Banana bread, thanks to its simplicity and of course the ability to use up whatever spotty bananas you have, has emerged as the official comfort food of quarantine. It’s also incredibly forgiving. No matter what substitutions you make or ingredients you add, you’re sure to end up with a comforting, heavenly scented loaf.
Over the past few weeks, as people tire of the classic, we’ve seen countless variations start to trend across the internet, from cream cheese swirls to banana bread scones. We’ve shared several ourselves, including a 5-minute mug cake, a decadent chocolate chip loaf and a gluten-free version. But the following is our favorite of them all: a decadent loaf with a nutty Nutella swirl.
Creating a Nutella swirl
The combination of roasted hazelnuts, creamy chocolate and sweet banana creates a rich blend of toasty, buttery flavors. This recipe swirls in a generous amount of the chocolatey spread to create a marbled effect that is both beautiful and crave-worthy.
To create a picture-perfect swirl, pour half the batter into the pan, add a few dollops of Nutella on top, and swirl it around with a thin knife. Pour the remaining batter on top, then dollop with the remaining Nutella. For the final swirl, drag the knife through the batter vertically, then create a few swift horizontal swirls to create a grid-like swirl pattern. The trick is to work quickly and not fuss with it too much.
Nutella Swirl Banana Bread
Serves 8; makes 1 (9-by-5-inch) loaf
- Cooking spray
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 medium bananas, very ripe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup Nutella, divided
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so it hangs off two sides to form a sling. Coat the pan and parchment with cooking spray.
2. Place 8 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power in 10-second increments until melted. (Alternatively, melt on the stove.) Mash 3 bananas in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher until smooth (about 1 cup mashed banana). Add the melted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
3. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir with a rubber spatula just until no dry spots remain.
4. Transfer half the batter to the prepared pan. Using a spoon, dollop 1/3 cup of the Nutella onto the batter. Swirl the Nutella into the batter with a skewer or table knife. Top with the remaining batter. Dollop the remaining 1/3 cup Nutella onto the batter and swirl with the skewer or table knife.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes in the pan, then flip the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.
Recipe notes: Store in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to four days. The bread can also be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and frozen for up to three months.
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