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Chocolate Protein Banana Bread

Chocolate protein banana bread is the perfect breakfast, snack or dessert! This healthy chocolate protein banana bread is moist, chocolatey and so easy to make, all you need is one bowl for mixing!

It’s naturally sweetened, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and packed with fiber and protein.

Loaf of chocolate protein banana bread, slices falling forward.

 3 Reasons I love this recipe

  1. There is nothing better than warm homemade banana bread! This chocolate version is a fun twist on a classic! Chocolate peanut butter banana bread topped with chocolate chips is going to quickly become one of your favorites too!
  2. This vegan chocolate protein banana bread recipe is a bit healthier than most other recipes. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup, most of the oil has been replaced with bananas and peanut butter and the flour with vegan protein powder and oat flour. This recipe will fill you up and satisfy you, instead of leaving you hungry in 10 minutes!
  3. Unlike other vegan banana bread recipes, this will cook all the way through without sinking in the middle! That means you can easily grab a slice or two on the go and enjoy it as you sip your coffee on the way to work or at your desk!
Ingredients for chocolate protein banana bread.
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Ingredients

  • Spotty Bananas – you are looking for bananas with lots of brown spots (before the whole banana turns brown). You will be relying on the natural sweetness of the bananas to sweeten this loaf, so the spottier the bananas, the better.
  • Ground flax – this replaces the eggs in traditional recipes. Ground flax adds stability and moisture when combined with liquid.
  • Dairy free milk – use whatever your favorite milk is. I usually use an unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but use whatever you have on hand.
  • Maple syrup – this helps add to the fudgy texture and helps amplify the sweetness of the bananas. You could also use date syrup or brown rice syrup.
  • Vegan Protein Powder – chocolate or vanilla would be great here. I love Nuzest protein for this (the ingredients are clean and it’s easy to digest). Use whatever your favorite plant based protein is for this recipe (make sure you like the taste).
  • Oat flour – this really helps the texture of the banana bread and keeps the center from sinking down. You can make your own oat flour by blending oatmeal in a high speed blender.
  • Cacao powder – this makes the it chocolate! I use cacao powder as it is less bitter than cocoa powder! You can find cacao powder online, or pick it up at Trader Joe’s!
  • Baking powder – this helps the bread rise when baking.
  • Peanut butter – I used salted natural creamy peanut butter ( the kind you have stir the first time you open the jar). You could also use almond butter, sunflower seed butter or even tahini if you don’t love peanut butter.
  • Chocolate chips – dairy free chocolate chips are optional but are so decadent and I think make this chocolate protein banana bread next level delicious! Enjoy Life, Pascha Chocolate and Simply Organic are all great brands of dairy free chocolate chips.

Step by step instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a large bowl, mash the bananas.

Add the ground flax, dairy free milk and maple syrup to the mashed bananas and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients – oat flour, protein powder, cacao powder, baking powder and mix well, making sure everything is well incorporated. Note this batter will be thick.

Add the peanut butter to the batter and stir well.

Steps 1-4 of how to make chocolate protein banana bread batter.

In a loaf tin, add parchment paper (to help make it easy to remove) and spray it lightly with non-stick (optional).

Spoon the batter into the loaf tin and take the time to spread it out with a spatula, making sure it’s evenly divided and the top is flat.

Sprinkle the top of the banana bread with chocolate chips (optional) and press in the chips to ensure they stick to the bread.

Bake at 375F for 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 15-20 minutes before removing from the loaf tin.

Steps to adding the batter to a loaf tin and baking.

Top tips

  • Use spotty bananas. I know I mentioned it above but the sweetness of the banana bread really depends on the bananas being super ripe. If you just can’t wait for your bananas to get ripe, I have some tips below on how to make less ripe bananas easier to mash. You may want to add 1 more tablespoon of maple syrup to the batter to compensate for the less sweet bananas.
  • Be sure you really love the flavor of your protein powder. I love Nuzest and use it every day. There are 3 servings of protein powder in this recipe so if you don’t love the flavor (especially if it has a fake, chemical taste), you are not going to love this recipe. Also I would not recommend you swapping out the vegan protein powder with whey protein. Whey protein dries out baked goods and this recipe cannot be guaranteed to work with whey.
  • Wait to stir in the peanut butter until last. I find that when you add the peanut butter too early, it make the ground flax absorb less of the liquid so the batter can be a bit wet if you add the peanut butter too soon.
  • Let cool before slicing. Although freshly baked chocolate protein banana bread smells amazing, it’s important that you let it cool before slicing/baking. It is fragile right out of the oven and needs time to set before slicing.
  • I recommend a traditional metal loaf tin for this chocolate protein banana bread. I found that the silicone loaf pan I have doesn’t conduct heat as well and I had to bake the bread longer and use a baking sheet under the silicone loaf pan to get the recipe to set up the same way.
Chocolate protein banana bread in a loaf tin, sliced.
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Other ways you can make this

I actually poured the batter in an 8X8 baking pan this weekend (lined with parchment paper) and baked for 25 minutes at 350F after sprinkling the top with chocolate chips. If you don’t have a loaf tin, I highly recommend this method instead!

You can also make chocolate protein banana muffins out of this batter. Be sure to use silicone liners or parchment paper lines in the muffin tins to make these easy to remove. Divide the batter equally between 12 muffin liners and top with chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

Other mix-in’s you may enjoy

  • Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, peanuts, almonds would all be great)
  • Chocolate chips in the batter
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut flakes
  • Chopped dates or dried cherries
  • Espresso powder (to intensify the chocolate flavor)

Ways to serve

This vegan chocolate protein banana bread is great on its own. You can serve it for breakfast (it has 9 grams of protein per slice), for an afternoon snack (with a cup of homemade hot chocolate) or for dessert!

