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Grandma Bea’s Banana Bread with Chocolate

Makes two 5 x 9-inch (or 4-1/2 x 8-inch, taller) loaves


  • 3 cups mashed banana (6 – 7) (ripe & soft, but not mushy)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts, plus more for the top (nuts are optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter your loaf pans or line them with parchment paper.

With a fork, mash the bananas well in a small bowl. Add lemon juice to prevent discoloration; stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar and oil and beat until well-incorporated. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat slowly or stir, until combined. Stir in the mashed bananas until incorporated, then the chocolate and nuts. (Like all quick breads, avoid over-beating as this only activates the gluten and toughens the bread.)  Pour into two loaf pans and bake in a 350° oven for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. (If using the smaller size loaf pan, baking times will be longer.) Allow to cool in their pans on a rack. Remove from the pan, and if you can wait, let it sit until tomorrow when it will be even better!

(Grandma Bea is the grandma-in-law of my daughter Ali. She’s Spanish, adorable, and, I think, an instinctively good cook. This recipe has been passed around liberally. It’s one of those that gets begged for. She specifies walnuts here. This almost never happens, but when I went to the cupboard for them  this morning, I found none. I substituted hazelnuts – (sorry Bea!) – and was pleased! Applying the general rule of “what grows together, goes together,” I’m thinking how delicious macadamia nuts would be! Grandma Bea lived for years in Hawaii…maybe she’d approve.)

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. You wrapped that up just for me right? Looks gorgeous. I love the chocolate swirls!

    June 2, 2011
  2. Ali #

    This is truly the best banana bread! Grandma Bea will be tickled you’re sharing her recipe. This bread never lasts more than 2 days in my house, I kid you not! Lucky for you—–you thought had to leave your banana love on the table—-surprise….you will be receiving some banana lovin’ on our table when you get here!

    June 2, 2011
  3. Ashley #

    I positively need to make this one next time! So I’m guessing there won’t be any left we make it to Ali’s house Friday night? 🙂

    June 2, 2011
  4. Don #

    I vote for macadamias! But, for one minute there I thought you were writing of another ‘Grandma Bea’ that didn’t go by that but maybe could’ve. I wondered where in the world you could have found a recipe from her?!? Bless all the G-ma B’s and their wonderful recipes!
    Lovely recipe!! Looking forward to trying it.

    June 6, 2011
  5. Chanced upon your blog today and love the pictures and the recipes. Especially this one… Looks absolutely scrumptious.

    January 8, 2012
    • Averil, Just made another batch of this banana bread this morning to take to a working crew. It’s been a while since I’ve made it, but oh boy is it a good one! Thanks for leaving a kind comment here!

      February 21, 2012
  6. I will have to try this recipe… My family loves banana bread!

    February 5, 2014

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