I was off banana bread for a while there. You know, that time during the first COVID-19 lockdown where everyone and their dog decided to learn how to make it?

I remember thinking, "If I have to look at one more picture of banana bread I'm going to lose the plot".

But then, a few weeks ago, my mom came to visit me from Canada and made this banana bread. And we have asked her to make it again and again.

It's beautifully moist, the way you would expect a good banana bread to be, but also loaded with flavour.

Orange rind, crunchy pecans and dark chocolate chips complement each other so well and even though there are some strong flavours in there, you can still taste the banana. You still know, as soon as you bite into it, that this is banana bread, first and foremost.

My mom very kindly shared the recipe and you can see how the banana bread is made in the video below. It comes together easily and can be made in a large round cake tin or a large bread tin (if you want the loaf look).

Chocolate orange banana bread

This banana bread is best served warm with vanilla ice cream. / Janine Kennedy

Makes 12-16 servings


3 overripe bananas, mashed

125ml buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

200g soft brown sugar

190g softened butter

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

380g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1/4 tsp salt

Rind of one orange

100g dark chocolate chips

100g chopped pecans


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spray a large round cake or loaf tin with baking spray and set aside.

2 Mash the bananas in a bowl and then pour over the buttermilk. Sprinkle the baking soda over this mixture, to help it activate. Set aside.

3 In a large bowl, add the butter and brown sugar. Cream until light and fluffy, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix again until everything is well incorporated.

4 In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and optional cinnamon. Set aside.

5 Add the mashed banana mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix. Add the dry ingredients, chocolate chips, pecans and orange rind. Mix until just combined (don't overdo it).

6 Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth out the top with a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, checking after 50 minutes and possibly baking for an additional 20 minutes. Use a skewer to check for doneness - insert the skewer into the centre of the cake/loaf. If it comes out clean, it's baked. If it has batter on it, it needs more time in the oven.

7 Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or keep in an airtight container for up to five days.

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