bills Coconut Bread

January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment


After living in Australia for four and a half months, it holds a special place in my heart. Therefore, when I discovered over the weekend that January 26 is Australia Day, I knew I wanted to make something in honor of it. Plus, it’s a cold, snowy Monday and the first day of the spring semester at Hopkins so all the more need for a special treat to brighten up the day!

Although lamingtons are classic Aus Day fare, I was looking to make something less labor intensive. After reflecting on some foods I really enjoyed while in Sydney, this coconut bread from bills came to mind. Although it is categorized as bread, it is not the typical American quick bread, such as banana or zucchini bread. Instead, it lies somewhere between bread and cake since it is not as wet as a quick bread but not as tender-crumbed as a cake.

coconut bread

This bread is so delicious and can be easily whipped up in minutes! An added bonus is you probably have most of the ingredients on hand. It’s as simple as mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then letting the oven do its thang.

This coconut bread is also extremely versatile as it can be dressed up or down. Lightly toasted, spread with butter, and dusted with confectioners’ sugar, this humble bread makes a great accompaniment to breakfast, brunch, and an afternoon snack/afternoon tea. For dessert, this bread can be embellished with warm raspberry sauce, freshly whipped cream, and additional flaked coconut. The possibilities are endless!

Whether you enjoy it plain or with toppings, this warm, sweet coconut bread (and a mug of hot cocoa for good measure) will help keep your mind off of the frigid weather and the problem set your professor already assigned.

IMG_8146 IMG_8151

Coconut Bread

Yield: 1- 9″x5″ loaf

From Bill Granger via “The New York Times

For me, this recipe yielded coconut bread that was more delicate than the original one from bills. Nevertheless, it is still scrumptious and will perfume your home with the smell of sweet coconut!

The original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons cinnamon but I halved this and was happy with the result. I feel like the larger quantity of cinnamon would be too overpowering but feel free to adapt the recipe to your preference.

I also browned the butter on the stove instead of simply melting it. This quick extra step adds a touch of nuttiness that gives the bread a full-bodied flavor that complements the coconut nicely. However, I’m sure the bread will be delicious even without this addition.

The recipe states the baking time is anywhere from 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours. My loaf was fully baked by 1 hour.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (see above note)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (see above note)
  • Vegetable oil or non-stick spray
  • Butter, optional
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional



Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan with vegetable oil or non-stick spray. If desired, line with parchment paper and let it hang over the edge to facilitate the removal of the baked loaf from the pan.

In small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla to combine. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in large bowl. Stir in sugar and flaked coconut.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Mix until just combined. Add melted butter and stir until smooth. Be sure not to over mix to avoid a bread that is tough.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top with rubber spatula. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours (see above note).

Cool in pan for 5 minutes, remove bread from pan, and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

If desired, lightly toast and enjoy with butter and/or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.


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