Pumpkin bread, along with pumpkin pie, is a default baked good that almost everyone makes with canned pumpkin during the fall baking season. It’s tasty, it’s a classic and it’s generally very easy to make. This Coconut Pumpkin Bread is a nice change of pace from plain pumpkin breads for me, especially because I’m a big fan of coconut. While you might not think of coconut and pumpkin together, people also probably didn’t think of pumpkin and lattes together at first!
The bread starts with a base that is a lot like traditional pumpkin bread, with plenty of pumpkin puree and spices. I used cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg to season this bread. All of those spices go well with both pumpkin and with coconut. Traditional pumpkin pie spice blend typically includes ground ginger and it can be substituted for all the spices I used here, if you want to streamline your mixing process and just use the blend. Shredded coconut is folded into the mixture before it is poured into the pan, just like nuts or cranberries might be. The coconut gives the bread a great texture, lending a little chewiness to each bite. It’s just a little bit more fun than your average pumpkin bread recipe.
This loaf bakes up to be dense and tender, with plenty of coconut and spice in every bite. It’s dense enough that it slices easily and the slices hold up well to toasting. Though the bread will remain moist for several days after baking, I recommend that you try toasting it (you can eat it plain or top it with butter at that point) because toasting not only refreshes the crisp top of the loaf, but it also brings out the nutty coconut and warm spices when you serve it.
Coconut Pumpkin Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular milk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until well combined, then whisk in the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined, making sure no streaks of flour remain. Stir in shredded coconut until it is evenly distributed and pour batter out into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.