What to do with yet another bunch of overripe bananas? Well, of course we'll use them to make a heavenly loaf of moist banana bread! But this isn't just any banana bread.
This particular banana bread incorporates big chunks of semi-sweet chocolate and nuggets of chewy sweet ginger for a surprisingly simple banana bread recipe with a punch of flavor.
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Candied Ginger in Banana Bread
Perhaps the best part of this banana bread loaf is those bits of chewy crystallized ginger sprinkled throughout. It's surprising and delightful all at the same time!
Ginger is a treasure trove of flavor, adding a punch of spicy heat to this bread. Crystallized ginger is fresh ginger that's been soaked in a solution of sugar and water then coated in sugar. The sugar softens the ginger, which is tough and fibrous when fresh.
Ginger pairs beautifully with chocolate and banana, so it makes total sense to add to a chocolate chip banana bread recipe.
Crystallized ginger can be found in most grocery stores in the dried fruit section. It's also readily available on Amazon. The ginger can be difficult to chop because it's quite sticky. If you have a difficult time chopping the ginger, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds then pulse in a food processor.
Chocolate Chips vs Chocolate Chunks
I recommend using a chocolate baking bar rather than chocolate chips for this recipe. Once chopped the baking bar will create chunks of chocolate of all different sizes as well as chocolate shavings that will incorporate chocolate flavor throughout your banana bread. If you only have chocolate chips, don't worry - those will work as well.
Dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate can also be used if you prefer the flavor. I would not recommend milk chocolate in this recipe as it's too sweet.
Ingredients needed to make this recipe
Making banana bread with crystallized ginger and chocolate is easy. You'll need the following ingredients to get started:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt, however, use whatever kind you have handy. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences
- Semi-sweet chocolate: I recommend using a chocolate baking bar rather than chocolate chips for this recipe. Once chopped the baking bar will create chunks of chocolate of all different sizes as well as chocolate shavings that will incorporate chocolate flavor throughout your banana bread. If you only have chocolate chips, those will work as well
- Crystallized ginger: This can be found in most grocery stores in the dried fruit section. It's also readily available at Amazon. If you have a difficult time chopping the ginger, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds then pules in a food processor
- Unsalted butter: Be sure to leave the butter out on the counter for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before making the banana bread batter. Butter that's too cold will not incorporate well into the batter, leaving you with chunks of butter throughout instead of a well blended batter. Some banana bread recipes call for melted butter, however, this one uses room temperature butter
- Granulated sugar: I prefer my banana bread with granulated sugar instead of brown sugar. If you would like, you can substitute up to ½ cup of the granulated sugar for ½ cup packed brown sugar. This may alter the flavor and texture of the finished product
- Large eggs: Similar to the butter, leave the eggs out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to using so they incorporate well into the batter
- Overripe mashed banana: Bananas that are perfectly overripe are yellow, not green, and heavily mottled with black spots. This ensures the bananas are sweet and perfect for baking, maximizing the banana flavor. Mash them well with a fork. If you only have yellow bananas, you can use your oven to get your bananas perfectly ripened that same day!
- Vanilla extract: Use the highest quality vanilla you can afford. Do not use imitation vanilla, as this has a funny aftertaste and just isn't the same as pure vanilla extract
- Sour cream: Be sure to use the full-fat version. Sour cream can be substituted for full-fat plain Greek yogurt
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How to make Banana Quick Bread with Chocolate and Ginger
To make this moist banana bread recipe with chocolate and ginger, start by spraying a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray then lining with parchment paper. Spraying the loaf pan first allows the parchment paper to stick and sit nicely in the pan.
Next, whisk together the dry ingredients, chopped chocolate, and crystallized ginger in a large bowl and set aside. Coating the chocolate and ginger in the flour mixture prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf when baking.
In the bowl of stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, as needed.
Add the two eggs and vanilla, beating well until incorporated. Next, add the mashed banana, mixing to incorporate. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Lastly, stir in the sour cream.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf. If wet batter sticks to the skewer, continue baking a few minutes longer. If the top of the loaf is getting too brown before the loaf is done baking, lightly cover the top of the loaf with a piece of aluminum foil while the loaf finishes baking.
Once fully baked, lift the loaf out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Yes! Use a mini loaf pan instead of a standard one pound, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Grease the sections with softened butter or spray with nonstick spray then add the batter, dividing evenly between the loaf sections. This recipe should yield about 3-4 mini loaf cakes. Bake for 28-32 minutes, checking for doneness and baking for longer, if needed. Once cooled, wrap the mini loaves in wax paper or parchment paper, tie with kitchen twine and give as gifts.
Mini loaves should bake for about 28-32 minutes. The amount of time will depend on the size of the mini loaf pan and the actual temperature of your oven.
Yes! This recipe will make for great banana muffins. Line a 12-cup muffin tin and fill the cups ⅔ full with banana bread batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350ºF, rotating the muffin tin halfway through baking. Depending on the size of the muffin cups and the temperature of your oven (not the temp you set it to, but the actual temp of your oven as measured by an oven thermometer), the bake time may be more or less.
For more banana muffin recipes, try Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins or Banana Muffins Swirled with Dulce de Leche.
I have not tried making this recipe vegan. To try it, I would recommend the following substitutions: dairy-free dark chocolate, vegan butter, flax eggs, and vegan sour cream or yogurt.
I have not tried making this recipe gluten-free, however, I have had a lot of luck using cup-for-cup or measure-for-measure gluten-free flour in baking recipes like this one. Try Bob's Red Mill brand.
Once completely cool, wrap the banana bread in a a double layer of plastic wrap and store at room temperature for a couple of days. Place in the fridge if storing for up to one week. This loaf freezes really well, too! To freeze, wrap tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe ziptop bag for up to 3 months. These layers of protection help prevent freezer burn. Thaw at room temperature then warm for 10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven or until warmed through.
You can omit the crystallized ginger and add 2 teaspoons of ground ginger instead. I have not tried using fresh ginger in this recipe, however, I would recommend using half the amount of ginger called for in the recipe, as fresh ginger can be quite strong in flavor. I would also recommend chopping or mincing it finely before adding it to the batter.
Looking for more banana bread recipes? Try these:
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- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
- ⅓ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup mashed overripe banana (about 2-3 medium bananas)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup full fat sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat until well incorporated. Add the mashed banana and mix. Add in the flour chocolate ginger mixture and stir on low until no dry flour appears. Stir in the sour cream. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top
- Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent the top loosely with foil.
- Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then use the parchment overhang to remove the banana bread onto a wire cooling rack. Allow the banana bread to cool completely before slicing.
- Once completely cool, wrap the loaf tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 4 days
- Store leftovers tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature then warm in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute or toast
- Pro tip: Crystallized ginger can be difficult to chop. To easily chop the crystallized ginger, place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Place ginger in a food processor and pulse u too chopped ginger
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