Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter

Bread / Friday, May 28th, 2010

When I was a kid, I read so many books that I’d have to write down the characters’ names on an index card and use the card as my bookmark, so I wouldn’t get mixed up as I went from book to book. I loved spending hours getting lost in a story, not moving a muscle except to turn the pages until Mom called me to dinner.

I loved reading books until I started chasing a master’s degree in English. By the time I claimed my diploma, I didn’t want to read another thing. Not a book, not a magazine, not the back of a cereal box. And my mother’s a librarian. FOR SHAME!

This summer, I’m determined to reclaim that Inner Bookworm and read something good. Enjoy the process, even. And I’ve already got a head start.

Yesterday, I grabbed my newly-purchased copy of Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life,”a blanket and a slice of Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter and set up shop in the front yard while Henry the Wonderdog rolled around and slept in the grass. It was spectacularly lazy and relaxing, and the only reason I closed the book and came inside was that I was down to the last few chapters and not ready for it to end.

What about you? Do you have a stack of books you’re planning to read this summer? Have you read something good lately?

Please, promote literacy and send me some suggestions!

Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter

Adapted from Tyler Florence (via

Serves 8-12

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
    Pineapple Butter:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9Ă—5-inch loaf pan with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the melted butter with the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Pour in the coconut milk and whisk together.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and fold everything together with a spatula until you have a smooth batter. Gently fold in the shredded coconut until evenly distributed.
  5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan, and set it on a cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
  6. Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes or so; then when cool enough to handle, remove the coconut bread to a cutting board and let it cool completely before slicing.
  7. For the Pineapple Butter: Press the liquid out of the crushed pineapple using the back of a spoon. (If there is too much juice, the fruit will separate from the butter.) Place the pineapple and softened butter into a food processor, and pulse until well blended. Mound the butter in a small serving bowl.
  8. Toast the slices of coconut bread, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve with the creamy pineapple butter.

Note: To toast the coconut: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring it periodically. Toasting will fluff up the coconut and increase its volume (as well as make it taste better).

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49 thoughts on “Coconut Bread with Pineapple Butter

  1. I just finished reading "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov. Amazing and kinda creepy, couldn't put it down!

    My top three recommendations are:
    "The Wind Up Bird Chronicles" by Haruki Murakami
    "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
    "100 Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    p.s. This recipe looks absolutely amazing, will be making it in the near future!

  2. Molly's book is amazing, isn't it? I laughed, cried, the whole works.

    I just finished The Help, which was excellent.

  3. That pineapple butter sounds divine. I'll bet it would be amazing on cornbread, too!

  4. Holy cow… I am making this bread and butter today, asap. Thank you!

    Book recommendation:
    The Mysterious Benedict Society- A kid's book, but it's kind of Roald Dahl type characters and writing that meet Harry Potteresque adventures with a splash of Lemony Snicket type bad guys.

  5. Oh Rebecca, I missed you while you were away for a whole MONTH!
    Love reading, loved Molly's book and her banana bread is to die for.
    Here are my latest 5 star recos:
    Claiming Ground by Laura Bell
    Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres
    Middelsex by Jeffrey Eugenides
    As far as shiny new cookbooks go, I've been bbqing up a storm from: Seven Fires by Francis Mallmann

  6. I'll have to check out A Homemade Life. Always looking for book suggestions these days. Have you read Animal Vegetable Miracle? It's one of my all-time favorites, and has a foodie theme. It's so inspiring!

  7. My chilhood summers were spent devouring books and I still have a voracious appetite for them. Right now I'm reading 2 books simultaneously:

    My Life in France by Julia Child w Alex P and Little Bee by Chris Cleave

    On my bookshelf waiting for me:

    The Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon

    Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

    East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

    I wholeheartedly agree with foododelmundo in recommending Middlesex by Jeffrey E. if you haven't read it yet. It is by far one of my ALL TIME favorites. Oh how I love reading!

