This unique coconut bread recipe is so good and so decadent tasting! Made with unsweetened coconut, whole wheat, and sweetened only with maple syrup (which provides terrific flavor) you can feel good about serving it as both a snack and dessert.
Just one more easy recipe to add to our Best Bread Recipes that we can make for our family and friends.
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Coconut bread is not really one of the first things that come to mind when I'm thinking of making a quick bread, honestly. It's more often a zucchini bread or a good cranberry bread. But oh my gosh, not anymore - this coconut bread recipe is amazing! I totally surprised myself at how great this turned out (though I have plenty of recipes that don't turn out amazing - you just never see those, ha!).
We love the flavor of coconut and since discovering unsweetened coconut years ago I use it a lot more (I always found coconut things too sweet before). I thought it would be yummy to create a loaf using lots of coconut - dried, milk, and oil. But I wanted to make this bread as healthy as I could (I seem to be on a roll with that lately, though there's always room for the occasional Best Cinnamon Rolls...). Since I had just used honey to sweeten orange zucchini bread, I decided to try maple syrup to sweeten this loaf.
And the first taste confirmed that the combo of coconut and maple is just SO good together.
Are you wondering about that dessert-looking glaze? Yep, that's just coconut milk and maple syrup, thickened with a bit of arrowroot! Sprinkled with more coconut it provided the perfect topping for this rich, moist, delicious coconut bread.
Since this recipe contains coconut in many forms, some people will call it healthy and some won't. While coconut is high in fat (which also makes it nutrient dense), it is also rich in copper, iron, manganese, and zinc, strengthens immunity with it's strong anti-viral properties, and improves your body’s ability to absorb magnesium and calcium, two elements essential for bone health (source). Having coconut occasionally in a healthy diet can be a very good thing.
As for me, I believe that healthy eating should include a wide range of foods eaten in moderation so that you get the nutrition from varied foods and you don't feel deprived, which could just lead to jumping off that train and going back to whatever comfort/junk food you want.
And making that healthy food look and taste as good as possible is my goal so that we never want to jump off the healthy eating train! So let's make some healthy coconut bread that satisfies!
Coconut Bread Recipe with Whole Wheat and Maple Syrup
Here are all the ingredients needed to make this coconut bread. I really wanted to add as many coconut products as possible to really amp up the coconut flavor. So in addition to basic bread ingredients like flour (I used whole wheat white flour which I like for the lightness it adds to breads vs. regular whole wheat flour, though you can also use whole wheat pastry flour), eggs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, you'll need:
- coconut flour (this one is a better deal than what I have pictured above and I love the brand)
- coconut oil
- coconut milk
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- pure maple syrup
- arrowroot powder (optional for the glaze)
Quick breads are so-called because they're super easy to mix up and don't require a rise time like yeast and sourdough breads. It includes muffins and scones as well as loaves. Loaves usually take 45-60 minutes to cook, so that's not as quick, but the hands-on time sure is.
To make a quick bread you simply mix the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, add all the wet ingredients to another small bowl (I like to use a large glass measuring cup with a pour spout) and then combine them together. This takes 10-15 minutes, including the time it takes to get your ingredients out.
This dough is going to be pretty stiff, so after lining a small loaf pan with parchment you'll need to spread the dough evenly in the pan.
Once the bread is done, you can eat it as is of course, though I think the "glaze" really takes it over the top - and makes it look pretty - without adding a lot more sugar.
This bread is so good served with tea or coffee. When I shared some recently with family and friends, everybody was impressed and all the cooks wanted the recipe.
Coconut Bread Recipe (Whole Wheat, Maple Sweetened & Dairy Free)
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted*
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease sides of an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and line long sides and bottom with a piece of parchment paper (this makes removing the loaf easy).
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a smaller bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no flour lumps remain.
- Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Cool 20 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For Optional Glaze:
- Whisk all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl (or a small saucepan).
- Heat 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring at the halfway mark, until thickened a bit (if using saucepan, heat to simmering and cook until just slightly thickened.
- Cool a few minutes (it will thicken as it cools as well) before pouring over the loaf.
- While glaze is still wet, sprinkle with coconut and press in lightly to help it stick.
Other Quick Breads You May Like:
Honey Sweetened Lemon Flaxseed Muffins (Gluten Free)
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