sweet bread cut into slices

Coconut Sweet Bread is loaded with goodies such as raisins, candied cherries, citrus and coconut. It’s a perfect treat that’s addictive but not too sweet. Across the Caribbean islands, diverse variations of Coconut Sweet Bread exist, each with its unique twist on the classic recipe. Different islands infuse their local ingredients, resulting in subtle yet distinct flavor profiles. For instance, some regions prefer a denser texture, while others opt for a lighter, fluffier consistency. Some variations also incorporate local fruits, adding a burst of freshness to the traditional recipe.

coconut sweet bread overhead shot

Coconut Sweet Bread is a versatile delicacy that can be enjoyed in various ways. Sliced into thick, decadent portions, it pairs perfectly with a cup of tea, mauby or ginger beer, offering a delightful balance of sweetness and warmth.  It can be enjoyed anytime of year but it a special treat at the holidays.

slices of coconut bread cut in half on a plate

Beyond its delectable taste, the true essence of Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread lies in the joy of sharing. Whether shared among family and friends during festive occasions or gifted as a token of appreciation, this sweet bread carries with it the spirit of generosity and warmth. The act of sharing this beloved treat transcends culinary boundaries, fostering connections and creating cherished memories.

coconut bread shown overhead uncut

What’s unique about this quick bread

Coconut is a commonly used cooking ingredient in the Caribbean and Guyana. It can be found in sweet and savory dishes as well as drinks. There’s no surprise that it is baked into a this delicious loaf. The flavors of the coconut are complemented with hints of warm spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Candied citrus peel add a hint of citrus flavors without overpowering the essence of the coconut. Sweet candied cherries add a touch of sweetness to a batter that is lightly sweetened.


  • flour
  • butter
  • candied cherries
  • candied citrus peel
  • raisins
  • brown sugar
  • grated or flaked coconut
  • mace, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove
  • milk
  • egg
  • vanilla extract

How to make this Sweet Bread

What’s great about this recipe is that it’s easy to make. It doesn’t require any special equipment and everything is mixed into one bowl. Like any quick bread, there is no whipping or complicated steps. First, mix the flour with the candied fruits, citrus peel, softened butter, grated coconut and spices.

Next, mix the egg, vanilla and milk together then stir together using a spoon. Do not beat. Add in the raisins or currants at the end. The batter will be stiff and will have to be spread into the pan using a spoon.

The sweet bread is then baked at a low temperature for 50 minutes. It is then brushed with a sugar water mix and then baked for an additional 3-5 minutes which gives it a glossy, crunchy finish.

Other recipes using coconut

Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream

Coconut Buns

Corn in Coconut Milk

Coconut Bake

Coconut Crab Curry

Gizzada (Jamaican Coconut Tarts)

Coconut Ginger Rice

Split Peas Cook-up Rice with Chicken

sweet bread cut into slices


Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 1 loaf
4.50 from 2 votes


  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup margarine, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup grated coconut
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cherries, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mixed citrus peel, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp mace or nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup raisins


  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Add flour and baking powder to a small bowl.
  • Add margarine, coconut, sugar, cherries, citrus peel, raisins (if using), mace and cinnamon and mix well.
  • Combine egg, vanilla and milk in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add to dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  • Pour batter into a greased pan lined with parchment paper and place into preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl combine 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of water and brush over the top. Return to oven for3-4 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook
Author: Jehan Powell