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Big Fat Coconut Breakfast Cake

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You look like you could use a slice of coconut cake…

Soft and luxurious coconut breakfast cake is a family favorite in my house. Whenever we don't know what to have for breakfast, we'll make this recipe! It is highly recommended!



A big slice of soft coconut cake… for breakfast!

Yes, coconut cake for breakfast.

Cake so soft and crumbly and sweet, bursting with juicy pineapple and luxurious vanilla… You’ll feel as if you went to bed and woke up in Hawaii. And then you won’t want breakfast to end.

Who would ever want to leave Hawaii?


coconut cake

Above, glazed with coconut milk and Sugar-Free Powdered Sugar.

Brunch time!

This year, I celebrated Easter twice. Emily’s parents drove up on Saturday morning, and she and I hosted a fancy Easter brunch.

(Emily is my friend with whom I share a house… I call her my roommate, but luckily we have our own rooms!)

Soft and luxurious family-favorite recipe. Whenever we don't know what to have for breakfast, we'll make this recipe! It is highly recommended!

Her parents loved the coconut cake and had two slices each, even though there was a ton of other food!

I was originally calling it coconut bread because it’s cooked in a loaf pan, but they said the recipe was so soft and cakey that it was more like a breakfast cake than a bread.

pineapple bread



Coconut Breakfast Cake

(makes 1 large loaf)

  • 1 cup spelt or white flour (or this: gluten-free version)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp Ener-g (or 2 tbsp ground flax) (If you must, you can omit. The loaf just won’t rise as much. If you do use Ener-g or flax, just add the powder with the dry ingredients.)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar or xylitol, or brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/8 tsp uncut stevia OR 1/4 cup more sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240g) crushed pineapple, drained (You can sub ripe banana)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (see nutrition link below, for a lower-fat option)
  • optional ingredients: chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts, shredded coconut, rum extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine dry and stir well. Mix dry into wet, but don’t overmix. Pour into a greased or sprayed loaf pan, and cook for 35-38 minutes. Let cool at least ten minutes before going around the sides with a knife and removing from loaf pan. As mentioned above, I used a simple glaze of the sugar-free powdered sugar mixed with a little leftover coconut milk. But my absolute favorite way to eat this recipe is spread with coconut butter!

View Nutrition Facts

Store very loosely covered overnight, or cover with saran wrap and fridge for a few days. This cake/loaf tastes even better the longer it sits, because it keeps getting sweeter! (This recipe freezes well.)

Whenever we don't know what to make for breakfast, we always end up making this cake! It's like biting into a slice of Hawaii... and so healthy you can have three slices!

Have you ever been to Hawaii?

Or any tropical location? We visited Hawaii a lot when I was little, because it was a good connecting point between Japan (where we lived) and the US. My other favorite tropical location is Thailand… one of the best things about these tropical locations is the plethora of tropical fruits, especially COCONUT!

I also have a coconut tab: Healthy Coconut Recipes.


Other brunch menu items: Chickpea Poppers.

And Emily made mimosas, as well as some non-vegan foods. Seriously, there was a ton of food, and quite a big mess to clean up afterwards. So many dishes…


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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Samantha says:

    Coconut tab…coconut bread? How did you know I am onto everything coconut right now?! This looks so good it is distracting me from my homework. I have told it later.

    Anyway I REALLY want to see Hawaii but haven’t yet. It is absolutely on my list of places to see. I have been to Australia however which definitely has some tropical areas. It was an amazing experience.

    What I really love about this post is that it is dark and stormy for me right now and your post is all sunshine and warm feeling. 🙂 Definitely what I needed!

    1. Nicole says:

      Just pulled mine out of the oven! I added shredded coconut to the dry ingredients and used oat flour instead of spelt or white. Can’t wait to taste it!

  2. Molly says:

    Believe it or not, one of my favorite tropical locations is Guatemala. When I lived there, I would visit this black sand beach. My hotel was literally right on the water and had this beautiful porch area where I could sit, watch the waves, and drink coconut water from a coconut. Oh, and Honduras is great, too; when I was there, my snorkeling guide literally climbed a tree to fetch a coconut for me! He cracked it against the tree and I scooped out the flesh with my hands…primitive, maybe, but divine!

    1. Coconut water from the actual coconut is 100 times better than any of the ones I’ve found in cartons. 🙂
      I love how they can crack the coconut open with their hands… I have a difficult time even using a knife or a hammer!

      1. Sabah says:

        I recently cracked my first coconut – chucked it out of the window of my 1st floor flat! It was great, got my flatmate to run down and retrieve it for me 😛 I’d put it in a plastic bag though, next time…

  3. This looks AMAZING! I’m not even a big coconut person but I’ll probably make this!

    We’re going to Hawaii in a few weeks, our 15th trip. We have land there where we’ll likely retire one day unless a spot opens up at a location of the Mr’s work on Kauai. I just found a house in the neighborhood we want so I’m itchin’ to get on the ball.

  4. Lena says:

    I hate to be that person who says “What can I substitute … with?”, but this cake looks awesome and I love coconut – but I don’t think I’ve ever had pineapple in my house before and they’re quite expensive around here, because there aren’t any grown in the country. Is there any way it can be substituted for something else?

