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Tahini Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Mash it up.

A slice of tahini banana bread with chocolate chunks on parchment paper.

I’ve made some excellent banana breads before, but this tahini and chocolate spin might be my new favorite. Rich tahini banana bread is stuffed with pockets of dark chocolate and topped with a confetti of sesame seeds and more chocolate for a decadent take on everyone’s favorite comfort bake.

Tahini banana bread batter with chocolate chunks in a bowl.

As with any banana bread, super ripe, darkly spotted (but not bruised!) bananas are key here. If the bananas aren’t as ripe as you’d like, microwave them in a single layer in increments of 30 seconds until they’ve softened and darkened to your taste. It’s also important to mash the banana almost until it’s pureed. A few small lumps are okay, but if they’re too big, they won’t incorporate smoothly into the batter and you’ll end up with a line of banana chunks at the bottom of your loaf. So mash it up.

Tahini is not difficult to bake with, but it’s definitely trickier than peanut butter, so there are a few things to keep in mind. Making sure the tahini is well-stirred before adding it to the batter will ensure it incorporates smoothly with the other ingredients. (If the tahini has lumps and it’s too challenging to mix it in the jar, scoop out ½ cup into a side bowl and work it with a spoon until it’s totally homogenous.) Also, waiting to fold the tahini into the batter with the flour avoids the possibility of fat separation, which can occur if the tahini is added with other fatty ingredients (see Tahini Blackberry Blondies for more on this!)

Two slices of tahini banana bread with chocolate chunks cut from a larger loaf lying on parchment.

When choosing chocolate for this banana bread, pick a brand and cocoa percentage that you would enjoy eating by itself. 70% is my general preference, and I also found that the more intense dark chocolate paired well with the sweetness of the banana and the rich savory tahini. But feel free to use whatever you love most.

Tahini banana bread was one of the first recipes I pitched as an Assistant Food Editor at Delish. That pitch went nowhere. Almost two years later, I understand that, while tahini in desserts is definitely not on brand for Delish, it’s absolutely on brand for me. I like to push the envelope. And so, even if tahini is not usually in your kitchen, I challenge you to buy a jar and try it anyway. You just might discover your new favorite banana bread.




Tahini Chocolate Chunk Banana BRead

(Serves 8-10)

A slice of tahini banana bread with chocolate chunks on parchment paper.

Cooking spray

3-4 large very ripe bananas, peeled (about 450 g.)

2 large eggs

¾ cup (150 g.) brown sugar

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, cooled

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/3 cup (160 g.) all-purpose flour, divided

½ cup (113 g.) tahini

4 oz. (70%) dark chocolate, chopped into bite-sized chunks, divided

1 ½ tsp. black sesame seeds

1 ½ tsp. white sesame seeds

Special equipment: 8 ½” by 4 ½” metal loaf pan, parchment paper, large bowl, whisk, rubber spatula



Preheat oven to 350°, rack in the middle position. Grease an 8 ½” by 4 ½” metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper, letting the paper extend over the long sides of the pan for easy removal.

Mashed banana, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, mash bananas until they break down into a smooth puree (a few small lumps are okay). Add eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in baking soda and salt.

Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in half of flour just until incorporated. Fold in tahini. Reserve a handful of dark chocolate chunks to scatter on top of bread, then add remaining chocolate and flour to batter and fold in chocolate is well dispersed and no flour streaks remain.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with the spatula. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate and black and white sesame seeds.

Bake until risen, deeply golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a moist crumb, 55-70 minutes. Let cool in pan for 1 hour before removing from pan using parchment paper handles and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tahini banana bread filled with chocolate chunks sitting on parchment paper on a cutting board.

Originally posted January 21, 2024.

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