This super moist banana bread recipe is flavored with a mixture of hot coffee, espresso powder, and instant coffee granules for a bold twist on a classic quick bread. The simple batter comes together in just 15 minutes - no mixer required! Add a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips before baking to give your coffee banana bread the perfect sweet finish.
It's hard not to love banana bread at its most basic, but this recipe takes the classic to a whole new level with the addition of one of my favorite ingredients - coffee! Imagine combining the flavor of a rich, bold cup of coffee with a perfectly sweet and moist slice of banana bread, and that's exactly what you'll get here. And unlike many other recipes, the addition of coffee in this bread comes in three different forms so the flavor can truly shine through.
Ingredients you'll need
The majority of the ingredients needed for this coffee banana bread recipe are simple pantry staples.
That said, there are a few helpful things to note!
- Flour: Regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour can be used.
- Espresso powder (or instant espresso): I like to use this in any recipe that has notes of coffee flavor - like my Irish coffee cake and espresso cupcakes - to help boost the intensity. You can easily make your own espresso powder for baking purposes, or you can buy it. Just keep in mind that it's not the same thing as the ground espresso you'd use in an espresso machine!
- Coffee: Strongly-brewed coffee helps maximize the flavor in this banana bread. If you typically brew coffee in the morning, just make a bit extra for this recipe! Or, buy cold brew concentrate and heat it up in the microwave. If you have an espresso machine, feel free to use that and turn this into espresso banana bread.
- Instant coffee granules: Although I would never suggest using instant coffee in an actual coffee beverage, I've found that it's the best way to add bold coffee flavor to baked goods. It plays an important role in this banana bread, so don't be tempted to skip it.
- Chocolate chips: I like to sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top of this bread before baking, just to give it a pretty finish and make it more of a chocolate coffee banana bread situation. You can also use chopped nuts, or add a coffee glaze - like the one used in these coffee scones - after baking.
How to make coffee banana bread
Step one: Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease an 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Step two: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step three: In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar and melted, slightly-cooled butter until creamy. Beat in a room temperature egg, whisking rapidly for about a minute, or until the mixture is significantly paler in color.
Step four: Add hot coffee to a small bowl along with instant coffee granules and vanilla extract. Stir until the granules have completely dissolved.
Step five: Whisk mashed bananas into the butter and sugar mixture. Continue to mix while you (slowly!) pour in the coffee - by adding it gradually, you'll avoid cooking the egg in the process. Once incorporated, use a rubber spatula to fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients just until everything is evenly combined. Avoid overmixing, which will lead to tough, rubbery banana bread - not what we want!
Step six: Transfer the banana bread batter to your prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top surface with a spatula. If you're using chocolate chips, now's the time to sprinkle them on top! Bake the loaf for 55-60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer/cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step seven: Let the banana bread cool in its pan for about 30 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Always let your bread finish cooling before you slice it.
Tips for making this coffee banana bread
- Weigh your flour, or measure it using the spoon and level method. Using too much flour can lead to dry, crumbly banana bread.
- Use the ripest bananas you can find - this is a great opportunity to use those overripe bananas lingering on your kitchen counter! To quickly ripen bananas, store them in a brown paper bag for a couple of days before using.
- Mash your bananas with a fork so that they're still a bit chunky. This will improve the texture of your bread once it's baked.
- Don't overwork the batter. Once you've added flour, it's crucial that you fold it in gently - just enough to mix it into the batter. Overmixed banana bread will turn out chewy and dense, rather than having the soft, tender crumb it should.
- For extra mocha flavor, try adding up to ½ cup of chocolate chips to your banana bread. You can add them at the same time as you fold in the dry ingredients.
- If you prefer your banana bread with nuts, you can add up to ½ cup of chopped walnuts instead.
- For gluten-free banana bread, swap the flour in this recipe with your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour. Make sure the blend you use contains xanthan gum! My go-to brands are Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur Flour. I also have a great recipe for banana bread made with oat flour!
- For dairy-free banana bread, substitute the melted butter with melted coconut oil. If you use chocolate chips, make sure they're dairy-free as well!
Yes! Just let your bananas thaw, and then mash as usual.
This bread should stay fresh for about 2-3 days at room temperature, or a week in the refrigerator. I recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap to protect it from drying out.
Although I haven't tried freezing this particular recipe, most quick breads - including banana bread - do freeze well. To freeze, wrap the (cooled) bread in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe plastic bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More banana recipes
There are a million fun ways to do banana bread - and muffins! Here are a few of my favorites:
Coffee Banana Bread
This coffee banana bread features coffee in three unique forms for a bold twist on a classic quick bread. The simple batter comes together in just 15 minutes, and you won't even need a mixer! Served with your favorite cup of coffee, it's the perfect way to start the morning.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes (up to 60)
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes (up to 15)
- Yield: one 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf 1x
- Category: quick bread
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- 6 ⅜ ounces (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ¾ ounces (½ cup, packed) brown sugar
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and briefly cooled
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup strongly-brewed coffee, hot
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ¾ ounces (1 ½ cups) mashed ripe bananas
- mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly combined.
- In a second medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter until the mixture is creamy and well-combined. Add the egg and whisk in rapidly for about 60 seconds; the mixture should be smooth and noticeably paler in color.
- In a small glass or bowl, stir together the hot coffee, instant coffee granules, and vanilla extract until the coffee granules have dissolved.
- Add the mashed banana to the wet ingredients. While whisking, slowly pour in the coffee mixture, whisking just until the bananas and coffee are dispersed into the batter. Add the dry ingredients and fold in just until incorporated, with no streaks remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top generously with mini chocolate chips if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let bread cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Then, carefully remove loaf from pan and place directly on wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Use any gluten-free all-purpose flour that contains xanthan gum to make this recipe gluten-free.
- For dairy-free banana bread, swap the melted butter with melted coconut oil.
- Frozen bananas can be used in place of fresh. Let them thaw completely before using.
Storage and shelf life
- Once cool, wrap bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe plastic bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.