Recipe Review

We Made Chrissy Teigen’s Viral Banana Bread Recipe. Here’s How It Compares.

updated Jan 21, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

In the midst of testing a banana bread recipe for her second cookbook, Cravings: Hungry For More, Chrissy Teigen realized she was short on the sweet, speckled fruit. Her solution? Ask her followers for help. With one tweet, the model-turned-cookbook author sent the LA-area into a frenzy, with fans searching high and low for six brown bananas (no more, no less).

When we plotted our banana bread bake-off, we knew Twitter’s most famous banana bread had to be a part of it. Would a banana bread made with chocolate, coconut, and an unorthodox secret ingredient give it the top spot? I went into the kitchen to find out.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

How to Make Chrissy Teigen’s Banana Bread

You’ll start by mashing bananas and mixing them with eggs and oil. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, vanilla instant pudding mix, baking soda, and salt together in a separate mixing bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and mix, by hand, until just combined. Fold in chunks of dark chocolate and unsweetened coconut flakes. Pour the batter into a buttered and floured Bundt pan (or two standard loaf pans, but Chrissy prefers the Bundt). Bake until the cake is richly browned and springs back when pressed.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

My Honest Review of Chrissy Teigen’s Banana Bread

If you’re looking for a sweet banana cake to bring to a potluck or welcome a family to the neighborhood, this recipe is for you. (Yes, I said cake. The chunks of dark chocolate and flaky unsweetened coconut push this recipe firmly into dessert territory.) I don’t normally like coconut in baked goods, but in this cake it adds an interesting texture and a subtle tropical flavor that I enjoyed.

A box of instant vanilla pudding mix is Chrissy’s secret ingredient, which gives the cake added structure and makes it more moist. There’s no escaping the hint of artificial vanilla flavor, but I found it nostalgic rather than off-putting.

What I didn’t like? Despite all the six-banana hype, this bread actually has one of the smaller proportions of banana than other breads tested when the ingredients are scaled similarly. And while it’s not unusual to add pudding mix to cakes and quick breads, it does make the recipe difficult to scale down. However, a banana bread twice the average size is in keeping with Chrissy’s over-the-top style.

I also thought the dark chocolate distracted from the sweet banana flavor and proved to be too much. And despite thoroughly buttering and flouring my Bunt pan, the melted chocolate stuck to the pan, tearing away a large proportion of the crust.

Credit: Patty Catalano

If You Make Chrissy Teigen’s Banana Bread

  1. Butter and flour the Bundt pan very well. A Bundt-baker’s best friends are butter and flour, because without them cakes stubbornly stick to the molded interior of the pan. Truth be told, every inch of my pan was covered with a thin coating of butter and flour, so I was surprised when a large section of the banana bread simply wouldn’t let go. The large chunks of chocolate and the chewy coconut were the culprit — their sugars melted and stuck to the pan.
  2. Omit the chocolate. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but leave the chocolate out. The bittersweet flavor of dark chocolate overwhelms the sweet tropical flavor of even the ripest bananas.
  3. Serve this banana bread for dessert. Sweet add-ins like chocolate chunks and flaky coconut place this firmly in dessert territory.
Credit: Patty Catalano

Overall rating: 6/10

Chrissy Teigen’s Bundt pan-baked banana bread is dolled up with chocolate and coconut and is super-moist, thanks to vanilla pudding mix. But let’s call this banana bread what it really is: banana cake.

Were you captivated enough by Chrissy’s brown banana Twitter search to try her Banana Bread? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Read More About This Banana Bread Showdown