Photo: Alex Farnum; Styling: Randy Mon
Makes 1 loaf (20 slices)

Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus at least 1 hour to cool. This dense, moist bread, served to morning hikers at La Cocina Que Canta, tastes so chocolaty that you'd never guess it's made with prune purée instead of butter. It's adapted from Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008; $35) by Deborah Szekely and Deborah M. Schneider.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a small saucepan, bring prunes and 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until prunes are very soft, about 20 minutes. Drain.

Step 2

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 5- by 9-in. loaf pan and line bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.

Step 3

In a food processor, whirl prunes and bananas until very smooth. Add eggs and whirl to combine.

Step 4

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in banana mixture until evenly moistened. Stir in nuts, banana chips, and chocolate chips. Scrape the thick batter into pan and spread level.

Step 5

Bake bread until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little chocolaty but not gooey, 45 to 50 minutes. Loosen bread from pan with a knife and invert onto a rack. Remove parchment. Turn bread right side up and let cool at least 1 hour before slicing.

Step 6

Shortcut: Substitute 12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened prune baby food for the pitted prunes, and omit water and cooking in step

Step 7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per slice.

Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta

Ratings & Reviews

myDakota's Review

December 25, 2013

MtnBikeManiac's Review

November 06, 2009
I too, skipped the banana chips and used regular whole wheat flour. I love prunes and this recipe was satisfying on a number of levels. Number 1. I appreciated the healthy ingredients, and Number 2, well prunes are always good for number 2. I'm making it for the second time today.

SurferMama's Review

August 22, 2009
This bread is very good considering it has no sugar or oil in the batter. I took the shortcut and used baby food prune puree instead of making it from scratch and it cut my prep time noticeably. To make this bread “lighter,” I used 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites and cut the chocolate chips by ½ (1/2 cup instead of 1 cup) because I didn’t want the bread too sweet. I also used ½ whole wheat flour and ½ white flour to make it healthier. This bread is perfectly satisfying with a cup of tea.

Phoenixgrill's Review

August 11, 2009
While this recipe looks good in theory, it's tasted terrible! It was bland, heavy and I couldn't get past the taste of the prunes.

Ingaen's Review

April 18, 2009
Found this recipe in the magazine tore it out, but misplaced it. I found it again today online and I'm very happy since both me and my husband loved the chocolaty taste and dense texture. Used all the ingredients as the recipe required including only whole wheat pastry flour which I've never used before. My kids (2, 4, and 7) didn't care for it too much unfortunately. We tried it with a cream cheese/sugar mixture with fresh rasberries but preferred it plain.

jkmom2007's Review

April 15, 2009
I made this bread as directed, except for the nuts (not a big fan of nuts in bread). I loved how this bread turned out. It's dense and very chocolatey. I thought my kids would like it (ages 4 & 2), but they prefer a more traditional banana bread. I however, loved it and will make it again for myself and/or friends.

Bigjon27's Review

February 22, 2009
I had to substitute a couple of items to use what I had on hand. Used applesauce instead of the prunes and all the flour was regular whole wheat. I am sure this changed the texture just a bit but it was still a winner. Everyone at my house loved it and I took it to work the next day and it was a hit there too. Definitely a repeat recipe for the next time I have over-ripe bananas.

dulcie's Review

February 19, 2009
Can't believe it's not butter-y ! A tasty, moist delight any time of the day -- guilt-free, too! Skip the banana chips, not necessary, and you can save a few calories.. YUMMY !

chefjuju's Review

February 18, 2009
I too used the Dutch Processed Extra Dark Chocolate...looks odd, but tastes great! I also used mini chocolate chips. I loved it "as is", but agree it could be made without the banana chips. Great alternative to traditional banana bread!

jkaatl's Review

February 16, 2009
Great for healthful dieters: No added sugars, no added fat, lots of dark chocolate. Would leave out the banana chips. Good that it satisfies your "chocolate tooth" without seducing you for more.