Choco Banana Snackcake

Oh man, if you have lots of bananas and like chocolate cake, do I have the perfect recipe for you. Dairy-free, super moist and delicious, this one is a winner. Plus it's packed with 5 bananas so it's almost a health food, right? I was looking for an easy and dairy-free dessert to share with my sister and brother-in-law. I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest (everyone's already following me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/evbecker/)? It's a quick and easy snackcake recipe that will offer endless variations. My next iteration will be a vanilla version with vegan caramel sauce drizzle, stay tuned for that one!

choco banana snackcake

Choco Banana Snackcake

Adapted from Serena Bakes Simply, Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 5 whole bananas, peeled and frozen, then thaw for 1 hour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup black coffee
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup walnut or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (To Sprinkle On Top)
Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Directions

Baker's note: I always have lots of bananas in my freezer. Before you begin making this cake, remove 5 frozen, peeled bananas from the freezer and allow to thaw for about 1 hour. In a pinch, you can take 5 ripe, peeled bananas, and microwave them for 2-3 minutes before beginning this recipe. You should have nearly the same results.

Preheat oven to 350 F and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan (I used glass pyrex to great success).

Place thawed bananas in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until fairly smooth. Stir in brown sugar, canola oil, egg, vanilla, vinegar and coffee.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I recommend Ghiradelli's 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips for this recipe) and chopped nuts if you are using them. Pour snackcake batter into the prepared pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing. 

I found that the banana flavor quickly disappeared. If possible, enjoy this cake the same day that you bake it.  

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Dense Chocolate Cake-Gluten and Dairy Free

Or, adult brownies as my husband lovingly called them. Not because they have alcohol, simply because they are sophisticated and the very essence of chocolate. I made this cake a few years ago using butter and thought I would try a variation that omits the dairy and substituted coconut oil. It worked out perfectly. A little slice of this perfectly moist cake with a cup of coffee, or Bailey's and your dinner guests will go home happy!

Dense Chocolate Cake

Dense Chocolate Cake-Gluten and Dairy-Free

Adapted from www.epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Powdered sugar for additional decoration (if desired)
Measuring cocoa powder

Measuring cocoa powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with round of parchment paper and grease the paper. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, melt chocolate with coconut oil. On full power microwave for 45 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 second intervals stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 20-25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

To create a design on top,  place a stencil (you can cut one out of parchment paper, like making a snowflake), and dust with icing sugar. Carefully remove the parchment paper and serve immediately.

Lots of chocolate goes into this dense cake.

Lots of chocolate goes into this dense cake.

Oatmeal Samoa Cookies

Healthy cookies, you say? Well, maybe not truly healthy, but they are delicious and filled with old-fashioned oats. These cookies came about from my desire to recreate the Samoa Girl Scout cookies with an oat-y twist.  

The key to this recipe, besides using good quality dark chocolate, is to use a coconut oil that has a lot of coconut flavor. An extra virgin variety will have retained more flavor than some conventional brands that have been further refined. Experiment a little and find the brand that you like, to get the best results. 

Oatmeal Samoas

Oatmeal Samoas-Dairy-free

makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped, or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
A view inside the Oatmeal Samoa

A view inside the Oatmeal Samoa

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, dried coconut, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, stir together coconut oil and brown sugar. Add egg, water and vanilla, mix to combine.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Add the dark chocolate and pecans and stir to combine.

Using a small (2 1/2 Tablespoon) scoop, form cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan. Press down to flatten. Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. For best results, bake one pan of cookies at a time. 

Cool 5 minutes on sheet pan, then remove to cooling rack. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for a week.