Chocolate Banana Marble Bread

Saturday morning I was having a good old time whipping up this chocolate banana marble bread that is really more like cake than a quick bread.  I made a banana puree in my food processor instead of the usual mashing of the bananas that go into a banana bread.  I used cake flour instead of all purpose.  I used a high quality dutch process cocoa powder from King Arthurs Flour to make a fragrant paste for the chocolate part of my bread.  I was taking my time, reading and rereading my recipe, gathering my ingredients, carefully measuring them out.
Everything was going along so smoothly that as I was finishing up my recipe by running my Kitchen Aid mixer on the lowest speed and alternately adding the banana mixture with the flour mixture I thought the horrible noise I heard was coming from outside.  What are the neighbors doing in their yard now??
But, alas my not so old Kitchen Aid mixer was making the horrible grinding sound, so I turned it off because I though smoke might start pouring out of it and the noise was horrible.  So much for stress free weekend baking.  The last thing in the world anybody wants to replace in their home is an appliance, what a boring thing to spend money on. Maybe replacing the furnace or the roof is worse, that’s so expensive and you don’t even see it.  But, all the new mixers come in the coolest colors now. Wow, who could resist a black, green, orange, pink, blue or fire engine red standing mixer!!  In defense of Kitchen Aid mixers I still have my 5 quart size, it’s white-boring, but it runs great after 20 plus years. I had a gut feeling when I bought and started using the new bigger 6 quart size that I shouldn’t have bought it, why do I ignore those feelings?  It just felt like a lemon from the start, I never liked the way the bowl snapped into the mixer or the sound of the motor even before it made the horrible grinding sound.  I’m going to get it repaired because it is only a few years old, not very old in the life span of a mixer.  Oh well, maybe this is a good time to go on a diet or maybe even a better time to set up my old mixer and just keep mixing and baking to my heart’s content.  Thank goodness that diet idea passed quickly.

Chocolate Banana Marble Bread
adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet
from Sur La Table’s cookbook series

Directions and Ingredients for Chocolate Banana Marble Bread

3 medium size very ripe bananas

1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons boiling water, more if needed
1&1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350
Lightly butter a 9×5 inch metal loaf pan and line it with parchment paper that extends 1 inch from the edges.

Peel the bananas and place them in a food processor.  Process them to a silky smooth puree.  Remove 1 cup of the puree and place in a medium size bowl.   Add the buttermilk and the vanilla, set aside.  Save the left over banana puree to use in a smoothie.

In another medium bowl sift together the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk well and set aside.  Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl and stir in the boiling water.  Stir and keep adding water until it forms a smooth paste, looks like a thick icing.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat on medium high for 4-5 minutes until lightens in color, almost white.  Scrape down the bowl a few times.  Add the eggs, about one tablespoon at a time, blending in before adding the next tablespoon.  About half way through scrape down the bowl.

Running the mixer on the lowest speed add one third of the flour mixture.  Just as it is barely blended in, add half of the banana mixture.  Repeat with the remaining flour and banana mixture ending with the flour.  Scrape down the bowl and finish blending by hand.

Place half of the batter in the second medium bowl and mix in the cocoa paste.

Alternate spoonfuls of the chocolate and light batters in the pan.  Then the fun part, marbleize the batters with a spoon by turning the batter over in three places the length of the pan.  I always get carried away with this part, it’s hard to only do three times.

Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes.  It will be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Remove from the pan and peel off the paper.  Cut the bread carefully with a serrated knife.

Check out all the goodies on Sweets For A Saturday.


  1. I'm so going to make this! I came cross on Facebook and couldn't stop myself to take a peak. Wow look at the mable pretty! I agree with you that it does look like a cake. Beautiful work Patty!

    PS: I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer!! :)

  2. Sorry that your newer stand mixer broke down on you, Patty. That just seems the case these days huh? They don't seem to make the newer appliances/devices like they used to. Just the other day my father in-law brought out his really old (but sturdy) Nikon for me to look at. The lenses were made of glass, not cheap plastic like these newer one's. Huge difference in how things were made back then as compared to now.

    A beautiful loaf of banana marble bread you've made here. Loving the marble on this and the two before and after pictures. A wonderful and very appealing recipe indeed. I can imagine how delicious this must taste. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Hope you have a lovely week, Patty.

  3. Patti – this bread looks and sounds amazing! I am bookmarking this to make. BTW – I was up in your neck of the woods a few weekends ago in Corte Madera at “Bottle and Brick” – pretty casual and tasty place. :)

  4. I love the marbling and your how to pics! I've never been able to get that right.
    I'm sorry your mixer broke, hopefully the repairs won't be too expensive. I don't know what I would do if my kitchenaid broke.

