For Utterly Indulgent Banana Bread, Think Beyond Milk Chocolate

Banana bread is one of those foods that reminds us how close to our common ancestors we actually are. Aside from the moist, fluffy texture of the cake-like bread, the sweet aroma of bananas is this all-American comfort food's true allure. 

While some can get their fix from cafe glass display cases, most can agree that homemade banana bread is unparalleled, and not just because of the sweet, warm smell of the baking bread that fills the entire home for hours. It seems like everyone and their mother swears that their banana bread recipe is the best, but the key to a banana bread that truly sets itself apart from the rest goes beyond the basic ingredients; it all comes down to the mix-ins. Making banana bread at home allows the baker full reign over what those mix-ins will be and to what level we want them to make the bread more indulgent.

Although we may think of milk or dark chocolate as the ultimate indulgence-boosting ingredients, Insider asks home bakers to think again. 

Consider swapping in white

Milk chocolate, whether it's in chunks, chips, or slivers, makes a rich and sweet addition to banana bread, which is why it's such a popular mix-in. But consider going with the ultimate confectionery underdog, white chocolate, instead. 

White chocolate is made from cocoa butter and sugar. And unlike milk or dark chocolate, it lacks cocoa solids, lending the chocolate its signature color. Without the cocoa solids, this chocolate variety has a more mild flavor than its darker counterparts. Its flavor profile adds a level of sweetness to the bread that ever-so-pleasantly melts in the mouth without distracting the tastebuds from the banana, the bread's true starring flavor. 

White chocolate morsels make for melty pockets of creaminess and sweetness that can elevate any baked good. But Insider also recommends melting and drizzling the chocolate on top of a freshly baked banana bread loaf to switch it up.

Boundless banana bread variations

Of course, the tastiness of banana bread comes down to personal preference. Though white chocolate chips are sure to bring the bread's sweetness to the next level, they're only useful if a sweeter bread is what you desire. 

Insider provides other ingredient tips that add different flavor and texture elements to the banana bread beyond mixing in chocolate. Cream cheese, for example, which has a tangy flavor, "can cut the sweetness of something like banana bread and make it feel a little bit savory." If you like a little crunch in your banana bread bite but are looking to venture beyond a classic walnut mix-in, sprinkling seeds on top of the loaf is a great way to add that contrasting texture.

With all of the banana bread modifications out there, the best way to determine what you like best may just be to test them all.