This Healthy Banana Split Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is dairy free, healthy and loaded with natural sweetness and is super moist for a healthy kid friendly snack that the whole family will love!
I grew up eating a lot of banana bread. My mom was not a stellar cook or baker, but she knew how to make a really good chocolate chip banana bread. I’m not sure how much sugar was in her version, but since becoming a mom of a sweet-loving toddler, I have been on a mission to cut back on the added sugar in a lot of my family recipes. And with banana bread- that’s actually really easy! Bananas are so naturally sweet that you really don’t need much, and the addition of sweet cherries and dark chocolate chips in there totally channel those banana split vibes without a lot of sugar.
key ingredients for baking this chocolate chip banana bread
This is not your mama’s banana bread. Here are some of the key players (and some add-ins that make my recipe unique).
Bananas- Obviously. You need to let them get SUPER ripe and speckly, almost going black (but like, not quite). Honestly, I always buy double what I think I will need for bananas each week so that by the end of the week, when I haven’t finished half of them, I chop them up and put them in freezer bags to keep for making banana bread. I also add more bananas than most banana bread recipes call for simply because I find that is what makes the most moist bread ever.
- Vegan Yogurt – This keeps the bread super moist without a ton of added fat!
- Eggs- Ditto for the moist factor.
- Cherries- I use frozen cherries and this not only adds moisture and sweetness, but also makes this bread taste like a banana split!
- Dark chocolate chips – I mean, it wouldn’t be chocolate chip banana bread without chocolate, and this also adds to the whole banana split vibe.
- Silicon Loaf pan- This baby (affiliate link) will make taking your loaf out of the pan SO MUCH EASIER.
any tips for baking super moist CHOCOLATE CHIP banana bread?
Lots and lots of ripe bananas. The riper the better. Same with the eggs, yogurt and honey. These all contribute moisture so you literally cannot overcook this. I mean, you could, but it would take you literally forgetting about it for hours in the oven.
FAQ about this recipe
I know a lot of you may have specific questions, so I’ll try to answer them here.
what else can i put in this LOAF if i don’t want it to be banana split flavoured?
Honestly, any fruit you like! Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple! You just need the bananas in there and the rest is up to you.
can i make this with dairy if we’re not dairy free?
Totally. Go ahead and use regular butter and regular yogurt!
can i make this loaf vegan?
You can try, but admittedly I have never tested it and I expect it will definitely work but won’t be as moist without the eggs. Flax eggs however are a great source of omega 3 fats, which I love, so give it a go!
how would i adjust the baking time to make these into chocolate chip banana muffins?
Yes. You can make these into muffins and bake them for about 25-30 minutes for full muffins and 15-17 minutes for minis.
can this LOAF BE frozen?
Yes! I often do make a double batch of this loaf, wrap one in foil and then in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to eat, simply thaw and enjoy.
do you have any other banana bread or banana muffin recipes?
You bet! Check out some of my favourites (PS: I’m totally obsessed with bananas so you probably know, I put them in EVERYTHING).
What other add ins do you like in your banana bread? Leave me a comment below with your thoughts and if you try this recipe!
"Banana Split" Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Dairy Free)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup very ripe bananas mashed (about 3 medium)
- 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups frozen cherries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips dairy free
- 4-5 frozen cherries
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips dairy free
- 2 tsp hemp hearts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper (hanging over the longer sides. Grease the parchment paper and the pan on the short sides with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, honey, eggs, Greek yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips then transfer to the loaf pan.
- Top with extra cherries, sliced banana, chocolate chips and hemp hearts, then bake for about 60-75 minutes on the middle rack or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out relatively clean and the sides are well browned. Allow to cool fully on a cooling rack before carefully removing (using the parchment paper), then slicing and eating.
Updated on September 29th, 2020
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.