Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
This banana chocolate chip cake (perfect for snacking!) takes just minutes to whip up and is fluffy and tender – with a delicious hint of hearty whole grains.
Happy Monday, friends!
I have LOVED all your responses to my weekly newsletter (that went out Friday afternoon) with your favorite book recommendations after I shared two of my recent faves!
(If you aren’t signed up yet, you can do so here.)
I have a feeling I’m going to be very busy for the next year or so catching up on all the books I’ve missed.
Brian says to tell you that you are all fired.
He’s worried about his future.
Clean laundry? Dinner on the table? A wife who makes eye contact and actually speaks more than one-word sentences?
All of those details are very uncertain when I’ve lost myself in a gripping novel. #compulsivereadersunite
Thankfully I have tons of recipes stored up to share with you, which means you shall not be affected immediately by the Reading Splurge of 2017.
I have so many recipes waiting in the wings that sometimes I wish I had the time to get a post up every single dang day.
Seriously, I HAVE SO MANY RECIPES TO SHARE WITH YOU!
Most of them are made already, and the pictures are just waiting quietly in the depths of my “Recipes to Post” files for their time to shine.
Instead of stressing about how to make the time to get these recipes in front of your face (stressing about tedious matters is my middle name, in case you didn’t know), I’ll just share this banana chocolate chip snack cake with you.
How’s that? One recipe down, 543 to go.
My family and I are head over heels for this banana chocolate chip cake!
This delightful little cake has the flavor of really great banana bread – it’s just baked in a cake pan.
AND, it has some wonderful nutty notes of whole grain goodness throughout that compliment the flavor and crumb.
The texture is slightly fluffier than other banana breads that I love (like this sour cream banana bread and this wildly popular buttermilk banana bread).
I honestly don’t know if that is because of the ingredient lineup or simply because it’s baked in a cake pan instead of a loaf pan.
But either way, it is delicious.
As the recipe title implies, it really is a perfect “cake” for snacking.
My kids even finished it off the next morning for breakfast. I’d like to report that not one person in my household felt guilty about that decision.
Of course, I couldn’t hold myself back and dug into it while it was still warm from the oven.
Normally that’s a no-no with quick breads (many times, especially like this pumpkin chocolate chip bread, quick breads taste better the next day), but this banana chocolate chip cake was incredible just a teeny bit warm!
I may or may not have thrown a spoonful of cinnamon ice cream on top of the sliver I carved out of the cake…but that’s neither here nor there.
Such a simple snack OR dessert, this super simple banana chocolate chip cake is a keeper!
One Year Ago: The Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Two Years Ago: Classic and Delicious Peach Cobbler
Three Years Ago: Zucchini Hummus
Four Years Ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Five Years Ago: Succulent Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
- 1 cup (142 g) whole wheat flour (see note)
- 1 cup (142 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (113 g) salted butter, softened
- 1 cup (212 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups (about 340 g) mashed ripe bananas, about 3 large bananas (see note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup (170 g) mini chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (make sure an oven rack is in the middle position). Grease an 8X8- or 9X9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. See note below for pan type (metal vs. glass).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
- In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs and mix to combine.
- Add the bananas and vanilla and mix.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until a few dry streaks remain. Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix. Add another 1/3 of the flour and mix again, followed by the remaining buttermilk. Finally add the last of the flour AND the chocolate chips and mix until just combined (don’t overmix!).
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan (or dig in while warm; no judging).
Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country June/July 2017; (reduced sugar, used whole wheat flour, nixed the icing, increased the bananas, etc.)
76 Comments on “Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Snack Cake”
Oh my, this is delicious!! I’ve been waiting over a week to bake it. It was 100+ here in northern CA for almost a week last week! The only mods I made were to 1) cut the sugar by half (still plenty sweet) and I used AP white flour (1.5 cups) and almond flour (.5 cups) because that’s what I had! This is a winner. I think I’ll add some really finely chopped walnuts next time. Thank you!!
I’ve made this before as written and really liked it. Today I had a lot of bananas to use so I doubled it and split it into a 9×13 and an 8×8 pan. I had some leftover oat flour (oats blended up in the blender) so I threw that it instead of some of the wheat flour. So 1 cup oat flour, 1 cup wheat flour, and 2 cups all purpose flour. Left out the choc chips because my family doesn’t like them in banana bread, but felt it still needed a little something special so I made a crumble/streusel type topping that I put on the 9×13: 1 cup chopped pecans, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 3 Tbsp white sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon. It turned out seriously amazing!! I love the flavor the oats added and the pecan topping is so addicting! Basically candied nuts on top of already delicious banana bread haha! We enjoyed it so much I had to share that little addition 🙂
I made this recipe to 1.5 scale, and made a 3-tier cake. It was incredibly good – moist and dense. I used a mix of flours, including a bit of cocoa powder. I also used less chocolate chips and less sugar than prescribed (2/3 of the recipe). For Frosting I used 7-minute egg white frosting. Thank you so much!
