Charcoal Banana Bread

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Jerrelle Guy/Black Girl Baking

The secret to the best-ever banana bread? Wait until the bananas are super ripe...the blacker the skins, the better. Blogger and photographer Jerrelle Guy, the author of Black Girl Baking, takes it one step further and adds a teaspoon of activated charcoal to her recipe. Voilà: charcoal banana bread. Its striking dark-gray slices will look great on your breakfast table (and your Instagram feed).

For more tips, tricks and recipes from Jerrelle Guy, check out her website, Chocolate for Basil, and her exclusive interview on The Coterie.


3 very ripe bananas, blended into a puree

1 cup nut or grain milk

½ cup melted coconut oil or ½ cup neutral oil

1 cup organic pure cane sugar or other granulated sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups white whole-wheat flour or spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon activated food-grade charcoal powder, for color (optional)

¼ cup cacao nibs, plus more for sprinkling (optional)


1. Position a rack in the upper middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and line it with a 4-inch-wide strip of parchment long enough to fit the length of the pan and up the sides with a little hanging over.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, milk, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract until combined.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and charcoal powder, if using, until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients, along with the cacao nibs, if using, and fold until combined, being very careful not to overmix.

4. Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and gently smooth out the top. Sprinkle with more cacao nibs and thenbake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

5. Remove the bread from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before lifting it out of the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least another 10 minutes, then slice and serve with nut butter or other favorite topping.

Nutrition Facts
  • 337 calories

  • 20g fat

  • 40g carbs

  • 4g protein

  • 21g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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