Several years ago, Starbucks offered a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino on the menu as one of their summer blended drinks. Anyone who is a regular reader knows that I’m a big coconut fan, so it’s probably not a surprise to learn that the combination of coffee, chocolate and coconut really worked for me on hot days that summer. It has been years since that drink was on the menu and I don’t see the combination of mocha and coconut all that often, even though it is a good one.
This Mocha Coconut Bread is a great way to enjoy these flavors no matter what the weather outside is like! The easy-to-make quick bread has plenty of flavor and is sure to become a staple if you are partial to mocha, to coconut or to both! The bread is moist and tender, with a tight crumb that is flecked with pieces of shredded coconut. You can taste the coconut, which adds a slight chewiness to the bread, in each bite, but the flavor of mocha dominates the loaf with a blend of both chocolate and coffee.
I recommend using instant espresso powder in this recipe, as it adds a more distinct coffee flavor than traditional instant coffee will. If you only have instant coffee, double the amount I’ve given below to get a similar flavor. Although the loaf has a deep chocolate color, the bread is not overly rich or overly sweet, so you won’t feel one bit guilty for pairing a generous slice with a cup of coffee for breakfast. The bread keeps very well when stored in an airtight container and should stay fresh for a few days after baking.
As is the case with the majority of the coconut recipes on Baking Bites, you can use either sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut in this recipe. I typically use sweetened coconut because I like a touch of extra sweetness to contrast with the bittersweet cocoa powder. If you want even more coconut flavor, opt for coconut milk (the light canned milk is always a good choice for baking). I finished my loaf with a sprinkle of coarse sugar to bring a little texture to the bread, however it is completely optional. The bread is excellent when eaten plain, but it can also be paired with butter, cream cheese or a smear of Nutella.
Mocha Coconut Bread
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (pref. whole or low fat)
2 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a a 9-5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder, making sure no large lumps of cocoa powder remain in the mixture. Stir in sugar and shredded coconut.
In a large bowl or microwave-safe measuring cup, warm 1/4 cup of milk in the microwave and dissolve espresso powder into it. Combine with the rest of the milk, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture. Stir until just combined and only a few streaks of flour remain.
Add in melted butter and stir until batter is smooth and no streaks of butter remain.
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf