Hello, dear readers! I’m thrilled to share this Coconut Sweet Bread recipe today that will transport you to the beautiful islands of the Caribbean – specifically to Trinidad and Tobago, the heart of “Trini” cuisine. Coconut Sweet Bread is a traditional Caribbean delight that I am certain will become a favorite in your household.
This delicious treat, shared originally by Natasha from Trini Cooking, is a staple for many families across the Caribbean, especially during the holiday season. But where does this scrumptious loaf come from, and how can we bring new flavors to the classic recipe?
A Bit of History
Coconut Sweet Bread, also known as Coconut Bake, has roots that trace back to the colonial era. Coconuts were and still are abundant in the Caribbean, which probably led to the initial creation of this loaf. Sweet bread became popular during colonial times due to its simple ingredients that were readily available and easy to combine. Over time, variations and adaptations have been made to the original recipe, reflecting the creativity and cultural diversity of the Caribbean people.
The Original Recipe
The recipe Trini Cooking with Natasha shared is a classic example of a simple, yet delicious, Coconut Sweet Bread. It involves combining dry ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda with flavorful additions such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated coconut. The wet ingredients include unsalted butter, coconut milk or cream, and vanilla or mixed essence, which add a rich, creamy taste to the bread.
But what makes this recipe stand out is the secret ingredient – mayo. It might sound surprising, but mayo adds a surprising depth and moisture to the bread that simply cannot be achieved with other ingredients.
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup soft butter unsalted
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut or packaged coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup cherries
- 1/4 cup mixed peel
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup eggless mayo or regular mayo
- 3 tbsp cherry juice from maraschino cherries
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- or full cream
- 2 tsp vanilla or mixed essence
- Add flour and all dry ingredients, mix together (save some mixed peel for the top).
- Combine wet ingredients and softened butter.
- Add the Secret Ingredient – Mayo until it forms a thick batter.
- Add to greased loaf pan and sprinkle mixed peel to top.
- Sprinkle granulated sugar as last ingredient (optional).
- Bake at 325 Deg F. For 1 hour and 15 mins or until cooked.
- Let it cool completely before cutting to serve.
Spice it Up
While the original recipe is a delight, there’s always room to play around with it.
1. Spice it Up: Consider incorporating a Caribbean spice mix to add a warming depth of flavor. Ground allspice, clove, or even a hint of cayenne pepper could bring a unique twist to the loaf.
2. Go Nuts: Why not add chopped almonds or walnuts for an extra crunch? Nuts would complement the texture of the coconut flakes wonderfully.
3. Tropically Fruity: Adding diced pieces of tropical fruit like pineapple or mango can bring a vibrant, fresh twist to the loaf. Be sure to drain any excess juice to avoid making the batter too wet.
4. Chocoholics Rejoice: For those with a sweet tooth, adding chocolate chips or cocoa powder can transform this into a delightful dessert.
5. Vegan Options: To make this bread vegan, swap regular mayo for vegan mayo, and use a dairy-free milk alternative instead of cream. A flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tbsp water) could also work as a binder instead of the mayo.
6. Gluten-free Alternatives: Replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free baking blend for gluten-free diets. Just ensure the blend you’re using already contains xanthan gum or add a bit if it doesn’t.
In conclusion, this Coconut Sweet Bread recipe is not only delicious in its original form, but also flexible enough to suit various dietary needs or personal taste preferences. So, why not give this recipe a go and bring a piece of the Caribbean to your kitchen? Enjoy baking, and most importantly, enjoy eating!
Ready for another delicious adventure? Don’t miss our Banana Pudding Ice Cream recipe – a creamy, dreamy delight that will keep you cool and satisfied. Click here to check it out!