Dark chocolate and banana are a match made in heaven, and this delicious vegan chocolate banana bread is one of my go-to easy bakes.
Just like my vegan chai bread, this easy loaf cake is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It's so good with a cup of tea or coffee, you'll definitely go back for seconds!
💭 What to expect from this recipe
- Easy to make
- Made using simple ingredients
- The ultimate comfort food
- Great for chocolate lovers
- Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee
🍌 Ingredients overview
Notes about the ingredients
- You can use any non-dairy milk of your choice for this recipe. Almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are all great options. The milk is mixed with apple cider vinegar to create a vegan buttermilk substitute.
- Spotty ripe bananas are the key to great banana bread. You actually want them to be riper than those pictures below lol. They should be super ripe, spotty, dark, and thus very soft and sweet!
- You can use any neutral cooking oil of your choice to make this banana bread. I love using olive oil as it compliments the chocolate flavor so well.
- Although you won't be able to taste it, instant coffee (mixed with boiling water) adds a rich intensity to the chocolate flavor of this loaf.
- This recipe calls for a good punch of vanilla extract, you can omit this if you'd like to., Although I do always recommend using vanilla in desserts as it helps to add dimension to the flavors as well as intensify the sweetness of the recipe.
- All-purpose flour is your friend for this recipe. If measuring in cups, be sure to use the "spoon and sweep method", which involves using a spoon to fill your measuring cup and then sweeping it to level it off. It's a common mistake in baking to use a measuring cup to dive into a bag of flour and thus, end up with too much flour. You can read a full blog post on thespruceeats.com on how to measure flour.
- Cacao powder gives this banana bread a rich chocolate flavor.
- I love using coconut sugar for baking. Not only is it less refined than standard sugars, but it also adds a great caramelized flavor to dishes. You can substitute it for brown sugar if you'd prefer.
- Baking soda is the leavening agent for this recipe. When combined with the acidic vegan buttermilk, it will activate during baking and create a light and fluffy loaf!
- Sea salt is a natural flavor enhancer and I add a little bit to almost all of my recipes (if not all!).
- Dark chocolate chips are added to the batter to create an even more intense chocolate experience. You can use any chocolate you wish here, whether in chips or chopped by hand. Just be sure to check that it's vegan-friendly.
🥣 How to make vegan chocolate banana bread
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)
First, you'll make the vegan buttermilk, this is essential for getting a light and fluffy loaf as it helps the bread to rise. Simply mix the plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar in a jar and set aside for at least 5 minutes. It's as simple as that, the acid in the vinegar will work its magic and separate the milk - no need to use any dairy!
(1) Mash the ripe bananas using a fork and set them aside. Make sure that you're using really ripe bananas, their skin should be spotty and dark. If your bananas are greenish and not fully ripe, the recipe won't work as well!
(2) Using a whisk, cream together the coconut sugar and olive oil in a bowl and then add in the other wet ingredients and incorporate those into the batter too.
(3) Add all of the dry ingredients to a separate medium bowl. Whisk them to make sure they are mixed together well
(4) Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a spatula.
(5) It's important not to over-mix, as this can prevent your loaf from rising properly and becoming nice and fluffy. So if there are a few pockets of flour that aren't mixed through, that's okay!
(6) Fold in the chocolate chips. I always fold them in at the end as I find adding them sooner can make it more difficult to get an even mixture. If you like, you can reserve a few chocolate chips for topping the loaf with as these will become lovely and melty once baked.
(7) Transfer the banana bread batter to a loaf pan lined with a parchment paper sling. (source: King Arthur Baking) Top with the reserved chocolate chips.
(8) Arrange a sliced banana on top of the loaf and add a sprinkle of coconut sugar or light brown sugar, this will make them caramelize even more in the oven!
Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out “almost” clean.
👩🍳 Recipe Success Tips
- Allow the banana bread to rest in the loaf pan for 10-15 minutes before carefully placing it out on a cooling rack to continue cooling to room temperature.
- To add interesting texture and delicious crunch to the chocolate banana bread, add a handful of pecans or walnuts to the mix before baking.
- For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients to give this chocolate banana bread a touch of warming spice.
- You can also add a second tablespoon of coffee to the mix to create a mocha banana bread flavor.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Store this chocolate banana bread in an airtight container, plastic wrap, or tin foil at room temperature and serve within 3 days. Storing the bread at room temperature will help it to stay soft and moist. You can also store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf, it should come out almost clean -note that there will be traces of chocolate on the toothpick from the melted chocolate chips. It's best to check the loaf around the 35-40 minute mark, as all ovens vary.
I haven't personally tried it, but some readers have adapted the recipe with great success using a gluten-free flour blend at a 1:1 ratio.
🍰 More in vegan baking
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- ½ cup (118 ml) plantbased milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 4 medium ripe bananas
- ¾ cup (120 g) light brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- ½ cup (118 ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) instant coffee granules, mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (156 g) all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (30 g) cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 g) sea salt
- 3.5 oz (100 g) dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Add the plant-based milk to a glass with the apple cider vinegar and set aside.
- Add 3 of the ripe bananas to a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and set aside.
- Add coconut sugar and olive oil to a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until combined. Add in the mashed banana, plant-based milk with apple cider vinegar, coffee shot, and vanilla extract, and whisk again until combined.
- In a large separate bowl, combine the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt and stir to evenly combine the ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the large bowl with the wet ingredients and use a spatula to carefully fold the ingredients together.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chunks and pour the batter into the lined loaf pan.
- Cut the remaining banana lengthways into 2-3 slices and arrange them on top of the loaf. Sprinkle with a little extra coconut sugar to help them caramelize in the oven.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out “almost” clean.
- Allow the cake to rest in the loaf pan for 10-15 minutes before placing it out on a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Once completely cooled, slice and serve!
- Store this chocolate banana bread in an airtight container, plastic wrap or tin foil at room temperature and serve within 3 days. Storing the bread at room temperature will help it to stay soft and moist. You can also store it in the fridge for up to a week.
- Nuts: Add a handful of pecans or walnuts to the mix to add a delicious crunch to your vegan chocolate banana bread.
- Cinnamon: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients to give this chocolate banana bread a touch of warming spice.
- Coffee: You can add a second tablespoon of coffee to the mix to create a mocha banana bread flavor.
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