Mocha Banana Bread


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Love this twist on a traditional banana bread. Next time I’ll push it even more and up the cocoa powder and the espresso, but even as is it was full of flavor and made for a nice spin on a familiar treat.

First step, mash the bananas. They weren’t at that horrifying stage, but they were ripe enough to mash easily.

mashed bananas

Then I got the dry ingredients together. I combined whole wheat white flour, toasted wheat germ, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. I needed 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda, so I got all stunt-y and did both measuring spoons at once.

baking soda

baking soda

dry ingredients

I whisked it all together, pressing into the cocoa lumps as needed until everything was nicely smooth and well integrated.

dry ingredients, whisked

I set that aside. It was time for the stand mixer. I threw in a quarter cup of butter and then subbed 1/2 a cup of coconut palm sugar for the 3/4 of granulated listed.

butter and sugar

butter and sugar, creamed

I added the eggs and watched the paddle spin around again. (I’m still enchanted by my Kitchen Aid, I admit.)


eggs, mixed

Even when it says to add the eggs together, I do them separately, unless they have to be beaten first. I read somewhere that you get better results going one at a time.

I slid the mashed bananas into the bowl and added vanilla.

adding banana and vanilla

For the coffee part of the mocha, I mixed a half teaspoon of espresso powder with three tablespoons of water.

espresso powder and water

That glass has a long history. When I was a kid, Nutella used to come in actual drinking glasses, and once you finished the Nutella you could wash out the glass and keep it. This glass was in my house all through my peanut-butter-and-chocolate-sandwich-obsessed childhood, and now my kids use it, and it felt good to find a way to get it involved in baking as well.

I poured in the espresso mixture.

pouring espresso

Once all the wet ingredients were thoroughly mixed, I took the bowl off the stand and added in the flour, mixing by hand — well, by spatula, s things didn’t get crazy — until just combined.

adding dry ingredients


I poured/scooped/spread it into a loaf pan, but I wanted to give it a little oomph, so I quickly stirred a half teaspoon of cinnamon into 2 tablespoons of cane sugar, and sprinkled that across the top.

batter in pan with cinnamon sugar

The directions said to bake for an hour and five minutes. I checked mine at 45 minutes and it was completely done, I probably could have checked even earlier. It smelled great and had that nice crack across the top. I gave it another ten minutes in the pan, then moved it to a rack.

mocha banana bread on rack

This bread is delicious. As I said, I’m going to add more cocoa powder and more espresso next time, but not by too much because the flavor combination is gentle and smooth and I don’t want to change that balance too much. The texture is just right, a soft crumb but nice and moist from the bananas, and the cinnamon sugar added just the right touch.

Make this! It’s easy and a huge crowd-pleaser. It went fast.

mocha banana bread

mocha banana bread


My version of Mocha Banana Bread (adapted from Cooking With Amy)


1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut palm (brown) sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (I used 3)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water


2 tablespoons cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 350 degrees, and spray or grease a loaf pan.

Whisk together flour, wheat germ, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, pressing out any lumps in the cocoa powder.

Using a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until well creamed, on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well.

Stir the espresso powder into the water. Pour that into the bowl, and add the bananas and vanilla. Beat on low speed until well mixed.

Take the bowl away from the mixer and add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.

Pour batter into a loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar topping across the top.

Bake for 40-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the pan for an additional ten minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

This tastes better the next day, when the flavors really kick in.

mocha banana bread

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