  8. i just read the thirteenth tale last week! it felt like a book that i would have enjoyed when i was 11. it was very engaging, til the last third, which got pretty ridiculous. it was decently written. it just felt…lacking. but still, a page-turner type of book, which is generally what i look for.

    out stealing horses by per petterson–not as page-turnery as my short attention span prefers, but simple, evocative, intelligent writing. it seems really likable, and i'm only at the beginning–feels like it has the potential to get better, too.

    the time traveller's wife is a page-turner, though i didn't love it. but i enjoyed it, and it was entertaining.

    oh! the uncommon reader by alan bennett. funny and intelligent, engaging and delightful, highly recommended. i like books that have me busting out laughing. it's extremely rare to find that sort of book though!

    i'll have to check out some of the books mentioned in other comments–i've just been getting back into reading in the past month after a long break, and good books are so satisfying.

  9. I have a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing, and after spending so much time in school reading "important" and "literary" works, I am now completely addicted to much less-highbrow fare. For example, I've plowed through the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, and now I'm swooning for Scots with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Sure, they are the literary equivalent of cheesy poofs, but god help me, I cannot put them down.

    Oh, also? I love your blog and am planning on making that "sexual napalm" pound cake this weekend.

  10. I'm reading Austen's "Persuasion" aloud with my husband and (despite the slow start), it's maybe even better than "Pride & Prejudice" — it's funny, and beautiful and a little sad, and while it's not quite as polished (it was published posthumously), I think you can really see how she matured as a writer between the two books.

  11. Please bring home a tub of pineapple butter.

    Have the new Adriana Trigiani book BRAVA VALENTINE. So good and funny. It is NOT on the kindle, so you can borrow it!

  12. I used to read so much during my summers off from school. Those days are gone but for some reason i feel like the summer is just the time to read. I really hope I get some more in. And I really hope that my reading is accompanied by this delicious cake!

  13. My Life in France by Julia Child is excellent. Non-food-related, I loved Beginner's Greek by James Collins. I really liked his writing style, and the story is fun without being too fluffy. It's a love story, but I wouldn't call it chick lit.

  14. I too have my MA in English Lit (and Creative Writing) and also stopped reading for quite a bit after getting it. I'm back on track now, committing myself to the 52-Book-A-Year challenge. My current book is Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood. Excellent, so far!

    Pineapple butter sounds sooo good, especially with that bread. Awesome combo!

  15. Oh my gosh! It's almost as if you and I were the same child! My passion lies in the written word and reading is my number one hobby!

    I am currently reading "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway. I'm liking it Way more than I thought I would. I also have a "reading room" over at my blog that has a list of some of the recent books I've read and some of them have links to some book reviews I've done.

    I highly, HIGHLY recommend that everyone read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It will rip your heart out and change your life forever.

    I sold books for about 8 years and it's hard to just give suggestions. I would need to know what you are in the mood for and what types of books you usually enjoy. I could probably spend hours talking to you about this subject. LOL!!!

    Congratulations on getting back into reading though!

  16. This sounds amazing! I have been experimenting with coconut water rather than coconut milk lately to get the flavor without the fat. I wonder if it would work here? I also think it would be good with pineapple cream cheese instead of pineapple butter. YUM!

  17. I love to read but lost most of my reading mojo when I started an online program that required a lot of time and reading. Starting to get it back again and Molly's book is near the top of my bedside stack. ;-) Tyler's coconut bread is a good one–especially with the pineapple butter. Sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon to me. ;-)

  18. This sounds absolutely diving! The weather up here in New England has been unseasonably hot and oppressive and this sounds like the perfect thing to cool off with. Plus, a good book and some iced tea!
    My top favorite reads:
    Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
    Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    (Ok, anything by Barbara Kingsolver, really. :-)
    Don't Let's Go to the Dog's Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
    I also love Jodi Picoult's books, they're addictive and fast-paced, will keep you up all night with your nose in them. More of an excuse to keep eating that coconut bread. Yum!

