Some of my favorite posts on the blog come from those moments when I’m cooking or baking and the results are so amazing that I can’t wait to share. This is one of those posts. It started with an overflowing basket of bananas on my kitchen counter. I figured I’d make our favorite Coconut Pecan Banana Bread after a reader recently commented on how much she enjoyed it with my suggestion of chocolate chips. So…I had to experiment!
I remember loving German chocolate cake as a kid. How can any combination of chocolate, coconut and pecans be bad? But, in all honesty…I can’t tell you the last time I’d even seen a German chocolate cake. It doesn’t seem to be as popular as it was back then, but its history may surprise you…
Interestingly, German chocolate cake is not German. Not one bit. It gets its name from German’s Sweet Chocolate, a product called for in the original recipe. It was a sweetened chocolate made especially for baking and developed by Samuel German. The recipe for the cake specifically, came from a Mrs. George Clay, from Texas, who submitted it to a local newspaper. Classic to Southern baking, she included coconut and pecans. Within just one year, that recipe became widely popular and soon after, was printed on the back of baking chocolate packages.
I’m more of a bread baker…not so much a cake baker. And really…I can slice off a piece of banana bread any time of the day without having to explain myself. I mean, calling cake breakfast just doesn’t always fly. This bread…well, it’s as satisfying as cake, but much less sugary and so much less fat.
This bread is sweet, but not overly so. It’s just enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. Between the sweetened coconut, chocolate chips and banana, you really don’t need a lot of additional sugar. And honestly, my family looked surprised when I told them it had about half the amount of sugar as most banana bread recipes. I’m fairly certain they liked it anyway…it was gone in one day!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar (see Notes)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut, plus additional for topping
- ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely, plus a few whole pecans for topping
- ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and coconut palm sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the yogurt, coconut oil, vanilla and bananas. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Add the coconut, pecans and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. The mixture will be a bit thick.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with additional coconut and a few whole pecans, if desired.
- Bake on the center rack for 55 to 60 minutes or untl a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.