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Coconut Sweetbread Recipe

'Id sweetbread textureTrini sweetbread is usually a great thing. Coconut, spices and a slightly crumbly texture. Mmm. That’s what it’s about. However, that doesn’t stop people from making hard, dry, flavourless things and calling it sweetbread. I don’t mind if you put raisins, or cherries or mixed peel in it – to each his own. But put the cinnamon, and clove and maybe a touch of nutmeg. And a little moisture won’t kill you. Well, those are my rules, anyway :-) The truth is, sweetbread can be infinitely varied, and when I was young I’d crave each of the neighbours’ versions as well as my mother’s. Even the hard dry ones can be good.

I requested a sweetbread recipe from Mom when I was studying in Scotland. She emailed a recipe that I was to use several times throughout the year. It’s a good recipe and not difficult to modify. Many of the early recipes I have posted are as a result of Mom’s emails and the resulting endeavours in the kitchen with friends. Some of whom have influenced this recipe. Or the variation..I have made it dairy-free by using dairy-free margarine, or vegetable oil and coconut milk. I have made it gluten-free by using a mixture of potato and other flours. You may have to adjust the liquid content, add a bit more oils and sugar to balance it, but sweetbread can be very forgiving. And if it’s a bit dry, or not quite right – heat it up or toast it and slather with butter. Voila, saved!

Coconut Sweetbread


* 1 lb flour

* 1/3 cup grated/dessicated coconut (I generally use a bit more, so experiment)

* 1/4 lb brown sugar (preferably dark)

* 2 tbs baking powder

* 2 tsp cinammon

* 1/2 tsp nutmeg

* 1/2 tsp ground cloves

* 1/4 lb butter/margarine (softened); or equivalent vegetable oil)

* 2 eggs

* 3/4 milk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/4 cup coconut milk, or all coconut milk, for a variation)

(* Mixed peel, raisins, cherries etc)

1. Mix flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, and spices.

2. In a separate bowl, mix butter, eggs and milk. Add to dry ingredients. Mix well.

3. Spoon into a greased loaf pan, or an 8 x 8 pan. (Also makes 12 muffins)

Trini coconut sweetbread4. Bake at about 190 deg C.

5. After about 15 mins of baking (when it has risen and begun to set, but not cooked yet), brush top of bread with a mixture of a little water and 3 tbs sugar.

6. Bake until lightly brown on top and sugar has crystalised.

I made this for ‘Id ul Adha this year, and ‘Id ul Fitr last year. New traditions.

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24 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. mmm

    i want with butter

    1. Lilandra on January 7th, 2007 at 2:56 pm
  2. i #$%@! hate sweetbread @$#@! hate it …

    now not yours mind you.. i love cocobread, and i’m a gonna link peepz to this recipe.. i have memories as a child of loving sweetbread.. and remembering sweetbread as being a coconut flavored thing…

    so what happened ? cos everytime i’m given a sweet bread now it is a heavy dry thing that dulls a knife and puts my oral health at risk.. and those nasty multi colored chunks…. people like that?

    2. The TriniGourmet on January 7th, 2007 at 3:15 pm
  3. and i don’t remember the last time i tasted any coconut either 😈

    3. The TriniGourmet on January 7th, 2007 at 3:16 pm
  4. you mean you know people make sweetbread without coconut?

    i hate those coloured things. they put them in sawaine and everything. it’s horrible!

    4. Lilandra on January 7th, 2007 at 6:12 pm
  5. girl i don’t know if it have coconut the thing so dry and jam up with the rubiks cube bits… :(

    5. The TriniGourmet on January 7th, 2007 at 6:40 pm
  6. they putting them in sawine too..? call heresy!

    6. The TriniGourmet on January 7th, 2007 at 6:41 pm
  7. well they put raisins..i sure it have people putting it in sawaine

    but thankfully in our house we’re saved from such scandal

    look somebody doesn’t like us trinis!

    7. Lilandra on January 8th, 2007 at 1:15 am
  8. ah doh mine de raisinZ 😀

    8. The TriniGourmet on January 8th, 2007 at 2:12 am
  9. ew!!!!!!!!!

    9. Lilandra on January 8th, 2007 at 2:24 am
  10. STEUPS>. BUH WHA DE @@#! ah done reply

    10. The TriniGourmet on January 8th, 2007 at 2:30 am
  11. raisins are yuck!

    11. Lilandra on January 8th, 2007 at 2:56 am
  12. oh – yeah hard and dry with rubix cubes.. 😀 perfect! that’s too funny.

