Makes 12 slices
I was sooo totally kidding when I tweeted that I was working on a book called “Vegan Loafs Gone Wild”, and yet here I am with another lower-fat loaf! I don’t know, something about the ease of the loaf pan, the leisurely cooking time, and just the absolute loafiness of it.
Here we’ve got something that reminds me of pressing my face against the glass dessert case at my neighborhood Jewish bakery. Marbled treats were a childhood fascination and they still hold some of that “How did you do that?” wonder. What can I say, swirls of cocoa are an impressive feat!
It takes a little extra work, and a few extra mixing bowl, but isn’t it worth it to awaken that childhood intrigue? This banana bread is perfectly banana-y, and not too sweet. The outside of the loaf is a little crunchy after being baked, but if you leave it in Tupperware or plastic wrap at room temp overnight, it gets very moist. It tastes great both ways!
1 cup mashed very ripe banana
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup almond milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water, divided
Prepare boiling water, no need to measure yet. Also, preheat oven to 350 F.
Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl until relatively smooth. It should take 3 average sized ones, but spoon the mashed ‘nanas into a measuring cup to make sure, then return to the mixing bowl. Beat in the sugar, canola oil, milk and vanilla.
Now add the flour, baking soda and salt and gently mix just to incorporate. It’s okay if there is some flour still visible, just be careful not to overmix at this point.
Scoop one cup of the batter up and transfer it to a separate mixing bowl. Now, in a small tea cup mix the cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water and stir vigorously with a fork until the chocolate is dissolved. Add this chocolate mixture to the one cup of banana and mix until the chocolate is thoroughly smooth and incorporated.
Now back to the original plain banana batter; add 3 tablespoons of boiling water and mix the batter just until relatively smooth.
Here comes the fun part, it’s time to marble! Lightly grease an 8×4 loaf pan. Scoop alternate 1/2 cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the loaf pan. Nothing has to be precise here, in fact, the more random, the better. Once all of the batter is in, take a butter knife and swirl it through the batter in circular directions for about 10 seconds.
Bake for 55 minutes. Use a butter knife to test for doneness. Let cool and enjoy!
Hi, just bought your beautiful cookbook, working through it and loving it. Re this marble bread, does it freeze well? I have a bunch of rip bananas but need to store this bread for a future party…
It does! I’ve made and froze it whole and it cuts like fresh. Just let it cool completely on the counter, then wrap tightly, cool in the fridge for a bit, and and then stick in the freezer.
I don’t understand what the purpose is of separating the one cup of batter?
It’s for the marbling effect.
This is now my go-to banana bread recipe! I love how your recipes are perfect the way they are while also being so tolerant of tampering. If you’re just looking for bread, rather than a sweet treat, I’ve gotten the sugar down to 1/4 cup. (Especially if you’re just going to put jam on it anyway…) I’ve also successfully used whole wheat pastry flour – perfect – and regular whole wheat flour. The regular whole wheat sucks up a lot of moisture, so it’s hard to avoid over mixing, but it comes out just fine.
(swapping whole wheat flour and cutting sugar to 1/4 cup brings the calories from 220 to 141 for an eighth of a loaf)
@ Elissa – the purpose of separating out the batter is that only some of the batter gets the cocoa so that you can marble the cocoa colored banana bread batter with the regular banana bread batter
oops – I meant 170 calories for 1/4 c. sugar, whole wheat flour. (Too much banana bread; my fingers are getting chubby 😉 )
Love, love, love! Best banana bread I’ve ever had! My whole family agrees.
this is my favourite Isa recipe of ALL TIME.
With the big muffin tin, took 25 minutes.
I have made this recipe (out of Isa Does It) several times and it is a major winner. We have successfully substituted 4 tb. melted chocolate for the water/cocoa mixture in a pinch.
Do you think
This could work with avocado ??
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Just put this in the oven….hoping for a delicious treat! ❣
This was soooooo delicious & fun to make 🙂
Thank you Isa 🙂
It’s going straight on my FB, Instagram & groups letting everyone know to try it with your link attached 🙂
So good & happy 🙂
This recipe is incredible. I’ve made it 15 times and it always turns out beautifully. It’s the first banana bread recipe that I’ve tried and not been disappointed with.
I love this recipe, but I substitue 6 squares of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate for the cacao powder/water (if you like it less chocolatey, use 4 squares) … it’s THE BEST banana bread recipe ever, and so easy!
This recipe is still going strong, it is tried and true! Makes great mini loaves for bake sales or random gifts.
Great recipe! One of the first vegan banana bread recipes I made years ago!