Light and fluffy Healthy Chocolate Bread satisfies all the chocolate cravings. A guilt free slice of heaven for healthy snacks with better for you ingredients including unsweetened cacao, whole grains and no refined sugar.
Table of contents
All the ingredients that make this healthy chocolate bread so healthy are exactly what makes it so delicious! Dark chocolate chips, cacao powder, and pistachios combined with maple syrup and coconut milk give this bread an ultra-moist interior, crunchy texture from the nuts and a deep chocolate-y flavour.
Enjoy a slice of this guilt free bread for breakfast with a hot cup of tea and your favorite spread or have it as a grab-n-go snack for a midday pick me up. It’s also perfect for balancing blood sugar when the afterschool hunger attack kicks in, or enjoy it as a chocolate loaf cake for a healthier dessert!
Why Chocolate Bread Is Healthy?
- Satisfies chocolate cravings: Choosing to eat healthy doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your sweet tooth. This quick bread uses natural sweeteners and cacao powder which together will satisfy any craving.
- Easy to make: A quick bread that is ready in under 2 hours with most of that hands off oven time!
- Healthy: This chocolate bread swaps empty calories in processed white flour and refined sugars for more wholesome ingredients including whole grain flour and unrefined sugar.
- Superfoods: When using cacao powder and dark chocolate, you get the added benefits of disease fighting antioxidants and heart healthy flavonoids.
- Dairy free: Chocolate loaf cake uses coconut milk, making this bread a great option for those with a dairy sensitivity.
Ingredients for Healthy Chocolate Bread
- Whole wheat or spelt flour: Both of these whole grain flours work in this chocolate bread recipe. Both contain gluten however they have a higher nutrient content than regular all-purpose flour. I love making this flour swap in healthier treats including chocolate chip cookies and gingersnaps!
- Chocolate: Cacao or cocoa powder. Both work well with this recipe, if you are using cocoa powder look for unsweetened cocoa vs sweetened. Dark chocolate chips.
What is cacao powder? Cacao is a powder that comes from the raw cacao nib (or bean). It is closer to its most natural state and has not been highly processed like cocoa powder and does not have any added sugar.
- Baking basics: Eggs, baking powder, baking soda and salt. These provide binding, rise and taste chocolate loaf cake.
- Liquids: Full-fat canned coconut milk, honey or maple syrup, cooking spray.
I love the Thai Kitchen brand as it does not contain any preservatives or additives. Always check the label of the brand you are using to ensure it is high quality coconut milk.
- Salted pistachios: For crunch, texture and also balances the bitterness of dark chocolate.
Chocolate Quick Bread Definition
A quick ‘Google’ of chocolate bread may have you confused on all the different types of chocolate bread recipes out there on the internet. To clarify healthy chocolate bread is a quick bread! The easiest quick bread definition to explain what this means is that it does not contain any yeast but relies on gluten in the flour (plus baking soda) to give it a quick rise while baking. A quick bread also does not need any ‘rest’ time, which is typical of yeast bread.
Other chocolate breads you may come across include Japanese milk bread, which contains yeast and milk, Babka which originated in Jewish communities as a layered yeast sweet bread with cinnamon and chocolate, or pane al cioccolato which is an Italian sourdough chocolate yeast bread.
Of course, if you want both the easiest and healthiest chocolate bread, this recipe is it!
How to Make Chocolate Bread
- Prep: Preheat the oven and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Leave enough paper above the rim for easy removal. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Make healthy chocolate mixture: In a medium pot, add coconut milk and heat up until hot but not boiling (you can also use a microwave) and then remove from heat. Whisk in your cacao powder until there are no lumps left. Set aside.
- Continue mixing wet ingredients plus baking staples: In a separate large mixing bowl, add eggs, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk until there remains no lumps. Transfer prepared chocolate mixture to the bowl with egg mixture and whisk again until combined.
- Combine: Add flour, stir gently until all flour is incorporated and then let batter sit for 3 minutes.
- Add nuts and chips: Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and pistachios. Batter will be runny.
- Pour: Into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of remaining chocolate chips;
- Bake: Bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Using the middle rack in the oven leads to ‘happy baking’. This is because the middle of the oven is often where air is circulating best, heat source is evenly distributed and the top and bottom of your bake goods aren’t in danger of burning or browning too quickly.
- Serve: Holding onto the flaps of parchment paper remove from a loaf pan and let it cool off completely before slicing. Cut with serrated bread knife. Serve with your choice of spread or enjoy it plain!
Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Nuts: Salted pistachios were so good in this recipe, the salty-sweet balance was delicious. You can, of course, substitute with what you like. Pecans, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts to name a few. Or use pepitas or sunflower seeds to keep this chocolate bread recipe nut free.
- Flour: Baking is a science and is it not recommended to use any other flours except whole wheat or spelt flour. Spelt flour is nice because it adds a lighter and nuttier flavour – like it does in these healthy zucchini muffins.
- Sweetener: We are so fortunate to have a variety of natural sweeteners to choose from these days. Avoiding processed refined sugar is easy thanks to wonderful alternatives such as raw honey, maple syrup, agave, and brown rice syrup. The sweetener in this chocolate bread recipe needs to be liquid.
- Muffins: Grab a muffin tin and make muffins or even mini muffins! Bake for 20 minutes at 350 and you’ve got a great snack for little hands! Or try my healthy chocolate muffins.
