Spiced Banana Bread

Published: April 25, 2020 · Updated: December 30, 2023 by Sacha

This delicious homemade banana bread is packed with warm fall spices and chocolate chips! It’s the perfect way to use up those overripe bananas that are taking up room in your freezer. And because the recipe calls for half whole wheat flour, its subtle nutty flavour is even hiding extra nutrients!

Loaf of chocolate chip banana bread with a slice cut off.

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Our freezer is overrun with bananas. I’m not sure how it happened, but at some point over the course of the last few years, we accumulated enough overripe bananas to fill several gallon freezer bags.

Nowadays, I always slice excess bananas into pieces before freezing them, then throw them into a blender with almond milk and cocoa powder to make delicious banana ice cream. Or, if the freezer is too full, I use my dehydrator to turn them into chewy banana chips for my kids to snack on.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t tried either of those things until a couple of years ago, and the only thing I could think to do with extra bananas was to throw them into the freezer. And since the bananas in our freezer are mostly whole, unpeeled and far too ripe to be dehydrated or turned into ice cream, I’ve had to find other ways to use them up.

About this Recipe

Thankfully, banana bread is the perfect vehicle for frozen (or fresh) overripe bananas. I’ve used this recipe for years, and while I’ve been told it doesn’t really taste like “classic” banana bread, everyone finds it delicious! Half the flour is whole wheat for extra flavour and nutrition, and my recipe also calls for some added spices and chocolate chips.

The chocolate chips are optional. In fact, I didn’t used to include them at all, and the banana bread still tasted great. But my husband says it’s not banana bread if it doesn’t contain chocolate chips, so I’ve gotten into the habit of adding them in every time—and I have to admit they’re a great addition!

Required Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious spiced banana bread:

Ingredients to make spiced banana bread.
  • Butter or margarine (we use margarine because it’s lactose-free)
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • Salt
  • Ripe bananas
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

How to Make Spiced Banana Bread (Step-by-Step)

1. Prepare Loaf Pan

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a standard 9″x5″ loaf pan to prevent the banana bread from sticking.

2. Cream Butter & Sugar

While the oven is preheating, cream one cup of butter and 1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar in a large bowl using a whisk or electric mixer.

Butter and sugar, creamed with a whisk inside a white bowl.

I generally use a whisk because I find it easier to clean, but an electric mixer might be a better option for you if you’re using butter. Alternatively, you could soften the butter before using it to make things easier.

3. Add Eggs

Add in four eggs, one by one, beating until well incorporated.

4. Combine Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, combine one cup of all-purpose flour, one cup of whole wheat flour, one tablespoon of baking powder, one teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon of cardamom and a pinch of salt. Stir them with a fork until they’re well combined.

Dry ingredients, combined with a fork in a white bowl.

5. Add to Wet Ingredients

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring well between each addition.

Banana bread mixture being whisked in a white bowl.

6. Mash Up Bananas

In a small bowl, mash up three bananas using a fork.

Mashed bananas in a bowl with a fork.

Note: If you’re using frozen bananas, you’ll have to let them thaw a little before mashing them up, so I recommend taking them out of the freezer before you start making the banana bread. It’s fine if they’re still a little cold, but it might lengthen the cooking time, so be sure to keep that in mind.

7. Add Bananas & Vanilla

Add the mashed bananas to the other ingredients, along with one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Banana bread batter with mashed bananas whisked in.

8. Add Chocolate Chips

If you’re adding chocolate chips, pour one cup into a small bowl and coat them in a couple teaspoons of flour. This prevents them from sinking too much.

Closeup of chocolate chips coated with flour.

Once they’re coated, stir them into the banana bread mixture.

Banana bread batter with chocolate chips mixed in.

9. Bake Banana Bread

Pour the batter into the buttered and floured loaf pan, then place it in the oven and bake it for about 75 minutes, until the top looks cracked and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Baked banana bread in a loaf pan.

Let it cool down, then take it out of the loaf pan and it’s ready to serve!

Loaf of chocolate chip banana bread with a slice cut off.

Tips & Variations

Make It Lactose-Free

If you’re lactose-intolerant or cooking for someone who is, you can make this recipe lactose-free by using lactose-free margarine and chocolate chips. We get both at Costco to save money!

As I write this, Kirkland-brand chocolate chips are not being advertised as lactose-free, but they are made with soya lecithin and don’t contain any milk ingredients—though obviously I recommend checking the ingredients before you buy them to make sure that this is still the case!

Make Pumpkin Bread

Since the spices are so similar, I’ve used this same recipe to make pumpkin bread by simply replacing the three bananas with 1 ½ cups of homemade pumpkin purée. It turned out great!

Loaf of chocolate chip banana bread with a slice cut off.

Spiced Banana Bread

The Craft-at-Home Family
This delicious banana bread recipe includes whole wheat flour, fall spices and chocolate chips! It's the perfect way to use up all the overripe bananas that are taking up room in your freezer or on your counter!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 345 kcal


  • 1 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 bananas ripe
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a standard 9"x5" loaf pan.
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add in eggs one by one, beating until well incorporated.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, then slowly add them to the wet ingredients.
  • Mash up the bananas using a fork and add them to the batter. Add the vanilla extract and stir until well combined.
  • If using chocolate chips, coat them in flour in a small bowl to prevent them from sinking, then stir them into the mixture.
  • Transfer batter into the buttered and floured loaf pan. Place it in the oven and cook for about 75 minutes, until the top looks cracked and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Let cool and enjoy!


Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 316mgPotassium: 214mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 776IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 100mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Bananas
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