This throwback to the 1980s deserves a comeback. It's easy to make and has a tender crumb and toasty coconut flavor. Back in the day this probably would have been made with sweetened coconut but I prefer unsweetened, which is easy to find now. If you like, substitute melted coconut oil for the vegetable oil. The cake will be slightly less tender, but the warm coconut flavor will be more pronounced. This recipe is from the (now departed) Caunterbury Inn.
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use sunflower) or melted coconut oil
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk (I use whole)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Spread the coconut flakes on a small rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the coconut just starts to brown. Be careful to check a minute or two before the timer dings, as coconut can quickly go from underdone to burnt. Remove from the oven, toss to distribute the residual heat, and set aside to cool.
Grease a 9x5x3 rectangular loaf pan or 2 to 3 mini pans (I used one 3 x 5 3/4 and one 6 1/2 x 3 1/2).
Measure the flour, baking powder, salt, and cooled coconut into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Beat the egg in a separate bowl, and whisk in the milk, oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and mix until just combined. Don't overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan(s). Bake the single loaf for about 1 hour and the mini loaves for about 30 minutes, until they are risen and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm with plenty of butter.