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Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of those recipes that is a classic just as it is and, while it’s fun to tweak it every once in a while for variety, I find that I always go back to the original. Of course, that was before I tried playing around with coconut in my banana bread. I think I have a new “basic” now.

Coconut is a great inclusion in breads because it is so versatile and adds a great flavor. Shredded coconut contributes a nice texture to the bread and adds some moisture. Unlike other nut additions, coconut seems to blend better into a loaf and seem more like a part of the bread, rather than an “add-in.” Coconut milk is another way to add coconut flavor to a recipe. The flavor of it is much milder than that of shredded coconut, but it has a unique richness that carries through to the finished product. I used both types of coconut in this bread. As a result, the loaf was very moist, with a fantastic flavor and texture. The coconut breaks up the bread a little bit, making it a bit more tender than many banana breads.

Coconut and banana seem to complement each other well and, while they often appear in a sort of “tropical” pairing (cocktails, etc.), I don’t think that this bread has a tropical feel to it at all. It just tastes well put together, like it was meant to me – hence my description of it as a new basic banana bread recipe. I also like the fact that this bread comes together very quickly and dosn’t require the use of an electric mixer.

I used low fat coconut milk and it worked out very well here. You can use the full fat variety or, if you really don’t have any on hand, you can try substituting regular milk or buttermilk. Plain milk or buttermilk will give you a slightly different finished flavor, but both will still work out in the recipe.

Coconut Banana Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed banana (2 med-large)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven 350F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until well combined, then whisk in the mashed banana, coconut milk, butter 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 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.

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  • Sally
    July 25, 2008

    Mmmmmmmm, that is about all I can say about this bread. I’ve got to make it.

  • Hannah
    July 25, 2008

    Sounds good!!

  • Chris
    July 25, 2008

    mmmm…banana, coconut….delicious!

  • Kat
    July 25, 2008

    Looks so yummy! I will have to try this recipe.

  • Nicole
    July 26, 2008

    Mmm. This banana bread looks scrumptious. Now I just need to wait for my bananas to ripen!

  • giz
    July 26, 2008

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen banana bread with coconut. Why not? It sounds like a wonderful pairing.

  • Kevin
    July 26, 2008

    I like the sound of a coconut banana bread!

  • Laura
    July 26, 2008

    Sounds great! The perfect use for those super-ripe bananas I have on my counter.

  • snooky doodle
    July 27, 2008

    I’m crazy about coconut. This would be nice for breakfast :-)Pity i don t have any bananas. will have to wait till i get some 🙁 Nice recipe

  • Mrs.Sound
    July 27, 2008

    I wonder how would this taste. 2 fruit taste in one stuff loaf of bread.

  • dawn
    July 27, 2008

    I love coconut. I bet this tastes just fabulous sliced then toasted with butter or jam. Yum!

  • Jake
    July 27, 2008

    For this recipe, what kind of shredded coconut was used? Sweetened “angel flake” coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut.

    Also, would it be possible to toast the coconut before adding it? I love the taste of toasted coconut, but I fear it may not mix as well into the bread dough.

  • Debbie
    July 28, 2008

    Looks great. I just made a coconut lime banana bread that is my favorite. Coconut and bananas are wonderful together!

  • Nicole
    July 28, 2008

    Jake – You can use sweetened or unsweetened. Both will work. I used sweetened, since it’s much more readily available to me and I tend to always have some on hand.
    You can definitely toast the coconut before mixing it in. Just make sure to cool it completely before stirring it into the batter.

  • Linda
    July 28, 2008

    Nicole, mine is baking in the oven as I write this comment. I can’t wait to hear how it goes over with my hair stylist. I like to bake her a little something when I visit. I added another ingredient–not sure how it will go over but I think blueberries and bananas pair well and I would think blueberries and coconut would too (never tried it that I remember!). We have some awesome fresh blueberries right now and I couldn’t resist trying a cup or so in the bread. I guess I won’t know for another month! 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe!!

  • Susan
    August 4, 2008

    I made this recipe this past weekend for a get-together with my college girlfriends. It was fantastic! One of them said, “I don’t typically like banana bread, but this is really good. Can I take some home?” I reluctantly let her have some, but was sad to know that there was none left for me to take home!! Time to make another loaf.

  • Susan
    August 4, 2008

    I made this recipe this past weekend for a get-together with my college girlfriends. It was fantastic! One of them said, “I don’t typically like banana bread, but this is really good. Can I take some home?” I reluctantly let her have some, but was sad to know that there was none left for me to take home!! Time to make another loaf.

  • Missy
    August 9, 2008

    This was wonderful. The coconut was a little more mild than I expected, probably due to the amount of time i had a bag of unopened shredded coconut lying around. I’ll have to try it with fresher bag next time. Still, a perfect pairing for coffee any time of the day.

  • Anonymous Proxy
    October 15, 2008

    This was wonderful. I love to have some delicious coconut recipe. This is one of them. I love to have it. Thanks for sharing this in your post with us. Waiting for your next post like this.

  • Amy
    December 15, 2008

    I would like to make this a coconut-pineapple-banana bread.
    I would do this by using 1/4 cup each of pineapple juice
    and coconut milk. I would also add two 8-oz. cans of pineapple tidbits (don’t like the texture of crushed pineapple). Would this create problems with the quick bread by doing this variation? I realize that the canned pineapple would be a problem because of how moist it is, but I would drain the excess liquid over a colander and then pat the pineapple dry between two sheets of paper towel. My biggest concern is that by adding pineapple it will make the quick bread too mushy. Feedback on this would be much appreciated.

  • curry recipe
    April 3, 2009

    The banana bread with coconut is something new to me, i will try these out today! thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Christina
    April 14, 2009

    While I think this “bread” looks gorgeous, it doesn’t looklike much of a bread to me – according to the ingredients I would have thought of it as a cake.
    Maybe it’s because I’m from Scandinavia and that we have quite a different bread tradition than e.g. USA (Our primary ingredint is rye in our everyday bread).
    Actually, we have a cake with almost the exact same amount pr/ingredient which we call a “sandkage” (or, sand-cake if you were to translate the name).
    What I actually wanted to hear – could you leave out the banana, and how should the receipe be altered additionally?

  • Nicole
    April 14, 2009

    Christina – If you want to leave out the banana, I would just opt for a coconut bread instead: http://bakingbites.com/2004/12/bills-coconut-bread/

  • Albert Aguinaga
    November 18, 2009

    Way to tell the truth!

  • Eva
    November 22, 2009

    Leave out the banana? Are you nuts?

    This is a fantastic recipe, thanks!

  • Galia
    May 19, 2010

    Hi Nicole. I am a recent fan of your blog 😉

    I just made this bread and it is fantastic. Mine turned out a bit darker than the one on your pic. Maybe it’s because I baked it ten minutes longer, I don’t like underdone cakes/breads.

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for a carob cake on your blog. Not that you should have one. I just wish you would have one 😉

  • thecrabbycook
    October 10, 2010

    Never thought I’d be SO GLAD to have a few expired bananas in my kitchen. I have an excellent excuse to make this bread, which looks so good…

  • Sarah
    December 14, 2010

    Great recipe! I omitted the spices and opted for Spiced Rum instead. Used about tablespoons. Yummy!

  • Lynn
    August 6, 2011

    I’ve made this several times and it is great. I don’t make “regular” banana bread anymore–this is my standard.

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