Dining al desko: Spicy chocolate banana bread

Banana bread is a great invention. It presents itself as a healthy option, and in fact, all of the ingredients fit into your healthier January commitments (we’re not using the word resolutions!), and it tastes like cake. The recipe is also very forgiving too. I don’t normally even follow a recipe and just eyeball the ingredients. However, this one worked out so well that I’ll be going back to it again and again. So whether it’s breakfast on the go or mid-afternoon sweet tooth attack, a slice of this is going to make your work day that much happier.

Spicy chocolate banana bread with chia seeds


  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups spelt flour
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 100g dark chocolate, cut into tiny bits


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
  3. Mash 3 of the bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the beaten egg, maple syrup, if using), coconut oil and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Sift the flour and cacao powder into a separate bowl with the cinnamon, chilli powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in.
  7. Add the chia seeds and the chopped chocolate bits and mix to combine.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
  9. Cut the remaining banana lengthways down the middle.
  10. Place the two halves on top of the batter and press down a little.
  11. Bake in the oven for 55-60 mins until a skewer placed in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  12. Allow to rest for 10 mins then remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  13. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Rachel’s life has been one recipe after the other for almost 10 years. Though she is no longer editor of Gourmet Today magazine, food still takes centre stage. She is a freelance writer and Succeed’s resident chef. To balance the inevitable calorie intake she has become a reluctant runner and likes to lift weights, though still loves a day on the sofa binge-watching absolutely anything (good).