My family goes through bananas like they're going out of style... I kid you not. Maybe you've seen people at the grocery store who have 3 huge bunches of bananas in their cart, one at each phase of ripeness from overwhelmingly green to perfectly yellow? Yup, that's us. So, you'd think that with so many bananas in our house all of the time, there'd be plenty of opportunities to make banana bread with the overly ripe leftovers. In fact, this is not the case. Most of our bananas get put in smoothies or eaten plain, and while I have been able to snag a few for baking lately, the fact remains that you're lucky if you get to lay claim to a couple of bananas in my house.
What I love about using bananas to bake is that they contribute so much natural sweetness, reducing or even eliminating the need for added sugar. This Chocolate Espresso Banana Bread, for example, has only ¼ cup of sugar in it, which is pretty good for a quick bread! It's also really moist, which is a factor that I deem very important when judging the quality of most any kind of baked good, and particularly quick breads. And of course, chocolate and banana are always a good pairing, but when you add espresso to the mix, it only gets better! There isn't enough espresso powder in this bread to make too bold a statement, but enough to make an impact, I'd say. If you really like the flavor of coffee, you could add a bit more espresso powder, which I'll probably do next time I make this loaf. Of course, on the contrary, if you can't stand coffee - in which case you're crazy ;) - just skip the espresso powder all together, and you'll still have a great breakfast/snack/dessert, depending on what time of day you allow yourself to indulge in chocolate. Personally, I prefer to start AND end my days with chocolate.Print
Coffee Banana Bread (gluten-free option)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes (up to 60)
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes (up to 15)
- Yield: one 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf 1x
- Category: quick breads
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- 6 ⅜ ounces (1 ½ cups) all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ¾ ounces (½ cup) brown sugar
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and briefly cooled
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup strongly-brewed coffee, hot
- 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ¾ ounces (1 ½ cups) mashed ripe bananas
- mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly combined.
- In a second medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and melted butter until the mixture is creamy and well-combined. Add the egg and whisk in rapidly for about 60 seconds; the mixture should be smooth and noticeably paler in color.
- In a small glass or bowl, stir together the hot coffee, instant coffee granules, and vanilla extract until the coffee granules have dissolved.
- Add the mashed banana to the wet ingredients. While whisking, slowly pour in the coffee mixture, whisking just until the bananas and coffee are dispersed into the batter. Add the dry ingredients and fold in just until incorporated, with no streaks remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top generously with mini chocolate chips if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let bread cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Then, carefully remove loaf from pan and place directly on wire rack to cool completely before slicing.