sliced loaf of banana bread with a couple of bananas in background

Storage Tips

Cool the healthy chocolate banana bread completely before storing it in an airtight container or resealable bag. Slice it before you store it to make it more accessible. It will keep on the counter for a few days but if your kitchen is very warm, store it in the refrigerator.

The bread freezes well for up to 3 months and I often make two loaves so that I have one to pull out of the freezer when the first loaf has been eaten (in other words, in two days or less). Wrap it well so it doesn’t dry out in the freezer.

More Banana Recipes

Wondering what to do with those brown bananas on your counter? Try one of these recipes or take a look at my list of 16 Banana Recipes for Ripe Bananas! You can also learn how to freeze bananas.


Healthy Chocolate Banana Bread

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
This chocolate banana bread is (almost) guilt-free and is a perfect way to start your morning. Tastes great with coffee!
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  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (can use all-purpose flour or a combination)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or 1 snack size container)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas, depending on size)


  • Preheat oven to 350F°. Spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, flax seed, and cocoa powder until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and eggs until combined. Stir in mashed banana.
  • Add dry ingredients to banana mixture, stirring just until blended. Do not overmix. Spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake until toothpick or knife inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out almost clean, or about 1 hour.
  • Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing bread from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and storing in an airtight container.


  • Add a cup of chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips to the batter for an extra treat!


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 264mg, Potassium: 330mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 81IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Taran says:

    Just made them in muffin pan and they came out great. Since I wasn’t sure about the time I set the timer to 25mins but around 20mins I started to smell the chocolate and pulled them out. They were done but next time I will check them at 15-17 mins as I will definitely be making them again.They taste amazing, not overly sweet but I did cut the sugar back to just 1/2 cup to my preference. I can totally taste chocolate and banana. I love adding flaxseed meal to almost all my bakery goods and it was just the best addition to add to them. This is a guilty free, healthy, omega rich treat for my coffee in the morning. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks for the comment Taran! Love the idea of making this into muffins. Glad you enjoyed them!

  2. Janis says:

    Would the measurement of the wheat flour be the same for white flour?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yes. :)

  3. whole wheat banana bread says:

    wonderful Chocolate Banana Bread,whole wheat banana bread!!!

  4. Lisa says:

    Just made this….I left out the oil and replaced it with 2 T of apple/prune puree. This produced a large loaf of chocolaty, moist bread. A touch of sweetness…not at all overwhelmingly sweet. I think my kids will enjoy this as their after school snack today! Good and good for you! Thank you for the recipe! :)

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Happy to know it turns out without the oil too! I’ll have to try that. Thanks for the comment – glad you liked it! :)