One of my little projects this year is going back through fifteen years of blog archives and updating some of my very favourite recipes. I started my blog as a graphic design college student back in 2007. I was just getting into baking, blogging and photography and never imagined that I would still be doing all these things so many years later! Today’s recipe is Bill Granger’s Coconut Bread, which I first made in 2008 and which is still on his cafe menus all around the world.
Bill is Sydney’s King of Breakfast, winning us over with fluffy ricotta pancakes and even fluffier scrambled eggs. Apparently he even created avocado toast, which is a staple on almost every cafe menu in the country. Trust me, I have designed hundreds of menus!
Granger’s latest book Australian Food embraces the multicultural melting pot that Australia is now. While the book is beautiful, it would have been great to see some recipes incorporating native ingredients. Think wattleseed, finger lime, lemon myrtle alongside the recipes containing harissa, umeboshi and kimchi. I know I’m oversimplifying this issue, but I hope that in the very near future, true “Australian” food can be a mix of both our wonderful and unique native ingredients AND the rich food history of all cultures who call Australia home today.
This Coconut Bread originally had Sri Lankan origins. This loaf is a nice alternate for the classic banana bread. But it’s arguably even easier to whip up because you don’t need to wait for your bananas to be at the perfect level of ripeness. All the ingredients are things you likely have in your kitchen right now! It’s not *quite* a one-bowl recipe (maybe a bowl + a jug) but it comes together easily with minimal washing up.
It makes a truly great weekend breakfast. Or, you can make it ahead of time! It lasts well in a container for several days and it can also be frozen in slices. I love it simply toasted with lots of butter, but you could get extra fancy as I have here. I whipped some creamy ricotta with maple syrup and vanilla to a smooth consistency. It is delicious slathered it onto the toasted coconut bread. I also loved it topped with mango and berries for ~summer vibes~ but use whatever fruit you love! Fresh peaches, sliced banana, blueberries or caramelised pineapple would also be delish.
I made a few small tweaks to the original recipe, using shredded coconut rather than desiccated. The texture is just wonderful. I also added some coconut extract to really pump up the flavour and reduced the amount of cinnamon. You could also try substituting coconut milk for the regular milk. If I test this, I’ll update the recipe below!
I tested this Coconut Bread twice while preparing this blog post. The first time I made it exactly as I had on the original blog post. The texture was a bit more dense, like a pound cake. I made it a second time, increasing the baking powder and adding a little self-raising flour. It rose up high and beautiful with a lighter, more crumbly texture. I preferred the second loaf, whereas my sister loved the first one. I’ll leave instructions in the notes underneath this recipe so you can tailor it to your own personal preference!
If you make this Coconut Bread recipe, please let me know here in the comments or over on Instagram. Please take a pic and tag me @spicyicecream. I absolutely love to see your photos of the recipes you’ve made!
Related Post: Blueberry Loaf Cake with Lemon and Thyme Glaze
Bill Granger’s Coconut Bread
This Coconut Bread comes from Bill Granger's famous cafes. It's a great alternate for classic banana bread – but even easier because you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now!
- 300 ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 75 g (1/2 cup) self raising flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 225 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 75 g (2/3 cup) shredded coconut
- 75 g melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups creamy ricotta
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 mango, cut into chunks
- Fresh raspberries
- Extra shredded coconut
- Extra maple syrup
Grease the sides and line the base of a 21x10cm loaf tin. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and coconut extract in a small bowl or jug.
Sift together the plain and self-raising flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the shredded coconut. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg mixture until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.
To serve, place the ricotta, maple and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until totally smooth. Toast slices of the coconut bread and top with whipped ricotta, mango, raspberries and shredded coconut. Top with maple syrup and serve. This coconut bread is also delicious toasted with salted butter and a dusting of icing sugar.
To make a more dense hearty loaf, use 2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour instead of substituting the self raising flour and 2 tablespoons baking powder.