Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake

Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake

That’s what I’ve come up with after several attempts to produce a banana bread completely opposite in texture and flavor to the “traditional” banana bread – wet and sticking to your teeth, which is available, unfortunately, in almost every coffee shop throughout North America. My version is moist (don’t confuse with wet), fragrant, and chocolaty.

My close friend, who spent most of her life in Budapest and Zurich and has very sophisticated taste as well as her own conception of what a dessert should be like, approved this cake.

Makes one loaf, about 10 servings


  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium, very ripe ones)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature


Center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a loaf pan, dust with flour. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate in a microwave or use a double boiler. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and orange zest. Rub with your fingers.

In a large bowl, with an electric beaters on medium speed, beat the butter for a couple of minutes, until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, then beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, followed by the banana puree, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. Beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, mixing just to combine. Do not overbeat the mixture.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hr and 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold. Cool completely on the rack before serving.

Can be baked a day before. Keep at room temperature, tightly covered.

Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake Slice

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10 Responses to “Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake”

  1. hi vera,could u please let me know if we need butter milk in chocolate and grand marnier banana cake, i m little bit confused!

  2. Zarsheena, there is 1/2 cup of buttermilk; I corrected the recipe. It was the last ingredient in the list, I guess, I got tired typing :) Sorry!

  3. I am so glad I found this recipe Vera. It’s everything my husband loves. I’ll have to make it for him this weekend. I need to set aside some time and just go through all of your previous posts and check out all of your recipes. Great stuff!!

  4. Eileen, thank you very much for your kind words! I hope your husband will like the cake. Please, let me know.

  5. I can’t wait to give this cake a try – it looks so good! I’ve just come across your blog from ‘s blogroll, and I love it! I’m adding you to my blogroll, and will definitely be checking back often. I have loads of your recipes earmarked to try in the future =)

  6. Also, I’m not sure if I can get buttermilk, can regular milk be substitued instead?

  7. Emma, thank you for your kind words!
    You can add 1 1/2 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to the 1/2 cup of milk, stir, let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then use it instead of the buttermilk. Or you can use plain yogurt instead of the buttermilk.

  8. This is a star recipe – worked perfectly first time, even though I used spelt flour. The texture is wonderful and the taste and aroma from the Grand Marnier are irresistible. :)
    Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  9. Hi Vera

    A relative newbie to cooking, and baking in particular, I’ve come across several baking blogs and think your’s very professional. Congratulations on the great job :)
    I have a very basic question. Since I dont have an oven yet, is it possible to use a cake recipe and steam it instead of baking? If not, what changes should be made? Thanks.

  10. Wow! this looks so awesomely yum! i totally agree with most banana bread being wet and teeth sticking. I make a vegan bread that I like very much. Must try it with these yum flavours!

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