Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread

This bread is like a big, soft, fluffy pillow.
A pillow that smells very softly of coconut.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
The past 6 months I’ve been going gangbusters with coconut oil in breads, muffins, and cookies. The flavor it imparts is subtle, yet it lends such a soft and moist texture to everything it touches.
For this bread, I paired coconut oil with rich, creamy coconut milk and am thrilled with the results. It’s adapted from Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread (vegan), which has been very popular with readers and is my husband’s all-time favorite bread.
And this one is my new favorite bread for toasting, making sandwiches with, or just nibbling on.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)

The good news and the bad news about this bread is that it doesn’t have much coconut flavor. If you’re a fan, you may wish for more intensity, and if you’re not into coconut, you’re totally safe. It’s usually shredded coconut, rather than coconut milk or oil, that has the pungent taste many people dislike. The bread is nothing like that.
The recipe makes one modest loaf, perfect for our family, and uses just two cups of flour for the entire loaf. When I read bread and roll recipes that begin with ‘Add 5 to 6 cups of flour’ I tune out.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
Begin by warming the coconut milk, just until it begins to boil. Then, add the special ingredient that keeps the bread soft, chewy, and moist: oatmeal. You’d never know oatmeal was baked in and when mixing the dough, you’ll think there’s no way this whole cup of sloppy oatmeal is going to just disappear, but it magically does.
Let the oatmeal-coconut milk mixture cool to the proper temperature, about 15 minutes. I urge you to use a thermometer. You don’t want to add overly hot oatmeal to the yeast because you’ll kill it. Yet it has to be warm enough so the yeast activates. For me, this is in the 120 to 130F range because I use Red Star Platinum yeast. The brand of yeast used dictates the temperature.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
Combine the oatmeal mixture with all-purpose flour, yeast, brown sugar, and coconut oil. My stand mixer kneaded for about 6 minutes, and if you’re kneading by hand, knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together, adding as little additional flour as possible.
This is a fairly moist and sticky dough, but manageable. With bread-making, the less flour added, and the more you tolerate sticky dough, the lighter and fluffier the bread will be. Sure, I could have added another half-cup or more of flour, but refrained and dealt with the stickiness. And I have a light, fluffy loaf in return.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
I used all-purpose flour because I wanted really soft and tender bread. Bread flour will produce a loaf that’s chewier. I don’t know how whole wheat flour would work. If you try it, I suggest not using more than 1 cup (50% of the total amount) for fear it won’t rise well, and will become very heavy and dense.
After kneading, place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
After the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface or Silpat and knead it for about 3 minutes.
This is my puffball after the first two-hour rise, before being punched down. You can see it’s glistening and loose, cues that the bread will turn out soft and fluffy.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
With your fingers or a rolling pin, shape it into a 10-inch by 6-inch rectangle, just eyeball it. It’s being baked in an 8-inch pan and you want the long side slightly longer than the pan, so about 10 inches.

Starting with a long side, roll up the dough to form a tight cylinder. Tuck the ends in and place the cylinder in the pan. Cover it, and allow it to rise until doubled, 60 to 75 minutes. Optionally, when rolling it, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, raisins, or dried fruit.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)

Bake for about 30 minutes or until domed, golden, and puffy. When tapped, it should sound hollow. Technically, the internal temperature should reach 210F, but I despise spearing pretty bread with the dagger-like thermometer probe, so I rarely do this unless I’m very uncertain. I usually rely on visual cues and tapping.
It’s so soft and fluffy, even without eggs and butter, and a great little vegan loaf. There’s a very slight chewiness, thanks to the oatmeal. But you definitely don’t think, oh there’s oatmeal in this. It’s a stealth operator.
The bread is moist and there’s a richness to the crumb that I attribute to the coconut milk and coconut oil.  It’s slightly denser than this version of Sandwich Bread, which was made with water and canola oil.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)
It’s wonderful to eat plain, or with butter, jam, or a smear of Homemade Peanut Butter. Toast it, make French toast with it, make PB&Js for lunches with it, or put a basket of it on the dinner table and watch it disappear.
If you’ve not gotten on the coconut milk or oil train, please, hop on board.
This loaf lasted precisely 1 day.
Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread (vegan)

Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread

For anyone who doesn’t love coconut, there’s almost no discernible coconut scent or taste. There’s a very mild, overall sweet flavor, along with a slight nuttiness and chewiness from the oats. There’s a richness and density to the crumb that I adore, making it one of my favorite breads. It’s so soft, fluffy, tender, and moist, thanks to the coconut milk, coconut oil, and oatmeal that’s kneaded right into the dough. Total time from start to finish is about 4 hours, most of which is downtime.


