Chocolate Almond Banana Bread

December  2, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes 2 loaves or 1 Bundt-style cake
Author Notes

Moist and intensely chocolate-y, this version of banana bread includes cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, and...the secret ingredient...almond paste! It's delicious and just as nice for dessert as it is for breakfast. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I like to use black cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chips)
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups very ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, for enhanced chocolate flavor)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or two 9" x 5" loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using). Stir in the bittersweet chocolate.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the sugar and almond paste until the texture is crumbly. Add the oil, eggs, and bananas and pulse until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and pulse a few times. You can use a stand mixer (or a whisk and elbow grease!) for this step, but a food processor is ideal as it will yield the smoothest texture.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan (or pans). A NOTE: You can use this batter in lots of different types of pans, from round cake pans to muffin tins...whichever pan you're using, just make sure not to fill it more than halfway, as it will rise up. Bake for about 50-60 minutes (if you're using a different, smaller pan, start checking much sooner), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don't overbake! Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marc
  • Mayra
  • stingraystirs
  • Nancy Feldis
    Nancy Feldis
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien

14 Reviews

G March 27, 2019
Marc January 20, 2018
What can I use instead of the almond paste
Posie (. January 20, 2018
If you’re not a fan of almond paste I’d suggest a different banana bread recipe! There are some awesome ones on the site and this recipe is really engineered to showcase the almond paste flavor.
Marc January 20, 2018
Well, there is a recipe for almond paste on the site, I'll have to give it a try.
Jenn K. December 7, 2017
I cut down the sugar a bit, to one cup, and it's definitely still dessert! I'm not sure I really taste the almond paste but it's definitely moist. Will make again!
Lunch L. January 23, 2017
What if I hate almond paste? Can I just leave it out? If not, what else can I sub in its place?
Catie B. May 19, 2017
Do you like pistachio paste, or Hazelnut paste? I have substituted Hazelnut paste successfully in recipes such as his, hope you try it! Good Luck!
alexa E. December 18, 2016
Would it be possible to sub almond flour? What would be the conversion ratio? Thanks!
Catie B. May 19, 2017
do you mean sub almond flour for the almond paste, or some Almond flour for the regular flour in total?
As almond paste is a mixture of ground almonds, sugar etc., you would need to make a mixture to substitute. A 1:1 substitute would not work very well. If you want to substitute regular flour for almond flour, you would have to make some substitutions in place of the regular wheat flour. Rather than list them here, I would encourage you to google the equation, and many many combinations will pop up for you to research and choose.
In general if you do not want to use wheat flour, there are many substitute flours now that tell you that you can exchange their product 1:1 for wheat flour. I have tried a few of the ready to go substitutions, and they also worked fine.
Mayra December 8, 2016
can I use a homemade almond paste like this one?
Catie B. May 19, 2017
Yes that is a good almond paste that would work well for you in the recipe. Good luck!
Mayra May 20, 2017
stingraystirs December 6, 2016
Making this tonight. Looks great!
Nancy F. December 6, 2016
Awesome as muffins, but way less time on them, more like 25/30 min.