Coconut sweet bread is a wonderful dessert that exemplifies its name. It is widely enjoyed in the Caribbean especially around Christmas time. But, it is much loved throughout the year.
This recipe is an eggless version. I didn’t use any egg replacers in the recipe, so it tends to be extra crumbly when it is fresh out of the oven.
A day or two later though, especially when it is cold, the sweet bread holds its form and you can enjoy the sweet, coconut, delicious flavors.
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What is in this coconut sweet bread recipe
For this recipe, here is what I most often use:
- grated coconut ‘meat’
- baking powder
- spices like cinnamon and nutmeg powder
- condensed milk
- essence like vanilla or almond essence
- maraschino cherries
- mixed peel
- brown sugar
I used the coconut ‘meat’ of a fresh brown coconut. It gives the sweet bread a rich, coconut flavor. If brown coconuts aren’t available in your area, feel free to use shredded coconut (get it on Amazon here).
Mixed peel is something I get questions about. It is made with candied citrus peels and adds nice pops of sweetness and texture in the bread. If you can’t find it at your local store, you can get it here on Amazon.
This sweet bread is very crumbly when fresh but holds its structure well after a day or two. If you want it to hold its shape from the beginning, you can use an egg substitute.
My go-to is ground flaxseed. I mix a tablespoon with about 3 tablespoons of water and stir until it becomes jelly-like. This little mix is equivalent to one egg.
If coconut isn’t your thing, try this banana bread recipe instead.
And, if you have more coconut meat, then why not make coconut bake too?
How to make this coconut sweet bread recipe without eggs
The recipe takes some effort and can get messy, but trust me it is worth it.
Prep the coconut
Step 1: Since I used a fresh brown coconut, the first step is to crack the nut and remove the white flesh.
Step 2: There is a rough, brown layer on the coconut meat that I remove. Then, I cut it into smaller pieces like this before adding to the food processor.
Step 3: The food processor grates the coconut quite effectively. Of course, you can use a hand grater to get the job done too.
Step 4: Preheat the oven at 350°F.
Mix dry ingredients
Step 5: With the coconut prepped, it’s time to get the dry ingredients together. To a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder.
Step 6: Add in the grated coconut and raisins. You can add the cherries and mixed peel at this point too but I usually add it after the butter (Step 8*).
Step 7: It’s time to get your hands dirty and mix softened butter into the dry ingredients. You can use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to incorporate the butter, but it is not necessary. Your clean hands are perfect for this job.
Step 8*: I often add the cherries and mixed peel at this point.
Add condensed milk
Step 9: Pour in the condensed milk and essence be sure to mix into a sticky dough. It really is a messy process but you want to get that sweetener well incorporated.
Step 10: Divide the dough into two and place in buttered loaf pans.
Step 11: It is customary in Trinidad and Tobago to sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar. The sugar stays crunchy and adds to the texture of the sweet bread.
Step 12: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Here’s one of the finished loaves. Since I didn’t use eggs in this recipe, the sweet bread is usually crumbly right out of the oven. But, the next day, the bread usually stiffens up nicely and maintains its shape. Enjoy the slices with the bursts of coconut pieces and lots of textured sweetness from the raisins, cherries and mixed peel.
Sweet bread recipe
Coconut sweet bread recipe
- Food processor (optional)
- 1 mature coconut
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1½ cup condensed milk
- 2 tsp essence
- 1½ cup raisins
- 1– 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup maraschino cherries (cut into small pieces)
- ¾ cup mixed peel
- Preheat oven at 350°F.
- Crack open the coconut, remove the coconut meat, and remove the brown layer from the meat. Cut into small pieces and grate (with a food processor or hand grater).
- Mix dry ingredients together like flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add grated coconut and raisins to the dry ingredients. Mix.
- Rub softened butter into the dry ingredients.
- Mix in chopped cherries and mixed peel.
- Incorporate the condensed milk and essence to form a very sticky dough.
- Divide the dough into two.
- Add to two buttered loaf pans.
- Sprinkle sugar on the top of the loaves.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.