I was positive that SOMEONE before me had made red velvet banana bread, and I was right. I found a whole slew of recipes for red velvet banana bread … made with a red velvet box cake mix. Gross! If you know anything about me you know that in most instances I detest shortcuts like boxed cakes or brownies or canned biscuits. (I do make some exceptions every once in a while.) So because in my brief internet search I did not see that anyone had paved the made from scratch way before me, I decided to make my up my own recipe. Sorta. It consisted of finding a good looking chocolate banana bread recipe and adding a tablespoon of red food coloring (the gel kind – because it adds better color than the liquid kind). How simple does this sound? So simple, right?
- 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, at room temperature
- 1 c. sugar (it wouldn’t hurt to add a bit more sugar, in my opinion)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 c. mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 brown bananas
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus additional for garnish (or milk chocolate could probably work too)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-invh loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until there are no lumps in the cocoa powder and the mixture is well combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition and scraping down the sides. Add the sour cream, bananas, vanilla and red food coloring, stir until the food coloring has been incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips on top, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour. Let the loaf rest in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
So this recipe could possibly use a slight tweaking. For starters, I thought that it could be a tad bit sweeter. However, I’d also topped the loaf with bittersweet chips (wouldn’t do that again) and some of those sunk into the middle. Because the bread wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked, the bittersweet chips didn’t pair well. All in all, it was a great first run. It was perfectly moist, chocolate-y and banana-y, which is really all that I was looking for in my starter loaf.