Banana bread with swirls of Nutella takes a classic quick bread up a notch. A sweet and salty Nutella ribbon makes a welcome surprise in your snack cake.
When I was growing up, coming home from school meant digging into snacks such as carob and dehydrated banana chips. It wasn’t until I tasted actual chocolate that I realized there was a giant world out there (and everyone else was probably eating better snacks than I was). Thus, began a long and storied quest to find the good sweet stuff that eventually led me to Nutella. Swirling hazelnut-y chocolate into the center of this banana bread is so satisfying and delicious. It’s the after-school snack we all deserve. I like my bananas mashed by hand, so there are some small chunks in the bread. If you like a more even crumb, then you are more of a pureed-banana person—and that will work too.–Zoë François
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How do I tell when my banana bread is done?
It’s incredibly disappointing to spend all that time baking a banana bread and waiting for it to cool, just to slice into it and find a doughy, gluey, raw middle. Using a toothpick or skewer might work but it’s not the most accurate way to go. If you’ve added any kind of “texture” to your bread (like zucchini or, in this case, Nutella) you’re not going to get an accurate idea of doneness. A digital thermometer is going to give you the most reliable reading. When the center of your bread is baked through, it should register between 200°F to 205°F degrees.
Banana Bread with Nutella
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter melted, plus more for the pans
- 2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 large)
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade Nutella
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously butter two 8 by 4-inch (20 by 10-cm) or 9 by 5-inch (23 by 13-cm) loaf pans, then line them with buttered parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the bananas, brown sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla, and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir just until smooth.
- Scoop the Nutella into a small bowl and heat in the microwave until softened enough to drizzle, 20 to 30 seconds.
- Divide half of the banana batter between the prepared pans. Drizzle half of the Nutella over the two pans and run a small, thin knife through the batter in a zigzag or swirl pattern to distribute.
- Add the remaining batter to the pans, top with the remaining Nutella, and swirl into the batter with the knife again.
- Bake until a tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and set on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This banana bread with swirls of Nutella is moist, light for a banana bread, and very tasty, particularly hot out of the oven. Who can control themselves to not eat banana bread right out of the oven! And the swirled Nutella (what a great idea!) adds to its wonderful flavors. The Nutella is a background taste that complements the banana bread but does not overpower it. I did find that on day 2, it lost some of its moistness, but was still very good.
The banana is a fruit that can be used even when it’s very ripe, you just have to freeze it. Often, I have bananas in the freezer, not because of a careless consumption of fruit that leads to waste, but because I know that a banana cake is always welcome here at home. If the classic recipe is already a sweet that comforts us, the addition of Nutella in this recipe creates a cake with a rich mixture of flavors, sweet and nutty, which is irresistible.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I hate bananas. Yes, I am one of those weird people who just can’t stand the smell, texture and taste of bananas. I have been ridiculed my entire life for it and I have tried many times to get over my disdain for them but alas, I have just accepted it.
However, my fiancé loves banana bread AND Nutella so there was no way I could pass on making this. This is a super standard banana loaf recipe that requires no equipment other than your arms but comes with the extra flair of Nutella. From what I’m told, this recipe for banana bread with swirls of Nutella has all the things you look for in a banana bread: a nice moist crumb, strong banana taste with the added richness and joy of hazelnut and chocolate. I did in fact try a little bite of this (what kind of tester would I be otherwise?!) and I can attest that the banana taste was strong in this recipe but it wasn’t too sweet overall. The inside didn’t feel under baked at all but you can taste the extra moisture.
I noticed that the headnote and picture for this recipe included one loaf with a cream cheese frosting on top. I would have loved to try this recipe with that additional layer of fun on it. I feel like that combination of salty/sweet would have been great to accompany that fun Nutella kick.
This is definitely a fun play on a traditional banana bread with chocolate chips. I think we’ve found a new banana bread to add to the rotation! Plus this recipe makes two so it’s a great way to make something for yourself and give another one away without the extra work.
This is a truly gorgeous loaf when it emerges from the oven, all puffed up with a slightly overflowing top crust and impressive with dark swirls of Nutella. Clearly the mechanics of the recipe work quite well—and I’m especially happy to say that the loaves didn’t sink in the middle while cooling, which is so often the situation with quick bread recipes. The loaf of banana bread with swirls of Nutella stayed tall and sturdy (but wonderfully tender!) and when cut, the slices revealed the two chocolate layers and the promise of something more exciting than your average straight-up banana bread.
That said…I now have to admit to being slightly disappointed by the mild taste of the loaf, especially after the heightened expectations of that beautiful layering. The banana flavor was par enough for this sort of thing, but the Nutella flavor was an absent promise. If my eyes were closed, I’m not sure I’d be able to identify any real chocolate flavor. My strongest impression, however, was that the loaf needed more oomph, and my thought was that a pinch more salt and some additional vanilla might help with the relatively benign flavors and perhaps tease the Nutella out a bit. I’ll gladly make this again because it’s handsome, has a great texture, and checks all the basic banana bread boxes, but I’ll definitely throw in that extra bit of salt.
I should also note that I used the recommended pan size, but next time will use a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan, since my test version crusted over the tops of the smaller pans a little bit. The larger pan should work perfectly.