Coconut Banana Bread

One unlucky night last week, I got stuck. Our house is perched high atop a series of three steep hills, and sometimes the perfect combination of slick icy snow, and lack of plowing makes the drive impossible. The sound of spinning tires, grunting anti-lock brakes, burning rubber, and my slow slide backwards meant I could go no further. As I left my car and trudged up the hills to our house, visions of a greyhound and whippet propelled dogsled pushed me onward. My groceries got stuck, along with my car, which left a pitiful fruit bowl occupied with some droopy black spotted bananas for sustenance when I got home.  I thought to myself, when life gives you bad roads and black bananas, make banana bread. This banana bread is easy, deeply flavored with the triple dynamo of vanilla, coconut, and bananas, and tastes fantastic.  I have been making and tweaking this moist coconut banana bread for years, and we love it.  Paul tends to be a little obsessed and through our first few years of marriage had coconut banana bread for breakfast almost every morning.  

Yield: One loaf, about 10-12 generous slices


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (reserve a tablespoon for sprinkling on top of the bread)


  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. In a stand mixer or large bowl, whisk ripe bananas until they are well mashed.  Add the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and coconut. Whisk until smooth. 
  3. Fold in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into greased bread pan. Smooth top and sprinkle with reserved coconut.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is deeply golden, the edges are pulling away from the pan and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Put on a cooling rack and remove the bread from the pan after about 5 minutes.


  • This is a slow cooking bread, so don’t be tempted to remove it from the oven when it starts to brown, it typically takes the full 50 minutes to cook. 
  • We like to make a double batch and freeze one loaf, it thaws well and toasts up deliciously with some salty butter.