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Hello!

Welcome to Littlest Love. I document my adventures in baking and food-focused travel.

Chocolate Topped Banana Bread

Chocolate Topped Banana Bread

I hate to dole out apologies again (and again), but it's been a while since I've written a blog post! There have been a lot of distractions in my life lately, and some fun news that I don't think I've shared with Littlest Love followers yet. My very first and littlest love is due September 5th.

That's right, we're having a baby girl, and we couldn't be more excited!

And because of that, I've been craving the most ridiculous and (mostly) bad-for-you things. Oreos with peanut butter, blueberry cake donuts, caramel anything, Frosted Flakes, grapefruit (any citrus, really), handfuls of frosted animal crackers (yes, the neon pink ones with sprinkles, duh!), strawberries, sesame broccoli, white cheddar Cheetos, movie popcorn. I could go on, but our focus today is my most recent craving: BANANA BREAD.

Having a sweet tooth runs in my family, but more specifically, banana bread is the sweet glue that holds us all together. All of the women in my family make a different version, and each one is amazing in its own right. I've decided to share mine because it's so easy and so versatile; you can really make it your own by adding in any kind of dry topping (dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, the list goes on).

My favorite way to eat this banana bread is by toasting it and then topping it with a heaping spoonful of crunchy peanut butter and touch of raspberry jam.

I would absolutely love to hear of your unique and creative ways of preparing or serving this banana bread, because I've got three more months to satiate all of my fun cravings!

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Chocolate Topped Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Unsalted butter, melted and brought back to room temperature
  • 1 C. Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla bean paste
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 C. All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Cardamom
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3 Bananas, very ripe and roughly 1 - 1 1/4 cups once mashed
  • 1 C. Chocolate chips (I prefer minis, but you can always get crazy and finely chop some fancy chocolate to sprinkle on top!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan (or line with parchment paper).
  3. Cream butter, brown sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes on medium speed in a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated, then turn on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes or until very fluffy and texture is smooth and no longer grainy.
  5. While wet ingredients are mixing, in a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.
  6. Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients in three parts, turning mixer on low and using a spatula to scrape down edges each time, until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. In a separate bowl, mash bananas until only small solid pieces remain.
  8. Pour mashed bananas into batter, folding them in with spatula by hand until fully incorporated.
  9. Pour batter into 9x5 pan until 3/4 full, adding chocolate to the top. Because the bread rises and the surface area spreads out, feel free to top with chocolate liberally!
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or just until inserted toothpick comes out with a clean or with a mostly dry crumb.
  11. Let cool to just warmer than room temperature, slice and enjoy!
  12. Can keep covered with plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil for up 5 days.
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