Oct 15, 2012

High Protein Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

Healthy, breakfast, and delicious; Can these three words really go together? Yes! That's what Sweet Basil 'n Spice is all about!  As a breakfast food this High Protein Chocolate Banana Snack Cake serves the same purpose as a coffee cake. Yet this cake is much more filling than your average coffee cake and provides a good variety of the nutrients an adult or child needs to be their best in the morning. It's also a great afternoon snack, especially for hungry kids coming home from school!

It's a common saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet most people start their days by fueling their bodies with boxed cereals made of ultra processed grains and lots of sugar, or breakfast bars filled with preservatives. Yet what we really need is protein, healthy fats, and fiber, not tons of carbs. But with our food culture today and our busy schedules, most people don't have many ideas for healthy breakfast food, especially something kids will enjoy.

Snack foods are a similar story. Boxed crackers or chips are what many people turn to, with highly processed microwavable foods like pizza bites being a special treat for school children when they come home at the end of a long day. While fruit, veggies and nuts are great choices for a healthy snack, sometimes a baked treat with familiar flavors like chocolate and banana is fun. Nothing beats a warm piece of this Chocolate Banana Snack Cake with a glass of whole milk! Seriously.

Part of my goal as a cook/wife/mom/food provider is to make food that is tasty, healthy, and realistic to prepare on a regular basis. This snack cake is one of my successful creations that I end up making quite often and is a new favorite breakfast food. It can be prepared the day before and served up for a fast and easy breakfast. Though it's not Nourishing Traditions approved (primarily due to the unsoaked grains and chocolate), it's still a rather healthy breakfast or snack I can feel good about eating, physically and mentally :-). 

A few notes about the recipe: 

I usually use cottage cheese for this recipe as it has more protein than many brands of plain Greek yogurt. Homemade greek yogurt or homemade cream cheese would be an ideal substitute for the cottage cheese if you already have those on hand or make those on a regular basis. Store-bought cream cheese does not contain nearly as much protein as cottage cheese so I don't recommend that for this cake.

Since you can usually see a few lumps of cottage cheese in the cake, you can blend the cheese in a blender before mixing it into the recipe if this bothers you.

The chocolate chips are optional. If you do use them - and they really do add to the recipe - look for ones with the most natural ingredients.

This recipe can be gluten free by using spelt or buckwheat flour.

Made with cottage cheese (which typically contains more protein than Greek yogurt), this breakfast contains 6.6 grams of protein when consumed in nine servings (5 grams as 12 servings.) That's about the same as an egg. Eat it with an 8 oz glass of milk and you more than double that. 

High Protein Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole cane sugar or regular sugar*
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, softened or melted
2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas,  or 3 completely brown bananas*, mashed
1 cup cottage cheese or thick plain greek yogurt (not fat-free)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat, spelt, or buckwheat flour
1/4 - 1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

*If using three brown bananas reduce sugar by two tablespoons.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sugar and coconut oil or butter. Add the eggs, banana, cottage cheese and vanilla. Stir to thoroughly combine. Dump the flour on top of the batter (don't stir just yet). Sprinkle the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda over the top of the flour. Alternately you can use a small sieve to sift the dry ingredients over the batter. Stir to combine. Poor into a greased 9x9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Bake time: 40-45 minutes. Servings: about 9-12.

Search terms:
Healthy cake
Healthy breakfast for kids
Healthy after school snack
Chocolate banana cake with whole grains


  1. Ooh, I love this idea. I find myself looking for nut-free ways to get protein into my son, who isn't terribly fond of meat either, and won't eat eggs or cheese. Thanks! We love bananas and chocolate.

  2. Great idea! I love eating cottage cheese, it's such a great source of protein. I've made cottage cheese muffins before but of the savoury variety, never sweet. I've bookmarked the recipe to try, thanks so much!

  3. This recipe is part of my cooking book now, we love it!!! Elie doesnt like bananas but he loves this cake!!! Hahaha

  4. Wish you used honey or dates for sweetening in your recipes instead of sugar.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts amcken3. I don't like to post variations to my recipes unless I have personally tried them out. So honey should work fine in this recipe, but I have not tried it. If you like, you can try the recipe with 1/3 cup honey in place of the sugar.

      I do not use dates much because of the cost. But 3/4 cup pureed dates could probably be used in place of the sugar.

      Also, the sugar I use (whole cane sugar) is a healthy sweetener. It is naturally brown and has all the vitamins and minerals of the sugar cane still in tact. It is often referred to as sucanat or rapadura.