Orange Chocolate Pound Cake on a baking sheet

Lately we have been gardening fools, geeked out over little projects and garden clean-up days. Our souls feeling rejuvenated as the garden get cleaned up and prepare for Winter citrus to explode in the garden.  We’ll photograph with a client in our studio from 7 until 4 and then come home and stretch out every last ounce of daylight in the garden with the birds, bugs and plants. Sometimes working even longer with the help of our headlamps. Our hands have gotten sore and blistered. Muscles have ached a bit. But it is all worth it.

Orange Spiced Chocolate Banana Bread on a baking sheet

Baskets of fresh citrus fruit on

Yes, it is a beautiful time in Southern California and the rock stars of the show are the citrus. This is the triple-play time of year for so many of our citrus. Much of the fruit is getting close or perfectly ripe. The branches are sending out a ton of new growth. And the flowers are going absolutely crazy, filling the air with their sweetness and the lacing the ground with their fallen petals.

Back in the kitchen, not wanting to waste a speck of the citrus glory, we’ll often zest the oranges before juicing them. There is so much goodness in the rinds. And when we recently had a load of leftover “hero” bananas after shooting nearly 60 banana recipes for a client, we came up with this gem of a loaf. An orange-spiced chocolate chip banana bread.

Video Orange Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

Easy Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

The base of the banana loaf was from one of my grandma’s favorite cookbooks. She had given the recipe her top-notch four “x” rating and it has been our go-to recipe ever since we first made it. We added a bunch of fresh orange zest, finely grated with a microplane zester, and then whisked in some complimentary spices to the flour. Add a bit of orange bitters for a special pizazz and some chocolate chips because, like bacon, they tend to make just about everything better. The end result was extraordinarily delicious.

Hope you enjoy!

-Todd & Diane

More Sweet Recipes:


This recipe was originally published in 2014 and re-published in 2019 with a new video.

Orange Chocolate Pound Cake Recipe @whiteonrice

Orange-Spiced Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

For best results use really ripe bananas. As in, too ripe to eat but not yet funky enough to throw out. They'll make the loaf more moist and sweet compared to a loaf made with bananas which are just "eating" ripe. 
The orange bitters in the recipe give the loaf a little extra pop of flavor, but if you don't happen to have any in the house, the recipe is still great without it. If you happen to have fresh tangerines, their zest is an amazing substitute for the orange zest in this recipe.
Makes one 4.5x8.5-inch loaf.
5 from 14 votes


  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 1 cup (200g) Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted Butter , (1 stick) softened
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Orange Zest
  • 4 ripe Bananas (@1 1/2 cups when mashed)
  • 2 Eggs , beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon Orange Bitters optional
  • 1 cup (175g) Chocolate Chips


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease or spray with cooking spray a 4.5"x8.5" loaf pan. For easier removal of the loaf, line the bottom of the loaf pan with parchment paper and then lightly grease or spray the parchment.
  • Whisk or sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or mixer, cream together sugar, butter and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add bananas and mix together until bananas are mashed and well blended into the butter mixture. Beat in eggs and orange bitters (if using) until combined.
  • Stir flour mixture into banana mixture until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (chocolate on the toothpick doesn't count).
    The house should be filled with the scent of fresh banana bread.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan. Loosen the edges, then pop loose the bottom. 


Cooking Tip: If you find the center isn't cooking through all the way and sinks after removing it from the oven, it is usually caused by one or two things. 
  • The butter and sugar wasn't creamed together well enough. It doesn't happen often to us when we use a stand mixer, but sometimes when using a hand mixer, the butter and sugar aren't creamed together enough. The batter then won't be aerated enough, making it too dense and not allowing it to bake all the way through the center. 
  • Your oven it too hot. Especially older ovens will fall out of calibration. Use an oven temperature gauge to see if your oven is baking at the correct temperature. 


Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 363kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 253mg, Potassium: 198mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 37g, Vitamin A: 402IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg