Breakfast/ Cakes

Healthy Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread

April 26, 2020 (Last Updated: February 16, 2021)

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Total time to make this recipe: 1 hour
close-up of a chocolate cake with two slices

A delicious guilt-free yet decadent banana bread made with healthier ingredients such as coconut oil, maple syrup and unsweetened cocoa. Every bite will be chocolate-y, with the crunchiness of Pecan nuts and the sweetness of ripe bananas. It will be your favorite breakfast, snack, dessert!

Banana Bread is one of those foods that I’ve always seen in movies and tv shows when I was growing up in Italy and wondered how it tasted. Wondering why it was shaped like a loaf and why was it called bread. Wondering if people were crazy enough to make a savory bread with bananas or if it was just a banana cake.

When I started experimenting with cooking, apart from making the classic Italian recipes, I was always drawn to try international food. The ingredients to make Asian food were almost impossible to find in Italy. So mostly I was trying other European recipes and American recipes.

chocolate banana bread in a loaf pan

Bananas are one of my favorite fruits so of course banana bread immediately became one of my favorite cakes to make. I’ve never been much of a baker but it’s so easy to make that you really cannot make it wrong!

I tried different recipes and found my favorite combinations. Of course, being a chocoholic this recipe is now the one I make the most often!

overhead chocolate banana bread with 2 slices
close-up of a chocolate cake with two slices

Banana Bread Ingredients Substitutions

If you made banana bread before, you’ll know that there are thousands of recipes out there. You can substitute almost every ingredient depending on what you have available.

See below a list of the essential ingredients to make a good banana bread and the suggested substitutions.

  • Bananas: This is the only ingredient that you cannot substitute of course.
  • Flour: You can use many different types of flour, from the standard all-purpose to gluten-free, spelt, oat, and so on. The quantity to use should be the same, but it may take some trial and error with more particular flours.
  • Fat: Fat is essential in any baking recipe but it can be easily substituted with other ingredients. You can use vegetable oil, butter, avocado oil, or even applesauce. The quantity for all substitutions is 1:1.
  • Raising Agent: A raising agent is also essential in every baking recipe. The most common are baking powder and baking soda. You can either use 1 tsp of baking soda or 2 tsp of baking powder.
  • Sweetener: Even though ripe bananas are already sweet, I prefer to add a little bit of more sweetness. You can use sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agave syrup, or date syrup. But you can also avoid additional sweetener altogether.
  • Eggs: If you don’t want to use eggs and want to make this banana bread vegan, you can substitute them with 2 tbsp of flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp of water.
  • Milk: You can use any dairy or non-dairy milk of your choice. Try it with almond, oat, or even goat milk.
  • Salt and Vanilla: These 2 guys are really essential to balance all the flavors and I wouldn’t avoid them nor substitute them.
  • Other additions: This is the fun part, you can add to the bread other extra ingredients such as spices, nuts, dried fruit and chocolate chips.
hand holding a slice of banana bread
close-up of a chocolate cake with two slices

The Recipe

If you like this recipe, try also these other breakfast recipes:

close-up of a chocolate cake with two slices

Healthy Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread

A delicious guilt-free yet decadent banana bread made with healthier ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 people
Author: Jessica – Cooking my Dreams


  • 1 1/4 cup Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Pecan nuts, chopped
  • Chocolate Chips, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or with a potato masher. You can choose if you want to leave chunks.
  • In the same bowl then add the maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla and coconut milk. Mix well with a fork or a whisk.
  • In another bowl, mix the sifted spelt flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and chopped pecan nuts.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl while mixing until you have a smooth batter.
  • Grease a loaf pan and then pour the batter in it. Top it with some chocolate chips if you'd like.
  • Transfer the pan to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. After this time, cover with aluminium foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving.


You can store this banana bread at room temperature or in a fridge in a closed container for 3-4 days.


Calories: 312 kcal | Carbohydrates: 38 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 17 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Cholesterol: 41 mg | Fiber: 6 g | Sugar: 14 g

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana bread, healthy banana bread, healthy breakfast, healthy chocolate cake
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    April 27, 2020 at 1:58 am

    omg this looks so good!! I can’t wait to make this. I think my kids would even eat it lol

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