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Chocolate Pistachio Bread: Care Package Favorite

Chocolate Pistachio Bread: Care Package Favorite
Home » Baking » Chocolate Espresso Quick Bread

Quick breads that keep well and ship well are great gifts to add to a care package. This Chocolate Espresso Pistachio bread is my all-time favorite quick bread and it was a constant request of my kids and their friends when they were in college. It’s full of chocolate flavor and is an easy recipe that ensures success.

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Is it Low Carb?
Shipping & Packaging Tips
More Treats for Shipping

Loaf of Chocolate Espresso bread made for care packages
Loaf of Chocolate Espresso bread made for care packages

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Is it Low Carb?

This is not a low carb recipe due to the flour and sugar, nor is it low in calories. It does, however, pack in a number of healthy ingredients (cacao, pistachios, coffee, and olive oil). 

You can always try the quick breads with almond flour and a granular sugar substitute if you want to modify it to be low carb. 

Sugar substitutes can be a good alternative to regular white sugar, but different substitutes have particular flavors associated with them so it is good to understand what you are working with.  

This information on sugar substitutes may help if you want to go that route.

Why Quick Breads Work Well for Shipping

It’s sometimes difficult to ship treats any distance without the recipient ending up with a crumbly or gooey mess.

Quick breads are great shippable treats because they are easy to wrap, they don’t fall apart and they don’t have delicate fillings that can melt or get gooey.

This recipe was a standard in my kid’s college care packages. Include a card with cash and some non-edible essentials and you’re the mom of the day. Trust me. My son’s friends even gave me shout-outs on social media! Get more ideas for care packages at Ideas for College Care Packages.

I used olive oil in the recipe to help keep it together more, but it sounds like from the comments below that melted butter worked quite well. Try it and let me know which you used and how you liked it, OK?

Top view of chocolate espresso quick bread
Top view of chocolate espresso quick bread

How to Package Quick Breads for Shipping

After the bread is completely cooled, wrap it with two pieces of plastic wrap, wrapping one piece along the length of the bread and one piece around the width to make sure there are no gaps where air can get in.  

Then wrap the bread in aluminum foil and either freeze for shipping later or place in sturdy tin or a tightly packed box.

You want to stuff the box tightly with paper or other presents so that the bread cannot move around. That is the secret to shipping.

Other Tested Care Package Gifts:

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below and any comments others might find helpful. It means a lot to me when you try my recipes, and I’d love to know how it goes.

Chocolate Espresso Pistachio Bread

Top view of chocolate espresso quick bread
A moist, rich quick bread that blends slightly bitter notes of chocolate and espresso powder with sugar, eggs and flour for a truly special treat. A favorite in my kids care packages when they were in college!
4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Calories 409


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil can use melted butter
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder I love the espresso powder I get from King Arthur Flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teas[ppm vanilla
  • ¾ cup pistachios finely chopped
  • ½ cup chocolate covered espresso beans optional for garnish


  • Take eggs and butter (if you are using butter rather than oil) out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with oil and sprinkle a handful of flour in the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Tilt and shake the pan to get it lightly coated with the flour and then tap out any excess flour onto the counter.
    2 eggs, 1/2 cup olive oil
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt). Set this aside.
    1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon espresso powder, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until light and smooth. Add the oil (or butter), sour cream, and vanilla and mix until combined.
    2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup sour cream, 1 teas[ppm vanilla, 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined (don’t overmix). Fold in the pistachios.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top of bread. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and not wet.
    3/4 cup pistachios
  • Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up and cool completely before wrapping.
    1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beans


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Calories: 409kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 7gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 152mgPotassium: 352mgFiber: 4gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 229IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?If you tried this recipe, please give it a star rating! To do this, just click on the stars above. Comments are always helpful also and I respond to all of them (except rude ones)

Online Diet/Health Coaching:

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There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Contact me at [email protected] to get a referral to some of the tested, experienced online coaches on

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Recipe Rating

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Betty Bradley

Thursday 26th of October 2023

This looks and sounds fantastic! I'm going to make it this week. I may switch out the pistachios for walnuts since pistachios are so expensive right now. I plan on making Christmas Care Packages for family and friends so it's good to know this ships well. Thank you. '

Dorothy Stainbrook

Friday 27th of October 2023

Yes, walnuts would work great. Pistachios and pine nuts have really soared in cost haven’t they?

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Have you made it with a different type of nut?

dorothy stainbrook

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

No, I haven’t used a different nut but it shouldn’t make a difference. The pistachios are crushed so any crushed nut would have the same texture. Just add your favorite nut (or no nuts at all) and enjoy!

Julia Sanchez

Saturday 8th of February 2020

Can't wait to try it! Do you recommend raw or roasted/toasted pistachios? When/how should the chocolate espresso beans be added for garnish?

dorothy stainbrook

Saturday 8th of February 2020

Hi Julia, so happy you’re going to try it. It was certainly a hit around our house. Re the pistachios - I didn’t toast them but you certainly could. It would make them more crunchy and the bread is pretty soft so I’m not sure it would be better. I like to toast nuts when they’re used in sauces or topping. Re the beans for garnish - grind them a bit and sprinkle on top of the bread after baking but while it is still warm so they can sink in a little bit. Enjoy!!

Friday 24th of January 2020

Looks Amazing!

dorothy stainbrook

Friday 24th of January 2020

It was delish! Let me know if you try it and have any comments OK?


Thursday 23rd of January 2020


dorothy stainbrook

Friday 24th of January 2020

It was reallly a hit with my son and his friends! Definitely not low carb, but hey people have to have cheat days now and then right?

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