Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake

Dorie Greenspan transforms our classic banana bread into a festive coffee coconut banana bread cake with swirls of espresso cream cheese frosting. It’s an easy, flavorful recipe that’s sure to impress.

Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake on a Cake Platter With a Cut Slice Being Removed Using a Pie Server

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Sometimes I think that my husband hides bananas and waits for them to turn brown just so that he can hold them up, pretend to be surprised by their mottled skins, and then exclaim “It’s time to make banana bread!” He loves banana bread and I love baking it, so we’re a good pair.

Because we’re celebrating Simply Recipes' anniversary, I wanted to make a version of their banana bread recipe that could welcome a few candles. I think of it as banana bread that’s ready to party. It teeters between banana bread and banana birthday cake—I think it tips more cakeward in texture and certainly in spirit.

Coffee coconut banana bread cake switches up the basics of banana bread: it’s got new flavors and, because of the mix of coconut, a new texture—each bite is a little different from the others. And it’s got frosting! The swirly cream cheese frosting (based on this recipe) not only makes the cake a bit richer and fancier, it echoes the coffee and cinnamon flavors in the cake. Actually, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking that maybe this is really a banana cappuccino! 

Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake on a Cake Platter With a Cut Slice Lifted Using a Pie Server

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Coffee, Coconut, and Banana: A Winning Combo

When I was thinking about riffing on the classic recipe, I thought of bananas as a tropical fruit and had this idea to build on the flavors of the tropics. Ever since I heard the expression “what grows together goes together,” I’ve been intrigued by trying to pair ingredients that might be “neighbors.” 

Coffee and banana are one of my long-time favorite flavor combinations. Cinnamon and coffee, another classic. Once I decided to include coconut flakes, that’s when I had the idea to swap the melted butter for coconut oil—it was a natural jump. I like that each of these ingredients has its own personality, but none of them overwhelms the others and nothing stands in the way of the banana being the star.

Using Toasted and Untoasted Coconut

I love that coconut offers different flavor and texture possibilities. Toasting coconut intensifies its flavor, but when you add toasted coconut to the batter and bake it, you lose some of its textural interest. And so, I toasted some of the coconut to bring up its flavor, and left some of it raw, so that it would be chewy. It’s a nice double-play and it's also another way to build surprise (my favorite ingredient) into the cake. 

Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake on a Cake Platter With a Cut Slice Being Removed Using a Pie Server

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

How to Serve Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake

I like that this cake can be an everyday snack or a special dessert. I made it for a dinner party and then we nibbled the leftovers at breakfast the next day. The frosting makes it special—fancier than a traditional banana bread—but honestly, this is a morning-to-midnight treat.

Celebration-Worthy Banana Recipes

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 8 to 10 servings
Yield 1 (9-inch) cake

If you prefer, you can use an equal amount of melted butter in place of the melted coconut oil. 

You can use softened butter or coconut oil to grease the pan. Coconut oil leaves a slight residue around the side of the cake—if you want to avoid this (it’s not a tragic flaw), dust the inside of the pan with flour after you grease it.


For the banana bread cake

  • 3/4 cup (63g) sweetened coconut flakes, divided

  • 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder

  • 1 tablespoon very hot water 

  • 2 to 3 medium very ripe bananas, peeled (about 1 1/4 cups mashed)

  • 1/3 cup (76g) virgin/unrefined coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups (205g) all-purpose flour

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese, room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cups (210g) powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

  • Pinch fine sea salt

  • 1/3 cup (28g) toasted sweetened coconut flakes for topping the cake, optional


  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the pan: 

    Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Use coconut oil or softened butter to grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Cover the bottom of the pan with a parchment or silicone circle.

    Parchment Lined Cake Round for Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  2. Toast the coconut:

    Place 1/2 cup (42g) of the coconut flakes on a baking sheet (set aside the remaining coconut). Slide it into the oven and bake until toasted, 7 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it—it can go from white to burned in a flash—and stir it a couple of times so that it toasts evenly. Set aside to cool while you mix the batter.

    Simple Tip!

    If you’re planning to top the frosted cake with toasted coconut, you can toast all of the coconut at once.

    Coconut Flakes on a Baking Pan

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    On a Baking Tray, Toasted Coconut Flakes for Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  3. Combine the espresso, banana, and coconut oil:

    Dissolve the instant espresso in the hot water.

    In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir in the melted coconut oil.

    Bowl of Instant Espresso Whisked With Some Water

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Bowl of Mashed Bananas With a Spatula for Banana Bread Cake Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  4. Add the remaining cake ingredients:

    One by one, mix in the cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, dissolved espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour just until combined followed by the toasted and untoasted coconut.

    Spices Folded Into the Bowl of Mashed Bananas for Coffee Banana Bread Cake Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Melted Coconut Oil Mixed Into Bowl With Mashed Bananas and Espresso Mixture

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Toasted Coconut Flakes Folded Into Bowl of Banana Mixture

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  5. Bake and cool:

    Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

    Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 23 to 27 minutes at 350°F (175 C).

    Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn the pan over onto a cooling rack, lift off the pan, remove the paper or silicone circle, and then invert the cake. Let cool completely before frosting.

    Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Recipe Batter Added to Lined Circular Cake Pan

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Cake Pan With Baked Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Resting on a Wire Rack

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Resting on Wire Rack

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  6. Make the frosting:

    Beat all of the frosting ingredients (softened cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt) together with an electric mixer on low until combined, then on medium speed until smooth and velvety.

    Dry Ingredients for Frosting Added to a Mixing Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake's Icing Whipped Together in a Mixer Bowl With Paddle Attachment

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  7. Frost the cake:

    Spread the frosting over the cake using a small icing spatula, a butter knife, or a spoon. If you’d like, frost the sides—there’s plenty of frosting. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over top if you’re using it. 

    The banana bread cake will keep, covered,  at room temperature for 2 days. The texture is best at room temperature. It can be kept for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

    Love the recipe? Leave us stars and a comment below!

    Icing Spread Onto Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Using an Offset Spatula

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake Icing Topped With Toasted Coconut Flakes

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Coffee Coconut Banana Bread Cake on a Cake Platter

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
414 Calories
17g Fat
62g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 414
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 162mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.