A thick slice of warm banana bread + a cup of coffee is the ultimate comfort food (in my mind), and in the winter even more so. And the best part — a hearty banana bread base pairs well with so many different flavors, so the possibilities are truly endless! For now — I’m drooling over this loaf, which marries nutty tahini with the sweetness of dark chocolate chunks and the saltiness of coarse sea salt flakes (which, by the way, is my latest baking obsession. #seasaltoneverything).
This loaf will probably definitely not last a week in our house… it’s that good. Enjoy!
One of my all-time favorite brunch spots in New York City, Two Hands, is home to a legendary house banana bread that they top with espresso marscapone, honey, and puffed buckwheat. I’ve never been able to try it because of my dairy allergy, but after years of pining, I decided to recreate it on my own at home.
My version is gluten- and dairy-free, the marscapone is entirely vegan, and the banana bread can easily be made vegan as well if you substitute a flax egg for a real one. Two slices makes a weekend breakfast that will keep you full for hours, thanks to all the fiber and healthy fats in my version, and you’ll love knowing it’s free of refined sugars.
It took me two rounds to perfect this recipe. I am picky with my baked goods, and having to bake gluten-free makes me even pickier. My goal is always to create a baked good that I could put down in front of someone, without telling them what’s in it, and not have them say it’s “pretty good for being gluten-free”, but that’s it “REALLY good”, period. I think I achieved that with this muffin.
Basically, this muffin is the perfect solution to your 3 PM energy crash. It gives you complex carbs and healthy fats to prevent the “hangry” from coming on, and the staying power to get you through till dinner. It gives you a little dose of caffeine with the ground espresso, and it has chocolate in it. Chocolate just makes everything better.
¼ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 cup almond flour
3 tbsp. espresso beans, ground in a food processor, or 3 tbsp. instant coffee
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chunks, plus more for topping
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray, or oil with a little olive or coconut oil.
In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients (eggs through apple cider vinegar, above). Whisk until well combined — your batter should be smooth and creamy.
Next, add in all dry ingredients (except for the chocolate chunks). Stir to mix, then fold in the ½ cup of dark chocolate chunks.
Spoon your batter into 9 muffin cups, and top with a few additional chocolate chunks. Bake for 20-25 minutes.