    Can't wait to read Molly's book myself!

  19. I really need to get back into reading too. I used to get 10 books out of the library, which you could keep for 3 weeks, and I would have finished then in 2 weeks! Now I just fall into bed at night and half watch TV before falling asleep. I definitely need to read more this summer. The best time is when my bf is sleeping in the morning!!

  20. There's nothing like grad school to kill the urge to read, for even the most devoted bookworm. Happily, the urge returns. My current stack includes:

    Serious Pig – John Thorne and Matt Lewis Thorne
    Home Cooking – Laurie Colwin
    A Fork in the Road – Anik See
    Back Where I Came From – A.J. Liebling
    Up in the Old Hotel – Joseph Mitchell
    Complications – Atul Gawande
    Redbreast – Jo Nesbo
    Garden of Evil – David Hewson
    and I'm cooking my way through Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen, as well as The Cooking Book, by British publisher DK.

    Enjoy the summer, and happy reading!

  21. I second the recommendations for 'Middlesex', 'The Poisonwood Bible' and 'The Time Traveller's Wife' — all were *fantastic*. If you're still looking for good reads, I'll also add to the list:
    – 'Three Day Road' by Joseph Boyden
    – 'Clara Callan' by Richard B. Wright
    – 'Oryx & Crake' and 'The Year of the Flood' by Margaret Atwood (read them together)
    – 'Brick Lane' by Monica Ali
    (These have become my favourites over the past few years :-)
    Happy reading!

  22. I second Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin. I also loved The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn. And this bread looks lovable too! I hope I can toss some pineapple in the blender since I have fresh but not canned.

  23. I recently read and really liked "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. If you're into historical fiction, Dorothy Dunnett is my favorite author. I've read all the books in the Lymond Chronicles twice now and with each read I keep seeing new things. Happy Reading!

  24. I LOVED Molly's book-I'm sure you will, too.

    I just finished reading a book called "How I Learned to cook"-all short, true stories of how some of the world's favorite chefs cut their teeth, so to speak, on cooking.

    Right now, I am reading "The Things We Do For Love" by Kristin Hannah. And after that, I plan to read "Endless Feasts: 60 Years of Gourmet Food Writing", edited by Ruth Reichl.

  25. Oh, how I love reading too. If it were up to me, I'd be reading all day and all night. I've been bitten by the Tolkien bug – many years after reading 'The Hobbit' in school. The 'Lord of the Rings' films were excellent, but the 'LOTR' books are amazing and so much more in-depth.

    Other favourite books (currently – it changes as I find more and more books to immerse myself in):
    'The Namesake' by Jhumpha Lahiri – beautiful, evocative.
    'Bread Alone' and 'The Baker's Apprentice' – Judi Hendricks (if you like baking, you'll enjoy both of these books. Some people call it 'chick lit,' but it's so much more. Intelligently written, funny, sad, warm and inviting, and while reading these books, I wanted to work at the Queen Anne Bakery.
    'Eating Heaven' – Jennie Shortridge. Stumbled on this accidentally while in the library – it's a fast read, but it stays with you, as do the characters, long after you've finished it.
    'The Death of Vishnu' – Manil Suri. Don't let the title scare you or put you off. It's a brilliant book (and it's fiction, not a book on Hinduism – even though I love books about India and Hinduism anyway).
    'Call it Sleep' – Henry Roth. A classic. If you're into turn of the century (19th to 20th, that is) lower East Side New York, this is an amazing, highly-evocative book and character study of a little boy trying to find his way as a stranger in a strange land.

