Yummy, Yummy Sweet Potato Coconut Bread

I avoided zucchini breads for a long time, kind of grossed out by the idea of a sweet vegetarian meatloaf. But I was so, so wrong.  Veggie desserts are actually weirdly wonderful things, especially those with sweet potatoes in them.

So I recently signed up for an every-other-week CSA service with my brother. And so far, each time I’ve gotten sweet potatoes, which I haven’t known what to do with. Until now. I’m reminded of the saying, “when life gives you lemons…”; but in my case, when CSA gives you too many sweet potatoes, make sweet potato bread!

In this quickbread recipe (courtesy of Joy the Baker), sweet potato and zucchini are combined with hardy whole wheat, buttery coconut and spicy cinnamon-nutmeg. I love both veggies in sautés, in salads, gratins and sandwiches. But in this bread, humble veggies are transformed into a sweet and dense cake loaf that really is sugar and spice and eeeeeverything nice.

I couldn’t really taste the zucchini, though I like the green speckles it adds. The sweet potato and coconut are the dominating flavors. Also, the addition of whole wheat and applesauce make it feel almost healthy.


Sweet Potato Coconut Bread (recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)

Makes one 9x5x3-inch loaf


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (the small, non-sticky kind)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup apple sauce

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup grated zucchini

2 cups peeled and grated sweet potato

1 cup chopped walnuts (I used almond flakes)

1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).  Butter and flour a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix in the grated zucchini and sweet potato.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir just to combine.  Fold in the nuts and dried fruit; stir well.
  4. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan.  Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes (Mine was done after 1 hr 10 min).
  5. Cool bread in pan on a rack for 15 minutes.  Then using a butter knife, loosen the edges of the bread and turn out onto a rack to cool completely.  Can be prepared 1 day in advance.  Wrap in foil and keep at room temperature.

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