You will go absolutely bananas with the explosion of flavors happening in this Gluten Free Toasted Coconut Toffee Banana Bread. It’s impossible to not wake up happy with this for breakfast.
I do not like coconuts. In fact, I do not even know why the first person to find a coconut ever even thought to him or herself, “Hey, let me hack this deceivingly inedible, woodsy covered seed looking thing and hope that something yummy is inside.”
Clearly if I was ever a cave woman, or one of the earliest humans on earth, I would have died quickly. I would be eating all the easily accessible and apparently edible, yet probably toxic, berries and overlooking all the potential food around me, like coconuts. But really, life could have gone on without anyone ever deciding to eat those things plain.
So many people like them and there is so much you can do with them. There’s coconut milk, coconut water, coconut oil, coconut sugar, you name it. Coconut is all the hype nowadays.
Ben loves at least one thing coconut, and that is coconut water. He can guzzle that stuff like there is no tomorrow. Emry has even taken a liking to the brisk beverage.
I hate it.
I can’t even describe it, but something about the flavor of coconut water makes me want to hurl. It’s not only the flavor, but I swear it has a different feeling in your mouth than water; almost as if it is thicker or even slightly slimy. I don’t know. It just makes me cringe. Haha! I’m cringing right now as I’m typing. My nose and mouth are all scrunched up in disgust.
With all that coconut hate I’m throwing out there into cyberspace, I do actually love a few things coconut. I absolutely love coconut curry. It’s one of my faves. The creaminess and sweetness that coconut milk adds to a curry sauce is outstanding. Coconuts can exist for that.
I have also come to enjoy cooking/baking with coconut sugar and coconut oil. You can interchange coconut oil with butter for many baked goods with just a very subtle taste of coconut. I don’t mind that mild flavor at all. And coconut sugar adds a deep, rich sweetness to sweet or savory dishes that is almost like dark brown sugar but not quite as sweet.
One other thing coconut that I love is toasted coconut. It’s crazy how I can despise one food and a few minutes later in the toaster it becomes one of my favorite treats. There is something about toasted sweetened coconut flakes that just makes my taste buds happy.
The crunch mixed with the tropical sweetness of the coconut flesh is a perfect combo. Why can’t toasted coconuts just grow on trees. That would be much better.
And if you’re not imagining, let me help you. Imagine this:
- Light, moist banana bread.
- Melty chocolate chips.
- Caramelized toffee bits.
- Aromatic toasted pecan pieces.
- And of course, crispy, crunchy sweetened toasted coconut flakes.
Now can you taste it??? Good!
Even my girls, who are not shredded coconut fans, LOVED this banana bread. Braelyn has requested it for the past three days straight. Actually, she’s going to wake up in a beast of a mood tomorrow morning once she finds out that daddy ate the last piece of her coveted banana bread tonight. Someone is in big trouble around here, and it ain’t me.
I think I have perfected my basic gluten free banana bread recipe with these mini loaves. The coconut flour and coconut milk create such a soft and tender crumb, without an ounce of graininess, which is what most people complain about with gluten free baking. I’d really be surprised if anyone could tell these were actually gluten free.
Since I was using coconut flour and coconut milk already, I decided to go all out and use coconut oil, coconut sugar, and sweetened coconut flakes as well. The coconut flavor really shines through and pairs so nicely with the banana flavor in the bread.
And then, of course, I had to add chocolate. Just call it a chunky monkey loaf of banana bread. All we’re missing are some peanuts. But, I’ve kind of got that one covered with the finely chopped pecan pieces. They add just the right amount of nuttiness to the bread. Just like the coconut topping toasts as it bakes, so do the pecan pieces which end up giving off the most delicious nutty aroma from the oven. Just plain delicious.
And there you have it folks. The banana bread of all banana breads. This has seriously taken over as my most favorite quick bread recipe. If only I thought of this earlier in my baking career. I feel like I have missed out on years of goodness. It’s okay, I’ll make up for it and eat at least a loaf of this each week for the next 60 years of my life. Hopefully I’m alive that long.
What are your favorite banana bread mix-ins?
- ½ cup coconut oil, room temperature (soft but not melted)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ⅓ cup white rice flour
- ⅓ cup millet flour
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ cup canned coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3)
- 6 tablespoons finely chopped pecan pieces, divided
- 6 tablespoons Heath toffee bits, divided
- ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes, divided
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together coconut oil, granulated sugar, and coconut sugar for 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, sift together coconut flour, potato starch, white rice flour, millet flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and xanthan gum.
- Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix on low until smooth. Add coconut milk and blend until smooth. Add remaining flour and mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Add mashed bananas (mash until soupy and not chunky) and mix on low until evenly incorporated. Fold in 3 tablespoons pecan pieces, 3 tablespoons toffee bits, ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes, and ¼ cup chocolate chips. Let batter sit for 10 minutes to absorb moisture.
- While batter is sitting, lightly grease and flour (using white rice flour) 3 mini loaf pans. Evenly divide batter between loaf pans. Sprinkle tops of each loaf with remaining pecans, toffee bits, coconut flakes, and chocolate chips. Gently press toppings into batter so they will stick.
- Place pans on middle rack in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back at touch of a finger or toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with few crumbs.*
- Remove pans from oven and set on cooling rack. Gently run a knife around edges of pans to loosen loaves. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto wire rack. Let loaves cool completely on racks.
- Store leftover bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in fridge for up to 5 days, or in freezer for up to 3 months.