February 21st, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves

Makes 8 mini loaves

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves

I’ve been pushing the loaf gospel for a few months now, but mini loaves are possibly even greater, because they offer faster baking times, portion control and that coveted adorability that we all look for in a baked good.

But why my obsession with loaves lately? I suppose I know. My 39th birthday came and went and I think that means I’m my version of an adult now. Not only do I not want all the excess of buttercream frostings, but I also just plain don’t feel like making a separate topping for my sweets. Confectioners sugar everywhere, a million dishes to do – grumble, grumble, get off my lawn. I guess I’m paring down and simplifying. Everything in one bowl and let’s get this show on the road, I got shtuff to do!

What I love about loaves is that they’re streamlined. They don’t need an icing, and they don’t seem naked without one. And unlike a muffin, they aren’t associated with anything healthy, and so you don’t expect a hemp seed to leap out and bite you on the nose (hate when that happens.) They’re homey and cozy and they’re definitely not attention seekers, unless the knowing glance from another wizened loaf-connoisseur is the attention you’re seeking. And I guess that’s where I am with my life right now. Fire places and bike trails, gardens and knit blankets. Loaves.

But simple doesn’t mean boring! I still want to have fun, and nothing says fun more than oozy chocolate and sweet jubilant cherries. Still fun, but not underwear-in-your-purse-looking-for-a-cab-at-4:15-am fun. That’s cupcake fun. Let’s have some loaf fun.

Chocolate Mini Loaf

Recipe notes: I love this method of mixing applesauce with nut butter as your fat. I think I invented it so don’t steal it. (TM!!!!) It gives you fiber and protein and nutrients that oil or straight-up applesauce in baked goods wouldn’t, and it’s also great for structure, crumb and flavor. I believe if you’re following a no-oil diet then this recipe is kosher for you (although you may want to remove the chocolate chips?)

This is the loaf pan I use and I love it.  It makes 8 loaves. Amazon has a similar one that gets good reviews. If you have smaller sized loaf pans, just be mindful that baking times may vary. Give about 3 to 5 more minutes for each extra loaf in your batch. If you want to use an 8×4 loaf pan then bake for about 50 minutes, up to an hour. If you want to use muffins, then 12 muffins should take about 20 minutes.

If you’re subbing for a nut allergy, try 2 tablespoons oil and one more tablespoon applesauce in place of the nut butter, or try sun or soynut butter.

Last note, I love to use chocolate chunks here because of the aforementioned ooziness. You can sub chocolate chips of course.

1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup natural almond butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond milk (or your preferred vegan milk), at room temp
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water, divided
3/4 cup dry sweetener (any type of sugar or evaporated cane juice)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional – you can use another t vanilla)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz chocolate bar, chopped into 1/2 inch or so chunks
1 cup chopped sweet cherries (thawed if using frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly spray a mini loaf pan with cooking spray. Also, boil some water in a tea kettle (no need to measure yet.)

Put applesauce, almond butter, milk and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Measure out 1/3 cup boiling water and pour into the bowl with the chocolate mixture, mixing quickly with a fork to make a thick chocolate sauce. Add sugar and extracts and mix well.

Sift about half of the flour, along with the baking soda and salt, into the chocolate mixture, and gently stir just to incorporate, then measure out 1 tablespoon of boiling water and stir again. Now add the rest of the flour mixture and another tablespoon of boiling water and stir just until smooth. Take care not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate chunks and the cherries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans, about 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 26 to 28 minutes. The tops should be puffy and firm. Stick a steak knife into the center of the loaf to check for doneness. A little bit of wetness is okay since it could be from a chocolate chunk or a cherry, but the knife should come out mostly dry.

Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert pan and place loaves on a cooling rack to cool some of the way. It’s yummy when still a bit warm, with the chocolate chunks oozy and melty. Wrap extra loaves in plastic wrap to keep from drying out. If not using within a day, refrigerate wrapped loaves.

101 comments to Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves

  • You are KILLING IT lately! Chocolate cherry is one of my favourite combos. Thank you so much for this!

  • I’ve been doing the applesauce and nut butter thing for a long time. It’s really great in cookies, because you don’t have to get out the electric mixer to cream the margarine.

  • Cherry and chocolate! Oh My! I can’t wait to make this.

  • My goodness! Another winner!!! My favorite flavors all in one!

  • lester

    i feel like i’m going in the other direction… see I just got a couple doughnut pans and i feel my life going in a more sordid and tawdry trajectory as I shift from cupcakes to those tarted-up hussies of the baked goods world.

