Bursting with ripe bananas and just enough chocolate, this Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is a favorite snack, breakfast, or dessert to share with the kids. Bonus: It’s SO easy to make and stores incredibly well for days.

chocolate chip banana cake stack on countertop.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

I’m always looking for new ways to use up overripe bananas, and this cake is one of our all-time favorites. I think of this as a “snack cake” sort of like a giant muffin (similar to my Yogurt Cake), though you could also frost it with Cream Cheese Frosting to make it into more of a classic cake.

This has serious ripe banana flavor, a very tender texture, and just enough sweetness to work as a snack or dessert. I love to slice it into squares and stash in the fridge to grab whenever we need it throughout the week. It’s great topped with peanut butter or almond butter, or just plain. It can even be stashed into the freezer, too.

Ingredients You Need

To make this cake you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand, or plan to pick them up at the store.

ingredients-in-chocolate-chip-banana-muffins
  • Very ripe mashed banana: You want your bananas to have brown spots, which indicate ripeness and sweetness.
  • Eggs: I use large eggs in my baking, as they help bind the ingredients and create a fluffy texture.
  • Milk: I usually use dairy milk in baking, but you can also use plain unsweetened nondairy milk.
  • Unsalted butter: You can use melted and slightly cooled unsalted butter or peanut or another nut butter here.
  • Vanilla extract and cinnamon: These add a lot of nice flavor to the cake.
  • Whole wheat flour: This whole grain flour absorbs the moisture of the bananas nicely and bakes up nice and tenderly.
  • Sugar: I use sugar to sweeten the cake just a little. Feel free to use honey or maple syrup if you prefer. To make without added sugar, use very ripe bananas and omit the sugar.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: A combination of these helps the dense batter to rise nicely.
  • Chocolate chips: I like to roughly chop full-size chocolate chips or use mini chips so there’s a little bit in each bite.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a preview of how to make this recipe so you know what to expect from the process. This bakes most evenly in a metal baking pan, rather than glass.

how to make chocolate chip banana cake in grid of four steps.
  1. Add the wet ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Mix together with a whisk.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients, including the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
  4. Add to a baking pan and bake. I prefer to line my baking pan with parchment paper so the bars are easy to lift out and cut without scratching my pan.

Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes, then use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan to cool fully on the wire rack. Once cool, slice into bars.

Banana chocolate chip cake in pan after baking.

How to Store

Once cool, store the sliced cake in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve cold or place onto a heat-safe plate and warm for 15-30 seconds to serve warm.

Best Tips for Success

  • You can use mini chocolate chips instead of chopping full-size ones if desired.
  • Mash the banana smooth for a smooth final texture in the cake.
  • Dairy-free: Use nondairy milk and in place of butter, either peanut butter, vegan butter, or melted coconut oil.
  • To make without added sugar, use very ripe bananas and omit the sugar.
  • This works best made in a metal pan. If using a glass baking pan, bake as directed then cover with foil and bake for 8-10 more minutes as needed to set the middle of the cake.
  • Top with Cream Cheese Frosting if desired.
  • Try this recipe as muffins in this Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe or my Banana Bread Muffins.

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chocolate chip banana cake stack on counter.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

Bursting with ripe bananas and just enough chocolate, this Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is a favorite snack, breakfast, or dessert to share with the kids. Bonus: It's SO easy to make and stores incredibly well for days.
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 107kcal
Servings 16

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan. Set aside.
  • Add the banana, eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla to a medium bowl. Whisk smooth.
  • Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Stir gently with a spatula or spoon to combine thoroughly.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and top with the chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 22-26 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the cake (using the parchment paper) to a wire rack to cool fully. Slice into bars and serve.

Notes

  • Once cool, store the sliced cake in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Serve cold or place onto a heat-safe plate and warm for 15-30 seconds to serve warm.
  • This works best made in a metal pan. If using a glass baking pan, bake as directed then cover with foil and bake for 8-10 more minutes as needed to set the middle of the cake.
  • Dairy-free: Use nondairy milk and in place of butter, either peanut butter, vegan butter, or melted coconut oil.
  • Egg-free: Use a store-bought egg replacer or a chia or flax egg. If using a chia or flax egg, it may take longer to bake through and may have a moister final texture.
  • Substitute maple syrup or honey for the sugar or omit entirely if desired. It will be less sweet if you omit it, so be sure to use very, very ripe bananas.
  • ITry this recipe as muffins in this Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 122mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 147IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published January 2018.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This just came out of the oven and I already had 3 slices and it’s 11:30pm here haha!!! I used maple syrup, almond butter in place of butter but forgot to add more baking time (used glass pan) but it came out DELICIOUS!!!

    1. Hi Katharine, you can freeze fully cooled cake pieces in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. Warm from frozen in the microwave in 15 second increments or thaw at room temp or in the fridge.

  2. 5 stars
    This chocolate chip banana bread is delicious! Our family devoured it. I used AP flour and a glass pan because it’s what we had on hand. Followed Amy’s note to cover with foil and bake a few minutes longer and it turned out GREAT. Highly recommend!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for yet another fantastic recipe! Made it exactly as written and it came out perfectly!

    Anyone reading these comments….make it! It’s a heavenly treat! ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    1. Yes, though since pumpkin doesn’t have the same natural sweetness you may want to increase the sugar or maple syrup a bit.

  4. Can this be made with maple syrup like some of the other toddler cakes instead of the brown sugar? We are not giving any sugar to my 2 year old son but would still like him to enjoy a treat on his birthday. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Amy,

    I made this cake yesterday and let me tell you, it was AMAZINGG. I just had two slices for breakfast today. I made two substitutions though. I used only 1/4 cup of unsalted butter and 1/4 of non fat Greek yogurt instead of 1/2 cup oil but the cake turned out so good and moist. I also did not add the frosting because it was sweet and good enough for me.

    Thanks for the recipe!

      1. 5 stars
        I made this for my son’s second birthday. I did a gluten free baking mix instead of the almond meal and added a little bit of nut milk. It wasn’t a fluffy cake but it was DELICIOUS, especially with the cream cheese frosting. I also used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips. Thank you for this recipe! I felt great letting my son have seconds and eat it every day until it was gone.