Fabulous Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Sour Cherries, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Scrumptious chocolate chip banana bread, with cranberries and walnuts
Chocolate chip banana bread, ready to eat in one hour (5 minutes prep + 55 mins in the oven)

Admittedly, the recipe for chocolate chips banana bread/cake should be really simple, and yet when I tried it in the past it never came out as great as it did yesterday—yesterday I managed to combine ingredients and quantities to perfection!

This recipe is based on one by Arman Liew. I changed the quantities a little, added coconut oil and avocado oil instead of butter, and then, to offset the taste of avocado oil, I used orange flavoring instead of vanilla. I added walnuts, which were optional in Arman’s recipe, and also added cranberries, because I always do 🙂

I also increased the baking time, even though my bread had half the height of a bread loaf–and that happened because I spread the dough in a round pan rather than put it in a loaf pan. Somehow even with all my extra foods I ended up with a small quantity of dough and my large loaf pan would not have made sense. Plus, I often prefer a pie shape.

What else? I didn’t have chocolate chips but I did have some dark chocolate with sour cherries, so I used that. The taste fit the bill excellently. So if you can find some chocolate with cherries, sour cherries, or black cherries, I recommend that.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 270 grams/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams/8 flat tbsp sugar (I used 4 tbsp brown sugar and 4 tbsp white sugar)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder (most brands are gluten-free, but check!)
  • 1/5 tsp salt
  • 3 small bananas, sliced round
  • 100 grams/3.50 oz chocolate with sour cherries, chopped the size of regular chocolate chips
  • 50 grams/0.4 cups walnuts, chopped the size of small chocolate chips
  • 50 grams/0.4 cups dried cranberries
  • 205-210 ml/7 fl oz 2% milk
  • 4 tbsp liquid coconut oil
  • 15 ml/0.5 fl oz cold-pressed avocado oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ml/1 vial orange flavoring (or orange extract)

Preheat the oven at 180°C/356°F.

Mix everything together with a spatula, line a pan generously with parchment paper, and with the help of your spatula transfer the dough into the pan. Again, I used a round pan. Mine has a diameter of 25 cm/~10″.

Bake at 180°C/356°F for 55 minutes, possibly less. Check with a toothpick to see if the dough is baked. If none of it—or only small particles—sticks to it, it’s done.

It seems like a lot but I assure you it’s one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make and comfort food you’ll want to return to every now and then. It has a smooth, moist texture, and the walnuts are exactly what it needs for a little crunch. Then the dark chocolate and the sour cherries stand out with their wonderful flavor notes. Finally, the orange extract brings together the different ingredients in a very nice way. The funny thing is that the bananas are not really overpowering. They somehow exist more as texture than flavor, but they do add, of course, a lot to the taste of this cake.

This dessert will be so good that chances are that even if you’ve been cooking for two decades, as I have, you won’t believe you actually made this thing! I have to say I really surprised myself with this recipe! 🙂 Now, I have to admit I’m a good cook, but not much of a pastry cook! And that gets even harder for me when I try to cook desserts with gluten-free flour. The good thing is that this banana “bread” (hard to call it bread with everything I put in it) is not really pastry 🙂 It’s just an easy cake.

I hope you’ll try it and have fun with it too!

If you want to have a look at Arman Liew’s original recipe, here it is.

Banana bread dough in a pan
Banana cake dough, transferred into pan (I didn’t photograph the mixing part)
Banana bread, round-shaped, out of the oven
Banana cake, out of the oven after 55 mins
A slice of chocolate chip banana cake (with cranberries and walnuts)
Time to enjoy it! 🙂

Disclaimer: I am not a medical or health practitioner, and no part of This Blog, or the websites and products I mention and link to on This Blog, is intended as professional medical or health advice, and should not be considered as such. Consult with your doctor(s) about starting any course of treatment, taking any supplements, or changing any (dietary, exercise, etc.) routines. Note that natural supplements and even some foods may interfere with certain medications. Here are my Full Terms and Conditions.

You may wonder why I put in avocado oil. Avocado oil is about two parts oleic acid, the monosaturated fatty acid that does wonders when we ingest it through olive oil. This oleic acid and other fatty acids in avocado help reduce triglycerides and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Sometimes they also lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Avocado oil also contains lutein, a carotenoid that is essential for our eyes and helps protect them from various diseases; and its health benefits don’t stop there.

I’d like to eat avocado daily or every two days, because in my experience avocado is the one surefire way to keep my triglycerides within normal limits, but often the avocados I find at the supermarket do not ripe well. So then I thought of buying cold-pressed avocado oil. Of course, eating avocado oil in the presence of so much sugar defeats the purpose (consider eating salads with avocado slices instead—if you can find good avocados), but even in the case of this recipe, the avocado oil is bound to help some. And then coconut oil has saturated fats, yes, but it also has lauric acid, which fights bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and also helps the immune system. So every now and then, I’d use a little coconut oil.

Back to avocado oil, it doesn’t work with everything, but it certainly works in this recipe. And it does boost a little the healthy profile of this dish, which, as I said, unfortunately involves a lot of sugar. I could have used stevia, but I went for the taste this time.

In any event, while I focus on healthy recipes, this is more like an indulgence, so I hope you treat it like one too, enjoying it but not overdoing it!

Your cake will keep in the fridge for several days.

Disclosure: This blog post contains some affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All affiliate links on this blog are identified as such. Here’s my Full Disclosure.

Finally, here are some chocolate-covered cherries that may work really well with some more dark chocolate (in which case you wouldn’t also use cranberries, because this chocolate has a lot of cherries 🙂 )

Cherries covered in dark chocolate from Trader Joe's
Trader Joe’s cherries in dark chocolate,
no artificial flavors, no preservatives (affiliate image link)

And some pure orange extract. I recommend you taste it to see exactly how concentrated it is.

pure orange extract, artisanal blend (Vanilla Bean Kings)
Pure orange extract from Vanilla Bean Kings
(affiliate image link)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

To a happier, healthier life,

🙂 Mira

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