chocolate chip pecan banana bread

Today is National Banana Bread Day. Who would’ve thought there was such a thing? But there is. And I’m observing it.

When I was growing, up my aunts made great banana bread, so to me it’s comfort food. I love that it’s sweet but still a bit wholesome. One of my favorite afternoon snacks is a slice of homemade banana bread with a hot cup of tea. And if I were a sweets in the morning kind of girl, I’d really enjoy it for breakfast as well.

I have a tendency to let my bananas ripen past their prime, which doesn’t bother me much because those are the best bananas for making bread. Any excuse to make banana bread is fine by me. I just can’t bare to let those unidentifiable blackened bananas go to waste.

Over the years I’ve tried several different banana bread recipes, but this is the one I’ve been making over and over for the past year. It’s full of things I love, like bittersweet chocolate, toasted pecans and shredded coconut. It’s moist and light with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. Plus, it’s like the easiest recipe ever, so there’s no reason not to get out those ripened bananas and start baking. Have yourself a very happy Banana Bread Day!

chocolate chip pecan banana bread

makes 1 9×5-inch loaf or 2 7-1/2×3-1/2-inch loaves

butter or non-stick spray for pans

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 super ripe bananas)

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease your loaf pan(s). Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, pecans, shredded coconut and 1/4 cup of the sifted flour mixture and toss until coated. This will help prevent the ingredients from sinking to the bottom of the bread. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and oil. Add the eggs, one at a time until well combined. Add the mashed bananas. Pour the vanilla into the buttermilk. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk to the banana mixture,  beginning and ending with the flour. Gently fold  in the pecans, chocolate chips and coconut.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s) 2/3 of the way full. For two small loaves, bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. For one large loaf, bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 20-30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.