When is your oldest cookbook from? Mine is from my teens and it is a compilation of my favorite recipes written in my awkward cursive. It contains many favourites including my beloved Orange Cake, the Lemon Velvet I so adore, and a Coconut Cake. This Coconut Loaf Cake is not that Coconut Cake although I desperately wanted it to be.
Coconut is a difficult flavour to impart in a cake because of it's delicate sweetness and my original recipe with it's sole addition of desiccated coconut although tasty no longer hit the mark. I had to recalibrate a little and started with this lovely loaf from the NY TIMES only to find it was too crumbly on the first try, wouldn't rise enough with the suggested addition of sour cream on the second, etc. Good thing I am persistent huh.
This Coconut Loaf Cake is what I wanted it to be - it's got a firm soft texture like the most tender pound cake, the subtle coconuttiness of it perfumed throughout. That extra caramel on top - I mean, do I even need to explain the magic it adds?
What goes in a Coconut Loaf Cake?
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut Milk
- Shredded sweetened coconut
- Flour + Baking Soda (for a little extra lift) + Baking Powder
- Milk or Buttermilk
- Vanilla Extract
Let's talk Caramel Sauce now shall we?
If you've had this Praline Cake then you know the magic of a good sauce. I briefly debated making a traditional caramel (with granulated sugar), but then this takes a few minutes so clearly it won. Here I drizzled and served extra on the side, but you can absolutely pour all of it overtop.
The ingredients for this Caramel Sauce are so simple
- Brown Sugar
- Cream (heavy/double/whipping)
- Vanilla Extract
Coconut Loaf Questions
Nope. The coconut oil, milk, and shredded coconut are all mild in nature and just play into a harmony of flavour.
Short answer: up to you. I am personally not a fan of it so I skip it here, but if you like it and have it handy it would definitely increase the coconut flavour!
Outside at room temperature. Stay away from the fridge folks. Coconut oil will often harden at room temperature and it plays a big role in this cake. Put it in the fridge and we got problems. Of course if you have then simply warm before serving. If you toast it and butter it lightly it's so incredibly good!
Absolutely, but it will naturally make the cake a little less sweet. You can add 2 tbsp extra of sugar into it or if you prefer less sweet cakes then leave it as is.
You don't have to, but toasted coconut is far more delicious than it's paler counterpart.
The best way is to spread it out on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes. Check on it frequently after the four minute mark because coconut burns quickly.
The easiest way to toast coconut is stove top. I take a clean pan and put on medium heat and add my coconut. Once the colour starts to change then move it around frequently to avoid burning. Your coconut won't be as evenly golden as it would be in the oven, but I like the convenience of this approach.
When I asked my Instagram family if using half a can would bother them the overwhelming majority said not at all and that if anything they would just make two cakes! If you aren't in camp two cakes then Coconut Milk is fantastic in smoothies and can also be frozen for a month no problem to be added into your favorite curries later. Or Cake.
Sharing the recipe below, do let me know if you try it and rate it below! Tag me in your recreations on Instagram too @flourandspiceblog - Happy Baking!
Coconut Loaf Cake with Caramel Sauce
- 1 9*5 Loaf Pan
Coconut Loaf Cake
- 6 tbsp room temperature butter
- 6 tbsp liquid/melted coconut oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar (use caster if your granulated sugar is coarse)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup coconut milk see notes
- 3 tbsp milk or buttermilk
- 1 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
Additional toasted coconut for sprinkling over top - ¼ cup
- Preheat your oven to 350F and grease your loaf pan, lightly dusting with flour.
- Beat the butter and sugar together while gradually adding in the coconut oil, continue beating for 2 minutes for a fluffy slightly airy mix.
- Add in the eggs one by one, mixing for a minute after each addition - the batter will start looking even fluffier.
- Mix in your vanilla extract
- With your mixer on low add in half the flour, then half the milk(s), then the remaining half of the flour and the remaining half of milk. Mix until just combined, you are not trying to get a smooth batter, small lumps are fine.
- Gently fold in your coconut and transfer the mix to your prepped pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- combine the sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer, cook for three minutes and let cool for ten before pouring over the cake. Bonus points if you poke holes in the cake with a skewer and let that caramel sauce go in - YUM
- Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve
- often the cream in the coconut milk can rises to the top, make sure you give it a good stir (warm if needed) before measuring out your one cup or half a can.