Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Make Nutella Banana Split Bread by Cleo Coyle

This is a beautiful bread that will impress your friends and family by giving them the taste of two different breads in every slice: Chocolate-Hazelnut "Nutella" Bread on top and Banana Bread on the bottom. 

My recipe below will show you how easy this bread is to make with one bowl and one batter. I've replaced traditional butter with light buttermilk and canola oil, and you can even make your own Nutella, if you like (more on that below)...

Cleo Coyle's
Banana Split Bread

Cleo Coyle, banana masher,
is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
My new Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter is going out later this week with more recipes and fun contest info. It will also have more step-by-step photos of this recipe along with a free, downloadable PDF. 

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1 large egg

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (or cold pressed coconut oil, measure in liquid form)

1/4 cup light buttermilk (shake before measuring)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/4 teaspoon table salt) 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)

4 ripe bananas (medium-size), mashed well (1-1/2 cups mashed)
               (I place ripe bananas 
on a flat plate and use a fork
                to really mash them well. After mashing, they must
                measure 1-1/2 cups.)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread (store bought or homemade**)

(Topping) 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts 

**Would you like to make your own Nutella? It's very easy. You can get the recipe I use, along with more than 20 other tasty recipes in the appendix of my Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill, newly released in paperback. To learn more, click here.


Step 1 - Prep oven and pan: Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and create a parchment paper sling (see photo in this week's Coffeehouse Newsletter). This sling will allow you to lift the bread out of the pan easily.

Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Whisk the egg well. Add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Whisk until well blended. Add the white and light brown sugars and whisk until smooth. Now stir in the mashed ripe bananas, combining well. Finally, stir in the flour, making sure all of the flour is incorporated into the batter, but do not over-mix. Batter will be thick.

Step 3 – Create the Nutella layer: Scoop all but 1 full cup of the batter into the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to even it out into a smooth layer that reaches all four corners of the pan. Set aside. Go back to the bowl where you left the remaining 1 cup batter and mix in ½ cup of Nutella. Mix well. The batter should be completely dark. Pour this mixture onto the banana batter. Use the back of the spoon to smooth it into an even layer.

Step 4 – Top with nuts and bake: Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top of the batter. Bake for about 1 hour (it may take a little longer or not, depending on your oven). The bread is done when the top is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted deep into the center comes out clean of wet batter. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before carefully removing from the pan. Use a serrated knife to gently cut slices and note that warm bread will crumble. As the bread cools, it will be easier to slice without crumbling. (To speed up the cooling process, pop the bread in a refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.) And may you...

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Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
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Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Last year's
hardcover bestseller
has just released in its

A Brew to a Kill

To learn more,
click here. 

"A foodie's delight...
And a satisfyingly
rich mystery."

~ Kirkus Reviews

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

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, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.


  1. that's gorgeous Cleo! I am very curious about the homemade Nutella because if you look at the list of ingredients--let's just say there are some things I'd rather do without!

    So off to look it up in A BREW TO KILL!

    1. I agree about the iffy ingredients in the usual spread. However, places like Whole Foods have alternative versions that are much more straight forward. A well stocked supermarket might also have some.

    2. Lucy - Nutella is hugely popular. Just as people sometimes use “Kleenex” to mean tissues, Nutella is often used to communicate the flavor combo of chocolate and hazelnut (a combo that's a classic in Italy, which is where Nutella originated). Libby's right, of course, (Thanks, Libby!). There are other brands around, too.

      Finally, Nutella (aka chocolate-hazelnut spread) can be homemade with a few simple ingredients and a food processor. I include the recipe that Marc and I use in our Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill.

      Lots of good stuff in today's recipe. It looks great and tastes oh-so good! I'm having it this AM with coffee. Marc's slathering his slice with whipped cream cheese.

      May you all eat it with
      as much joy as we do...

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. Looks yummy. Do you think it would travel well? I was thinking it might be a nice surprise for my daughter who leaves for college this week in her first care package.

    1. Susie R - What a nice mom you are, sending your daughter off with fresh baked goodness. Yes, indeed, this bread travels very well. Once it's completely cool, snuggle it up in plastic wrap and you're set. On the second day, the bread is even moister and the crust even softer. It ages very well, too.

      Thanks for stopping by the Kitchen today, Susie, and send my very best to you daughter as she leaves for college this week. May she eat (and learn) with joy! :)

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. Mmmm, chocolate, bananas, and nuts. Those are the three basic food groups, right? I imagine using the coconut oil will add a subtle nuance to the taste.
    Great pictures, as always.
    Deliciously tempting!

    1. Totally agree on bananas and chocolate and nuts being a pleasure to eat. I'm betting the great American Banana Split Ice Cream Treat has something to do with our culture's love affair with that combo.

      Good point about the coconut oil. Yes, a hint of coconut will enter the flavor profile of the bread if used instead of canola oil. Of course, if you're someone who uses coconut oil already for its health benefits, that shouldn't be a surprise!

      Thanks for the nice words and for taking the time to stop by the Kitchen. Have a great week, Libby!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. Cleo, my mouth started to water as soon as I saw the picture of the Nutella bread!! Love love love Nutella and with bananas - oh yeah - it will be a hit. I plan on making one for us and a bake a few others to share with friends. Thank you so much for your great recipes and the fantastic pictures that go along with them. Also, your books are the BEST!!!

    1. Caffeinated kisses to you, Frances, for the very kind words. I hope you enjoy the bread and continue to enjoy the books. (I also think *you* are the best, and I'm lucky to have you as a reader.)

      Warmest java wishes,

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Absolutely delicious. Yum, yum, yum! Nutella is just so good. I have to try this. What a lovely treat for a coffee break!


    1. It is indeed a nice bread for a coffee (or tea) break as well as breakfast (at least it was for me this morning, lol). Thanks for stopping by today, K. Have a great week...

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

    2. Another winner! You're like a magician! Looking forward to trying this, Cleo.


  6. ...As Les enters the kitchen rubbing the sleep from his eyes he is equally startled and amazed by the wonder before him. "Hmmm, what do we have here?" he asks quietly to only himself and the dogs scrambling at his feet, anxious to go outside. He lifts the cover from the glass cake dish and the scent of his favoorite foods in life waft around the kitchen. Bananas, chocolate and hazelnuts, oh my! The dogs stop in their tracks and move along with Les as he grabs a knife, carefully takes a slice and is transported to foodie Heaven...

    Cleo has been here...like a ghost in the night, like Santa at Christmas leaving magical treats that he claims for his own.