This, my favourite vegan chocolate banana bread, is the culmination of much banana bread eating and recipe testing. This gorgeous bread is moist, sweetly spiced and textured with baked banana and dark chocolate chunks.
The Elf doesn’t like me very much at the moment. I am cranky and don’t let her flush the toilet over and over. I make her say please and thank you and rouse on her when she doesn’t get in to her car seat leaving me standing by the car in the rain. Daddy isn’t cranky; Daddy is excellent. My parent friends tell me the favouritism is perfectly normal and all kids do it but I tell you, it’s arrow through the heart stuff. She calls out to him when she can’t sleep. She used to call out to me. Never has an experience left me all up side down and inside out like parenthood. Some days I am Supermum and other days I am the poop Supermum stepped in on the way to her invisible super car.
These little people are tricky.
So, like any reasonable person I have resorted to cheating. The Elf loves banana bread.
In the process of getting my favourite vegan chocolate banana bread recipe just where I want it, I have made many test loaves. The Elf has helped me in the kitchen and tried each variant loaf. She mixes the flours, adds the salt and steals chocolate buds when she thinks I’m not looking. And for the ten minutes it takes her to eat a sample slice, everything is normal again. We laugh at the shredded coconut that sticks to her nose and the melted chocolate she licks from each sticky finger. It is a lovely moment in time, she and I in the kitchen, and I feel like Olivia Walton or June Cleaver.
Then she throws her crusts at me. I bite my tongue to keep the moment alive and laugh through gritted teeth. She senses weakness and pours her juice on the floor. Moment over.
Silver lining? After all this recipe testing my favourite vegan chocolate banana bread is ridiculously delicious. After trying different topping variations, spiced coconut, streusel, oats, I’ve kept it simple. A gorgeously moist chocolate banana loaf with a sliced banana topping dusted with slightly crunchy brown sugar and warming cinnamon.
While I have used both coconut and rapadura sugar for the batter, I find a demerara sugar or even a raw sugar works best for the topping. The larger crystals provide the perfect amount of crunch to offset the smoothness of the roasted banana and melted dark chocolate.
I have been specific in this recipe with the flours, both spelt and all-purpose, but I have also made loaves with either all spelt or all-purpose and they have been fine. While I prefer the combination of flours, if you don’t have spelt the recipe will work with all-purpose only. The texture changes slightly is all. I do prefer sunflower oil to vegan butter with the resulting loaf cradling the banana and chocolate chunks more firmly. Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering.
My favourite vegan chocolate banana bread recipe is straight forward and simple, the way I like my recipes to be. You could certainly tweak it to your liking by adding a smattering of toasted walnuts or perhaps going with a streusel topping but I like it simple. Particularly now. While raising this toddler is anything but simple and consistent, my favourite vegan chocolate banana bread works each time. The dark chocolate melts each time and the chunks of banana are sweet and smooth without fail. The cinnamon warms the tongue while the sweet sugary top crunches between your teeth.
If only I were raising a baby banana bread. Enjoy.
May Favourite Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
- 1 cup 250ml white spelt flour
- 1/2 cup 125ml all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp 5ml baking powder
- 1/2 tsp 2.5ml baking soda
- 1/4 1.25ml tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp 5ml ground cinnamon
- 3 large ripe bananas plus one for garnish
- 1 flax egg 1 tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 3tbs cold water
- 1/2 125ml cup rapadura or coconut sugar
- 3 tbs 45ml coconut yoghurt
- 1/4 cup 60ml soy or almond milk
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup 125ml dairy free small chocolate buds
- 2 tablespoons of coarse unprocessed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a medium bread pan.
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas leaving them slightly chunky.
- In a larger mixing bowl add the flours, baking soda, baking powder, 1
- teaspoon of ground cinnamon and sea salt. Mix lightly to combine.
- In a another large bowl combine the water and flaxseed and allow to sit for a few minutes until goopy.
- Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar is well combined.
- Add the sunflower oil, mashed bananas, coconut yoghurt and soy milk and mix to combine.
- Add the flour mix to the wet mixture, add the chocolate buds and fold until just combined.
- Spoon the batter in to the bread pan. Bang the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Slice the garnish banana in half vertically and place side up, top to toe on the loaf.
- Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle liberally over the loaf top.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and finish baking for another 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and sit in the bread pan for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling on a rack. For best results, allow to cool well before serving.