Banana coconut cake


Some recipes come about from long experimentation and several tries to try to perfect them (like those darned bunnies, or my ongoing attempts to make natto at home). Others just seem to happen. We had a bunch of bananas that were rapidly turning very brown and spotty on the kitchen table. I froze some (nothing like frozen bananas as treats), and turned some into a cake.

It’s nothing fancy at all - it’s basically a pound-cake like base (but with a bit less sugar), with added cut-up bananas. The coconut part was added on a whim also. The cake doesn’t rise much, probably because of the bananas, but it’s moist, not too sweet, and very comforting. It’s perfect with a cup of tea.

So far in my life I’ve not had the opportunity to go to Hawaii (unless you count a short layover en route from LA to Tokyo) but I sort of imagine that this cake would not be too out of place there.

Banana coconut cake

Note that there are equal amounts in weight of eggs, butter, and flour. So, first weigh your cracked eggs, and then use the equal amounts of butter and flour. In my case the two large eggs I had came out to just about 120 grams.

  • 2 large eggs (about 120g / 4 oz total weight)
  • 120g / 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 120g / 4 oz cake or all-purpose flour
  • 100g / a bit less than 3 oz raw cane sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, cut up into smallish pieces
  • 1 Tbs. brandy or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs. milk or soy milk
  • 4 Tbs. dessicated coconut
  • extra butter for the pan

Equipment: 8 inch / 20cm square cake or brownie pan, electric or handheld whisk, kitchen parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 355° F.

Butter the cake or brownie pan and line with parchment paper, OR butter and flour the pan.

If the butter is still hard from the refrigerator, put it in a bowl and nuke it for a minute to soften.

Mix together the flour and baking powder.

Cream together the butter and sugar with the whisk until blended and fluffy. Add the eggs and whisk some more. Add the flavoring (brandy or vanilla) and milk.

Fold in the flour and baking powder, and fold in the bananas. Don’t overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the dessicted coconut.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer or chopstick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


If the coconut looks too brown, put a piece of foil over the pan until the cake has finished baking through.

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I imagine that the coconut

I imagine that the coconut would not be too powerful in that, which seems to be the only way coconut is appetizing. Does it provide texture more than anything?

Katie | 10 April, 2007 - 17:17

Divine… I’ll be trying

Divine… I’ll be trying that one.

Stephanie | 12 April, 2007 - 10:28

texture and fragrance

the coconut topping provides a bit of texture and a wonderful aroma. I don’t like coconut in big doses but a little is great.

maki | 12 April, 2007 - 21:14

I love dessert that is not overly sweet

And I love coconut. This sounds wonderful. Thought I would mention you are on my blogroll in my updated site. Thanks again for your link to me!

Expat Chef | 13 April, 2007 - 04:51

coco for nanas

This recipe is awesome! Made it today and brought it over to a friend’s place thinking that I was just going to dole out a few slices. Little did I know the small informal gathering ended up being a party of six and the cake was gone in a flash. I’ll just have to bake it again. Oh, the cake was so moist.
The only adaptions I made were to soak the dessicated coconut in a bit of milk and fold a half of that into a quater of the batter on the top. The rest I sprinkled on the top. I used a 8” round pan and that worked very nicely as well.

Mei | 13 April, 2007 - 21:36

Excellent recipe!!

This recipe is awesome and pretty easy to follow too! The coconut gives it that little extra taste that makes a whole lot of difference, give it a go!

Rogerio. | 18 October, 2008 - 21:46

Re: Banana coconut cake

I was looking for a recipe for coconut banana cake but they all called for only a cup of banana which I don't think is enough. This turned out great!! I had to convert my measurements and was afraid I might mess it up. I love the coconut and like someone else said, this has the perfect amount of sugar. The coconut was nice and crispy on top and the middle was soft and moist. I will definitely be making this again.

Renese | 1 September, 2009 - 02:41

Re: Banana coconut cake

This cake smells sooo yummy and it`s very fragrant and floral! it taste very light for a pound cake and the bananas add a surprise flavor! i used coconut cream in place of the milk and soaked the coconut like Mei so I'd be soft and sweet. I had to cook it 10 extra minutes because the center wasn't done probably because i doubled it! =) my whole family loves it!
thank you Maki

Shaheen | 4 June, 2010 - 00:23

Re: Banana coconut cake

Excellent recipe, easy to follow. The cake was the bomb and everyone loved it.

Gillian | 4 April, 2012 - 06:40

Re: Banana coconut cake

Excellent recipe. I made it several times and everyone loved it. Last weekend I was having my daughter's family over and thought I'd bake a cane but when I checked I was out of bananas however I had apples and substituted the apples for the bananas - wow - just as delicious. The taste is pretty similar. Thank you for this recipe. It will be one of my staples since it is so easy to make and even my daughter who does not like coconut loves it.

Joy. | 11 December, 2012 - 06:37

Re: Banana coconut cake

All three of my favorite things in one..banana, coconut and cake

Amber | 15 February, 2013 - 06:08

Re: Banana coconut cake

Just thought I would share this with you all. Great recipe but
as a retired fitness instructor who loves to bake, but with reduced sugar (1oz less) I added chopped dates to my cake mix and boy does it taste yummy. Try it.

Roddersd | 14 March, 2013 - 09:03

Re: Banana coconut cake

Sounds like a great recipe, want to try it soon! Just a couple questions though, is dessicated coconut the same as shredded cocount or coconut flakes you find at the grocery store(baking aisle)? Also, did you use unsweetened or sweetened coconut. Thanks!

Lee | 20 March, 2013 - 16:32

Re: Banana coconut cake

Yes, it's the coconut that is sold in the baking aisle. Unsweetened is preferred for this recipe.

maki | 20 March, 2013 - 20:15

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