Vegan & Gluten Free Coffee and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Happy Halloween! I have never been trick or treating. True story. My sisters and I were never overly fussed about the idea of it but we did put on an annual Halloween play for my poor lucky parents. The highlight of which was our rousing rendition of Marley and Marley from A Muppet Christmas Carol. My youngest sister Olivia, who must have been around 4 at the time, never really had any lines of her own but made an excellent extra. Gemma and I - after numerous arguments - performed the bulk of the show. We were the Niles and Frasier of the living room theatre world. I always think of the episode where they try to write a book together, that's how we worked together!

October seems to have flown by. The leaves have turned too quickly and it's now dark at 4pm. I love it though. October is my favourite month and I feel sad that I've missed a lot of it this year. The best of October has arrived late but will happily continue into November. I would rather live a year in a chilly Autumn than have to suffer through another failed damp Summer. I live in 60 denier black tights and I'm unhappy if I'm wearing anything less than 2 layers. I love dark nights, rain on the window, pavements covered in crunchy leaves and chocolate porridge for breakfast everyday. Mine and Nick's latest great love is dropping two squares of dark chocolate into plain, hot and milky porridge to create the greatest breakfast since eggs benedict. Try it, it's wonderful.

I have developed a terrible problem since starting this blog. I can’t just walk into a store for 2 pints of milk and be done with it. I’ve gone to the supermarket for basics before and come out with figs, agave nectar, spelt flour and all manner of things that weren’t on my list of essentials.

Last week I caught the bus to work and sat reading Poires au Chocolat on my phone. Emma had written about the best looking apple layer cake ever and it contained coconut oil. So that set me on a coconut oil fuelled train of thought. I have never baked with it before and, at £6.99 for a jar, I feel you have to be pretty sure of what you’re making to part with the cash for it. 

Problem is, I feel I’m going to be parting with a lot of 6.99’s because it’s quite possibly the best ingredient ever – and I’m a complete butter lover!

When we visited Babycakes NYC back in June one of the goodies we tried was their banana chocolate chip bread. I've been dreaming of since and it was the first thing I thought if making with my impulse buy coconut oil.

I adapted it a little by adding coffee and an oaty streusal topping. It's the most delicious banana bread. The recipe will make two small loaves or one large one. I used the 2nd half of the batch to make muffins which came out great as well. I got 8 muffins out of half a batch, so a full batch would be about 16.

It's amazing warm out of the oven when the dark chocolate chips are still melted and oozing. I really can't wait to make this again. As I mentioned in my last post I'm really interested in gluten free and vegan baking. Babycakes recipes are so brilliant, you would never know there were no eggs, butter, regular flour or refined sugar in. If you have kids and are worried about giving them bakes with too much sugar in then I would really recommend you invest in the Babycakes book. They've even converted everything into grams for the UK version.

There were too many lovely pictures of this recipe so I've thrown in some extra photos in this post just to show you how gorgeous this bread is.

Vegan & Gluten Free Coffee and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(adapted from the BabyCakes book by Erin McKenna)

300g gluten-free plain white flour (I used Dove's Farm)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
125ml coconut oil, plus extra for brushing
150ml agave nectar
2 heaped teaspoons ground coffee, dissolved in 50ml hot water
100ml rice milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 medium bananas, mashed
100g dark chocolate chips, vegan

for the streusal topping:
60g plain white gluten free flour
15g oats
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C/350 F/Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease your loaf tin(s) with oil or prepare your muffin tray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon. Add in the oil, agave nectar, coffee, rice milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. Using a spatula, gently fold in the bananas and chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
  3. Fill the loaf tin 1/2 - 2/3 full (depending on how big you want the loaf. I filled it 1/2 way but would have preferred a taller loaf).
  4. To make the streusal topping, mix the flour, oats and cinnamon then add in the agave nectar and coconut oil. Mix together until it reaches a crumble like consistency. Sprinkle over the loaf/muffins and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Rotate the tray 180 degrees after 20 minutes for an even bake. 
  5. When it has finished the top will bounce back when pressed and a toothpick will come out clean. Let it stand in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out. 
It will keep up to 3 days in an air tight container at room temperature...if you can make it last that long!