    P.S. Unrelated, but I just made your cornbread and in my excitement of making it, I didn’t notice that the corn I was using (I defrosted frozen corn because I didn’t have any canned corn) was expired in 2008 and in 2010. D’oh…

    1. Oh haha you are THAT person, huh? 😉

      Ok, so technically you can use anything… I am obsessed with versions of this bread, and I am trying to decide whether to put the pumpkin version or the double chocolate chip version in my cookbook. Or maybe strawberry… In any case, you can use mashed banana, pureed strawberries, or pretty much whatever else you wish as long as it’s 240 grams (usually 1 cup) and liquidy (i.e. don’t use pineapple chunks). But also, look for crushed pineapple in the canned section of many grocery stores.

    2. Kailee says:

      I used canned pineapple chunks because I didn’t have crushed pineapple either. I just crushed them in the blender with the liquid ingredients.

      This cake was amazing!!!

  5. Suzie says:

    Yum! Seriously I have a recipe bookmarked very similar to this and planned to make it this week, but I think I will have to make yours now– it being a little healthier and well stealing my heart…

  6. That bread/cake looks so delicious! I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I have been to BVI and the Bahamas!

  7. Christie F says:

    I’ve got some in the oven this morning! I’ll let you know how I/we like it whenever my mouth isn’t full…LOL. Love the Easter dress, by the way. And, I noticed your hair right away- the highlights are very nice. Have a great day!


    1. Wow, you are fast! I can’t believe you already made it lol.
      Hope it turns out well!!

      1. Kailee says:

        I just made it too! I’ve already had three slices! Would it be really bad to have another? 😉
        I don’t think this bread will last until tomorrow. It might be my new favorite recipe :).

  8. You should call it Pina Colada Cake because of the pineapple!

    1. Oh I so should! And now I am going to go edit my post to say you can add rum extract. You are a genius, miss Alex ;).

      1. Chloe says:

        Katie, you better edit your post again because instead of “rum extract” it says “run extract” lol!!

        1. LOL! Oops, thanks for letting me know!

  9. Absolutely pina-colada craving inducing. Much healthier! 🙂

  10. Marianne says:

    Never been to Hawaii, but my favorite tropical location is Key West, FL. Love it there. Your cake looks great! I love baking with spelt flour.

  11. Alex says:

    Do you mix the Ener-G with water first? Or do you just plop the poweder in with the dry ingredients?

    THIS LOOKS AMAZING. I’m so excited for it!

    1. I know it says to mix with water… but I never bother! I just mix it in with the dry.

      I love that egg replacer… it is so easy to use. I’d use it in so many more of my recipes, but I’m just afraid too many people don’t have it on hand.

      1. Tanya says:

        I’m from New Zealand and can’t find chia egg or flax egg in normal supermarkets I know I could try specialty stores but that’s a bit of a pain! Could you use egg or something else, or maybe suggest where to find it?
        Can not wait to try this! Breakfast cakes are my new favorite thing!

        1. Sorry I haven’t used a real egg in over 10 years, so I don’t know how that would work. Unfortunately, I have no idea where to find anything in New Zealand, but I hope I get to visit there someday. 🙂

          1. Rebecca Boot says:

            Iff egg replacer works I don’t see why a real egg wouldn’t. Perhaps reduce the amount of baking powder just slightly(1/4 tsp maybe?) and use 2 large eggs (keep baking powder the same for 2 medium eggs). Haven’t tried it out yet but want to!

  12. I love pineapple and coconut and coconut milk…the cake turned out so moist looking! Makes me want to take a tropical vacation 🙂

  13. Oh yum! This reminds me of a Pina Colada oatmeal recipe I made up that allowed me to have these gorgeous tropical flavours for breakfast! I haven’t been to Hawaii but this recipe reminds me of home (the Cayman Islands) – though I have a Hawaiian friend and she is always telling me about the pineapple plantations there, so I MUST visit!

  14. Rachael S says:

    This sounds amazing, I cant wait to try it out!

  15. Kailee says:

    I just made this and it is incredible!!! I know you said it gets sweeter, but I don’t even think the loaf will last until tomorrow to see if you’re right. This is delicious!
    I just made one small change and that was to crush the pineapple chunks I had (I didn’t have crushed) in a blender with the other liquid ingredients. Otherwise I made it exactly as written, and it is awesome!

  16. Bjork says:

    Haha, the title actually scared me haha

    I really want to go to Hawaii! Wear a flower in my hair and dance In a Short beach skirt lol

  17. YUM coconut cake! I definitely want to try this. I’m going through a major <3 affair with coconut right now.

    Last year I took a vacation to Mexico but that was my only trip anywhere tropical. Never been to Hawaii but I'm jealous you went so much as a kid!

  18. cake… for breakfast…that is guilt free? sign me up! i love coconut, too. thanks for sharing, Katie!

  19. Abby says:

    Coconut is the best springtime flavor!

    How many slices did you get out of the cake to get the 60 cals per slice?

    1. Sarahishealthy says:

      FYI, it says in the nutrition link.

  20. I adore coconut – it’s one of my favorite flavors in the whole world! I’ve been making coconut cake protein smoothies all week!

    I’ve been to Hawaii twice, and I hope to go back one day! My favorite breakfast in Hawaii was macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup and fresh fruit. Amazing.

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