Makes 8 mini loaves
I’ve been pushing the loaf gospel for a few months now, but mini loaves are possibly even greater, because they offer faster baking times, portion control and that coveted adorability that we all look for in a baked good.
But why my obsession with loaves lately? I suppose I know. My 39th birthday came and went and I think that means I’m my version of an adult now. Not only do I not want all the excess of buttercream frostings, but I also just plain don’t feel like making a separate topping for my sweets. Confectioners sugar everywhere, a million dishes to do – grumble, grumble, get off my lawn. I guess I’m paring down and simplifying. Everything in one bowl and let’s get this show on the road, I got shtuff to do!
What I love about loaves is that they’re streamlined. They don’t need an icing, and they don’t seem naked without one. And unlike a muffin, they aren’t associated with anything healthy, and so you don’t expect a hemp seed to leap out and bite you on the nose (hate when that happens.) They’re homey and cozy and they’re definitely not attention seekers, unless the knowing glance from another wizened loaf-connoisseur is the attention you’re seeking. And I guess that’s where I am with my life right now. Fire places and bike trails, gardens and knit blankets. Loaves.
But simple doesn’t mean boring! I still want to have fun, and nothing says fun more than oozy chocolate and sweet jubilant cherries. Still fun, but not underwear-in-your-purse-looking-for-a-cab-at-4:15-am fun. That’s cupcake fun. Let’s have some loaf fun.
Recipe notes: I love this method of mixing applesauce with nut butter as your fat. I think I invented it so don’t steal it. (TM!!!!) It gives you fiber and protein and nutrients that oil or straight-up applesauce in baked goods wouldn’t, and it’s also great for structure, crumb and flavor. I believe if you’re following a no-oil diet then this recipe is kosher for you (although you may want to remove the chocolate chips?)
This is the loaf pan I use and I love it. It makes 8 loaves. Amazon has a similar one that gets good reviews. If you have smaller sized loaf pans, just be mindful that baking times may vary. Give about 3 to 5 more minutes for each extra loaf in your batch. If you want to use an 8×4 loaf pan then bake for about 50 minutes, up to an hour. If you want to use muffins, then 12 muffins should take about 20 minutes.
If you’re subbing for a nut allergy, try 2 tablespoons oil and one more tablespoon applesauce in place of the nut butter, or try sun or soynut butter.
Last note, I love to use chocolate chunks here because of the aforementioned ooziness. You can sub chocolate chips of course.
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup natural almond butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond milk (or your preferred vegan milk), at room temp
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water, divided
3/4 cup dry sweetener (any type of sugar or evaporated cane juice)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional – you can use another t vanilla)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz chocolate bar, chopped into 1/2 inch or so chunks
1 cup chopped sweet cherries (thawed if using frozen)
Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly spray a mini loaf pan with cooking spray. Also, boil some water in a tea kettle (no need to measure yet.)
Put applesauce, almond butter, milk and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Measure out 1/3 cup boiling water and pour into the bowl with the chocolate mixture, mixing quickly with a fork to make a thick chocolate sauce. Add sugar and extracts and mix well.
Sift about half of the flour, along with the baking soda and salt, into the chocolate mixture, and gently stir just to incorporate, then measure out 1 tablespoon of boiling water and stir again. Now add the rest of the flour mixture and another tablespoon of boiling water and stir just until smooth. Take care not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate chunks and the cherries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans, about 3/4 of the way.
Bake for 26 to 28 minutes. The tops should be puffy and firm. Stick a steak knife into the center of the loaf to check for doneness. A little bit of wetness is okay since it could be from a chocolate chunk or a cherry, but the knife should come out mostly dry.
Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert pan and place loaves on a cooling rack to cool some of the way. It’s yummy when still a bit warm, with the chocolate chunks oozy and melty. Wrap extra loaves in plastic wrap to keep from drying out. If not using within a day, refrigerate wrapped loaves.
You are KILLING IT lately! Chocolate cherry is one of my favourite combos. Thank you so much for this!
looks yummy and oozy!
I’ve been doing the applesauce and nut butter thing for a long time. It’s really great in cookies, because you don’t have to get out the electric mixer to cream the margarine.
Well, I’ll be expecting back-royalties for all your creations. TM!
