This coconut cacao nib banana bread recipe was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s banana bread with cardamom and cocoa nibs. Which sounded VERY inspiring, but in the end I made a totally different banana bread altogether. The only thing that remained the same was the bananas, the eggs and the cacao nibs. I changed pretty much everything. So much for good inspired intentions. What sparked this major stray was the lack of cardamom in my spice collection. Bummer. What to do? An even mix of ground nutmeg and cinnamon was the best possible substitute, plus they lend a nice depth of flavor. White flour I almost always substitute, and in this case, for the greater part, whole grain spelt flour. And thanks to muscovado sugar, there are some gorgeous caramel undertones in this bread. L O V E.
With only 100 g sugar, I find this coconut cacao nib banana bread plenty sweet, and that is with only using half the recommended amount. Nigella’s version is described as being a breakfast bread that “isn’t terribly sweet” but perhaps that was her sweet tooth talking. My favorite Schwabe thinks this version is perfect as it is. Actually it is. But you could get away with reducing the sugar just a tad more since ripe bananas are already plenty rich in natural sweetness. But here I am talking as a green banana lover and someone who hates to feel the slightest hint of sugary film on my teeth. Even if I can’t taste the sugar (thinking Thai food here) that feeling on my teeth is a dead giveaway. Ever notice that?
So here it is, a super tasty banana bread, that’s moist and oh-so VERY flavorful! It’s perfect for breakfast or a snack and is practically guilt-free. It’s banana bread, so it’s basically fruit…right? ;-)
Coconut Cacao Nib Banana Bread
225 g whole grain spelt flour
100 g white spelt flour (Type 630)
100 g soft brown sugar (I recommend GEPA organic raw cane sugar Mascobado)
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large very ripe or overripe bananas
2 large eggs, room temperature
200 ml unsweetened coconut-rice milk (or similar alternative)
125 ml coconut oil, melted
25 g unsweetened coconut flakes (1/3 cup)
50 g cocao nibs
1. Preheat the oven to 340°F / 170°C, and line a loaf pan with parchment paper (or line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the sides with coconut oil).
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon together with a whisk.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas to a puree using a fork and then beat in one egg at a time (until a bit foamy), followed by the coconut-rice milk and then the oil. Continue to beat until well combined (I do this by hand using a whisk, but an electric mixer can also be used).
4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (if using an electric mixer, then on low). Mix until fully combined.
5. Finally, using a spatula, fold in the coconut flakes and cocoa nibs and transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Garnish with more cacao nibs, if desired. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven, set is on a wire rack; leaving it in the loaf pan until fully cooled. Once cool, remove from the pan and enjoy!
7. You can eat it as is, or go ahead and give it a try toasted then slather it with some good unsalted butter. Enjoy!
8. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week. Wrapping the coconut cacao nib banana bread in parchment paper is also fine (since it only lasts a total of 3 days in our house!).