Pineapple & Coconut Banana Bread
The Tropical Experience!
Pineapple & Coconut Banana Bread is my tropical version of well-loved Banana Bread. February 23rd 2022 marks Banana Bread Day so I thought it fitting to reveal my new recipe with pineapple, citrus and coconut, transforming this popular bake into a truly tropical experience!
With many banana bread lovers out there now due to the pandemic, I thought it would be nice to brighten up the banana bread loaf, with some tropical flavours. With pineapple chunks in the batter, this special banana bread cake is topped off with a citrus and pineapple glaze and a coating of coconut. A delicious tropical experience! Perfect for Banana Bread Day!
WHY USE MY RECIPE? 1. Quick & Easy 2. Healthier & Tastes Good 3. Inexpensive To Make 4. Freezes Really Well
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1. Quick & Easy Recipe
My banana bread recipes, are so quick to make. Using digital scales you can even measure, make & bake in one bowl. Not only saving you more dirty bowls to wash, but time too. You can easily prepare and bake the cake in an hour.
The process could not be simpler too. Beginner bakers or kids can even make these. Simply ‘creaming’ butter & sugar together and then adding in the other ingredients, before spooning into the tin to bake. No special baking techniques required.
2. Healthier & Taste Good
This Pineapple & Coconut Banana Bread is also a little healthier, for a few reasons. I use 50% wholemeal/wheat flour, including the bran. I use butter and sugar, but I use less butter than regular cakes or cupcakes, and I like to use dark brown sugar. I have also made using unprocessed Coconut Sugar, (which also requires a little less sugar – see Ingredients & Alternatives section below).
For the recipe, I also increase the fat & dairy content (that is required for the bake), by using some full fat Greek yoghurt. You could also use any plain/natural thick-set yoghurt too.
Of course there’s bananas too, which are providing the recipe & us with many things. Once the bananas are ripe, the starch converts to sugars (glucose, fructose & sucrose). Bananas however have a relatively low glycaemic index (GI) of 42-58 dependent on how ripe they are. The fibre in bananas is believed to have benefit to our gut health, & of course they are rich in potassium, vitamin B6 & Vitamin C. They are also great if you are dehydrated, and especially good for post workout, as they are rich in electrolytes that you might have lost.
(See in the photo my Easy Banana Bread Recipe)
As for the banana bread, the bananas are providing sugar (once they are ripe), as well as helping with structure of the bake. You might know that banana can be used in replace of eggs in some recipes. But they also can be used as substitutes for butter and oil. I do advise caution however, and not to just change a recipe without checking first. Baking is a science and often takes lots of practice bakes to get them right.
3. Inexpensive To Make
Even with the extra flavourings, Pineapple & Coconut Banana bread is relatively inexpensive compared to other lavish cakes or cupcakes. Not using lots of butter or buttercream, and bananas that are past their best, these can work out cheap to make. I have not included the cost, as that is going to vary from country to country.
The Pineapple extract is optional but imparts so much more pineapple flavour than the pineapple juice alone. If not using, pump up the citrus flavour by doubling the orange and lemon extract or even added zest.
Tip For Black Bananas
My habit is to freeze bananas that are past their best. I tend to freeze in the banana skin, as I find it is the banana’s own natural protection. I will freeze them by wrapping in baking/parchment paper and then a food baggie. You can also mash them and just freeze the flesh, but make sure to well wrap and a good idea is to weigh it too and write on the bag, the date & weight.
Once you leave the frozen banana out to defrost too, it will mean once you come to open the skin, the banana will be pretty much mashed for you already. While it doesn’t look great, it is perfect for Banana Bread.
4. Freezes Really Well
I am not a fan of freezing some baked good, but I tested slices of this Pineapple Coconut Banana Bread. I froze individual slices, wrapped in baking/parchment paper, then tin foil & a labelled food bag. I defrosted at room temperature and they tasted excellent. And I froze with the glaze, which was still very good. I recommend using up by 2 months.
Notes On Ingredients & Substitutes
Instead of the Greek yoghurt, you can use any plain/natural, thick-set yoghurt.
The alternative to UK Mixed Spice, is US Pumpkin Spice. You can make your own, from cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, mace & anise.
Make Your Own Mixed Spice
Check out my friend Tanya’s website Global Bakes, and her recipe for Speculaas Spice Mix. It is very similar, but I would just omit the coriander and white pepper, and reduce the cinnamon by half. And if you can’t get mace or aniseed, replace with anise or ground star anise.
Alternatively, you could replace this banana bread recipe’s Mixed Spice, by increasing the Cinnamon by 1/2 tsp & Ginger by 1/4 tsp.
I use granulated white sugar in this version, but light brown will work too. (For my Healthier Banana Bread Muffins I use dark brown sugar & a little honey). Also if you want to use unprocessed Coconut Sugar, I recommend using 136g (2/3 cup) for a good result.