Tierney @ Get Your Veg On
Cherry and chocolate! Oh My! I can’t wait to make this.
My goodness! Another winner!!! My favorite flavors all in one!
i feel like i’m going in the other direction… see I just got a couple doughnut pans and i feel my life going in a more sordid and tawdry trajectory as I shift from cupcakes to those tarted-up hussies of the baked goods world.
you are so awesome. According to your diagnostics, I am also totally in a mini-loaf phase of my life. Apparently this means I need to go buy a mini-loaf pan and get to work.
I like a nut butter + pumpkin puree oil/fat replacer. I really don’t like the texture applesauce gives most baked goods and pumpkin is my BFF. <3
I'm still stuck firmly in brownie territory. If I bake, it's brownies. God, I love a gooey ooey brownie. YUM.
I'm swinging over into whoopie pies, though. What sort of fun is whoopie pie fun? 😉
Stop posting such great recipes! I have shtuff to do! ; ) I hope you got a commission on those Amazon orders. When I checked there were only 3 pans in stock. When I ordered there was only 1.
I’ve been looking for a dessert recipe to make for my upcoming b-day dinner and now I’ve found it! I love the non-fussiness of it. Rock on Isa.
Well done!!! I’m going to make these for my Mom when she comes to visit;)
looks super yummy! love cherries with chocolate! i/m a big fan of the applesauce instead of oil-now i need to try the nut butter combo. would love to try a version w/a liquid sweetener, agave or maple syrup.
Applesauce + nut butter = brilliant! So good!
Not ready to give up my cupcakes yet (while reading this I’ve got your golden vanilla cupcakes and a chocolate raspberry blackout cake in the oven (in a moomin tin!) but it looks like I need to get me some little loaf tins as they look fab!
Bianca- Vegan Crunk
Haha! At 31, I’m somewhere between cupcake fun and loaf fun … which means I should eat both. I’m at that stage where I’m still looking for cabs at 4:30 am (with my panties in my purse), but I’m regretting it like hell the whole time because I’m thinking about my morning plans to hit the gym and bake muffins.
P.S. That little melted chocolate smudge pokin’ out is making me swoon.
Yum! I’m always on the lookout for a good quick bread recipe, and you just can’t go wrong with cherries! I’m curious: I’m realllyyy not a fan of nut butter; do you think there is an appropriate substitution? Or if I do add it, can you taste it in the final product? Thanks! 🙂
OOH yes. I have loaf fever too. Everything thing is better in rectangles.
As soon as I can get a mini loaf pan I am making this. And what a great technique, with a hit of protein!
Any ideas or suggestions on making these as cake donuts instead? I have a donut pan and I need an excuse to use it! 😉
would peanut butter be too over powering in these? that dreaded tree nut allergy comes into play again… or peehaps sunflower seed or soybean butter?
I read this as “cherry chocolate CRUNK” at first and I was like ..”whaaa?”. But seriously, you had me at chocolate and then that second picture of all that ooey gooey goodness. Yeah, this is definitely not helping me curb my sweet addition.
I’ve been using peanut butter and apple sauce to provide moisture and binding in my homemade energy/protein bars, as well as this fantastic spicy peanut butter cookie recipe over on Fake Food Free. It’s worked really well when I keep the ratio even or a bit more peanut butter than apple sauce. I haven’t used it in place of fats in other recipes though, so I’m excited for this tip. Thanks for such a lovely blog!
The Amazing Kim
Ah, I think I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like chocolate/fruit combinations.
Does anyone have any suggestions what I can sub the cherries with? Or would the recipe be ok if I just left them out?
You can leave em out, or try chopped walnuts or (gasp) more chocolate!
Made this last night in a regular 8×4 loaf pan…baked it for an hour. It is SO GOOD. Chocolate cherry cake basically, except in loaf form, which makes it appropriate for breakfast 🙂
Also, I didn’t have almond butter, so I used peanut butter. You can taste a hint of peanut in there, but nothing overpowering. Mmm!
I was wondering what the purpose was of the boiling water tablespoons during the flour mixture addition..not complaining, just curious!
Thanks for another scrumtrulescent recipe!
Cool! I talk about the boiling water here: http://www.theppk.com/2011/10/chocolate-pumpkin-loaf/
Well I know what I’m doing today
Can i use Bob’s Red Mill whole grain brown rice flour???Will it turn out the same??
