Lemony Olive Oil Banana Tea Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate

Delectable Lemony Olive Oil Banana Teacake with Bittersweet Chocolate

Inspired by a recipe from Melissa Clark, I made this very good, lightly sweet lemony olive oil banana teacake with bittersweet chocolate chunks. You could call it a bread, but I like the idea of a tea cake. Seems so civilized and relaxing.

I’ve lately been obsessed with breads, sweet and savory, making them ageless and healthy. I wanted to adapt this recipe to my tastes. I love the idea of using olive oil, and the flavors of lemon, dark chocolate, and banana melding together in one scrumptious cake.

What’s a teacake? Depends on where your from. In England it’s a bun, in the U.S. it’s a cookie or small cake, and I’ve had teacakes that are more like pound cakes. Mostly I love the word.

Using a heritage whole wheat and an organic all-purpose flour, this cake has a lovely texture. The original recipe is frosted with dark brown sugar and powdered sugar, and since I didn’t want all that sugary goop on my cake, I skipped it. Plus, it was definitely sweet enough with the half cup of coconut sugar and overripe bananas.

I made a glaze with the greek (goat milk) yogurt, maple syrup, and lemon juice and zest. I also tried one with coconut sugar and a teaspoon or two of cornstarch. You can play around with it, if you want to make an icing. I found a quarter cup of yogurt, a teaspoon lemon zest, a tablespoon lemon juice, and as much maple syrup, and/or coconut sugar as you want for the desired sweetness, works. A small pinch of cornstarch helps it set.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Teacake with Bittersweet Chocolate

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Tania Van Pelt


Banana Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • cups (about 6 oz.) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • cups VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas), mashed
  • cup full-fat whole goat milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemony Glaze

  • ¼ cup greek yogurt more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut palm sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pinch (1-2 teaspoons) of cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan, or equivalent.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 40 to 50 minutes. Careful not to over bake, better to under bake than over.
  4. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.
  5. If making a glaze, whisk the yogurt, sweetener, juice, zest, and, if needed, cornstarch together till it's totally smooth, no lumps. (If using coconut sugar whisk the cornstarch into the sugar until incorporated, then add the wet ingredients.) Pour over the cake.

Recipe Notes

Store cake in airtight container and refrigerate.

Adapted from Melissa Clark