As part of the homesteader pantry challenge that we do at the beginning of each year I always set some goals on things I want to use up. For the first part of the challenge in January it’s usually getting all of the sweets out of the house from the holidays. Then it moves to things in my pantry that have been sitting there awhile or specialty ingredients that need to be used up. This year that list included coconut flakes (leftover from my Kris Kringles), a box of organic honey-o’s (cheerios), coconut sweetened condensed milk (close to expiration), and butterscotch chips (that I bought on a whim). I love this challenge because it gives me a good excuse to use these ingredients. In a desperate attempt to use up the coconut I started flipping through some recipe books and came across this Hawaiian Coconut Coffee Cake.
The Original Recipe
The original Hawaiian Coconut Coffee Cake recipe comes from a book called The Old Fashioned Cookbook by Jan McBride. I really enjoy this cookbook because it has a lot of worldly recipes. It has a lot of old fashioned recipes that stem from different countries. I’m very interested in these recipes because I know that the US is has very poorly regulated food and much lower standards than other countries. Plus, they tend to use different ingredients and techniques than the ones that we may be acquainted to here and that’s always fun to learn.
The copyright on this book says 1936. I don’t know how accurate that is because my book sure doesn’t look that old. Plus, old fashioned to me feels like the 1900s! I do believe it’s possible that she originally wrote it back then and there have been additional printings since then making my book look more new than it really is. If that is true, these recipes date back before then and that, in my opinion, makes it even more awesome. It also has a “Bless This House” on the stove in the picture which really makes me love it a little more.
The book also has this really cool feature right at the end which is traditional menus. There is just a part of me that loves these old menus. It’s so fun to see and imagine what people were eating for Fourth of July and Thanksgiving back then. I’m also tucking these away in hopes to be able to recreate these meals someday. I would love to be able to host some super old fashioned meals on our farm someday. It’s definitely on my radar and I truly believe it would be a very special experience for all of those involved. Here’s hoping that someday I’ll be able to pull it off!
A Note About Oven Temperatures
A lot of older recipes will direct you to bake in a moderate or moderately hot oven. I’ve been seeing this a lot more as I dig into old fashioned and from scratch recipes. It fascinated me and, of course, cooking them has made it so I’ve needed to research what exactly it means.
Basically, when the recipe was created it was when there were wood stoves used for cooking in the home. That means that they weren’t able to get to exact temperatures when cooking. Using the recipe would judge how hot they made the fire on their oven and since it wasn’t exact they just deemed it moderate, hot, fast, or slow. What an interesting world it must have been! It just shows me how much more skill they had to have to be able to cook successfully with what they had.
Here is a chart that will help you understand this better:
|275||Very Cool/Very Slow|
|350||Moderately Slow or Moderate|
|425, 450, 475||Hot/ Fast|
- 1 ½ cup sifted flour
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¾ cup flaked coconut
- ½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
Hawaiian Coconut Coffee Cake Directions
Sift together first 4 ingredients. Add pineapple, egg, and ⅓ cup butter, stirring only enough to moisten ingredients.
Spread in an even layer in greased 8x8x2 pan. Blend coconut, brown sugar, and remaining butter and sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake in a moderate oven (350) for 25 minutes, or until done. Cut into squares and serve warm.
Tips & Tricks
The first thing you should know about me is that I don’t keep pineapple on hand. However, this summer I learned how to can pineapple zucchini. It tastes just like pineapple to me but has a different texture. So, when I saw that this recipe needed pineapple I swapped it out with my pineapple zucchini and it still tasted wonderfully.
The second thing you should know is that you really do need to serve this warm. We tried to eat it cold and it was only okay. The warmth really does make a difference for this one. If you can’t eat it right away I would recommend you at least heat it up a little before serving.
In Summary: Hawaiian Coconut Coffee Cake
This recipe made me remember how much I love pineapple in baked goods. It add just the right amount of moisture and sweetness and this coffee cake definitely did not disappoint in that aspect. I also love that I feel like I can make a coffee cake out of almost anything! What is your favorite flavor of coffee cake? I think the apple coffee cake is my favorite so far and I am the coffee cake queen so I would know which is best, right?!
Hawaiian Coconut Coffee Cake
- 1 1/2 cup sifted flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 8oz can crushed pineapple drained
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 3/4 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- Sift together first 4 ingredients.
- Add pineapple, egg, and ⅓ cup butter, stirring only enough to moisten ingredients.
- Spread in an even layer in greased 8x8x2 pan.
- Blend coconut, brown sugar, and remaining butter and sprinkle evenly over batter.
- Bake in a moderate oven (350) for 25 minutes, or until done.
- Cut into squares and serve warm.