Used all whole wheat flour (lightly spooned/leveled), baked it in a 9×13 pan for 20-25 min. AMAZING! Thanks again!
My baking pans are 2″ deep so I made this in a 9×13″ baking pan. Baked for 25 minutes. Probably could’ve been in a bit less time, but I have a convection oven and its old and cranky so I just kind of eye-ball everything that goes into the darn thing.
My kids inhaled this cake for snack! Hubby and I went out for dinner and came home to half of the pan finished!! Thanks for another awesome recipe!
Thank you for the 9×13 convection conversion!
Made this today dairy-free. I used an almond/cashew milk and added about two tablespoons of vinegar for the “buttermilk”, Enjoylife mini chocolate chips and vegan butter. It turned out fantastic. And as a side note, it tastes fabulous with some coconut whipped cream. Just saying.
Do you know if this cake freezes well? I’ve made your version many times, and it’s just about the best thing ever. Would love to be able to grab one piece, warm in the microwave and go! Thanks.
Yes, it freezes great!
We love this “snack” cake! My little is turning one & wanting to use it as a smash cake, do you think it would work to bake in two 5 inch round cake pans? Any suggestions?
I haven’t tried it – but I think so!
This was delicious !
EXCELLENT!!! Another hit! Love this even better than regular banana bread. The white whole wheat really adds to the flavor.
Great warm or cold from fridge.
I was grabbing one of the speckled bananas, and ooops—three of them started to unpeel. I wondered if I could take this recipe out of my wish list and make it. I weighed them without the skin, and they were 12 ounces. Baking time!
We don’t usually have dessert, but we had this warm. Delicious!!
Thanks for another great recipe! I am a big fan of your recipes!!!
My hubby likes it firmer, so he went crazy over this when it was straight from the fridge and firm.
This was lovely. My new favorite way to use too-ripe bananas. Next time, I will cut the sugar in half since the bananas and chocolate chips offered plenty of sweetness. (If you are one of those people that looks for the cookie with more ‘cookie’ than chocolate chips, you can probably cut the chocolate chips down to 3/4 or 2/3 cup.) Also, I’ll leave it in the oven just a little longer so the middle is a little more done. All in all, a delightfully light and fluffy alternative to banana bread!
Oh, and I used the 7×11 glass Pyrex pan and it fit all of the batter well, for anyone wondering about alternate pan sizes!
How long did you bake it for?
Well, this is my second comment, but I can’t stop making this cake. This time instead of the butter, I used 1/4 c. safflower oil and 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce to try to cut some of the sat fat. It came out so terrific again. Love this so much!!! Have a great weekend, Mel!
This recipe is amazing. Made 18 muffins – baked for 18 minutes. My kids wanted chocolate and peanut butter chips in them, and it turned out great. I didn’t have buttermilk so I just used plain milk and it worked great too. Also used whole wheat flour and white flour. It turned out so moist and fluffy,chewy, bouncy… :). Kids loved them.
Had to do a little “overdue for a big grocery shop” substituting so I used unrefined coconut oil instead of butter and and sprinkles instead of chocolate chips. I know it could be considered criminal to be out of both at the same time… but the result was DELICIOUS. Cooked in a springform pan since my cake pans aren’t very tall.
Made this cake this weekend. I love how it’s not super sweet. I made it with semi-sweet chips, but we all agreed it needs dark chocolate shavings. So it’s on the agenda for next week as well. 🙂 That’s how you know it’s a keeper.
Happy to hear you loved it, Crystal!
who makes the pan that you used to make this cake in? is it chicago? thanks!
It’s actually a Wilton pan that is discontinued now, which is a bummer because it’s the best pan ever.
Made this today for my kids’ after school snack. They loved it! So did my husband and I. Easy and tasty. Thanks!
Thanks for letting me know, Ashley!
We loved this cake. I liked how it was very high, but only made a 9×9 cake. My 3 bananas were not large enough I guess so I was short for the 1 1/2 cups. Since my others were green, I added some unsweetened applesauce to make up for the banana. I also used my mini chocolate chips from KAF, which I love so much. They are more like micro chips, but I use them a lot when I don’t want too much chocolate in my dessert! Thank you for a great snack cake.
I made this cake tonight after seeing the recipe in my Google news feed. I made it almost as is (used homemade buttermilk because I didn’t have the real thing) and it is fantastic! I didn’t think I would ever find a recipe I liked better than my sour cream banana bread recipe but this is better. A keeper recipe!
Loved this!! It may or may not have had most of it gone by the time my husband came home. That’s ok though because it’s totally healthly with fruit and whole wheat, right?
Would this work in muffins form? If so, approximately how long would you bake it?
I haven’t tried it but I don’t see why not – I’d probably start checking after about 15 mins.
I made these as muffins this weekend. It made 18 standard muffins that took 19 minutes to bake. The kids loved them! I also added a hefty dose of cinnamon because my husband swears that banana anything has to have cinnamon in it. =)
Awesome! Thanks for the muffin update!
