Trinidad Coconut Sweet Bread

May 26, 2015
This coconut based bread would leave you rushing for another slice. A sweet bread filled with raisins, dried fruits, and spices. Perfect to be eaten alone or paired with your favorite spread.

Coconut Sweet Bread sliced

*This post was updated on 9/30/2018*

What a weekend!! Not only was it Memorial weekend but it was also my ceremony from Grad school.

My parents were in town visiting and we did some shopping for the weekend.

With my mom being here I decided that I needed to fully utilize her. I dragged her into the blogging life for a bit and we did a few things in the little free time we found in the weekend.

Our first venture was making her favorite, Sweet Bread, a favorite in Trinidad and Tobago.

This "bread" has not only coconut but raisins and mixed peel.

It's a sweetened bread (not sweet like condensed milk sweet) but definitely can be considered a dessert as well as a bread.

I love eating my sweet bread alone. But it is not weird to see someone use it to replace their regular bread like hard dough and make a tasty sandwich.

I avidly remember as a child seeing my mom eating it with avocado slices. If I do use it as a bread, cheese is my best option.

Coconut sweet bread is very popular bread, especially around Christmas time. For guests coming it's served to them as a cake and is great with ginger beer or some coffee.

Recipe for Trinidad Sweet Bread

What is a good substitute for dry coconut in sweet bread

Yes, you can definitely make sweet bread without having a dry coconut. I now have a sweet bread recipe using shredded coconut posted

I have at numerous times been unable to get a dry coconut.

If you don't happen to have dry coconut around, you can substitute using the pre-shredded coconut flakes.

Bob's Red Mills is the brand I use. They have sweetened and unsweetened.

I used unsweetened shredded coconut. I am sure the sweetened would also be good but I wasn't sure how sweet it would be and since I already use sugar in the recipe.

Dry "fresh" coconut can be easily found in supermarkets here in Florida or found at the Caribbean markets. They can run for about $1 to a little more expensive.

Trinidad Sweet Bread Recipe
Ingredients when I used pre-shredded coconut

The coconut is such an integral part of Island living. It's utilized in so many ways.

There is the regular just drinking the water of a young nut. But then a mature coconut is utilized in so many ways.

I've mentioned before we use it for sweet or savory dishes. For condiments like oils and milk. We even use the husk for art and craft projects. It is fully utilized.

Be sure to see other uses of the coconut in this post for a coconut pizza I did.

How to blend coconut for sweet bread

So long time, before they were electronic gadgets, people use to grate the coconut meat to get the shredded coconut.

I have an aunt who refuses to do anything else. Coconut must grate on a grater.

Now you can easily use a blender or a food processor to do the same thing. And there's fewer chances of grating piece of your finger off holding a little piece of coconut.

Please note that using a blender gives you a different consistency to the coconut than you would get using a food processor to blend coconut.

With a blender, you have to add some water to get it going. Whereas using a food processor you get a dry blend, kind of like with the packaged coconut.

But either way works and gives you the same results.

Sweet Bread Recipe

My mom reminded me of some tricks or good practices to be used when making sweet bread or baking in general.

  • Make sure that everything is at room temperature, especially the butter 
  • Mix your dry ingredients separately, then your "wet" ingredients separately. Then combine them. 

Tips for picking a good "dry" or mature coconut

We call a mature coconut a "dry" coconut because at that stage it has already lost most of the water that the younger coconut has.

Always give the coconut a shake. You need to hear a water in there. A good amount will do.

Normally if there is no water the coconut is NOT good. As a coconut gets older the water lessens and it gets more "meat". When there is no water in a dry coconut, it has passed the usable stage.

Avoid any cracked shells when inspecting. Cracks can lead to the development of fungus and/or mold. No good.

So hopefully you selected a good coconut (from the outside). Now to verify when it has been cracked open.

I use a hammer. It's easy. Remember that there is water in there and it will run out. I don't drink the water from these coconuts. Rumor has it this "hurts your belly"

Once opened make sure there is no smell from the water. Well, it needs to smell fresh, kind of sweet. If it's musty, then it's a no go. You, unfortunately, picked a bad one.

Also, make sure there is no discoloration of the flesh and check for mold.

Righto. Coconut selected... you opened it and it's good.. so we ready to go.

Mixed sweet bread in pans

The aroma of bread baking is always amazing, And sweet bread is no different. The spices and the raisins and the coconut. Heaven.

It always takes me back to Christmas time in TnT. Invokes memories of the smell emanating while the cleaning and decorating are taking place.

Now don't forget to add that glaze.

That is definitely a finisher for this bread. Just before baking is completed, we add a simple glaze to the top of the sweet bread.

The color when you take it out is Ah mazing.

WHole loaf of sweet bread

I LOVE eating this fresh out the oven. The outside is nice and crunchy and the inside is so so soft and moist.

Let's add some cheese to the equation and I'm in heaven.

Sliced Sweet Bread

This bread is great for breakfast, lunch and as a snack.

And you won't regret it!!

When you try it feel free to experiment with different toppings (such as jams, jellies, peanut butter even salted ham) and let me know how you like them.

If you are already a sweetbread lover what do you pair yours with? "

Check out these other bread recipes:

Butter Bread 
Coconut Bake

Trinidad Coconut Sweet Bread
Snacks, Dessert
Yield: 2
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat
Trinidad Coconut Sweet Bread

Trinidad Coconut Sweet Bread

A sweet bread made with grated, coconut, raisins, cherries, currants and dried fruits, often flavored with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon
Prep time: 25 MCook time: 45 MTotal time: 70 M


To Blend Coconut
  • 1 dry coconut
  • 1 cup water
For Sweet Bread
  • 6 cups flour
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherries
  • 3/4 cup mixed peel
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon coconut essence (or mixed essence)
For Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


To Blend Coconut
  1. Remove coconut meat from shell.
  2. Chip up meat into smaller pieces for blending.
  3. Add chipped coconut to water and blend till fine
  4. Empty mixture into a large bowl
For Sweet Bread
  1. Add flour, baking powder, butter and sugar to coconut husk and mix
  2. Add raisins, mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg and essence.
  3. Mix till combined
  4. Pour mixture into 2 greased baking pans
  5. Bake in 350 degrees until golden. (about 45 mins)
Make Glaze
  1. Mix sugar and water together till sugar dissolves
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Sweet Bread Recipe

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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.


  1. This is a wonderful bread I made this over the weekend and it certainly is the perfect treat here in Florida and so tropical. Love you recipes, I have made quite a few now and they never disappoint! Bravo to you! Hope you are doing well and your baby. God bless Claudia Lamascolo


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