I don’t know about you, but after Easter I have a pile of chocolate bunnies just waiting to be eaten. Everyone is going to think I’m insane, but I don’t like to just nom on a brick (or bunny) of plain chocolate (unless it’s really good chocolate). Every year, chop those bunnies up and turn them into something delicious. This year? Chocolate and hazelnut banana breakfast cake. Phew, that name is a mouthful, but a delicious mouthful that ends in eating chocolate and cake for breakfast.
I’m a big believer in sweet foods for breakfast. To me, indulging a little bit in the morning helps me say no to buttery, sugary cookies at work — which is frankly incredibly hard when it seems like *someone* brings in treats at least twice a week **cough** definitely not me, no way **cough cough** Coffee cake is a classic sweet breakfast food that’s easy to make a head, package up, and throw in my lunch to take to work, plus it’s so delicious — but is it really doing me any good if I eat a legitimate dessert for breakfast? Butter + oil + sugar x 10000 = going to have to pass. Well, I wish I didn’t have to, but I will try. My answer to the coffee cake is breakfast cake. Um, same thing? Basically, but no oil/butter and naturally sweetened goodness.
Because it’s breakfast, I threw in some fruit. Let’s be honest, because I’m me I threw in some fruit. Bananas pair wonderfully with chocolate and hazelnuts, plus those favorite nuts of mine add a fantastic crunchy element. This holds up well in the fridge throughout the work week, so cut into slices and grab a piece as you run out the door or microwave and eat with a fork for maximum deliciousness. Delicious enough for a healthy dessert, too 😉
1 ½ c white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
3 dashes cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ c agave or honey
1 very ripe banana, mashed
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp water
1 tsp butter extract (or other extract, but you’ll lose the buttery flavor)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ c unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
2 ripe bananas, sliced
⅓ c chopped hazelnuts (roughly divided into 2 portions)
¼ c chocolate chunks or chips, chopped into smaller pieces
2 tbsp. Nutella, chocolate peanut butter, or additional chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 9”x9” baking pan with nonstick spray.
Combine all ingredients from flour to salt in a bowl.
In a second bowl, mix agave/honey, mashed banana, flax, water, extracts, and milk until well combined.
Add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
Pour ~half of the batter into the pan. Cover with an even layer of the banana slices, topped with ½ of the hazelnuts, and drizzled with Nutella or melted chocolate (may need to microwave the Nutella for ~15 seconds to make it drizzle-able).
Top with remaining batter, followed by remaining hazelnuts and all of the chopped chocolate.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (aside from melty chocolate). Cut into 9 pieces
Based on my Apple Breakfast Cake recipe. For a vegan breakfast, use chocolate peanut butter or melted chocolate chips instead of the Nutella + consider using agave, vegans have varying opinions on honey.