Some fun ways to make this extra special include:

  • Top with peanut butter, almond butter or sunbutter for a filling treat.
  • Make homemade peanut butter dip as a high protein frosting
  • Top with your favorite yogurt and fresh berries
  • Top with your favorite ice cream for an over the top treat
Slice of chocolate protein banana bread with a bite taken out.

How to soften bananas

If you cannot wait to make this banana bread but your bananas are bright yellow and very firm to the touch, you can microwave your bananas before mashing to help soften them up.

Many people will recommend baking the bananas in the skins, but I think that is a ton of work and the bananas get really mushy and not fun to work with.

Instead, I suggest you peel the bananas, add them to the bowl and microwave between 30 seconds and 1 minute to help soften the bananas so they are easier to mash.

When you are making your banana bread, the bananas will let off less liquid and will be less sweet, so add 1 more tablespoon of maple syrup as well.

How to make oat flour at home

You can find oat flour in most stores, but I usually just make my own. It takes about 1 minute to make it yourself and it is so easy to do!

Step 1: Place about 1-2 cups of rolled oats in a high speed blender and blend on high about 1 minute. If you have a bullet blender like I do, you will want to work in smaller batches (about 1 cup at a time).

Blend until the rolled oats resemble a fine powder.

Step 3: Store leftover oat flour in an air tight container or bag and be sure to label it!

Two slices of chocolate protein banana bread on a plate.

What kind of protein powder is best for baking

I really believe that when protein powder is going to replace the flour in a recipe (like in this vegan chocolate banana bread), that you use a vegan protein powder. I find that vegan protein powders act very similarly to flour in recipes and absorb liquid in a similar way without drying out the end product.

You can use your favorite vegan protein powder, I use Nuzest, as I find that it’s easy to digest, it doesn’t have an overwhelming fake sweetness that many other protein powders have and it has simple ingredients.

You will want to use a vanilla or chocolate protein powder with some kind of sweetener added or you may want to add in 1-2 tablespoons of coconut sugar to the batter as well if your protein powder is unsweetened.

Storage

  • Fridge: Store leftover chocolate protein banana bread in the fridge up to 5 days in a well-sealed container.
  • Freezer: Store individual slices in freezer safe bags. Be sure to allow it to cool completely before transferring to the freezer.
    • If you are freezing multiple slices together, you will want to separate each slice with wax paper or parchment paper to prevent them from freezing together.
    • If you are freezing the entire loaf, you may want to slice the bread first, place wax paper or parchment paper between each slice and then wrap it up to freeze as one loaf.
Chocolate protein banana bread in a loaf tin.

Substitutions

  • Ground flax – you can also use ground chia seeds in place of the ground flax. To grind chia seeds, simply put them in a high speed blender or coffee grinder until broken down.
  • Bananas – if you don’t have enough bananas to make this recipe, you could substitute them with apple sauce, pumpkin or mashed sweet potatoes, but the flavor will be different.
  • Dairy free milk – you can use regular milk if you are not dairy free or water if you don’t have any milk on hand, but the bread may be less rich tasting.
  • Maple syrup – the maple syrup helps add to the moist texture at the end. You could also use date syrup or brown rice syrup. Honey could work too but it may change the texture a bit.
  • Oat flour – I really recommend using oat flour, and I haven’t tested this recipe with all-purpose gluten free flour yet. See notes above on how to make your own oat flour with oatmeal.
  • Vegan protein powder – I haven’t tested this recipe without protein powder.
  • Cacao powder – if you cannot find cacao powder, you can use unsweetened cocoa powder as well.
  • Peanut butter – you can also use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter or tahini in its place.

If you love this recipe you should try

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Slice of chocolate banana bread taken from the front of the loaf.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Chocolate protein banana bread – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan – This healthy vegan chocolate banana bread is so easy to make, incredibly chocolatey and moist and perfect for breakfast, a snack or dessert. High in protein, fiber and so delicious!
4.5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate protein banana bread, vegan chocolate protein banana bread
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 1g

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Mash the bananas in a large bowl.
  • Add the ground flax, dairy free milk and maple syrup to the bananas and stir well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (oat flour, protein powder, cacao powder and baking powder) and stir well. The batter will be thick, but you it should come together.
  • Add the peanut butter to the batter and stir well.
  • Add a sheet of parchment paper to the loaf pan and spray it with non-stick spray (optional).
  • Pour the batter into the loaf pan and be sure to flatten it out with a spatula or a spoon making sure the batter is well distributed and even.
  • Sprinkle the top of the batter with dairy free chocolate chips and press down on them.
  • Bake in a 350F oven, and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Other ways you can make this:
Pour the batter in an 8X8 baking pan (lined with parchment paper) and baked for 25 minutes at 350F after sprinkling the top with chocolate chips. If you don’t have a loaf tin, I highly recommend this method instead!
You can also make chocolate protein banana muffins out of this batter. Be sure to use silicone liners or parchment paper lines in the muffin tins to make these easy to remove. Divide the batter equally between 12 muffin liners and top with chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
Storage
  • Fridge: Store leftover chocolate protein banana bread in the fridge up to 5 days in a well-sealed container.
  • Freezer: Store individual slices in freezer safe bags. Be sure to allow it to cool completely before transferring to the freezer.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
153
Fat
 
6
g
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
Fiber
 
4
g
Sugar
 
8
g
Protein
 
9
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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