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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread

I received this banana bread recipe from my dear friend and fellow graphic designer Julie in Boston about 10 years ago. She brought the bread to work one day and my recipe radar immediately started buzzing. Of course I asked for the recipe, which she graciously shared with me the next day…on a piece of paper, in her handwriting, complete with a little sketch of a monkey holding bananas. About five years ago I digitized all my recipes (i.e. sat down and typed them all into the computer for hours on end…digitized sounds cooler, though). Despite the digitization, I still hang onto my recipe card box. It’s a treasure. All those recipes, lovingly hand written, complete with notes, sketches, and, sometimes, the handwriting of loved ones who have since passed. I can still picture many of those handwritten recipe cards, even when I’m looking at a typed version on the computer or iPad. Like with this bread. That little monkey will never leave my brain and always reminds me of happy times in the design studio with Julie.

This banana bread is soooooooo good. A little lighter in texture than other banana breads, but still very moist. I brought it to a party last weekend and people were gushing. And I feel like I can say that with total humility since it’s not my original recipe. ALTHOUGH…my tweaks have put it over the edge, if I do say so myself. (Okay, humility out the window!) The original recipe calls for nuts, which I hate in my baked goods. Instead, I put in coconut. It’s so awesome. Also, I try to use mini chocolate chips whenever I can. They distribute beautifully through the bread and are perfect for this recipe. That’s not to say that if you use regular chocolate chips you won’t be happy…you will. But the minis kind of rock it.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baking
  • 1¼ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup (1 stick) margarine, softened (Jane note: I use butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ Cup mashed ripe bananas (Jane note: about 4 medium-sized bananas)
  • ½ Cup buttermilk (Jane note: if you don't have buttermilk on hand, put about a 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar into your ½ cup, then fill the rest with milk and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ Cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Cup mini chocolate chips
  • ¾ Cup shredded coconut (original recipe calls for 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts instead of the coconut)
  1. Preheat oven to 350, grease bottom only of 2 loaf pans.
  2. Mix sugar with margarine/butter. (Jane note: I use my beloved pastry blender to do the mixing until the point when I add the dry ingredients.) Stir in eggs. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, soda until just moistened - do not overstir!
  4. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes, until top and edges are browned and the center looks cooked (Jane note: I have dark, non-stick bread pans and my bread is done at ~45 minutes). Cool 5 minutes in pan and then on wire rack.
Jane Note: I couldn't find my second loaf pan last week, so I did one loaf and the rest as muffins. The muffins came out great and cooked in about half the time as the loaf. Half of the batter yielded 11 muffins, so a full batch would be about 22 muffins. That all said, I do think I like the loaf form better.


  1. 1
    Alexis R

    I bet it would taste good using coconut oil instead of butter…not a shredded coconut fan.

  2. I love all things with banana and chocolate – but with coconut, too. That’s gotta taste good. 🙂

  3. 3

    My loaves are in the oven. I have one dark pan and one glass pan. We’ll see how long each one takes. Glad you told me your dark pan cooked so quick, or I would have totally overcooked mine before I even thought to check on it.

    • Jane Maynard

      I was thinking about you tonight, wondering if you would actually make the bread after such a busy day…hope you love it!

  4. 4

    wow sounds DELICIOUS!! I can`t wait to try this recipe out. Its funny I was just talking about “digitizing” recipes with a friend today. UGH! I must take this as a sign and get to work! Right now baking bread or sitting in my hot home office sounds like the last thing I want to do in this heat though!

  5. I have some bananas that need to baked with (meaning they are very brown) and I’m so glad you posted this recipe. I love the idea of adding coconut. I hope it cools down a bit so I can bake it.

  6. That is such a sweet story…and reminds me of all of the recipe cards I have of my Grandma’s in my recipe box. Your bread looks delicious too…sounds like a great combo of flavours.

    • Jane Maynard

      I used sweetened because that was what I had in the cupboard…but the bread is quite sweet, would be worth experimenting with unsweetened!

  7. 7
    Samantha N.

    I’m going to try this recipe gluten free! I love all of the flavors in this bread.

  8. This looks and sounds fantastic! And i love the fact you describe it as lighter in texture than most, right up my street i think 🙂 Lovely post too, handwritten recipe cards are something special hey 🙂

  9. 9

    I can definitely understand why this cake would recieve such a good reaction – it looks delicious! I love the addition of coconut too.

  10. 10

    OK – the combo of banana and coconut is so smart! Yum!

  11. 11

    Wow Yummy! didn’t have buttermilk on hand and the vinegar and milk worked, I used a glass pan and it took 53 minutes and 45 for the metal non stick, just had some warm with a little butter was AMAZING!!!!

  12. 12

    I’ve used this recipe twice already since stumbling on it; it’s soooo good.

    Sidenote not to detract from how much I like this recipe:
    Think the only thing is that I’d wish for it to be more filling.
    Would eat a small slice and want to eat so much more.

  13. 13

    My husband loves chocolate chip, coconut banana bread so I looked up recipes on the Internet and stumbled upon this one and just made it. Wow…it was delicious!! My loaf pan was rusted so I had to use my 9×9 brownie pan and it still came out perfect! I made 5 muffins with the leftover batter. I let the muffins cook for 15-20 minutes and removed them and the pan cooked for about 33 minutes total. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will be making it again for my friends and family!! 🙂

  14. 14

    I made these laoves a few days ago and they were a huge hit! thanks so much for a wonderful recipe 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      you’re welcome! and, in fact, your comment inspired me to make them again myself this week. SO YUMMY! 🙂

  15. Delicious recipe. Just baked half in a bread loaf pan and the rest of the batter into mini muffins and my house smells wonderful. Can’t wait to share at work and with the fam. Thanks!

  16. 16

    really tempting recipe, I’ve made some in the oven right now. does the flour need to be sifted though? I may have missed that bit.

  17. 17

    tasted amazing!! thanks for sharing. such a lovely light texture 😀

    • Jane Maynard

      I’m so glad! it is amazing how light it is, right? not what you expect from banana bread…I love it!

  18. 18

    I have got to give this a try. My husband would love it!


  19. 19

    I used 1 cup sweetened coconut shavings and omitted the 1 1/4 cup sugar. They tasted amazing!

    • Jane Maynard

      wow – impressed you omitted all of the sugar! good to know it was amazing, might have to play around with it! 🙂

  20. 20

    I just made these w/o coconut and used chopped walnuts. We are circling the kitchen waiting on them to come out!

  21. 21
    Ashley Myers

    I have been having issues lately with making bread in my loaf pan so I’m doing all muffins. Can’t wait for them to come out of the oven!! I was able to get 24 muffins 😉

  22. 22
    Ashley Myers

    5 Rating from me!!!! I’ll be making these again!

  23. 23

    I printed out this recipe years ago and have made it a few times since then. I made a batch yesterday to bring into my office and it turned out SO WELL! The inside is so moist, and the crust is perfectly crisp without turning tough. I love the addition of coconut. With the amount of batter the recipe makes, I made 1 loaf (filled ~halfway) and a 9×9 square pan. A+!

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