• Sasha

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate and Cream Cheese Banana Bread

This recipe takes a twist on traditional banana bread by incorporating chocolate, cream cheese and all the sweet spices of Autumn to create the softest, most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin banana bread. Cut yourself a big chunk of this refined sugar-free goodness and serve with your favourite hot drink!

We all know Autumn is the season for anything pumpkin flavoured and I, like half of the population right now, am all for it! However, in true notecook style, I wanted to create something a little different from the traditional pumpkin recipes you see online and this is what I ended up with...Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Banana Bread with dollops of cream cheese inside. Yum!


Thanks to the combination of mashed bananas and homemade pumpkin purée, you'll find that every bite of this bread is so ultra soft and perfectly sweet that you won't be able to stop at one slice!


It's also gluten-free (although you wouldn't even be able to tell) and virtually lactose-free as I used lactose-free cream cheese, but, as with most of my recipes, can be adapted to your dietary needs.


If you do eat gluten, you can just use regular flour instead of gluten-free flour.


If you want to make it dairy-free, simply swap the cream cheese for a dairy-free alternative (or skip it out completely) and the butter for coconut oil.


Determine how sweet you want it


The beauty of this recipe is that you can add as little or as much sweetener as you like, dependant on the ripeness of your bananas. If using bananas that are completely brown and overripe, the amount of agave syrup listed in the ingredient's list will give you perfectly sweet bread. If using bananas that are more ripe than overripe, you might want to add about 1 1/2 tbsp more agave syrup.


Alternatives to agave syrup include maple syrup or honey.


DIY pumpkin spice


If you're from the U.K., you might find it difficult to get your hands on some pumpkin spice. I made my own by whisking together 2 tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp ground cloves in a small bowl until well incorporated.


DIY pumpkin purée


Again, pumpkin purée can be difficult to find in the U.K. but making your own couldn't be easier and it only requires 2 ingredients!


What you'll need:


1 pumpkin, rinsed and patted dry

Avocado or coconut oil for brushing


Method:


1. Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Slice your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and any stringy flesh.

3. Cut each half into further halves and then lightly brush the insides with oil. Place onto the baking sheet, skin-side up, and bake for 45-50 minutes.

4. Once cooled, peel the skin off and add the remaining flesh to a food processor and blend until completely smooth.

5. Store remaining purée in the fridge for up to 10 days or freeze and consume within 2 months.

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate and Cream Cheese Banana Bread


Serves: 12-14

Prep time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes


INGREDIENTS


3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (roughly 275g)

200g pumpkin purée, canned or homemade (see recipe above)

170g unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup agave syrup + 1 tbsp

1 tbsp oat milk, or milk of choice

3 eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla extract

345g gluten-free plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (see recipe above)

1/2 tsp salt

30g cacao powder

Lactose-free cream cheese


METHOD


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease loaf pan with a little butter.


2. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, pumpkin purée, melted butter, 2/3 cup agave syrup, milk, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, pumpkin spice and salt and mix until combined but do not over mix.


3. Divide the batter between 2 bowls. Stir the cacao powder and 1 tbsp agave syrup into one of the mixtures until well incorporated.


4. Take 2 spoons and use them to dollop each of the batters into the loaf pan alternatively, forming a kind of chess-like pattern. Once one layer of the pan has been filled, scatter small spoonfuls of the cream cheese into the batter and repeat with each layer added. Take a skewer or knife and swirl the mixture around to create a marbled effect.


5. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until cooked through. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy warm with a smear of butter on top.


I hope you love this recipe!


Love,


Sasha

RECIPE NOTES


Storage: 3-4 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.


Freezing: You can freeze your leftovers in a freezer bag or container for up to 4 months.


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