These coconut muffins are a favorite Aussie breakfast. They are best toasted and slathered with butter.
A Short History of Coconut Muffins
Another favorite Aussie memories is eating coconut bread for breakfast. This recipe was apparently developed as an alternative to the beloved Aussie banana version by Bill Granger, who had a string of successful restaurants featuring Australian cuisine in the 1990s. The idea came, in fact, from a Sri Lankan cook, who suggested the addition of the unsweetened coconut flakes, which are most often found in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. The unsweetened version can be hard to find, so if you’re in a pinch, you can sub in the traditional American sweetened version and reduce the sugar down to nothing.
We like to make these in muffin form so that they take a little less long to bake (who has an hour to kill when they’re hungry in the morning?). These muffins have a mild coconutty flavor, and are not too sweet. After years of Bill Granger’s version, we experimented a bit and prefer to brown the butter before combining it with the rest of the ingredients as it adds an extra nutty depth of flavor to an already great recipe.
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups regular milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and browned
- Yield: 12 muffins or one 9 x 5″ loaf pan
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Baking time: 15-25 minutes for muffins, or 1 to 1 1/4 hours for loaf.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease muffin pan, or line tins with paper liners, or grease a 9 x 5″ loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
- Whisk egg, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
- Combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in wet ingredients. Now, gradually mix with dry ingredients, until just combined.
- Then, add browned butter, and stir until smooth. Do not overmix.
- Spoon batter into loaf pan or divide among muffin cups. Next, bake muffin batter until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 15-25 minutes for muffins, or 1 to 1 1/4 hours for loaf.
- Cool in pan 5 minutes, remove muffins or bread from pan, and turn out on cooling rack to cool.
- You can store the bread/muffins in an airtight container, but are best the day they are baked. The next day, you can revive the bread/muffins with a quick visit to the toaster oven and some salted butter.
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