chocolate chip banana cake

chocolate chip banana cake | the merry gourmet

The house smells faintly of slow-cooked pork and wood smoke. The aromas strengthen each time someone opens the patio door. I can see the Big Green Egg from my vantage point on the sofa, soft wisps of white smoke puffing from the vent in the top. My husband has been manning the grill since 7:30 this morning, and when the meat comes off in just a short while, the pork will fall from the bone with the gentlest nudge.

I’m not a professional football fan, but I’m thankful tonight is Super Bowl Sunday, if only for the fact that Sam has volunteered to make pulled pork for a friend of his – and thus, for us.

My knitting needles are beside me on the sofa, 58 stitches of a lovely blue yarn line the cable. I’m still working on my Color Tipped Scarf, but I wanted something fresh that I could travel with later in the week. I’m headed to San Diego for a meeting on Thursday, and I’m anticipating hours of plane-ride knitting.

I thought I’d make a sweater next, but I saw this wrap some time ago, and I can’t get my mind off of it. I tend to listen to my heart. Or my gut. Or whatever other internal organ from which these instincts arise. The point being: I’m making this wrap. I will not let the pattern’s knitting chart intimidate me, either.

Well, maybe just a little.

I have made two banana cakes in the last two weekends. If it weren’t for those overripe bananas I forgot to eat during the week when they were appropriately ripe, I might have made a pie or cookies or some other treat. Because I was determined to bake. I had overripe bananas, though, and I didn’t want to make my old standby, banana bread. I wanted something…more.

I plan to eventually share both cakes with you, but for today, you get this version – a chocolate chip banana cake. The combination of chocolate and banana is one of my favorites, and this cake takes advantage of that blessed match.

After our dinner of pulled pork, baked beans, and coleslaw tonight, we’ll be eating slices of the other banana cake…the one I’ll share with you next time.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

This cake is really a breeze to make, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry or on your counter. It's a versatile cake to serve for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.


2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons; 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, melted and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1-1/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
2/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dark rum
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in middle position. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together softened butter (1 stick) and 3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended. Beat in bananas, yogurt, vanilla, and rum (mixture will look curdled).

With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

In a small bowl, stir together chocolate chips, cinnamon, melted butter, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Spread half of banana batter in cake pan and sprinkle with half of the chocolate chip mixture (using your fingers is easiest). Spread remaining batter evenly over filling and sprinkle remaining chocolate chip mixture on top.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely, right side up.

Adapted from this recipe in Gourmet, February 2008.

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8 Responses to “chocolate chip banana cake”

  1. 1
    Kiran @ — February 1, 2015 @ 9:05 pm

    As soon as we have overriped bananas, i’m baking these deliciousness! Happy knitting, my friend 🙂

  2. 2
    Flavia — February 1, 2015 @ 9:25 pm

    I always look forward to your posts, MJ. Your writing is soothing and comforting and it always feels like I’m in the place you are describing. It’s been so much fun sharing our new hobbies–knitting for you; crochet for me. Although I’m still riding the learning curve of crochet, taking up this endeavor has helped calm the “noise” in my head and the anxiety in my heart. And seeing something created from a simple skein of yarn amazes me continually. It’s just the same with cooking or baking. Ingredients coming together to make a delicious end result. Banana Cake with chocolate chips is one of my favorites. I’m recently converted to hand-chopping a bar (or two) of chocolate  for a more rustic “look” to the chips–I love the sharp shards, some of which melt while others only melt a little, giving the chips texture throughout the cake.

  3. 3
    Paula — February 2, 2015 @ 12:07 pm

    I love banana bread and often add chocolate chips.  I’ve never made it in cake form and yours looks wonderful, love the addition of cinnamon.  That Guernsey Wrap looks wonderful too and I’m looking forward to seeing your finished one (as I am looking forward to your other banana cake recipe).  Have a safe flight to San Diego and happy knitting 🙂

  4. 4
    Sharon — February 2, 2015 @ 1:36 pm

    Looks delicious…wish my bananas weren’t so ripe.  Question:  are you allowed knitting needles on a flight?  Just asking.

    • 4.1
      Merry-Jennifer — February 4, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

      They’re allowed on Delta, and I’d imagine they’re allowed on the other major US airlines, but it’s a good idea to check first.

  5. 5
    Beth (OMG! Yummy) — February 2, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

    Love the rum and yogurt in it. My daughter is leaving on a trip on her birthday — I will be making a batch of banana chocolate chip mini loaves to send her off with. Nothing is more comforting or delicious than baked banana and chocolate, at least not in our house! Enjoy San Diego!

  6. 6
    Mallory @forkvsspoon — February 3, 2015 @ 11:39 am

    I love that wrap!!  I have not had the confidence to start a sweater, but this wrap seems a bit more approachable…Hope you have a safe trip and this cake, while I am not a fan of banana baked goods, everyone in my office is begging me to make it for them!  

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