The ‘healthier’ recipe is for 50% wholemeal/wholewheat flour to 50% white flour. A swap to 50% wholemeal flour can actually help digestive issues and helped my son who wasn’t able to manage too much ‘heavy’ starchy foods.
To make your own Vanilla, go to my Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe.
Citrus & Pineapple Flavourings
I recommend Foodie Flavours Pineapple Extract, so addictive. But if you can’t source it, I recommend doubling the amount of lemon & orange extract. Or even adding in some lemon and orange zest, that would be lovely too. (See photo.)
Size Of Tin To Use
I use a 2lb loaf/bread tin for this recipe. (About 21 x 11 x 7cm or 8 x 4 x3″). If you want to use a 1lb tin, (16x11x7cm/ 6x4x3″) the ingredients are reduced by about 25%. See detailed ingredient amounts at the very end of the Recipe Card below.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: easy, beginner
- Weighing scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium sized bowl
- Hand/stand mixer
- Small measuring jug
- plate/bowl to mash bananas on
- Knife & chopping board
- Rubber or silicone baking spatula
- 2lb Loaf Tin (21 x 11 x 7cm or 8 x 4 x3″. See above to use a 1lb )
- Lining Paste, melted butter or cake release spray (Go to Lining Paste recipe)
- Small pastry or artist brush for greasing
- Large spoon
- Timer or Phone Timer
- Cooling rack
- Large sharp or serrated bread knife
- Medium bowl for glaze
- Small bowl for coconut
For The Banana Bread
- 57 grams Butter (unsalted, soft & cubed – ¼ cup, 2 oz)
- 170 grams Granulated Sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp, 6 oz)
- 2 Eggs – medium to large (US large to extra large)
- 166 grams Banana, mashed (2 or 3 bananas depending on size & doesn't include skin – Heaped ½ cup, mashed, 5¾ oz)
- 120 ml Greek Style Yoghurt (full fat or low fat, but thick set plain yoghurt – ½ cup, approximately)
- 140 grams Plain Flour or Strong Flour (1⅓ cup, 6¼ oz All Purpose or Bread Flour)
- 140 grams Wholemeal/Wholewheat Flour (1⅓ cup, 6¼ oz, in addition to flour above)
- ¾ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
- ¾ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ginger
- ½ tsp Mixed Spice (Pumpkin Spice)
- ⅓ Nutmeg, freshly grated (or 1 tsp powdered nutmeg)
- ½ tsp Anise (optional)
- 1 tbsp Pineapple Juice (reserved from can of pineapple chunks. Approximate amount, see notes. Alternative orange juice).
- 100 grams Pineapple chunks/rings (canned/tin) (5¼ oz for cake. I used from a 290g/10¼ oz tin/can, remember to reserve the juice)
For The Topping
- 190 grams Icing Sugar, sieved (1½ cup, 6¾ oz, Powdered Sugar)
- 6 tsp Pineapple Juice (Approximately. Reserved from the tin/can of Pineapple above. Alternative, orange juice.)
- 10 Drops Pineapple Extract (optional, but so good. I recommend Foodie Flavours )
- ¼ tsp Lemon Extract (optional)
- ½ tsp Orange Extract (optional. If not using Pineapple extract you can increase Orange & Lemon)
- 50 grams Coconut, desiccated (Shredded unsweetened coconut, 1¾ oz, ¾ cup, approximately)
- Begin by opening the tin/can of pineapple rings or chunks, draining & reserving the pineapple juice. If using slices, cut into pieces about the size of pineapple chunks – about 1cm or ⅓" wide.
- ‘Cream’ the butter & sugar together in a large bowl, with a hand or stand-mixer. Beat it on high until soft & spreadable. Note however, that the granulated sugar will still be large crystals at this stage so you don’t need to mix for too long. See Photo 1.
- Next, add in one egg at a time, mixing in-between each addition, just until evenly incorporated. Then gently fold in the yoghurt. See Photo 2.
- Heat the oven to: 180°c/Fan Oven 160°c/350°f/Gas Mark 4. If your oven takes a long time to heat up, do this before starting.
- Sieve & over the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) & spices into your wet mixture. Mix by hand or by machine, just untill all combined. See Photo 3 & 4 below.
- Add the pineapple juice & fold in the mashed banana to the liquid mixture, just till evenly distributed. (Alternative is Orange Juice if using fresh pineapple.) See Photo 4 above. (The bananas should be mashed & then weighed or measured). Note if you leave some large ‘pieces’ when mashing the banana, you will have some nice surprise banana pieces in the final bake. So no need to completely puree it. Fold in with a rubber or silicone spatula, like you were writing a number 8 in the batter. Where the spatula is your pen & the batter the paper. When doing this, be very careful to not knock out any air. Only do so until all mixed through. ** Because we are using some wholemeal flour, the batter can be a little dryer, so if your batter looks thicker than in photos 4 & 5, go ahead and add a little more pineapple juice, a tsp at a time.
