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Baking with bananas, part 2

banana-coconut-breadI posted here last week about how overripe bananas are unpleasant to eat but fantastic for baking.  Readers weighed in with some excellent recipes and some handy tips for freezing bananas.  I will be trying and sharing some of these techniques shortly.  I also happened upon a really delicious recipe for banana and coconut bread in a cookbook in a friend’s house, and it was so good that I think it will usurp Avoca’s banana bread as my favourite banana-based recipe.

Banana and Coconut Bread

This came from the vegetarian cookbook Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville, a chef at the acclaimed San Francisco vegetarian restaurant Greens. My friend Oisin, a fantastic cook, swears by Fields of Greens and says that he’s never had a dud recipe from it yet.  It’s available on Amazon, and second-hand copies are widely available on eBay and Abebooks.


  • 300g / 1½ cups white flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 200g / 10 tbsp butter, softened
  • 100g / ½ cup sugar
  • 100g / ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 100g / 1 cup shredded coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 185ºC.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar, beating mixture until smooth after each one.
  5. Stir in the bananas.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, but hold back two tablespoons of coconut.
  7. Put the mixture in a loaf tin and bake for 60-70 minutes. Half way through the cooking time, sprinkle the top of the loaf with the reserved coconut.  The bread is cooked when the top is golden brown and when a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.

This bread is truly heavenly, with soft chunks of banana in the centre and lovely toasted coconut bits on top.  When I made it, it fell apart when it was tipped out of the loaf tin, but if you’re a bit more patient and let it set properly, that might not happen.


  1. Any chance of a metric conversion? I can’t figure out american to metric cup measurements for the life of me.

  2. Hi Claire – when I make it again I will weigh the ingredients and post the metric quantities. But there’s no point trying to convert cup measurements as they go by volume rather than weight – a cup of oats will be a different weight to a cup of flour.
    The easiest thing to do is just buy some standard measuring cups. I have one set from Ikea and one from Dunnes, and I’m sure you can get them in loads of other places as well. So many of the great cooking sites on the net use American measurements that they’re a worthwhile investment!

  3. Thanks Jean but I never use American measurements. I can’t be bothered with all the alternative volumes, nevermind sticks of butter. Theres often a “convert” button on those sites.

  4. Oh yeah, sticks of butter are a nuisance alright.

  5. A stick of butter is 115 grams, 1 tbsp is about 14 grams
    A cup of flour is about 125 grams
    A cup of white sugar about 225
    and a cup of brown sugar is a bout 200.

    I wouldn’t bother measuring the coconut, about a coffee cups worth seems about right 🙂

  6. I can vouch for this bread being absolutely delicious – well worth going through the trouble to convert the measurements!