  5. Oh boy, that looks delicious and perfect with some afternoon tea:)
    P.S. were your ears burning on Sunday? I met Jen at T-Ball….hope to meet you in person one day also!

  6. Sorry about your mixer…but the cake sure turned out so pretty and the marble is just perfect. Great pictures…have a great week Patty :-)

  7. I'm sorry you have to get your mixer fixed!
    This bread is just gorgeous. I absolutely love the marbling!

  8. The marbled bread looks faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaantastic! I want that last 2nd picture!! So PERFECT!

  9. I think the beauty of this cake it the top, so beautiful…. hey, what's wrong with a white boring mixer? hate it when these 'little' things happen, we have a repairman coming tomorrow to work on our icemaker dispenser… now ain't that something, we have ice yet have to have it delivered to our glass…

  10. Patti, that really stinks about the mixer and would put a damper on my baking as well! However, your marbled bread looks amazing! The marbling is gorgeous and I bet it smelled heavenly while baking. Wish I had a nice thick slice right now with my coffee :o)

  11. What beautiful marbling! This sounds heavenly.. I love chocolate and banana.

  12. Oh my, this loaf is beautiful! It looks like I can just pick it off my screen… your photos are gorgeous.

  13. “Thank goodness that diet idea passed quickly.” YES, INDEED!!! :) I know EXACTLY the red (I say candy apple, you say fire engine) of which you speak for KA Mixers 'cause I want that one badly even tho' mine works fine. It's like the sport coupe of mixers!

  14. My not-so-old kitchenaid mixer just crapped out too! Luckily, we bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond where apparantly you can bring back any appliance you purchased there no matter how old without a receipt and they give you a brand new one!

    This bread is beautiful. The marbeling is so inviting!

  15. Perfect timing! I have 4 bananas sitting in my fridge that have been ripe for some time, I cant bear to throw that many away, but the typical banana bread just didn't sound good. This is perfecto! Thanks Patty!

  16. The marble effect on this banana bread is so gorgeous! A wonderfully delicious treat!

  17. That is gorgeous! Such pretty presentation here.

  18. Beautiful! I love how marble cakes/breads are like a work of art with the contrast in colors and the swirling! I would have a hard time stopping at just 3 times. Good thing you kept “Old Faithful” :)

  19. Hi Patty! Wow, this is a truly gorgeous bread/cake. Even the checkerboard pattern you had pre-baking is neat. I'm glad that you had your backup mixer to use or we would have been deprived of this delight.

    Banana and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. Hope you're having a great week!

  20. Holy Wow that looks good…Off to the store i go my wife is going to love this

  21. Gorgeous loaf! Bummer though, about your mixer. :(

  22. Alright…how crazy is this confession…I've never made a marbled cake! After seeing the great method you've used Patty…I have no excuse do I?

    The whisper we sometimes get (especially women) should not be ignored…case and point with your mixer. Maybe, the old fashioned way of making baked goodies could come back to fashion very soon. Good luck with the rest of your baking Patty…I'm sure your cleverness will come through ;o)

    I'm grabbing your recipe…thanks ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  23. Patty-one word…GORGEOUS!!!!

  24. Patty, The bread is looking FANTASTIC…. ! I just want to swipe few freshly baked slices frm your space, hope u wont mind sharing:-)

  25. Oh no…sorry about your mixer, hope it can be repaired. This bread is gorgeous and I am sure delicious!

  26. How come you are not 300 lbs? Not FAIR! I love your photos, Patty, you entice with food porn, you vixen!

  27. I think I'd build some serious muscles if my stand mixer dies. Hope you can get yours fixed.
    The banana bread sounds great. Love the marble effect.
    Thanks for sharing Patty

  28. Oh Patty, you are my hero! I could never make bread look this good. What a great technique!

  29. Beautiful!

  30. Your bread looks wonderful. Sorry to hear about your mixer!

  31. Dear Patty,

    My girls have seen this cake, before going to school (yes, there are classes on Saturdays in France) and they said: “Mom we MUST have that cake for a picnic this afternoon..I'm having my cup of coffee reading your blog..then a shower and off to the market!

  32. Stunning!

  33. I just wanted to let you know that this bread is beautiful. The photos are gorgeous. I feel like I can almost taste it.

  34. Patty, I started showing Darryl your pics, and Llew looked too. I could spend hours looking through all your postings. We're huge fans of chocolate marble cake. And to add bananas to that? OVER THE TOP!!! Another one I have to try. Putting my teeth marks on my iPad doesn't seem to do the trick.

  35. I'm having another Themed Baker's Sunday linky party! The theme this week is bread! I'd love for you to join!

  36. Wow, that looks amazing! I'm making this for sure.

  37. I used this recipe (with a few substitutions) and it’s in the oven now. The batter tastes amazing… The next hour can’t go by quick enough!!!! :)

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