Rosemary & Bittersweet Chocolate Quick Bread


My favorite baking book this year has to be Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole Grain Flours. The recipes are wholesome, accessible and appealing; the photography has a warm, rustic simplicity that I love. When I browse through the book I want to make – and taste – just about everything in it.

I’ve been experimenting with switching out butter for olive oil in baking, which led to Olive Oil & Cocoa Brownies a few weeks ago. I’ve also had this recipe for Olive Oil Cake from Kim Boyce’s book flagged for months, and after making it a few times I can say it’s definitely a keeper.

These are perfect little breads to give as gifts, or to snack on when you crave a bite of something not-too-sweet.


I have a special place for rosemary in my cooking, so any time I see an opportunity to highlight its distinctive piney-lemon character I jump in to explore.

The first time I baked this lightly sweet cake (to me it’s actually more of a quick bread than a cake), I threw in some freshly grated lemon zest. Lemon is a nice partner with the fruity taste of the olive oil and chocolate, but it got a little lost in there.

Next, I tried adding some ground coriander, a spice that has essential elements of citrus and balsam. You barely notice it in the background, but I think it naturally unites the slightly unusual pairing of chocolate with rosemary and olive oil.

I couldn’t help gilding the rosemary, so I sprinkled rosemary sugar leftover from my Italian Greyhounds over the tops just before putting them in the oven.

Rosemary & Bittersweet Chocolate Quick Bread

Yield: 1 standard loaf or 4 mini loaves


  • 3/4 cup spelt flour (or use an equal amount of all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces
  • Rosemary sugar


  1. Position an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat 4 small loaf pans (5" x 2") or one regular loaf pan with olive oil. Place the pans on a baking sheet. If using a single loaf pan, you can skip the baking sheet.
  3. Put the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and coriander in a large bowl. Use a whisk to blend the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil and whisk together. Add the milk and rosemary and mix again just to blend.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, stirring gently to combine. Stir in the chocolate until evenly distributed.
  6. Divide the batter among the pans and smooth the top. Sprinkle tops evenly with some Rosemary Sugar, about 2 teaspoons each, or regular sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes for small loaves; 45- 50 minutes for standard loaf or until the tops are domed and a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaves comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a rack before slicing either warm or cool.


  1. Lovely! This bread sounds like a great combination of flavors!

  2. Wow, I never really thought of matching up chocolate and rosemary. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. This looks so interesting. I love rosemary, and I love chocolate, so I don’t see how I could go wrong here! Beautiful bread and great pictures!

  4. I would never have thought of this as a combination, but it is so intriguing…

  5. this bread is in my oven baking away right this very minute. AMAZING!!!! i licked the batter and bowl like a little kid. my house smells phenominal!! so glad you posted this recipe. Happy mothers day to me INDEED!

  6. What a wonderful blog you have here! This bread looks amazing! I love anything chocolate. I am definitely trying this recipe soon! ūüôā

  7. The bread looks delicious but the 25-30 min cook time doesn’t work at all if you cook this in a single standard loaf pan.

    I just made a loaf and let it bake 60 minutes and toothpicks are still coming out wet and covered in batter.

    Does the original recipe recommend a different temperature or cook time for a full loaf?

    • I’ve updated the recipe baking time to include a standard loaf – apologies if you had trouble. The time will increase to 45 – 50 minutes or slightly more depending on your oven calibration.

  8. I just made this, but I healthified it a bit – reduced the oil by 2/3 and replaced it with pumpkin puree (it just gets a tiny hint of pumpkin, rosemary and chocolate are still stronger in taste), made it entirely with whole spelt flour and I made it vegan by using flax eggs. It’s wonderfully moist and delicious!
    Thank you so much for the recipe/inspiration.

  9. is there a specific chocolate you recommend using?

  10. and olive oil (name and brand). Kind of new at baking


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