Chocolate Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

It’s hard to know whether this scrumptious quick bread belongs under breakfast, snacks, or small indulgences, because at my house, it satisfies as all three! At Rancho La Puerta, sister spa to Golden Door, they serve this bread following the morning hike. Unsweetened prune puree (yup, baby food!) works its magic to help bind and sweeten the batter – and look! – no sugar. There are, however, cocoa, chocolate and banana chips, so this officially counts as a small indulgence for me any time of day…enjoy!


  • 12 ounces unsweetened prune baby food
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup banana chips, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 5×9 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, or with a mixer, process the prunes and bananas until smooth. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder,  cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the prune/banana mixture and stir to combine. Add the nuts, chocolate chips and banana chips and thoroughly combine. Pour into prepared bread pan and spread the batter evenly across the top.
  4. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes until a tester comes out chocolaty but not gooey. Loosen the bread around the edges and invert it onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper, turn it right side up, and let it cool on the wire rack completely before serving.

3 Responses to Chocolate Banana Bread

  1. phyllis September 21, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    hi kristen, this looks really yummy. what is the difference between whole wheat pastry flour and normal whole wheat flower? can i use rice flower or chick pea flower instead?

  2. chezdesblog September 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi Phyllis!

    Try substituting (cup for cup) this gluten-free flour mixture for all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour when baking. It makes 3 cups. Just save any extra you dont use:

    2 cups white rice flour
    2/3 cup potato flour
    1/3 cup tapioca flour

    As for your question, the answer has to do with protein/gluten content. All purpose flour has a gluten content of 9-12 %. Pastry flour has a little less, about 8-9%, which usually makes it a seamless substitute. I like using whole wheat pasty flour for the whole grains. Whole wheat flour is not a good substitute for all purpose flour b/c its gluten content is about 13%, which is great for bread baking but can make things like cookies, cakes, and brownies tough.

    Hope this helped. Let me know how it goes!

  3. chezdesblog September 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    BTW – Bob’s Red Mill sells these flours online if you cannot find them in your local store:

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