  • you are so awesome. According to your diagnostics, I am also totally in a mini-loaf phase of my life. Apparently this means I need to go buy a mini-loaf pan and get to work.

  • Melissa

    I like a nut butter + pumpkin puree oil/fat replacer. I really don’t like the texture applesauce gives most baked goods and pumpkin is my BFF. <3

    I'm still stuck firmly in brownie territory. If I bake, it's brownies. God, I love a gooey ooey brownie. YUM.
    I'm swinging over into whoopie pies, though. What sort of fun is whoopie pie fun? 😉

  • Stop posting such great recipes! I have shtuff to do! ; ) I hope you got a commission on those Amazon orders. When I checked there were only 3 pans in stock. When I ordered there was only 1.

  • Riodama

    I’ve been looking for a dessert recipe to make for my upcoming b-day dinner and now I’ve found it! I love the non-fussiness of it. Rock on Isa.

  • Well done!!! I’m going to make these for my Mom when she comes to visit;)

  • jamie

    looks super yummy! love cherries with chocolate! i/m a big fan of the applesauce instead of oil-now i need to try the nut butter combo. would love to try a version w/a liquid sweetener, agave or maple syrup.

  • Applesauce + nut butter = brilliant! So good!

  • Rainbow Skye

    Not ready to give up my cupcakes yet (while reading this I’ve got your golden vanilla cupcakes and a chocolate raspberry blackout cake in the oven (in a moomin tin!) but it looks like I need to get me some little loaf tins as they look fab!

  • Haha! At 31, I’m somewhere between cupcake fun and loaf fun … which means I should eat both. I’m at that stage where I’m still looking for cabs at 4:30 am (with my panties in my purse), but I’m regretting it like hell the whole time because I’m thinking about my morning plans to hit the gym and bake muffins.

    P.S. That little melted chocolate smudge pokin’ out is making me swoon.

  • Yum! I’m always on the lookout for a good quick bread recipe, and you just can’t go wrong with cherries! I’m curious: I’m realllyyy not a fan of nut butter; do you think there is an appropriate substitution? Or if I do add it, can you taste it in the final product? Thanks! 🙂

  • OOH yes. I have loaf fever too. Everything thing is better in rectangles.

  • OK seriously Im drooling at those food porn photos

    Gotta save that recipe!!

  • As soon as I can get a mini loaf pan I am making this. And what a great technique, with a hit of protein!

  • Robin

    Any ideas or suggestions on making these as cake donuts instead? I have a donut pan and I need an excuse to use it! 😉

  • tanya

    would peanut butter be too over powering in these? that dreaded tree nut allergy comes into play again… or peehaps sunflower seed or soybean butter?

  • I read this as “cherry chocolate CRUNK” at first and I was like ..”whaaa?”. But seriously, you had me at chocolate and then that second picture of all that ooey gooey goodness. Yeah, this is definitely not helping me curb my sweet addition.

  • LaurenP

    I’ve been using peanut butter and apple sauce to provide moisture and binding in my homemade energy/protein bars, as well as this fantastic spicy peanut butter cookie recipe over on Fake Food Free. It’s worked really well when I keep the ratio even or a bit more peanut butter than apple sauce. I haven’t used it in place of fats in other recipes though, so I’m excited for this tip. Thanks for such a lovely blog!

  • The Amazing Kim

    Ah, I think I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like chocolate/fruit combinations.
    Does anyone have any suggestions what I can sub the cherries with? Or would the recipe be ok if I just left them out?

  • Made this last night in a regular 8×4 loaf pan…baked it for an hour. It is SO GOOD. Chocolate cherry cake basically, except in loaf form, which makes it appropriate for breakfast 🙂
    Also, I didn’t have almond butter, so I used peanut butter. You can taste a hint of peanut in there, but nothing overpowering. Mmm!
    I was wondering what the purpose was of the boiling water tablespoons during the flour mixture addition..not complaining, just curious!
    Thanks for another scrumtrulescent recipe!

  • Jon Wells

    Well I know what I’m doing today

  • Lisa

    Can i use Bob’s Red Mill whole grain brown rice flour???Will it turn out the same??

  • Stephanie

    Ok, so I just added mini loaf pans to my never ending list of things I want/need in the kitchen. There is actually a mini loaf pan somewhere that duplicates the shape of twinkies, this recipe may help me pull the trigger on my purchase. Thanks so much for enabling!

  • lucyintheskywithdiamonds

    Oh my god. These look perfect. Curse you Isa. Now I’m going to have to make them and eat them all!

