Cocoa Swirled Banana Bread

Intensified banana flavor complemented by swirls of dark cocoa


1 loaf




  • 5 very ripe bananas
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Challenge European Style butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts


  • 1
    Peel bananas and place in a sealable plastic bag. Squeeze and flatten the bag to mash the bananas.
  • 2
    Freeze sealed bag of bananas until solid.
  • 3
    Thaw the bananas and pour into a fine mesh strainer placed over a small saucepan.
  • 4
    Strain the banana pulp for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and collecting the liquid in the pan. (approx. 1½ cups pulp and ¾ cup liquid.)
  • 5
    Set pulp aside and cook the liquid over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half.
  • 6
    Blend banana liquid with cocoa powder and set aside.
  • 7
    Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • 8
    Generously butter a 8½ x 4-inch loaf pan (or line the pan with parchment).
  • 9
    Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, salt and baking soda.
  • 10
    Blend dry mix and banana pulp into butter mixture. Stir in nuts.
  • 11
    Remove about a cup of batter and combine with cocoa mixture.
  • 12
    Spoon the cocoa batter alternately with the plain batter into the prepared loaf pan. Swirl batters together using a knife.
  • 13
    Bake for one hour or until center tests done. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan. Allow to completely cool before slicing.
  •  !
    Freeze/thaw cycle releases liquid; alternatively the bananas could be heated in a microwave for 4 to 5 minutes to release the liquid before straining.