    12. chennette on January 8th, 2007 at 10:17 am
  13. Can you drop me an email soon, there’s something I need to ask you in connection with a piece I want to write. Ta!

    13. Trinifood on January 9th, 2007 at 4:53 am
  14. Sweetbread da bajan way is da best sweetbread ever U gta try it 2 belive it it sooo good. 😛

    14. Nathan Nelson on January 11th, 2007 at 5:24 am
  15. Hi Nathan – can’t recall what Bajan sweetbread may have tasted like, but will definitely have to look for it and try it.

    15. chennette on January 11th, 2007 at 8:36 am
  16. Sometimes in life you have to try a little bit of everything, we tell it to our kids all the time, our patients, our grand children and even our parents. Food for me is the art of Love. I am a chef and I love what I do even if it means trying what I dont like, and working on perfecting that recipe. Recently I ground up that thing that you all do not like mixed peel, and no one could tell if I put it in, including those who did not like it. Sometimes there are ways to work around things if we just take a moment to try it out.

    16. Natalie on October 9th, 2007 at 7:04 pm
  17. Hi Natalie – I always put mixed peel in my fruit cake and for sure it is ground up and no one is any the wiser as they love my fruit cake especially Chennette. There are always ways to work around things ….
    I always minced chicken and made chicken dumplings to put in the soup when my children were small, they loved dumplings but made fuss to eat chicken in the soup. So this worked so well……..

    17. TriniMom on October 9th, 2007 at 11:06 pm
  18. i shall go on a starvation diet in protest

    18. Lilandra, Empress of Chocolate on October 10th, 2007 at 1:18 am
  19. You know Natalie, I was so tempted to say, that is just like my mother, but fortunately my mother jumped in ahead of me to confirm it…
    I can try new things, but how does that change the fact that I still don’t like the old things that I have already tried?
    Mincing the mixed peel beyond recognition and taste is a lot of work to go through if it not going to be noticed in the final product. And for the record, I can taste the bitter bits that are mixed peel in the fruitcake, Mom, next time take a look at my plate after I have eaten…
    Furthermore, the fact that people will eat the minced beyond recognition mixed peel does NOT mean that they have actually tried the mixed peel – so your basic premise about trying new things fails since, when and if these people TASTE the actual mixed peel, they STILL will never LIKE the actual mixed peel.
    Just saying…and I am not picking on you Natalie, this is a lifelong argument on logic and tastebuds with Mom 😀

    19. chennette on October 10th, 2007 at 5:19 pm
  20. Hi Chennette,
    I was jus searching for a sweetbread recipe found this page and was impressed. I love sweetbread, certainly not the dry choking ones. Liked your recipe, but for variation (and sweet tooths) my aunt always glazed the sweetbread top with honey then sugar :-) … the crust was always my favourite….ummm delish!!!!

    20. Simone on December 20th, 2007 at 5:05 pm
  21. Hi Simone – thanks for the comments. Yeah, that honey sounds like a good crust. Must have soaked in a bit to the top, expanding the yumminess of the sweet crusty sugarness 😉 of course my favourite part 😀

    21. chennette on December 21st, 2007 at 1:44 pm
  22. All yuh never try my sweetbread yet !!!!!!!!!!

    23. Joy Phillips on June 16th, 2009 at 9:52 pm
  23. I have travelled far and wide, but this is the best sweet bread. Thanks

    25. Jan Jordan on December 14th, 2010 at 9:05 am
  24. Hi Jan- thanks so much :-) I feeling for this now!

    26. Chennette on December 21st, 2010 at 6:09 pm

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Barfi, Nankathai, Halwa, Maleeda…cake and cookies…ice cream…currants rolls, sweetbread, basboosa, baklava…what are you making? what are you looking forward to enjoying at Muslim […]

  2. […] Heck, for years, I’d always go across the road for their sweet bread (sorry Mom, but the recipe you gave me now is just the way I like it, so it won’t happen […]

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