Soft and squidgy chocolate banana bread made with buckwheat flour. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free, but with zero compromise on flavour or texture. Delicious, nutritious, simple to make, and dangerously moreish.
Banana bread was the comfort food we all needed during the first lock-down, and just because things in the UK are starting to open up, I don’t think that we should abandon it. This recipe is really easy to whip up, is suitable for a whole host of dietary requirements, and is the perfect picnic treat to impress your friends, who you can now actually see IRL.
I’m using buckwheat flour because it’s delicious, nutritious, inexpensive, goes beautifully with chocolate, and is gluten-free. Buckwheat is technically a seed rather than a grain, despite its misleading name, and unlike some flours, it doesn’t have the granular texture that can be associated with gluten-free baking. Regardless of your relationship with gluten, this banana bread is well worth trying.
How to make chocolate buckwheat banana bread
Don’t even think of using under-ripe bananas for this recipe. Mine were still perfectly edible, but had just edged into overripe territory and this really is the minimum level of ripeness you’re after. Ideally your bananas would be substantially brown and black on the outside, and pretty squishy once peeled. The sweetness of your loaf is banana dependent, so if yours are only a step away from the compost you may need a little less maple syrup, or a little more if yours bananas look more like mine.
I use flax eggs to help bind everything together, and these need to sit a while so are a good place to start. In a small bowl, whisk 2 tbsp ground flax seeds with 6 tbsp water and set aside. You can use ready-ground flax seeds or mill whole seeds in a spice grinder or high-speed blender.
Measure out your dry ingredients – buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt – and sift them into a large mixing bowl. Measure the coconut oil into a heat-proof bowl or mixing jug, and melt in the microwave (or in a saucepan on your stove top). Peel and roughly mash your bananas with a fork (a few chunks and lumps are fine) and add it to the coconut oil along with the rest of the wet ingredients; maple syrup, the flax seed mixture, and sparkling water. The sparkling water gives the loaf a little extra lift in the absence of eggs, but if you don’t have any you can always use some non-dairy milk instead.
Roughly chop your chocolate into small chunks – or any chunk size you like for that matter. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously until there are no pockets of flour remaining, and you have a thick, chocolatey batter. Stir in the chocolate chunks with a spoon, then scrape everything into the prepared loaf tin and spread into an even layer. Bake for 60–70 minutes until a skewer comes out clean, leave to cool in the tin for 10–15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This banana bread is delicious whether you have it warm or cold. It tastes indulgent enough to have as a pudding with vegan ice cream, or as a tea time treat, but is just about healthy enough to get away with a slice for breakfast, smothered with peanut butter. However you eat it, there’s a good chance you’ll be back for more.
If you give this recipe a try I would love to hear now you get on! You can comment below or use the star rating at the top of this post, or you can tag me in photos of your creations on Instagram or Twitter @greedybearbakes.
Vegan Chocolate Buckwheat Banana Bread
Soft and squidgy chocolate banana bread made with buckwheat flour.
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds + 4 tbsp water
- 200g (1⅔ cup) buckwheat flour
- 50g (7 tbsp) cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 100g (scant ½ cup) coconut oil
- 3–4 overripe bananas (approx 350–400g mashed)
- 100ml (7 tbsp) maple syrup (Sub. agave, brown rice or golden syrup)
- 100ml (7 tbsp) sparkling water* (or non-dairy milk)
- 75g (5oz) vegan chocolate** (dark or milk)
- Pre-heat the oven to 165C fan and grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and line with grease-proof paper (I like to leave some over-hang over the sides so the loaf is easier to remove after baking).
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp ground flax seeds and 4 tbsp water. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in 200g buckwheat flour, 50g cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarb, and 1 tsp salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a heat-proof bowl or jug, melt 100g coconut oil. Roughly mash 3–4 bananas until you have around 375g, and add to the oil, along with 100ml maple syrup, the flax seed mixture, and 100ml sparkling water. Whisk to combine.
- Chop 75g chocolate into small chunks. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and whisk vigorously until there are no pockets of flour remaining, then stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon. Taste the mixture and add a little more maple syrup, a tablespoon at a time, if it doesn’t taste sweet enough.
- Bake for 60–70 minutes until a skewer comes out clean (allowing for melted chocolate chunks). Leave to cool in the tin for 10–15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
- Slice when cold and eat straight away, or keep in an airtight container for 2–3 days.
*Sparkling water adds a little more lightness to the banana bread in the absence of eggs, but non-dairy milk will also work fine.
**Alternatively you could use chopped nuts, or a combination of chocolate and chopped nuts. Walnuts would be particularly delicious.