  • Thanks for sharing where you found your mini loaf pans, and I love they are connected like regular muffin tins but square. So cute. I usually make a big batch like brownies then cut them into mini loaves, but I love the perfect edges these create. Thanks again!

  • You crack me up. I just bought your Vegan w/ a Vengeance – made coconut rice last night and the coconut heaven cupcakes this afternoon, but now I’m jonesing for some chocolate-cherry action. THANKS FOR THAT.

  • michelle

    This looks awesome. i just saw the mini loaves pan on sale this weekend… hmm now maybe I’ll have to go back and buy it…love chocolate cherry combos… YUM

  • Kim

    These are delicious!!! I only had 1 cup of white whole wheat flour so used 1/2 cup of spelt flour. I didn’t have any chocolate or almond extract so like you suggested used 2 tsp of vanilla. No mini loaf pan so I used cupcake pan. 20 minutes was perfect. I am trying to hold back from eating a second one. Soooo Good! Thank You!!!

  • Jess

    What do you think would happen if I use coconut butter instead of the almond butter? Do you think the coconut flavor would be too overwhelming?

  • I made the big loaf – it tasted great :> I do think I didn’t leave it in for long enough – the texture was more brownie-like, not as fluffy and airy as on your pictures. See here: http://vegansmarties.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/chocolate-cherry-loaf-by-ppk/
    thank you for the recipe!!

  • I can’t wait to try these!

  • Oh. my. god. I have to make these..

    There goes my second container of cocoa powder in a month..

  • Tessa

    This brings back fond memories of the first ever recipe I tried from the wonderful Isa – the Cherry Almond version of the Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies. I loved those, and every recipe I have tried since. I can’t wait to foodgasm from these wonderful loaves as well!

  • Ruth

    This is great! Are you psychic or something? Or am I?! The other day I was scouring this site for a cherry-chocolate recipe I could have sworn to god you had posted. (Only it was a tart of some type.) I couldn’t find it so I assumed I imagined it, but then… this! It’s like destiny! In loaf form.

    I’m making this tonight, but it will have to be as a big loaf. (I can’t believe how excited I am about a loaf.)

  • Ruth

    I just ate it, it’s delicious!

    I had to use a tray because my loaf tin has gone walkabout, and I used a mix of chocolate, sour cherries and walnuts (just because I didn’t have sweet cherries or the right amount of chocolate). It’s so… fluffy! It doubled in height, it’s not dense like some vegan cake loaves. I was skeptical of the “tablespoons of boiling water” thing but it must make a difference. So yummy! Thank you!

  • I have these in the oven right now, and they smell delicious – can’t wait! My mini-loaf pans seem to be a little bigger than yours, though – it only filled four, not eight. And they’re separate little pans that have to be placed on a baking dish. I am belatedly wondering if that means the cooking time should be a bit longer…

  • […] Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves (theppk.com) […]

  • Maryann

    Wow these sound & look soooo good!

  • Dana

    I made these, but subbed dried cranberries plumped up with some plum brandy for the cherries. YUM!

  • Funny, this is very similar to a vegan cherry chocolate cake I posted last summer.

  • theliteratesims

    I made this last night in an 8X4 pan–absolutely decadent and delicious!

  • Sophie

    Cookie and Kate – I looked your recipe up here http://cookieandkate.com/2011/healthy-cherry-chocolate-cake/ (guessing this is the one you’re referring to?) It looks delicious! But quite different from Isa’s – the only key similarities are the cocoa and cherries. I’ll be sure you check yours out next time – the coffee sounds like a nice addition.

    Isa, I loved the applesauce/ nut butter blend – it has revolutionised my baking!

  • Mel

    Dangerously good–I made this last night as a full-sized loaf. It was done around 8 pm and it’s already half-gone! I will definitely invest in a mini-loaf pan and make this for my next potluck or party.

  • Hi, these looks so decadent that i can’t wait to give it a try. Can you suggest though a good brand of chocolate bar to use for this recipe? Thanks a lot!

  • Courtney

    Isa, this is absolutely to die for! I honestly cant get enough of it! Ive just recently decided to be serious about eating vegan, while I really had no reservations, you make it much easier with recipes like this 😀 If you could only suggest one of your cookbooks, which one would you choose? Im thinking either VWAV or Veganomicon…

  • Jackie

    These came out amazingly rich, moist, and delicious: not too sweet or fruity, intensely chocolatey, with a nutty counterbalance from the almond butter, milk, and extract. Do not taste vegan, are irresistible, and look nice enough for company! I used sprouted spelt flour, 72% chocolate from Trader Joe’s, and this Williams Sonoma mini loaf pan: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/williams-sonoma-nonstick-mini-loaf-pan/?pkey=e%7Cmini%2Bloaf%2Bpan%7C4%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C3&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

  • Sherlock

    Cookie and Kate: Like OH MY GOD there’s a recipe out there that is vaguely similar to the one you posted! I highly doubt Isa has even seen your post so there is nothing “funny” about it. Isa is one hell of a chef. She doesn’t need to copy and/or modify anyone else’s creations. And when or if she does, you can bet your boots she will give credit where it is due.

