There is certainly no lack of banana-based recipes on the interwebs and it’s safe to say a zillion of them probably contain peanut butter and chocolate chips. But, at the risk of overburdening Google with yet another banana recipe search result, I’m still posting this Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Bread for you to add to your arsenal of ways to use up overripe bananas. This recipe is really a cross between banana bread, a peanut butter cake, and just a really good excuse to eat chocolate chips. But today, for all intents and purposes, we’re calling it bread.
We all know the misfortune of realizing we’re the owners of a bunch of past-their-prime bananas. Unless you shop at Trader Joe’s, where they’re happy to let you buy as many or as few bananas as you think you’ll live to eat (seriously, read the story on Delish), you’ve likely ended up here. That sickly sweet, oddly funky-smelling point of thanks, but no thanks. The most compassionate thing to do in this moment is to let those struggling bananas live on in a dessert-like, snack cake form. Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Bread is here to help.
A word about whole wheat flour
Because your bananas probably started out as a well-intentioned purchase, meant to provide copious amounts life-enriching nutrients, it might be nice to put a healthyish spin on their second life as a baked good. Enter: whole wheat flour. (Trust me, you have a bag, 3/4’s full, on the verge of spoiling in your pantry. I can’t be the only one.)
You may have heard, despite the delicious nutty flavor and the healthy benefits of whole grain, baking with 100% whole wheat flour without any all-purpose flour to balance it out isn’t always a great choice. Relying on whole wheat flour alone sometimes results in an overly dense final product. Food52 explains this is because the bran and the germ in whole wheat flour affects the way the gluten develops.
That’s not the case in this peanut butter banana creation, though! It is Team Whole Wheat, all the way, and the texture is full-on fluffy, cake-like perfection. As for why it works in this recipe- I have no idea. But, if I know you, you’re not really here for a science lesson. Let’s get on with the peanut buttery, chocolate chippy stuff.
Baked banana goodness
To make this bread/cake/slice of heaven, start by combining the wet ingredients. That’s melted butter, mashed bananas, milk, vanilla, creamy peanut butter, and brown sugar – just mix it all in a large bowl.
Whisk together whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add that to the wet ingredients and stir in some chocolate chips. I’m in a very committed, long-term relationship with the bittersweet premium baking chips from Ghirardelli. Next to my husband and dog, they’re the one great love of my life. Spread the batter into an 8×8 pan and dot the top with more of the baking chips.
Bake it in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. You’ll end up with a golden brown, wonderfully nutty-smelling pan of goodness:
Slice into squares and enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or literally anytime you need a sweet, banana-y, semi-healthyish, snacky fix.
*This post and recipe contain Amazon affiliate links to my ride-or-die chocolate baking chips. If you click the links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission!Print
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Bread
These sweet little squares highlight the classic peanut butter/banana flavor combo with bittersweet chocolate chips added in for an extra boost of goodness. This recipe uses all whole wheat flour, so you can happily check these treats off as (kinda) healthy.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 16 squares 1x
- Category: Dessert, snack
- 1/4 C unsalted butter
- 4 small or 3 large overripe bananas
- 1/4 C whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 C brown sugar
- 1 3/4 C whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 C chocolate chips (I buy Ghirardelli bittersweet 60% cacao premium baking chips in bulk on Amazon – they’re great for this!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease an 8×8 baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
- Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave (or on the stovetop and transfer to a large bowl). Allow to cool slightly, then add the bananas to the butter and mash until mostly smooth. Stir in the milk, eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, and baking soda.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and gently fold to combine. Stir in 1/2C of the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and top with remaining 1/4 C of chocolate chips.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack, then slice into squares and serve.
These freeze really well – just wrap the individual squares in plastic wrap and store them in a zip-top bag in the freezer.
Keywords: what to do with whole wheat flour, what to do with overripe bananas