black sesame chocolate banana bread

Banana bread is synonymous with my childhood. It was literally one of only two things my mom ever baked, so we ate banana bread quite often. My mom never really got adventurous in the kitchen, so the banana bread she made was very basic. But from the way it made the house smell while it baked, to smearing a slice with butter while it was still warm from the oven, banana bread is one of those foods that I can’t help but find delight in. I am the complete opposite of my mom in the kitchen however, and thankfully my hubby is game for all of my experimenting in the kitchen. This black sesame chocolate banana bread is the result of my most recent kitchen adventure and let me tell you, it knocks the socks off of any other banana bread we have ever eaten!

black sesame chocolate banana bread
black sesame chocolate banana bread
black sesame chocolate banana bread

This is not the first time I’ve used black sesame in a baked good (see these mini bundt cakes) and it will not be the last. Black sesame has a rich, nutty flavor that is deeper than its white relative – and its signature flavor just happens to go really well in baked goods and desserts. For this banana bread, toasted black sesame seeds get ground and blended with honey to create a smooth paste, similar to peanut butter in texture.

black sesame chocolate banana bread

Although the black sesame paste is totally black in color, it will not yield a black colored bread, the result would be more of a gray color. I really wanted this banana bread to be black, so taking note from my past baking experiments, I turned to black cocoa powder, not just to add its signature black color to the bread, but also its deep chocolate flavor.

black sesame chocolate banana bread black sesame chocolate banana bread

This recipe calls for a limited amount of sweetener, but it has just the right balance of sweetness from the honey in the black sesame paste, the sugar and the ripe bananas. Make sure you use super ripe bananas as they will have a higher sugar content then less ripe ones.

black sesame chocolate banana bread

Our favorite part of this banana bread has got to be the topping. The banana bread batter gets topped off of with a generous sprinkling of black sesame seeds, half of a banana and a final dusting of sugar that all bakes up and caramelizes in the most wonderful way.

black sesame chocolate banana bread black sesame chocolate banana bread black sesame chocolate banana bread

The flavor of black sesame seeds is totally meant to be with banana bread and the black cocoa lends the bread richness in both color and flavor. My hubby is very enthusiastic about food in general, often declaring each new creation from our kitchen as his ultimate favorite, but this black sesame chocolate banana bread won him over. He absolutely loved it and could not get enough, and to be honest, I felt exactly the same way – it really is the best banana bread either of us have ever eaten. The texture is perfectly moist and tender. The crunch of the black sesame seeds provide just the right amount of contrast and that banana on top is like a sweet little surprise, we love to save that bite for last ;)

black sesame chocolate banana bread black sesame chocolate banana bread

If you needed any more convincing to make this black sesame chocolate banana bread, it just happens to be dairy free and nut free too (but tastes wonderfully nutty thanks to the toasted black sesame seeds)

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black sesame chocolate banana bread


  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf (approx. 12 slices) 1x


Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used einkorn)
  • 1/4 cup black cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar (unrefined sugars works well) + 1 tbsp reserved
  • 1/3 cup black sesame paste (see below)
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (4-5 bananas) + 1/2 banana for top of bread
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk + 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar (or use buttermilk)
  • 3 tbsp toasted black sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 tbsp vanilla




  1. Put toasted black sesame seeds in a food processor & process until almost all the seeds have been ground into a powder
  2. Add honey to the black sesame powder & continue to process until mixture turns into a thick paste
  3. (this will make more paste than you need for the recipe, store remaining paste in a glass jar at room temperature)


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F degrees
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, black cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda & salt together until well combined
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs & sugar together until light, add the black sesame paste & continue to beat until well combined
  4. Mash the bananas with with a fork until smooth & add to the bowl of the stand mixer along with the oil, milk & vanilla – mix until well combined
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet in three additions, mixing in between additions – once batter is just blended together, add in 2 tbsp black sesame seeds and mix to incorporate the seeds into the batter
  6. Lightly grease a 9″x5″ metal baking pan & line it with a sheet of parchment paper
  7. Pour the batter into the baking pan, top with remaining 1 tbsp sesame seeds, the banana slice & then sprinkle the whole thing with 1 tbsp sugar
  8. Bake in the center of your oven for 60-70 minutes, until…
  9. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then lift the bread by the parchment and onto a cooling rack to rest & cool for at least another 10 minutes before slicing
  10. Serve warm from the oven with a pad of butter (our personal favorite) and re-warm any leftovers the next day for ultimate eating pleasure ;)
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
{ 30 comments… add one }
  • fatimah | petitbakes March 5, 2017, 2:11 pm

    wow! you have intrigued me with your use of black sesame, I have some and had no clue about using it in this way.

    • bella March 7, 2017, 11:53 pm

      yay! black sesame goes so well in banana bread…it could be considered an alternative to peanut butter, with its deeply nutty flavor – I hope you try it Fatimah!

  • Claudia | The Brick Kitchen March 9, 2017, 6:06 pm

    this is so so so stunning and I can’t wait to try it! I’m a banana bread girl from way back too, and recently experimented with tahini banana bread which I LOVED – so can start to imagine how awesome this black sesame version would be. With black cocoa too!! And love how it doesn’t take too much extra sugar. x

    • bella | ful-filled March 10, 2017, 6:22 pm

      Thank you Claudia! haha…banana bread girls unite! this version has totally won us over! I am sure you will love it!

  • Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures March 10, 2017, 2:19 pm

    These moody banana bread photos are so gorgeous! Man, I LOVE using black sesame seeds as garnish but I definitely am going to have to try making a tahini paste out of them now – that black hue they create is just too great!

    • bella | ful-filled March 10, 2017, 6:21 pm

      Aw, thank you so much Shelly! They make such a good tahini or halva…we find the flavor to be so much more alluring than white sesame!

    • JT May 21, 2021, 5:45 pm

      So excited to try this recipe! Quick question: exactly how much of the sesame paste should you use? The first section says 1/3 black sesame seeds + 1/3 cup honey will make more than you need, but the next section says “add the black sesame paste”…do you add all of it, or just to taste?

      • bella | ful-filled May 22, 2021, 8:17 am

        Hello JT! So excited for you to try this recipe! I actually made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and found that you can and should, in fact, use the whole amount of sesame seed paste! I will update the recipe accordingly! Happy baking :)

        • JT May 22, 2021, 8:28 am

          Awesome, thank you! :)

  • Jennifer Farley March 10, 2017, 3:58 pm

    My mother was the same way :) Luckily I got some tips from my grandma to get my started. I don’t think I even tried banana bread until I was older! Also, um, speaking of moms, this might be the most mom-like comment I’ve ever left. Have you checked to make sure your food processor blade is ok? It looks an awful lot like the exact one I have that was on the recall list :}

    • bella | ful-filled March 10, 2017, 6:24 pm

      Yes…my blade is still in good shape! I have yet to have a problem, but I should probably double check to see if my specific model is the one they re-called! thanks mom…I mean Jennifer (lol!)

  • Maria R Angelova March 21, 2017, 4:28 pm

    Hi everyone,
    I made some substitutions, for example, my flour was made out of outs that I grounded into my food processor…. :-) Instead of bananas, I decided to use apples and cranberries. And added some cinnamon, just because it goes well with apples and cranberries. And voila!! It was just as delicious and satisfying!!

    • bella | ful-filled March 21, 2017, 6:57 pm

      Wow! How great that even with all of those substitutions your bread turned out delicious! Thank you for sharing Maria!

  • Natalia April 20, 2017, 12:09 am

    This is probably the most interesting banana bead recipe I have ever seen! I love sesame and black sesame tahini is my favorite, but this bread is wow! Bravo Bella!

    • bella | ful-filled April 20, 2017, 3:16 pm

      Yay! You are going to love this Natalia! It is our favorite way to make banana bread now!

  • Rachel Lew February 26, 2019, 11:25 pm

    Hi!! Do you have a video on this recipe? :D

    • bella | ful-filled February 27, 2019, 8:49 am

      Hello Rachel, I do not have a video for this recipe! Is there a particular question you have or part of the process that you need help with?

  • Cheryl February 3, 2020, 9:48 am

    Made this outstanding banana bread yesterday. I accidentally added the 3 Tbsp. of sesame seeds into the batter, which added a great texture! It was like I had added cocoa nibs, which I loved. It was so light and moist with so much flavor. Everyone loved it! Definitely adding this recipe to my favorites.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Bella!

    • bella | ful-filled February 3, 2020, 10:30 am

      Oh yay! This makes me so happy! I am delighted that everyone loved it! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts on my recipe! <3

  • lolita January 28, 2021, 9:08 am

    Did you use white einkorn? If so, can whole wheat einkorn be used in this recipe?

    • bella | ful-filled January 30, 2021, 3:58 pm

      Yes, I used white einkorn! I think that whole wheat einkorn may be a bit too heavy for this loaf, but let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!

      • lolita March 4, 2022, 2:47 pm

        Made this again a year later, and upon rediscovering my old comment I just wanted to let you know that I’ve used whole grain einkorn both times and it works well. You’re right though, the whole grain einkorn is heavy in the sense that it doesn’t raise as well as the white appears to in your pictures. In terms of texture it’s still light, airy, and moist. Delicious and innovative recipe – a keeper for sure – thank you.

        • bella | ful-filled March 7, 2022, 12:25 pm

          Hi Lolita! So so grateful my recipe is still serving you well :) Honored that you came back to comment and let me know how the einkorn went!

  • sherly October 24, 2021, 5:10 pm

    Can I make this with gluten free flour?

    • bella | ful-filled October 26, 2021, 1:37 pm

      You should be able to Sherly!

  • S November 8, 2021, 7:13 am

    Hi, thank you for the recipe, can’t wait to trey.
    Just wanted to ask whether I can use honey instead of sugar for the banana bread? Also can I use oat flour or buckwheat flour?

    Thanks 😊

    • bella | ful-filled November 8, 2021, 10:29 am

      Hello! So excited for you to try! I you can definitely try subbing the flours, but I haven’t tested it with either of those flours myself. As far as the honey goes, you should be able to swap it for the sugar, it will add moisture though, so make sure to bake longer to accommodate :)

  • Xenia Deviatkina-Loh December 29, 2021, 6:01 pm

    What would happen if I use whole cream milk?

    • bella | ful-filled January 1, 2022, 1:18 pm

      That should not be a problem Xenia!

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