    Anyway! This looks so flipping good! I like the idea of using that nut butter/applesauce combo. Wish I had all the ingredients to try it out :-/

    • IsaChandra

      Hmm, is that what C&K was trying to say, that I used her recipe? I’m not sure of that, maybe she was just saying she sincerely thought it was funny? In any case, here is how I came up with the recipe (more or less from memory, I’m not going to go back and examine it piece by piece): I took my chocolate pumpkin bread recipe and modified it so that the pumpkin was replaced with applesauce, almond butter and some extra moisture. Then I added the cherries (at my boyfriend’s request!) and the chocolate chunks (because they’re chocolate chunks). I very much believe in giving credit where credit is due! If I had modified this from a different recipe that wasn’t my own, I would have certainly said so. I think that is one of the funnest parts of recipe writing, the origin of the recipe. And integrity in recipe creation is of the utmost importance to me. God knows I’ve had my share of people using my recipes without even a nod and it is so frustrating to have your hard work abused like that. Hope that clears things up! And I really really hope that it wasn’t C&K’s intention to accuse my of recipe pilfering.

  • OMG!!!!This sounds and looks soooo great!Thank you 4 the recipe. I will try these tomorrow. Vegan Yummy sweet-purrrfect! I ll bake them on my cupcake pan too, thx Kim for already trying that. And I will take peach or apricote sauce instead of apple sauce cuz my gf is allergic to apples. I will tell you how that worked out. And thank you especially for a recipe with no super-extra ingredients you can only get in the U.S. Most of the vegan recipes have ingredients that are hard to find here in Germany… Ohhh i ll go 2 sleep now so i can wake up and make sweet little things 🙂

  • Lisa

    Just made these and they’re CRAZY good. I couldn’t find cherries (frozen or fresh) at Whole Foods, so I bought a chocolate bar that had cherries in it and added extra chocolate. They’re super easy, gooey, and I’m completely obsessed. More mini loaf recipes would be greatly appreciated!

  • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stir up a debate about your recipe. I was just struck by the similarity of our recipes. By no means was I questioning your baking skills or your originality.

    • IsaChandra

      Ok thanks! I didn’t think so, but I know I’ve seen my recipes on other people’s blogs with no credit so I wanted to respond.

  • Just ordered a mini-loaf pan on ebay – does this degree setting/timing work for all of your loaves, like your banana bread? Giving out individual loaves would be great for holidays or selling at a farmer’s market. Thanks!

  • Lisa

    DELICIOUS!!!! I made this as muffins, with chopped dried cherries and Ghirardelli chocolate chips, and ohhhh are they wonderful!

  • […] is another one of Isa’s recipes – it sounded so good I just had to try it and it definitely doesn’t disappoint! You […]

  • Viola

    Is there a substitute for the Apple Sauce? I’m really keen to make them but have run outta sauce!

  • […] Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves from the […]

  • Kiwivegangirl

    Hi Isa, I’m such a huge fan of yours and own a lot of your books and think they are wonderful! I made this today for an Easter treat, I do not own a loaf pan so just made muffins, and almond butter is too exp for me so I just used peanut and I also ,i made my own apple sauce as I don’t think they sell it in NZ like they do in USA. Anyway thanks and yum 🙂 I posted them onto my Facebook and credited you . Thanks for being an inspirational and delicious vegan!!!

  • Jessica

    I made this with an 8×4 loaf pan and with raspberries because I didn’t have cherries and it turned out delish! Thanks for the recipe.

  • steph

    I haven’t made these because I hate the chocolate + cherry combo (same goes for chocolate + oranges and chocolate + raspberries), but I had to comment to thank you for the wonderful mini loaf pan recommendation. For anyone considering buying one of these pans, I would encourage them to buy the Sur La Table version as it is far superior to any other piece of bakeware in my collection. It’s heavy and coated with silicon so no need to grease before baking. And it’s made in the USA! I just need to find people to take my old pans off my hands so I replace the rest of my bakeware.

