This recipe was a happy accident of sorts. A couple of weeks ago it felt like my colleagues could use a pick-me-up after a particularly long and cold week and I wanted it to be a treat that everyone could eat, that I could make with the ingredients I have on hand. If I’m baking for everyone I work with, I need to be mindful of nut and dairy allergies and gluten intolerance which, to be honest, I’m not always able to cater for. I’d been working with buckwheat flour that week, making David Lebovitz’s buckwheat chocolate chip cookies and wondered if I might be able to make a loaf of banana bread using some wilting bananas (don’t we all have those languishing on our countertops?) and hey, while I was at it, I could try to make it dairy free as well (eggs are ok in baked goods for my dairy allergic colleague). I’ve baked with gluten-free flour before and I just don’t get the same result, so wondered about using buckwheat flour which is naturally gluten free. I’ve been buying my buckwheat flour at my local bulk foods store but for this version, I used Bob’s Red Mill, which is dubbed whole grain and is slightly darker than the bulk version – hence the almost black tones in the end product.
Since my bananas were very ripe and I was using chocolate chips, I ended up not adding any sugar either so while it’s definitely not “healthy”, the sweetness comes from apple sauce, the bananas and the chocolate making it a “better-for-you” treat, dubbed the “inclusive loaf” in our staffroom because everyone could eat it!
Ok so that’s all very well, I hear you say, but how does it taste? I caught a colleague arriving at school after his morning run and convinced him he needed to taste it before I put it out for everyone because I wasn’t sure of the flavour. He confirmed what I suspected – this loaf is phenomenal. It’s not at all dry, has a hint of nuttiness from the buckwheat and loads of flavour from the bananas and chocolate. The cocoa powder kicks it up a notch to make it extra chocolatey too. So, what are you waiting for?
Double chocolate buckwheat banana bread
An easy and outrageously delicious double chocolate banana bread that's naturally gluten and dairy free.
- 140 g (1 cup) buckwheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 25 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 x 113 g (approx 1/3 cup) apple sauce
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 150 g (3/4 cup) chocolate chips plus approximately 1 tablespoon for sprinkling on top of the loaf
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a 23 x 13 cm (9 x 5-inch) loaf pan and line it with parchment, leaving some of the parchment hanging over the edge.
Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Whisk the eggs and oil in a separate large bowl, then add the vanilla, apple sauce and oil and whisk gently until combined.
Add the bananas and use a rubber spatula to stir to combine.
Add the wet to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of chocolate chips on the top of the loaf.
Bake at 375˚F for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature (though it’s delicious slightly warm too!)
Love banana bread? Check out my other banana bread recipes!
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