This Banana Chocolate Chip Cake is the best way to use those spotted bananas! With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll bake a light and tender banana snack cake from scratch with morsels of rich chocolate in every bite. Once frosted with chocolate buttercream, this cake is truly impossible to resist.
As a trained pastry chef, I know a fantastic cake when I see one, and this moist banana cake with chocolate chips is just that! Super sweet banana and gooey chocolate are a match made in flavor heaven.
Compared to banana bread, which is usually dense with an extra moist crumb, this crowd-pleasing banana cake is delicate and fluffy. It’s finished with a luscious layer of homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.You could also top this snack cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting or regular cream cheese frosting for a fun twist!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- It’s the perfect cake for banana and chocolate lovers. There’s bold banana and chocolatey goodness in every bite.
- It’s a great way to use up ripe bananas.
- It’s easy and yields a moist, melt-in-your-mouth banana chocolate chip cake every time.
- Melted butter & eggs – These both provide structure and stability to the batter while creating a moist, fluffy cake.
- Bananas – Overly ripened, speckled bananas add density to the cake batter and naturally sweet flavor. The bananas should have blotches of brown discoloration, but they shouldn’t be mushy.
- Vanilla Extract – Quality vanilla extract elevates the sweet, indulgent flavors.
- Yogurt – Yogurt is key to making an extra moist banana cake. It must be plain full-fat yogurt.
- Milk – Adds moisture and thins the batter to the ideal consistency.
- Flour – Flour acts as the gluten framework. It also coats the chocolate chips to keep them suspended within the batter instead of sinking. You can use all-purpose flour or cake flour.
- Brown Sugar – Sweetens the cake batter while keeping it moist.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – This pair of leavening agents creates a reaction within the batter, causing the cake to rise.
- Kosher Salt – Salt helps strengthen the batter and make everything sweet taste even sweeter!
- Chocolate chips – I like using mini chocolate chips but you can use any.These can be milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips. Use your favorite.
The best bananas to use are ones that are a overripe, a few days old, and spotted!
Equipment you need
I use an 8×8 square pan for baking this snack cake. The best pan to use is a light colored one because it will distribute heat evenly. Darker pans do not evenly distribute heat and may bake the edges of the cake faster leaving an under baked middle.
I like using this pan.
You can bake this cake in a 9″ round cake pan too but the baking time will be less, around 30-35 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8 “x8” cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
Mix wet ingredients: Add the butter to a medium-size microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Cool for 5 minutes, then add the mashed banana, eggs, vanilla, yogurt, and milk. Mix to combine.
Combine dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Make banana cake batter: Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and mix just until the batter is cohesive. Do not overmix!
Add chocolate chips: Mix the chocolate chips with a 1/2 tablespoon of flour in a small bowl. Then, add the chocolate chips to the cake batter, and stir to combine.
Bake, then cool: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (40-45 minutes). Let cool to room temperature before frosting.
Decorate: While the cake bakes, make your chocolate buttercream frosting (it only takes a few minutes!). Then spread it over the top and sides of the cake once it’s cooled to room temperature.
The secret to making a moist banana cake
- What makes this cake so moist is the use of melted butter, yogurt, and eggs. Using these ingredients together creates a creamy and tender texture to the cake.
- Use ripe bananas- spotty and brown bananas work best!
- Do not over mix this recipe or the cake can be tough.
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- Coating the chocolate chips may seem tedious, but it makes a big difference. The added friction prevents the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the cake batter.
- Do not over mix the cake batter, or the cake may turn out dense and chewy.
- As a rule of thumb, all cake batter ingredients should be at room temperature for consistently successful cake baking.
- Brown over-ripened spotty bananas are best!
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing: Since there’s dairy in chocolate buttercream frosting, this cake is best kept in the fridge for 4-5 days. It’s enjoyable when it’s cold, but you can also set it out for 15-20 minutes to take the chill off.
Freezing: If you plan to freeze your banana cake, let it cool completely, then wrap the whole cake securely in freezer-safe plastic wrap and a layer of foil. Keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw the cake in the fridge overnight; then add the frosting and enjoy.
Can I use frozen bananas?
Sure! Defrost and measure correctly so you are using 1 cup.
Can I make banana chocolate chip cupcakes instead?
Sure! If you opt for cupcakes, be careful not to overfill the cupcake liners and bake at 350 F until set (21-25 minutes).
Can this recipe be doubled?
Double the recipe and bake the batter in two 8 “x8” cake pans to make a bigger cake. Once cooled, spread a layer of chocolate buttercream frosting between the cakes to make a two-layered cake.
Can banana chocolate chip cake be made in advance?
Definitely, and it tastes even better! You can bake the cake one day in advance, let it cool, then keep it in an airtight container on the counter overnight. This gives the rich blend of flavors time to blend and amplify—layer on the frosting when you’re ready to serve.
Different toppings to use
I recommend my chocolate buttercream frosting in the recipe, but feel free to use a different frosting or glaze to decorate your banana cake with chocolate chips.
Easy and Moist Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
- ½ cup butter melted and cooled
- 2 Banana ripe peeled and mashed
- 2 Eggs large
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Plain Full Fat Yogurt
- ¼ cup Milk
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour + ½ tbsp, divided
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 12 oz Mini Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a 8×8 pan with baking spray. Mash the 2 bananas in a bowl.
- Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a medium size microwave safe bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the mashed bananas, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup yogurt, and 1/4 cup milk and mix to combine.
- In another bowl combine the 2 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix only until the batter comes together. Do not overmix.
- Combine the chocolate chips with the extra ½ tbsp flour in a small bowl and mix to coat well. Pour the chocolate chips into the batter and mix to combine.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Top with chocolate buttercream frosting.