    Cookbooks I've just bought and fallen in love with and want to do the 'Julie and Julie' thing with:
    'Molly O'Neill's New York Cookbook.'
    'The Cookbook of the Jews of Greece' – Nicholas Stavoulakis
    'The Tassajara Bread Book' – Edward Espe Brown (one of the first baking books I ever bought – absolutely fell in love with the writing style of the recipes, the illustrations, and of course, the recipes themselves)
    'Bread' – Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno. If you're a beginning baker, this is a perfect book to build your confidence, but even for experienced bakers, this is wonderful, and the photos of the breads always has me in a near drooling state).
    'Vegetarian – The Best Ever Recipe Collection' – Linda Fraser. Easy, step-by-step gorgeous recipes, with amazing food photography.
    'Monet's Cookery Notebooks' – half a biography, half a cookbook – this is a must for anyone who loves art as well as cooking. A real insight into what Monet was like to live with and be around. The photos of the famous house and gardens at Giverny are so inspiring and inviting.
    'The Enchanged Broccoli Forest' and 'Still Life with Menu' – Mollie Katzen. Two of my all-time favourite cookbooks. I love the hand-written (by Mollie herself) recipes. Opening any page of this cookbook always makes me feel good and inspired. 'Still Life with Menu' doesn't have the hand-written style, but it makes up for that with many of Mollie's own beautiful works of art.

  26. I am a wannabe foodie and a self professed bookworm, so i love your blog!

    I have just finished reading the Lisbeth Sanders Trilogy by Stiegg Larson. I HIGHLY reccomend them – The girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who played with Fire, and the Girl who kicked the Hornet's nest

  27. Got lost off the internet for awhile. Then found your post and remembered how much I loved coming here to visit. Hope you get back that love of reading this summer. I read so many books that I sometimes have trouble remembering the titles to recommend to someone else. Really enjoyed "The Help" – very engaging read. Try the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich if you want some easy reading that makes you laugh out loud. Perfect for distracted summer reading. Teach middle school reading and just finished "The Book Thief" – excellent – narrated by Death during WWII.

  28. Oh, and doing some heavy reading "In Defense of Food" – very eye-opening about the way nutrition and science has shaped our food consumption in the United States.

    1. Hi Julia – Mollie Katzen's books truly are wonderful. Even if you're not a vegetarian, the recipes are brilliant, her tips on cooking and baking are excellent, and her artwork and the handwritten touch all adds to make these cookbooks special.

  29. Wow, pineapple butter – what a unique idea! I always forget how many different ingredients you can mix into butter to make a bread like this taste even better. Great recipe!

  30. Wow – looks like everyone covered my most recent favorites… if you're into dystopian fiction, try Unwind by Neal Schusterman and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (these are really young adult books, but my book club friends love them!)

  31. I left you a comment when you first posted this but my computer locked up and I guess it didn't take.

    I'm a voracious reader but am not certain what genre you would like. Based on what I know about you through your blog, I'd say non-fiction leaning towards food related biographies with a Southern twist. :)

    Love compound butter.

  32. I cannot wait to make this pineapple butter…

    I've read so many lovely books in the last couple of years since I got past my post-college war on reading. Many have already been mentioned in the comments, but two more worth noting are The Shadow of the Wind (Zafon) and The History of Love (Krauss). The latter has such an interesting writing style, while the former is one of my all-time best loved books. Oh, and a third: Emily's Ghost. Happy reading!

    1. I would like to second Allie's recommendation of The Shadow of the Wind! What a great book. Good call, Allie!

  33. historial fiction: the Chronicles of Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett (set in Scotland in late 1500s, Mary Queen of Scots is only 4). Much swashing and buckling and LOT of great plot twists & characters
    Dracula, the original vamp book by Bram Stoker. Weird and strange and scary.
    Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy – do NOT see very bad movie made from book 1, The Golden Compass. Abysmally bad movie, great great great book.
    love the detective stories set in Venice, by Donna Leon–great mysteries, great detective, and LOTS of descriptions of food; ditto the James Lee Burke detective stories set in Baton Rouge.
    so many books, so little time…the same could be said for all these recipes!

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