A sturdy, not-too-sweet coconut loaf cake that’s wonderful sliced and toasted with your morning coffee.
This recipe is an old favorite, inspired by a book I read years ago. I first made an iteration when I lived in San Francisco. I remember I was working at home during a stretch of very rainy days, and coconut cake sounded like something that would tide me through (heavy rain in San Francisco does happy, but it’s somewhat rare. Over a decade later, the memory of that particular rainstorm endures!).
This is a simple cake, a sturdy cake that’s full of chewy flaked coconut. You can really taste the coconut, and who doesn’t want to taste the coconut? Well, I certainly do. A generous sprinkle of sugar across the top makes the loaf sparkle and gives it a bit of a crackly crust. I love slices of this bread toasted with a bit of butter and it’s equally delicious plain and freshly baked. The loaf is based on a recipe by Bill Granger, whose excellent “Australian Food” lives on my bookshelf for the times I get homesick for Sydney and need to reread.
Why You’ll Love It
Versatile. Dress this up with homemade whipped cream and strawberries and make it dessert. Or toast a slice as you’re on the way out the door and call it breakfast.
Simple ingredients. All the familiar baking ingredients are here, and if you have flaked coconut you could make this right now!
Hint of cinnamon. I love the hint of cinnamon in this loaf cake. I do think the cake needs it to save it from being a little plain. Swapping ground ginger would also be lovely.
What You’ll Need
- Whole milk
- Pure vanilla extract
- Fine sea salt
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Flaked coconut: Use unsweetened flaked coconut.
- Unsalted butter
How to Make Coconut Loaf Cake
Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full instructions.
- Whisk eggs. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
- Whisk flour. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. Add coconut and stir to mix.
- Add eggs. Make a well in the center, pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter and stir until just smooth.
- Prepare pan. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Pour batter into pan.
- Bake. Bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.
Store cake, well wrapped, in the fridge for 5 days. Bring to room temperature to serve. You can also freeze this cake. I recommend cutting slices, then placing the slices with pieces of parchment in between, in a freezer safe bag. You can store in the freezer for 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or in the fridge.
Coconut Loaf Cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled sightly
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar, for sprinkling
- Heat oven to 350° F and butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan (note: I used a longer, thinner pan).
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flours, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar. Add coconut and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.
- Spread batter in pan and sprinkle with the raw sugar if using. Place cake in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 ¼ hours — mine took one hour. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Coconut loaf can be stored, well wrapped in the fridge, for 5 days.