Coconut Gingerbread Loaf Cake

by Heather on December 13, 2011

I know it sounds weird, but go with me on this.  You’ll be glad you did!

I don’t know about you, but I love toasted coconut.  When I worked at a gourmet shaved ice place in my hometown (and yes, I’m serious…it was delicious!) my favorite flavor was toasted coconut.  And when I learned how to make it myself?  Watch out world…Heather’s eating toasted coconut tonight!


See, it’s so easy to make!  You take coconut, put it in a pan, and gently heat it til it’s toasted.  Pour it on a cold plate to stop the cooking and you’ve got an irresistible treat.  Done and done.  I’ll take 3 plates!

Want to know what inspired this recipe?


Hand soap.  Yes, you read that correctly:  my coconut and warm ginger hand soap that I want to eat every time I wash my hands.  My hands have never been so dry.


My nose has never been so happy.

So here’s the scoop:  you take my Mimi’s gingerbread recipe.  You add coconut milk in lieu of buttermilk.  You frost it with a simple vanilla buttercream.  You throw gobs of toasted coconut on top.  You take it to a party where it’s eaten immediately and everyone asks you for the recipe, for your inspiration, for your hand in marriage.  You just smile and graciously thank them.


You win.


The end.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk (the full-fat kind)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk

Preheat your oven to 350.  Grease a 9×5 loaf pan (if you don’t have a loaf pan you can do a 9-inch cake pan, but you won’t be baking it as long).  Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the molasses and eggs.  Mix well.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.  Alternately mix in the dry ingredients by 1/3 at a time with the coconut milk, 1/3 at a time.  Once everything is well mixed pour into the greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (NOTE: if the top starts to get too brown just lightly cover with foil).  If you’re baking in a cake pan, bake for 30-35 minutes.  Meanwhile throw together the buttercream by creaming the stick of butter with the vanilla.  Add the powdered sugar and enough of the milk to reach a thick and spreadable consistency.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.  Frost the top thickly, then press the mounds of coconut into the frosting.  Enjoy!

Thick, rich, and totally delicious.  Winning.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 13, 2011

LOVE coconut! And gingerbread! Would have never thought to put them together though.


2 Blog is the New Black December 13, 2011

Um… yes, please!


3 Jessica @ How Sweet December 13, 2011

um no, it sounds amazing!


4 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 13, 2011

These pictures make me want to dive through the screen to get at that frosting! Amazing!


5 Erin December 13, 2011

I don’t think it sounds weird at all! Coconut and gingerbread HAVE to be good together – yum!


6 Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco December 13, 2011

I’m sorry, have you seen your pictures? They. Are. BEAUTIFUL. I just did a post on Mexican lasagna, and everything just looks like mush. Ugh.

Drooling over that cake. Oh, my keyboard shorted out. Totally worth it.


7 Lauren from Lauren's Latest December 13, 2011

Sounds amazing!!! Looks so pretty too! :)


8 sara December 13, 2011

Um, YES PLEASE! This looks insanely good, yum! I’ve never combined gingerbread and coconut, but I definitely need to try it! :)


9 Urban Wife December 13, 2011

Wow. This looks beyond amazing. And I’m not even a huge coconut fan.


10 Delishhh December 13, 2011

I love coconut – so all i have to say is YUM!


11 nicole {sweet peony} December 13, 2011

ummm sounds amazing! i’ll admit i was skeptical at first though :) love it!


12 Julie @Savvy Eats December 13, 2011

I LOVE toasted coconut. This sounds delicious (once I get over the smell of molasses, which i hate ;) )


13 amypersonally @ mydreamcafe December 13, 2011

I will definitely try this one. Anything with coconut is a must for me. Enjoying your blog!


14 Deanna B. December 13, 2011

Toasted coconut is one of the most amazing things ever, especially when I don’t burn it. The Thai restaurant down the street from me makes toasted coconut ice cream, and it is amazing. I love that you combined two of my great food loves, coconut and gingerbread.

Should the coconut be sweetened or unsweetened? I only ask because I have both sitting in my pantry.


15 Heather December 14, 2011

i used sweetened, but with it being on top of the frosting you could totally use unsweetened and it would still taste great!


16 Ashley December 13, 2011

This doesn’t sound weird at all!! Love that last shot!


17 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 13, 2011

Sounds good to me, I love baking with coconut milk.


18 Steve @ the black peppercorn December 14, 2011

oh yes – toasted coconut is a wonderful flavour. One of my favourite pies is a coconut cream pie!!! mmmmmmmm – this loaf looks really tasty – I like all these flavours


19 Marie-Sophie December 15, 2011

Totally making this as soon as I’ve moved and I have my kitchen back!!! :-) Thanks, Heather!


20 Jamie December 21, 2011

Mmmm boy does that toasted coconut make the cake so much classier and mouthwatering! Yes, please!


21 Jenny @ Savour the Senses January 27, 2012

My roommates would die over this, they love coconut! Sounds delicious and intriguing!


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