Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
By now it’s safe to say that pretty much all of us have added banana bread to our quarantine baking list. It was the cult recipe of 2020, and it doesn’t seem to be going off the radar any time soon. And this delicious classic is a go-to recipe for so many with good reason. A good vegan banana bread is uncomplicated but rewarding, inexpensive to make but luxurious to eat, light and decadent all at once. If I had to sum it up in just a few words, “the ultimate nostalgic comfort food”.
Last week I shared a recipe over on Instagram for a Mocha Banana Bread which was created in collaboration with Califia Farms. Lots of you loved the recipe, so I thought it would be rude not to have a similar recipe live here on the blog! So created this Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread which is fluffy and moist and literally melts in your mouth. It’s light and decadent all at the same time, the only chocolate banana bread recipe you’ll ever need!
And if you’d like to create the mocha version of this banana bread, you can do so by simply using their Mocha Cold Brew in place of regular plantbased milk (this post isn’t sponsored I just love their range!).
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED FOR THIS VEGAN BANANA BREAD?
You can use any plantbased milk of your choice for this recipe. Almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk are all great options. The milk is mixed with apple cider vinegar to create a vegan buttermilk substitute.
Ripe bananas are the key to a great banana bread. 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 flavour so well.
Although you won’t be able to taste it, the instant coffee (mixed with boiling water) adds a rich intensity to the chocolate flavour 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 flavours as well as intensifying 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, ending up with too much flour. You can read a full blog post on thespruceeats.com on how to measure flour.
Raw cacao powder is used to give this banana bread a rich chocolate flavour. Be careful not to go for processed cocoa powders as they may contain added bulking agents, sugar or even dairy! Raw cacao powder is generally pure and as unrefined as possible.
This recipe uses coconut sugar as a sweetener, I use this for almost all of my baked goods. Not only is it less refined than standard sugars, it also adds a great caramelised flavour 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 flavour enhancer and I add a little bit to almost all of my recipes (if not all!).
Lastly, 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 THIS CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD
(Full recipe and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post)
PREPARE THE WET INGREDIENTS
First you’ll want to make your vegan buttermilk, this is essential for getting a light and fluffy loaf as it helps the bread to rise. Simply mix the plantbased 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 it’s magic and separate the milk – no need to use any dairy!
Next mash up your ripe bananas using a fork and set them aside. You’ll want to 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 really work!
You’ll 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.
PREPARE THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Now prep the dry ingredients by combining them in a bowl. Whisk them to make sure they are mixed together well before transferring the dry ingredients into the wet.
MAKE THE BATTER
Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a spatula. 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! Lastly fold in the chocolate chunks and pour the batter into a lined loaf pan.
Arrange a sliced banana on top of the loaf and add a sprinkle of coconut sugar, this will make them caramelise even more in the oven! Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out “almost” clean. It’s best to check the loaf around the 35-40 minute mark, as all ovens vary. 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 cake in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 3-5 days.
WHY MAKE THIS CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD?
- Vegan-friendly: this chocolate banana bread (along with all the other recipes on my blog) is made using only plantbased ingredients and does not contain any animal derived ingredients such as dairy, eggs or honey.
- Ridiculously easy to make: this recipe is suitable for cooks of all skill levels whether you’re an avid home baker or a beginner.
- The ultimate comfort food: this banana bread loaf is the ultimate comfort food. The smell of freshly baked chocolate and banana will have your whole house smelling like heaven.
- Great for chocolate lovers: if you’re partial to a bit of chocolate, the combination of chocolate cake and chocolate chips in this recipe makes it a chocolate lover’s dream.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER RECIPES THAT I THINK YOU’LL LOVE
Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
- 2 lb Loaf Tin
- ½ cup plantbased milk of choice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 medium ripe bananas
- ¾ cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp instant coffee granules mixed with 1 tbsp boiling water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3.5 oz dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the plantbased 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, plantbased 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 caramelise 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 cake in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 3-5 days.