I tried it as well. I got 24, and the muffins were just under half filled. I baked for 20 minutes. My husband declared them a keeper. Thanks for another great recipe Mel!
I read your comment about 325 for glass. If I use stoneware (so the sides are high enough)….
What do I adjust? Time or Temperature
That’s a good question – I don’t think you’d need to adjust for stoneware but if it looks like the edges are baking faster than the middle (getting over browned), you might want to turn the oven down to 325.
I made this today for an after school snack and all 5 kids loved it!
Yay! Thanks for letting me know, Kate!
I never saw the comment that I posted yesterday so here we go again I made this yesterday as a treat for some women I visit, and it was delicious in every way! But my cake was very dark. It was dense, moist and super delicious but I love the light color of your cake . Do you have any idea why my cake was so much darker.?
The same thing happens when I make your Buttermilk Banana bread. It is still super delicious but darker than the pictures you post. I use frozen bananas that are VERY ripe when I freeze them so I’m thinking maybe that is the reason?
Thanks for another great recipe Mel!!
Hey Linda! Hmmm, interesting about the darker color. I think it must be the frozen super dark bananas because I can’t think of anything else that would be the cause?
Would your Homemade Buttermilk substitutions work here or do you recommend using real buttermilk. Thank you!
Yes! But an even simpler one is to use equal parts sour cream and milk.
I usually use bananas that I have frozen. Do you know if I should do anything special when defrosting, or any changes to the recipe?
As long as the bananas are thawed, it should work fine!
I am a bit confused with the measurements in this recipe. I thought a standard cup was 8 oz. If I measure flour by the scale, it is way under two cups of flour. So now I am unsure whether I should use the scale or measuring cups? Thanks!
An 8-ounce measuring cup is for fluid ounces but the weight of the ingredients in a cup will be different based on the ingredient. So an 8-ounce cup of flour will weigh about 5 ounces. Does that make sense?
Would you mind sharing the brand of baking pan you used for this recipe?
It’s a Wilton pan but it’s no longer available, darn it. I think I’ve had it for 10 years
We made this yesterday and it was delicious! My kids love for it.
I followed your receipt for blackberry jam and it didn’t set up what would I have done wrong
I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ve posted a recipe for blackberry jam.
Mel! Is there any way your readers can see those book recommendations?! If it’s too complicated, no problem. I’m a compulsive reader, too…literally CAN NOT hear people talking to me while I’m reading. My husband laughs at/makes fun of/is kind-of in awe of my ability to tune out the world. 😉 What kinds of books do you like to read? I’d love to recommend a couple.
Hi Nancy! The books I recommended were Beneath a Scarlet Sky and Before We Were Yours.
I have been using an almost identical recipe for years, only mine uses a cup of butter instead of 4 oz, and also has a cup of oats. I love the oat flavor in it, but I would love to use less butter. Do you think I could just add a cup of oats to your recipe? Or would I need to decrease the flour? I’m going to have to experiment! Thanks!
That sounds amazing! I think I would try adding the oats in and maybe decreasing the flour by 1/2 cup.
Thanks for the tip! I’ll let you know next time I try it. 🙂
What happens when you use just all purpose flour for the total flour amount?
And similar question, what if you use all fresh ground hard white wheat flour?
It’s very hearty and a little more dense…but if you love the taste of whole wheat, it should be fine! Just measure with a light hand
It will be delicious!
I forgot to mention the skins turn very black. No worries! The inside will be fine. The sweetness and Flavor is enhanced two fold. Also be careful, let cool before peeling!! Very hot!!
If you have bananas that aren’t ripe enough, bake in 325 oven with skins on, on parchment lined sheet pan. I turn half way thru. Bake about 20 min.. They taste awesome!!
Good to know! Thanks for the insight!
How does this differ from the original recipe from CC? I made it twice (without frosting) and it is so darn good.
And I don’t mean what you altered, I mean how does the finished product compare. But that’s assuming you made the original recipe first and then tweaked it. So maybe you don’t know! Sorry to be confusing.
Oh gotcha…sorry that I didn’t understand. My version is slightly heartier and…I don’t know…maybe slightly more healthy cake vs indulgent cake.
I included my changes below the recipe in the recipe source notes. Basically, I reduced the sugar, used more bananas, used part whole wheat flour, etc.
Sorry for the unclear question. I was trying to ask, how does the finished product compare, like does the whole grain change the texture a lot, is it noticeably less sweet, or would you say it’s still pretty close to the original but healthier?
do you have to use buttermilk? i hate to buy that to only use 1/2 cup. no one will drink it in my house.
You can use half milk, half sour cream
You can use a tsp. of vinegar or lemon juice in the milk to make a buttermilk substitute. It works great for me.
This looks like the perfect recipe I was looking for to serve this Thursday morning when Ladies come to my house for a Bible study. Always like being able to serve a “healthy” option. Thanks!
This looks awesome! I love recipes that use whole wheat flour in a sweet snack/dessert – makes them feel a little less splurge-y.