I don’t think so. I’d use Bob’s GF baking mix if anything.
Ok, so I just added mini loaf pans to my never ending list of things I want/need in the kitchen. There is actually a mini loaf pan somewhere that duplicates the shape of twinkies, this recipe may help me pull the trigger on my purchase. Thanks so much for enabling!
Oh my god. These look perfect. Curse you Isa. Now I’m going to have to make them and eat them all!
Thanks for sharing where you found your mini loaf pans, and I love they are connected like regular muffin tins but square. So cute. I usually make a big batch like brownies then cut them into mini loaves, but I love the perfect edges these create. Thanks again!
You crack me up. I just bought your Vegan w/ a Vengeance – made coconut rice last night and the coconut heaven cupcakes this afternoon, but now I’m jonesing for some chocolate-cherry action. THANKS FOR THAT.
This looks awesome. i just saw the mini loaves pan on sale this weekend… hmm now maybe I’ll have to go back and buy it…love chocolate cherry combos… YUM
These are delicious!!! I only had 1 cup of white whole wheat flour so used 1/2 cup of spelt flour. I didn’t have any chocolate or almond extract so like you suggested used 2 tsp of vanilla. No mini loaf pan so I used cupcake pan. 20 minutes was perfect. I am trying to hold back from eating a second one. Soooo Good! Thank You!!!
What do you think would happen if I use coconut butter instead of the almond butter? Do you think the coconut flavor would be too overwhelming?
I would use a leeetle less. Like 3 T maybe?
I made the big loaf – it tasted great :> I do think I didn’t leave it in for long enough – the texture was more brownie-like, not as fluffy and airy as on your pictures. See here: http://vegansmarties.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/chocolate-cherry-loaf-by-ppk/
thank you for the recipe!!
I can’t wait to try these!
Oh. my. god. I have to make these..
There goes my second container of cocoa powder in a month..
This brings back fond memories of the first ever recipe I tried from the wonderful Isa – the Cherry Almond version of the Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies. I loved those, and every recipe I have tried since. I can’t wait to foodgasm from these wonderful loaves as well!
This is great! Are you psychic or something? Or am I?! The other day I was scouring this site for a cherry-chocolate recipe I could have sworn to god you had posted. (Only it was a tart of some type.) I couldn’t find it so I assumed I imagined it, but then… this! It’s like destiny! In loaf form.
I’m making this tonight, but it will have to be as a big loaf. (I can’t believe how excited I am about a loaf.)
I just ate it, it’s delicious!
I had to use a tray because my loaf tin has gone walkabout, and I used a mix of chocolate, sour cherries and walnuts (just because I didn’t have sweet cherries or the right amount of chocolate). It’s so… fluffy! It doubled in height, it’s not dense like some vegan cake loaves. I was skeptical of the “tablespoons of boiling water” thing but it must make a difference. So yummy! Thank you!
Yay, glad you had success in a different kind of pan. Yeah, the hot water is magical.
I have these in the oven right now, and they smell delicious – can’t wait! My mini-loaf pans seem to be a little bigger than yours, though – it only filled four, not eight. And they’re separate little pans that have to be placed on a baking dish. I am belatedly wondering if that means the cooking time should be a bit longer…
Yep, maybe 4 to 5 minutes more. I guess you’ve already figured that out!
Wow these sound & look soooo good!
I made these, but subbed dried cranberries plumped up with some plum brandy for the cherries. YUM!
Cookie and Kate
Funny, this is very similar to a vegan cherry chocolate cake I posted last summer.
I’m not sure what your intention is here, but several people are commenting on it and I’ve responded below.
I made this last night in an 8X4 pan–absolutely decadent and delicious!
Cookie and Kate – I looked your recipe up here http://cookieandkate.com/2011/healthy-cherry-chocolate-cake/ (guessing this is the one you’re referring to?) It looks delicious! But quite different from Isa’s – the only key similarities are the cocoa and cherries. I’ll be sure you check yours out next time – the coffee sounds like a nice addition.
Isa, I loved the applesauce/ nut butter blend – it has revolutionised my baking!
Dangerously good–I made this last night as a full-sized loaf. It was done around 8 pm and it’s already half-gone! I will definitely invest in a mini-loaf pan and make this for my next potluck or party.