  • Tina

    I made this with 1/4 cup sugar, WW pastry flour, cocoa nibs instead of chunks, and vanilla extract only (that’s all I had), and it still turned out so good that my housemate and I devoured it within 2 hours of making it. Insanely good! thanks!!

  • Kay

    This looks amazing; just the type of thing I’ve been looking for. Thank you. Can you advise me on how I could use this recipe as a basis for a vanilla raspberry version? Clearly i could make a straight swap between cherries and raspberries; by leaving out the cocoa I’m imagining that I’d need to increase the flour. Do you think that I’d need to add in a third of a cup or less than that? Finally, I don’t imagine having to replace the chocolate at all; does that sound right to you? Thanks ever do much.

  • Stephanie

    I make this all the time now – always comes out perfectly! I use a bundt pan tho, sometimes mini bundts. Good job!

  • Veronica

    Just tried this as my very first attempt at vegan baking. Supermarket was out of cherries so I used fresh raspberries instead. It came out freaking amazing!!! I can’t believe the texture the applesauce/almond butter mix gave it. I gave some to two anti-vegans without telling them what it was, and they loved it, too. Hands down the best thing I’ve ever baked – which isn’t saying that much because I usually just do curries and stews. But this is decidedly on my short list of go-to recipes.

  • lavon

    nutritional info?

  • Sarah

    Yum!! Made as muffins because I don’t have a loaf pan (yet…); recipe otherwise unaltered. Delicious dish. Perfect dessert after takeout Massaman curry. <3

  • Becca

    Just made these with dried cherries since I couldn’t bear to put fresh cherries in a baked good (they’re like candy on their own!). They turned out wonderfully moist, rich, and delicious! Thank you for such a great, easy recipe. I also just put in all the hot water at once instead of alternating with the dry ingredients – I’m not sure why that step was necessary?

  • […] Post Punk Kitchen – Vegan Recipes & Awesomeness Filed Under: Healthy Recipes Tagged With: Cherry, Chocolate, Chunk, Loaves, Mini […]

  • Sophie

    this has become one of my go-to recipes, i make it at least every 2 weeks. scrumptious!

    i decreased the sugar to 1/2 cup and subbed the cherries for chopped walnuts. perfection 😀

  • heidi

    I printed this recipe out nearly a year ago and finally got around to making it–don’t know what took me so long. It is *GREAT*!! My mini-loaf pans must be only “small” loaf pans–the recipe filled 3 of them and they took longer to bake. Only sub: all-purpose gluten-free flour (Trader Joe’s brand). Oh, and I only had peanut butter so I used that (can’t taste the peanut). Totally delicious: moist, melty, super yummy. I’ll try them again (maybe as muffins? Or more little loaves!) with less sugar as commenters describe below. Thank you!

  • Caroline

    Could I use plumped tart dried cherries instead of chopped regular/frozen?

  • Alysha

    Is there anyway to make these gluten free? would another flour alternative work?

  • Samantha

    Just made these with all WW flour, raspberries and semisweet chocolate chips. Also lessened sugar by 1/4 cup. Tastes great!

  • Christine

    These are cooling on my counter as we speak! Cant wait to try them!! I had to make muffins because my mini loaf pan hasn’t arrived yet, but the kids don’t seem to care 🙂

  • Kathy in the Wallowas

    nut butter and applesauce is something we do all the time out here at the end of the road for baking, but glad you found it.

  • I made these tonight in muffin form and they were amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the applesauce-nutbutter combination; previously I’ve been cooking muffins with just applesauce but these had a much better texture than my applesauce-only muffins do.

  • Jenn Carbin

    The most fetching thing about this (vegan) recipe, which I haven’t tried yet, is the fact that there’s no margarine in it. Margarine, let’s fact it, is horrendous, in taste and in every other way.

  • Laur

    Yum. Nice and fluffy. I cut down to 1/2 cup sugar but didn’t have any chocolate chips and I had to used dried cranberries instead of cherries. I wouldn’t recommend reducing the sugar, like I did, unless you’re adding chocolate chips.

  • […] we’re at it, consider these Chocolate Cherry Chunk Mini Loaves from the PPK Kitchen. […]

  • […] of jam to try featuring my favorite childhood fruit: the plum. On Tuesday, I was going to modify this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen into a Vanilla Rooibos-Plum Loaf, but my laptop battery died just as I got […]

  • kristle

    I just made this last minute today, ran outa almond butter so used some pb, and didnt have cherries so i subbed frozen raspberries. It was pretty damn good. I even forgot to save the extra tbsp water! But my sister freaking looooves it! So i blew her socks off, and wanted you to know. I love love love Isa Does It ♡ Ive got bindi masala on the stove right now.

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