Erin McDowell features Banana Cake with Cocoa Nibs and Chocolate-Hazelnut Swirl, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.
Recipe courtesy of Erin Jeanne McDowell

Banana Cake with Cocoa Nibs and Nutella Swirl

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: One 9-by-5-inch loaf cake
I love the combo of nuts and chocolate with bananas, and I add both to every banana cake I make. This cake isn't a far cry from banana bread, but the sweet add-ins put it squarely in dessert territory.



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (162 degrees C), with a rack in the middle. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the butter and sugar to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well to combine. Beat in the vanilla and yogurt. Stir in the bananas and mix to combine, using a spatula to smoosh up any big chunks. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the cocoa nibs. Fold into the banana mixture, mixing just until fully combined. 
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and top with half the Nutella. Use a small wooden skewer or the blade of a paring knife to swirl the Nutella into the batter. Pour in the remaining batter and finish with the last of the Nutella, swirling again. 
  5. Bake until the top of the loaf is golden brown, the sides pull slightly away from the edges of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached (see Pro Tips in Cook's Note), 75 to 90 minutes; check after 40 minutes, and if the cake is browning too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil. Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

Cook’s Note

Make Ahead and Storage: This cake is even better after a day or so. The moist crumb means it won't dry out easily: you can keep it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 1 week. Why It Works: This cake is really a quick bread; I add more bananas than are commonly used, which keeps the cake extremely moist. Pro Tips: Remember that the toothpick test is tricky when the cake is swirled with something gooey--in this case, Nutella, which will stay melty throughout baking. Make sure you pick an unswirly spot to poke. If you want to get fancy, cut a banana in half lengthwise and lay the halves on top of the batter, cut side up, then bake as directed.