Spiced banana and coconut loafcake

It’s been a week of friends doing me a huge amount of favours with the firefighter being away all week with work. The best way I know to thank people for their kindness is, of course, to bake something lush!

Baking is a soothing process. I love looking through my cupboards concocting recipe ideas in my head. I feel immediately calmed by weighing and measuring all my ingredients out in advance ready for action. Then slowly bringing it all together to bake something that fills the house with delicious smells.

It might be an odd time to do it, but a bit of baking in the evening after a hectic day is like going for a sauna and swim for me!

The breakfast of champions - and noisy toddlers

Banana bread is one of the most reliable bakes I do. It’s pleasingly thrifty with its use of manky old bananas, yet tastes really luxurious with it’s dark and dense texture. It’s a very kiddy friendly cake ideal for a lunchbox or afterschool snack with a glass of milk.

My favourite time to have it is for breakfast though with a strong cup of coffee.  I was especially revived by it this week after a 4am start with Arlo. I’m not exaggerating when I say his nocturnal bellowing sounds like a car alarm…

I’ve written about a few versions of Banana Bread before, but this week I’ve put a slightly different spin on it by substituting some of the flour for desiccated coconut, and using mixed spice instead of cinnamon.

The result was so tasty. The coconut gave the cake a bit more bite without making it too grainy. It felt less claggy than normal banana bread. The mixed spice really deepened the flavours and made it especially nice with coffee.

I should have lined my loaf tin with greaseproof paper instead of just greasing it with butter, coz it got a bit stuck. But luckily the beauty of this cake is that it’s meant to look rustic.

Spiced banana and coconut loafcake

125g butter, softened
175g soft brown sugar – I used half light, half dark muscavado
3-4 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp mixed spice
150g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
100g desiccated coconut
1 tsp bicarb soda
50ml warm milk

1. Heat the oven to 180’C, 160’C Fan, Gas 4. Line a 30cm x 11cm loaf tin. Cream the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy, then mix in the mashed bananas. Slowly add the eggs, vanilla, mixed spice and a pinch of salt until well combined. Beat in the flour and baking powder.

2. In a little dish mix the bicarb soda with the warm milk, then gently stir into the cake batter. Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and bake for approx 55 minutes. The loaf should appear crusty on top, and a skewer should come out of the cake clean. Turn your loafcake out of the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

It’ll cut into 10-12 slice and keeps well in a sealed container for a few days. It’s never lasted long enough for me to try freezing it!


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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7 Responses to Spiced banana and coconut loafcake

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Spiced banana and coconut loafcake | Feeding boys and a firefighter -- Topsy.com

  2. I love the idea of coconut in banana bread, I can imagine the mixed spice going with it well too. Looks fab and certainly a fantastic breakfast 🙂

  3. Hi Kate,

    I made this last night, having a second attempt tonight as I think I took it out of the over too early so it was a bit soggy. Do you put the coconut in at the same time as the flour?

    I LOVE your blog, we had the chicken pie for dinner on Friday night and it was fabulous. I find your recipes are a perfect match for our family.



    • Katie Bryson says:

      Hi Kirsty! I’m well chuffed you’re enjoying my recipes – that has totally made my day 🙂
      Yes I put the coconut in at the same time as the flour. Banana bread can take AGES to cook – I just keep checking it after 55 mins and putting a skewer all the way in – if it doesn’t come out clean put the loaf back in the oven and keep checking it every 5 minutes until it does. All ovens vary… mine can be really unpredictable at times…

  4. Carrie says:

    Hi Katie – I made this this morning – delicious! Bit wary of coconut usually, but really was yum – and totally agree about the coffee. Isn’t it weird how some things go with coffee best, others with tea (I feel a blog post coming on!). Carrie

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