- Egg free chocolate bread: I have not tested with how to make a flax egg or chia egg, but you can try.
- Chocolate chips: Feel free to use your favorite, I love dark chocolate for maximum chocolate taste and my preferred brand is Enjoy Life because it is lower in sugar. You can use mini-chips, chocolate chunks, or regular sized chips that are semi-sweet or milk chocolate (will be sweeter).
- Dried fruit: Dried cherries would pair exceptionally well with this chocolate loaf cake.
Feed a crowd or gift a loved one: Double recipe, make two loaves and share! It’s perfect for giving to teachers, neighbors, family, or friends on Valentine’s Day or any other day you want to show some chocolate-y love.
Tips for Best Results
- Coconut milk: You want to use milk from the can NOT the carton. Milk from a carton has a higher water content which will affect the outcome of this recipe.
- Patience: As it bakes the edges may start to look dark, but don’t worry, it’s not burning. Follow the steps and you should be good. It needs to bake all the way through, so try not to open the oven door until the very end! If you are concerned that it is burning, place a piece of foil gently over the top of the bread.
- Do not overmix: Overmixing will overwork the gluten. This activation process will result in chewy bread. Careful to mix just until smooth and then fold gently as needed.
- Check the temp of your oven with a thermometer: All ovens bake differently and sometimes an oven may say it has reached the ideal temperature for the recipe, but it may be off a few degrees. Double check with a thermometer if you are worried this might be your oven.
- Measure flour correctly: As will all baking recipes, too much of one ingredient could result in a dense texture. For best results, scoop from your flour bag into your measuring cup then level with a knife. This also has the bonus of creating more air in your flour for light and fluffy quick bread results.
Either your oven was too hot, or your baked your bread too long. Ensure your oven is set to the correct temp and only bake your quick bread until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Using all the tips in this recipe! Measure your flour correctly and do not overmix your chocolate bread recipe batter.
Unfortunately not, make healthy chocolate muffins. That being said, one reader used almond milk with good results, proceed with caution here.
Many readers have had success learning how to make flax egg. Note that your bread may not rise as much with a vegan egg vs. a regular egg. You may also love this vegan frozen healthy banana cream pie!
While I do not recommend this as the recipe has not been tested with other flours, you could try all purpose flour but will need to add up to 10% more flour, a safer substitute might be white whole wheat flour which could be used as a 1:1 substitute. I have not tested whole wheat pastry flour. Any other flour including oat flour, coconut or almond flour does not have gluten and can not be substituted. If you are craving chocolate and only have those flour types on hand, may I suggest chocolate coconut flour muffins or almond flour shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate.
Edges might look more burnt because it’s dark bread. Wait to check with a toothpick until at least 50 minutes has passed.
How to Serve Bread with Chocolate?
- Top a slice with your favorite nut butter, low sugar jam or simply warm up slightly then spread with butter.
- Fresh fruit would be a great pairing, try sliced strawberries, sweet cherries or raspberries. A banana is always great with chocolate!
- Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee, tea or healthy hot chocolate.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, Greek yogurt frosting, or vegan vanilla ice cream.
Make a chocolate themed charcuterie board! This is especially great if you are making this on or near Valentine’s Day. Along with slices of this chocolate bread, include fresh berries and nuts, chocolate coconut balls, pretzels, chocolate or caramel dipping sauce, almond flour chocolate chip cookies or brownies and chocolate chia seed pudding. Include any other candies and goodies you want, too!
How to Store Chocolate Loaf Cake?
Store: In a cool dry place in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can get away with keeping an uncut loaf on the counter for a little while, but once it’s cut, to maintain the moisture, make sure to cover it.
Freeze: This chocolate loaf cake is a great one to make and freeze for healthy snacks. It will keep in a freezer-friendly airtight container for up to 3 months.
Reheat: Allow to thaw before reheating. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through.
More Healthy Bread Recipes
Healthy Chocolate Bread
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, line 9 x 5 loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, add coconut milk and heat up until hot but not boiling (you can also use a microwave). Remove from heat, add cacao powder and whisk until no lumps are left. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk very well until no lumps are left.
- Transfer chocolate mixture to a bowl with egg mixture and whisk well. Add flour, stir gently until no more white flour patches left and let batter sit for 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and pistachios; give a few more gentle stirs to combine. Batter will be runny.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove chocolate bread from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off for 10 minutes. Holding onto the flaps of parchment paper remove from a loaf pan and let it cool off completely before slicing. Cut with serrated bread knife.
- Store: Store covered in a cool dry place for up to 3 days, after that in the fridge.
- Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Coconut milk: Make sure not to use coconut milk from a carton that you would drink. I have not tried recipe with light canned coconut milk, only full fat – I assume you can but bread will be less moist.
- Why heat up milk? Hot liquid helps to bloom the cacao powder making the chocolate bread more flavorful.
- Nuts: Specifically salted pistachios work very well in this bread. Pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts would be great too.
- Flour: Spelt flour is a whole grain and that is what I used in this recipe. I find spelt flour baked goods lighter and nuttier. You can use whole wheat flour too. All purpose gluten free flour might work on 1:1 ratio.
- Sweetener: Has to be liquid not dry. Honey, maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup etc. are great.
- Baking is a science and for best results I recommend to follow the recipe closely.