This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure page.
Table of contents
Easy S'mores Banana Bread
I'm a firm believer that banana bread is the one thing you should make whenever you have a few bananas going soft and freckly. And while there are maybe a million traditional banana bread recipes out there, there weren't many s'mores variations, which is what I usually crave during the summer.
That's why I decided to develop this s'mores banana bread, which is a very basic and very forgiving recipe that takes all of 10 minutes to whisk together. An hour of waiting while your house fills with tempting aromas and then you’ll be snacking on your very own slice of warm, fresh-baked banana bread with that campfire-inspired s'mores flavor.
Ingredients Needed for S'mores Banana Bread
This s'mores banana bread contains pretty standard ingredients, but also maybe a few unexpected ones. Here's what you'll need:
- Butter: The one and only. This recipe uses melted butter, so no need to wait for it to soften at room temperature!
- Sugar: I use all granulated sugar for this recipe (only ½ cup), but feel free to replace some of it with brown sugar for a more complex flavor!
- Sour cream: This helps keep the banana bread super moist! Feel free to replace with an equal amount of Greek yogurt if that's all you have on hand.
- Vanilla: I generally prefer vanilla bean paste as I find it to lend a stronger flavor, but you can use an equal amount of vanilla extract!
- Egg: Only 1 large egg is needed; make sure it's room temperature! Stick the egg in a warm glass of water to help bring it to room temperature quickly.
- Applesauce: I love using applesauce in baked goods because it's so versatile in what it provides the final result. In this recipe, the applesauce replaces some of the fat (aka the butter) and helps keep the final loaf moist. If you don't have any applesauce on hand, you can either 1) add an additional 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of melted butter or 2) add an extra egg yolk.
- Bananas: This is banana bread, after all. Make sure to use overly ripe bananas; where most of the peel is brown/black. Brown, overripe bananas are sweeter because in the ripening process the starches in the banana are converted to sugar, which is important here since this recipe doesn't use much sugar!
- Dark chocolate: I like chopping up a dark chocolate bar for this recipe because I find the shards of chocolate get more evenly dispersed; but you can replace with ⅔ cup of chocolate chips if that's all you have on hand! You'll mix some chocolate into the banana bread, and then also need some for the top (just for presentation and to help the marshmallows stick!)
- All-purpose flour: Just a little over ¾ cup is used.
- Graham crackers: You'll need graham cracker crumbs to mix in with the dry ingredients, as well as a few graham crackers to top the banana bread with.
- Baking soda: To help our banana bread loaf bake up nicely.
- Salt: Baked goods made without salt can taste a little plain, so don't forget it!
- Mini marshmallows: For the topping! You can either broil them in the oven or use a kitchen torch (or be like me and do both!)
How to Make the Best S'mores Banana Bread
If there’s one thing to know before making this banana bread at home, it’s this: it's SUPER easy. Seriously, if you can mix and stir and pour, you can make this s'mores banana bread!
Here are the basic steps to making s'mores banana bread:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and prep the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
- Combine the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt then set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, egg, and applesauce until combined.
- Mash in the bananas. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you're like me and prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the wet ingredients.
- Incorporate the dry ingredients. Switch to using a spatula and gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible.
- Fold in the chocolate. Lastly, scatter chocolate over the batter and gently fold it in.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, using the spatula to scrape all the batter from the bowl. Smooth the top of the batter.
- Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Bake until the top of the cake is caramelized dark brown with some yellow interior peeking through and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Baking time will vary slightly depending on the moisture and sugar content of your bananas — start checking around 55 minutes and then every 2-3 minutes after.
- Add the s'mores toppings. Drizzle on some melted chocolate and add the marshmallows on top then place the pan back into the oven and broil for a minute or two to get the marshmallows nice & toasty.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Set the loaf, still in the pan, on a wire cooling rack and top with graham cracker pieces. Let it cool for 10 minutes — this helps the loaf solidify and makes it easier to remove from the pan.
- Remove from pan and cool another 10 minutes. Grasping the parchment paper sling, lift the loaf out of the pan, and place it on the cooling rack. Cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.
Why Are Overripe Bananas Better for Banana Bread?
Most banana bread recipes (this one included) insist on using only the ripest bananas; I'm talking super spotted brown, almost black, mushy bananas. But why are overripe bananas better to bake with?
As mentioned above in the ingredients section, as bananas ripen, their starch converts to sugar which makes for a sweeter baked good. What’s more, sugar behaves like a liquid in baked goods, so banana bread made with ripe bananas will not only have a sweeter flavor but also be moister and will ultimately have a more pronounced banana flavor. Not to mention overripe bananas are SO much easier to mash up and incorporate into a batter than their unripe counterparts.
If you don't have overripe bananas on hand and don't have the patience to wait for them to naturally ripen some more, you can use just regular ripe bananas. Just note you might wanna increase the amount of sugar used by about 2 to 4 tablespoons (25-50 grams).
Note: You may have seen tips online for baking underripe bananas in their skin for 20 minutes in a 300°F (150°C) oven. This is supposed to concentrate their flavor and make them sweet. I've tried it a few times, and while they were indeed deep black, they honestly still tasted like underripe bananas, only mushy. It's not worth the effort, in my opinion.
Quick Note on Pan Sizes
This recipe calls for an 8x4-inch loaf pan. If you only have a 9x5-inch pan, you can use it, just note that the larger pan size will produce a flatter loaf. If baking in a 9x5-inch pan, bake for 40 to 55 minutes.
S'mores Banana Bread
For the Banana Bread:
- 105 g all-purpose flour
- 45 g graham cracker crumbs (approx. 3 full-sheet graham crackers)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 85 g unsalted butter melted
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 45 g sour cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 large egg (~50 g)
- 25 g applesauce
- 113 g 70% cacao dark chocolate chopped
- 227 g mashed bananas (approx. 2 medium ripe bananas)
For the Topping:
- 28 g 70% cacao dark chocolate divided
- 36 g mini marshmallows
- graham crackers
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8x4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray and then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, sour cream, vanilla, egg, and applesauce until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Then add the mashed banana and stir until incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chunks until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake until deeply golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to broil and melt half of the chocolate for the topping. Drizzle the top of the loaf with melted chocolate and cover with marshmallows. Top with the remaining chocolate bar pieces and graham crackers. Broil for 1-2 minutes.