Gracious Living: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

3 Feb

In my mind, chocolate chip banana bread is the perfect gift to bring to someone’s home. Whether they’re a new neighbor, or they’ve invited you to a dinner party, or just as a way to express thanks, for say, letting you bootleg their cable or wifi, banana bread fits the bill. It’s all about what I’ve heard referred to as ‘gracious living’. And this is something I’ve struggled with, even writing this post – because I’ve never fancied myself as someone who strives for gracious living.

Makes me wonder what exactly is gracious living?

I can tell you what gracious living is probably not (this post just got a LOT easier to write):

  • Licking the batter off the spoon. Or just eating the whole bowl. All. Of. It.
  • Going through your frenemy’s medicine cabinet. Or their fridge. And judging them.
  • Forgetting to RSVP.
  • Eating something off the floor (5-second rule!)
  • Getting a speeding ticket.
  • Hijacking someone’s Facebook status from their misplaced phone.
  • Leaving someone stranded.
  • Making sure you’re first in line for the free samples at Costco.
  • Keeping found money.
  • Helping yourself to that last little bit of wine at a party and pretending not to realize it.
  • Signing your ‘frenemies’ up for subscriptions to questionable magazines and/or ‘lifestyle’ catalogs. I know you know what I’m talking about here.
Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana BreadImage via via a Google search
Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread - Costco Sample


Image from via a Google search

I may be guilty of one (or more) of the above and I’m sure there are thousands of other examples of ‘not’ living graciously. One way to start living more graciously is by giving your neighbor a small loaf of chocolate chip banana bread. I’ve actually been making this recipe for years and have adapted it in different ways by adding shredded zucchini instead of bananas, or by withholding the chocolate chips for regular banana bread. But I think making it as chocolate chip banana bread really is the best use of this recipe. Something about the chocolate chips with the cinnamon adds a whole other dimension that is lacking with other variations.

To start, you’ll want to mix some granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil and a couple of eggs. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and a little salt. When the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, combine that with the sugar and oil mixture. Next add in the cinnamon. This will make for a pretty dry batter.

Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Batter Up!

After this is combined, mash your bananas separately. You’ll want to use very ripe, almost too-ripe, bananas. The ones I used here weren’t quite as ripe as I preferred, but they were close. I just had to mash them up a little more. Mash them up until they’re a liquidy pulp and fold that into the batter. This will loosen the batter up quite a bit.

Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread - Old Bananas

Dirty Rotten Bananas

Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

That's Bananas!

The last step is to add in the chocolate chips. A good trick I learned (and I might have mentioned this before) is to coat the chocolate chips with a pinch of flour. This will help them stay suspended throughout the batter and not sink to the bottom. Or, omit the chocolate chips, altogether and just go for good old, traditional banana bread.

Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Gracious Living

This recipe will also make 2 loafs – the smaller, 8 inch loafs. So you can make one to give to your neighbors (and judge their crappy furniture) and keep one for your secret-piggy self. Gracious living, ya’ll!

Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Grazing in The City - Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp ( or more) cinnamon
  • 2-3 well ripened bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease 2 standard loaf pans.
  3. Peel and mash bananas well until pureed.
  4. In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips with a pinch of flour, until well coated. This will keep them suspended in the batter and not sink to the bottom.
  5. Combine sugars, oil and eggs – mix well.
  6. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon.
  7. Add to sugar and egg mixture and combine well.
  8. Fold in mashed bananas and then chocolate chips.
  9. Divide batter between the 2 greased loaf pans.
  10. Bake for 55-ish minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean

12 Responses to “Gracious Living: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread”

  1. Christina February 3, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Yum sounds like a great recipe. Nice photos too! Stop by and say hi,

  2. Arturo Féliz-Camilo February 3, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    You had me at banana cake but adding chocolate definitely takes it over the top!!

    • billpeeler February 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      Thanks, Arturo – I agree, the chocolate chips are amazing!

  3. Eva February 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    The bread sounds lovely; and by bringing something home made to a friend, neighbour or whomever is absolutely gracious living, Bill. You went the extra mile, and that is what it’s about. A very nice recipe for the banana bread. You should check out Kristy’s blog, she did an entire series on banana breads and they are going to judge them soon. Please tell her I sent you!

  4. Sarah February 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    LOL!! Love the Not Gracious living list.

    This recipe is filled with a lot of things I love. You seem to have quite a few of those…Thank you for sharing this one!

    • billpeeler February 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Thanks, Sarah – glad you enjoyed!

  5. thebigfatnoodle February 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Um, I may be guilty of some things on your list but I won’t say which (hanging head in shame). My husband loves chocolate and loves banana bread so this one is a definite winner in my books 🙂

  6. cravesadventure February 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Can we get a Hey, Hey to the Choco Chip in Fruit Breads – YUM!!! Thanks for sharing & Have a Great Weekend!

  7. Karista March 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    I’m a fellow Southern gal living in the Emerald City… Seattle. And your list of what’s not gracious living is fabulous! 🙂

    I wish I were more gracious. My Grandmother tried to teach me but sometimes I think I must have failed charm school. Love the chocolate chip banana bread!

    • billpeeler March 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      Thanks Karista – glad you enjoyed!


  1. Chocolate Chip Banana Gorilla Bread « Grazing in The City - March 24, 2012

    […] know I posted about chocolate chip banana bread last month – this is similar, in that it has bananas and chocolate chips – but […]

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