- Next, carefully fold in the chopped pineapple pieces, till evenly incorporated. See Photo 5 above.
- Now it’s time to line your loaf tin. I used Nancy Birtwhistle’s lining paste – go to home-made lining paste recipe. (See Photo 6.) Alternatively, brush a good coat of melted butter on the inside of the tin, brushing in upward strokes, or even some cake release spray. You can also line on top with a piece of baking/parchment paper too. I strongly recommend making the lining paste as it works a treat, even in bundt pans and is inexpensive to make. See my video below, of the bake just popping out of the tin.
- Pour or spoon the batter into the tin & level off with the back of a spoon & tap the tin a few times off the top of the counter/worktop to expel any trapped air. See Photo 6 above.
- Finally, bake in the centre of the oven for between 45 – 60 minutes. This time will depend on how hot your oven is running at (I check mine every time with a thermometer), & which tin size you used (for 1lb tin it will be a little quicker). So I recommend putting the timer on for 25 minutes. Then turn the tin around & cover the top of the bread with foil (by this point the bread will be well risen and set on just the top crust). See Photo 7 below. Don’t put the foil on before that or the batter will stick to the foil. Now bake for at least another 20 minutes & then check if the banana bread is done, by inserting a wooden cocktail stick into the centre of the bread. If it comes out clean of crumbs it is ready. If not, turn the tin, place the foil back on & bake another 5 minutes. Keep checking until ready. Then remove from the oven & leave to cool in the tin, on top of a cooling rack, for about 30 minutes . See Photo 7.
- Now turn out the banana bread onto a cooling rack & allow to cool down more. If you used the lining paste, it should literally slip out when turned upside down. See my little video below of this happening. Also using a single strip of baking/parchment paper, also makes it easy just to lift out. See Photo 8.
Prepare The Glaze
- Wait about 20 – 30 more minutes before making the glaze topping. Begin by sieving the icing/powdered sugar into a large bowl (helps it not go all over the place, quite as much).
- Next add in the extract flavouring if using (I like a combination of pineapple, lemon and orange), and 3 tsp of the reserved pineapple juice (half of the amount, not all at once). I like to mix by hand and add liquid in gradually, to form a thick paste, (using the back of a metal spoon to press down on the sugar, letting it take on as much liquid as possible). See Photo 9 above. Once a thick paste is formed, add in ½ tsp pineapple juice and mix. Gradually add in more pineapple juice but now using ¼ tsp or even ⅛ tsp as you get nearer to the right consistency. You want a icing that will drip but not pour off the end of your spoon too quickly. So thick put pourable. See Photo 10 and video. If you run out of juice, you can use water. You can also taste test as you go along to see if you would like more flavouring.
- Once the icing is ready & the cake is cooled down, place some baking/parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch drips.
- Begin by drizzling the icing from the end of a spoon, high up (this will make a thinner stream), & letting the icing fall onto the banana bread as you move across & along the top of the cake. Then go back & repeat, filling in the gaps with drizzles. If not confident, & if using the coconut, you can choose to spoon the icing on & spread with the back of the spoon or knife, to cover all the top of the banana bread. This icing will give a nice thick coverage & if you want drips down the sides, hold some icing on the spoon, near the edge of the cake & slowly let some icing fall down the side. Repeat in stages along the edge of the cake. There will probably be some left over, that can be served with slices, for those who love icing/glaze. See Photo 11 above and video below.
- As soon as you have added the glaze, sprinkle on the coconut, lightly or a full coverage. See Photo 12 below. The choice is yours. You can even toast it beforehand if you like. Leave at least 15 minutes before trying to cut it. This makes cutting easier. You can pop in the fridge for 10 minutes if need be.
- Once ready, just slice with a long, serrated bread knife. You will get 10-12 slices from this loaf. And all that remains is to eat and enjoy!
Storing – the banana bread will last 3 or 4 days, if stored in an airtight container (I prefer cake tins). Freezing – I am not a fan of freezing some baked good, but I tested slices of this. I froze individual slices, wrapped in baking/parchment paper, then tin foil & labelled. I defrosted at room temperature and tasted excellent. And I froze with the glaze, which was still very good. I recommend using by 2 months. Go to Original Banana Bread Recipe Go to Healthier Banana Bread Muffins Recipe Watch Banana Bread Muffin Video These ingredient quantities listed above are for a 2lb loaf/bread tin. (About 21 x 11 x 7cm or 8 x 4 x3″)
If you want to use a 1lb tin, the ingredients are reduced by about 25%. See ingredient amounts below: **VIDEO ON GLAZE CONSISTENCY – could not manage to embed properly in the instruction section. Click link to see Perfect Glaze/Icing Consistency. Or, scroll further down the page to view.
Watch Healthier Banana bread Muffins Video
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