Begin by grinding the coconut flakes in a food processor until they resemble coarse meal.
I use 180 grams (6.3 ounces) of coconut in the recipe. I highly recommend using weight, not measuring cups, for this recipe.
I used finely shredded unsweetened coconut, which comes to about 3 and 1/2 cups, but this can vary a lot by brand (and if using larger flake coconut). If you do not have a kitchen scale, use the weight on the bag to help guide your measurements.
***Note: coconut flour cannot be used as a substitute for the ground coconut*** Coconut flour is a byproduct of coconut milk production; it is almost fat free, powdery in texture, and very absorbent. It will not work in this recipe.
If you like, add up to a teaspoon of your favorite spice, too (some of my favorites: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, or pumpkin pie spice). I also like to add a 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt, but it is completley optional.
Step 3: Add the Mashed Banana
Stir the dry ingredients until combined and then add the mashed ripe banana. This is an excellent way to use up many bananas in one fell swoop because you will need a whopping 2 cups (500 mL). It is the only sweetener (and liquid) in the recipe.
Mix the banana with the dry ingredients until combined into a thick, moist batter. FYI, the batter is delectable on its own. I test these things for you :).
Step 4: Spread the Batter in the Pan
Evenly spread the batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, smoothing the top.
***Note: Do not do as I do (specifically, use an unlined baking pan), as I did in the photo below. Instead, line the pan with parchment paper first! It will make for much easier removal and also prevents overbrowning at the edges.***
Step 5: Bake the Banana Bread
Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 55 to 60 minutes until the bread is a deep golden brown, set at the center (an inserted skewer should come out clean except for a few moist crumbs), and risen (it is not high rise, but it does rise).
Step 6: Cool the Bread Completely in the Pan
The next step is an important one: cool the bread completely before removing from the pan. Complete cooling plus parchment paper overhang ensures easy removal from the pan. Also, run a knife along the short sides of the pan (the ones that do not have parchment paper) to ease removal.
Much as you will want to hack off a slice asap (the scent is intoxicating), take your time cutting the bread (haste begets crumbles). I find that a serrated bread knife, used to slowly saw, works best. Chilling or semi-freezing the bread makes cutting easier, too. See my recipe notes for guidance.
And there, friendly readers, you have it! This bread is so moist, sweet and flavorful you will think you are eating cake.
Add the mashed bananas to the bowl; stir until well blended. Spoon and spread the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top into an even layer.
Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes until slightly risen (the bread has a minimal to moderate rise) and a deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan.
Once completely cooled, use the parchment liner to lift the bread from the pan. Slice into 12 generous slices (see notes for slicing tips).
Slicing Tips: It is MUCH easier to slice the bread if it is chilled (less crumbling and/or breaking). For thinner slices, freeze the bread for about 1.5 to 2 hours (not completely frozen) and cut with a serrated knife.
Flavor Tips: Other ground spices, besides cinnamon, can be added, such as cardamom, ginger, allspice, or pumpkin pie spice. A teaspoon of vanilla extract can also be added.
Note:Coconut flourcannot be used as a substitute for the ground coconut flakes. Coconut flour is a byproduct of coconut milk production; it is almost fat free, powdery in texture, and very absorbent. It will not work in this recipe.
Banana Tip: It can take anywhere between 4 to 6 medium-large bananas to equal the 2 cups of mashed banana. It is important to measure out 2 cups rather than go by number of bananas (given the discrepancy in size of bananas).
Muffins: This batter makes great muffins, too! Divide the batter between 12 standard muffin cups that have been lined with paper or foil liners. Bake in the 350F oven for 22 to 26 minutes until deep golden brown and set at the centers. Cool completely before eating.