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Cocoa Banana Cake

This fudgy, rich cake is heavily inspired by Alison Roman's from her book Dining In. Her original recipe is perfect as is, but a few swaps were made here based on what was in my pantry. Black cocoa-laced and packed with sweet banana flavor, this cake can be eaten literally any time it is appropriate to be eating cake (read: breakfast, lunch dessert™, actual dessert). Whole wheat and sprouted spelt flours are used in this recipe, as is a touch of molasses for it's signature sweet funk. Served with a swoosh of mascarpone and a sprinkle of bee pollen à la Two Hands here in New York.

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Vanilla Sugar

Give a second life to spent vanilla beans. Shake up the jar periodically to make sure the heady vanilla aroma is evenly distributed throughout.



Whole Wheat Flour, 141g

Sprouted Spelt Flour, 73g

Baking Soda, 6g

Black Cocoa Powder (King Arthur brand used here), 55g

Kosher Salt, 4g

Coconut Sugar, 128g

Unsalted Butter, softened, 80g

1 Large Egg, room temperature

Very Ripe Bananas, mashed (roughly 5 large), 733g

Vanilla Extract, 8g

Molasses, 17g

Mascarpone, softened, 177g

Demerara Sugar, for coating the pan

Non-stick spray, for coating the pan

Bee pollen, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, optional for serving





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Start with room temperature ingredients. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 2 standard loaf pans with non-stick spray and sprinkle demerara sugar to evenly coat. Place loaf pans on a sheet tray to transfer to/ from the oven more easily.

Beat softened butter and coconut sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and very fluffy.

 Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, baking soda, and black cocoa, whisk until fully incorporated.

Add the egg, vanilla, mashed banana, molasses, and mascarpone to the butter mixture, then beat again until fluffy. 

Fold in the dry ingredients by hand until everything is well combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, then bake for 45-65 minutes (depending on your oven), rotating halfway through cooking, until a cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow loaves to fully cool before turning them out. 

Serve as is, with some of the extra mascarpone and bee pollen, vanilla ice cream, unsweetened whipped cream, or whatever best suits your needs.