  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s Light)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
  • 1/4 cup water (from the tap, not hot and not cold)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour may be used and will create a heartier, chewier bread)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (canola or vegetable oil may be substitued)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum)
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste


  1. In a 2-cup microwave-safe glass measuring cup or small bowl, heat the coconut milk until it just begins to boil; likely just over 2 minutes.
  2. Add oatmeal to the milk and stir to combine. Set aside and let cool until temperature reaches about 120 to 130F, about 15 minutes. (I use Red Star Platinum Yeast which necessitates this temperature; allow mixture to cool to the ~100F range for other types of instant dry yeast, or to package directions). Stir in 1/4 cup tap water.
  3. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or a large mixing bowl and knead by hand for about 10 minutes), combine flour, oil, brown sugar, instant dry yeast, and oatmeal mixture. Knead for 5 to 7 minutes on low speed, or until a moist, shaggy dough forms. The dough is quite moist and sticky, but resist the temptation to add additional flour, unless it’s so moist that it won’t combine. Conversely, if it’s too dry, add up to one-quarter cup water. Erring on the side of too moist is always preferable to too dry in bread-making.
  4. After kneading, turn the dough out into a large, greased bowl, cover with plasticwrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off.
  5. Spray an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with (coconut) cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  6. After the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface or Silpat and knead it for about 3 minutes.
  7. With your fingers or a rolling pin, shape dough into a 10-inch by 6-inch rectangle, just eyeball it. The long side should be slightly longer than the baking pan, which is 8 inches. Starting with a long edge, roll to form a tight cylinder. There’s not much to roll, about 3 turns. Tuck ends in and under, and place cylinder in prepared pan, seam side down. Optionally, when rolling, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, raisins, or diced dried fruit.
  8. Cover pan with plasticwrap, and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 60 to 75 minutes. I use the oven trick to 400F for 1 minute trick again.
  9. In the last minutes of rising, preheat oven to 350F. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lightly golden, domed, and puffy. Rotate pan midway through baking if desired. When tapped, bread should sound hollow. The internal temperature should reach 210F.
  10. Allow bread to cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. The cooling process is important and although it’s tempting, don’t slice into warm bread. I store bread by wrapping a fully cooled loaf in plasticwrap, and place it inside a gallon-size Ziplock, where it stays fresh for about 5 days. Bread freezes very well and can be made from start to finish, cooled, and placed in a freezer-safe airtight container or a ziplock for up to 3 months. I like this bread plain, or with butter, jam, or with homemade peanut butter. It’s great toasted with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar or Cinnamon-Sugar Butter. It makes great sandwiches and French toast.
Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread (vegan) – Soft, fluffy, light, and moist; courtesy of the cup of oatmeal that’s kneaded into the dough. My husband declared this as his favorite bread, and it inspired today’s recipe

Honey Dinner Rolls – My favorite dinner roll recipe, lightly sweetened with honey, soft and chewy. A family favorite and a very goof-proof yeast recipe because this dough loves to rise

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread – A yeast-free, no-knead bread that comes together in less than 5 minutes without a mixer. Easy, foolproof an it’s the best bread crust I’ve ever had

Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers – A soft, slightly sweet bread that’s packed to the brim with raisins. Made entirely by hand, no mixer

Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread – Like eating a tropical vacation. Soft, moist, tender, and so flavorful

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – They give Cinnabon a run for their money and are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. With the handy make-ahead suggestions, you don’t even have to get up at the crack of dawn to enjoy soft, fluffy, buttery, rich rolls

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins – Made with coconut oil, they’re fluffy, soft, light, and moist. No butter, no eggs, and no mixer needed in these vegan puffballs. They remind me of mini donuts, a huge bonus

Challah – Light, fluffy, soft, tender, crossiant-like, and the best challah I’ve ever had and extremely easy to make. Made using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking principles, this is a no-knead, goofproof, and effortless method to making bread and dough can be made in advance and stored for up to five days prior to baking it

Soft Buttery One-Hour Pretzels – Almost too good to be true. Fast and easy, soft, chewy, and just like the pretzels at the mall, at home, in an hour

I’m linking this bread up to Lora the Cake Duchess’ #TwelveLoaves group

Do you have a favorite bread recipe? Do you like coconut milk or coconut oil? Do you cook or bake with it?

Please share recipe links to your favorites.

136 comments on “Soft and Chewy Coconut Milk Bread”

  1. I have started to get into more bread baking and this recipe sounds easy to handle. Cant wait to make it!

  2. Coconut milk? Delicious idea! And it looks so soft!

  3. Wow…this bread sounds soooooo good! My family would love this! I love how light and fluffy it looks.

  4. Pillowy bread that smells like coconut…sounds like heaven to me!

  5. I LOVE coconut!! Need to test this one out!

  6. Yes, I love using both coconut milk and coconut oil in my kitchen. This bread looks fantastic! I especially like the photos with the jam, reminds me to make some homemade strawberry jam this summer. Nothing beats homemade bread toasted and then slathered with some butter and homemade strawberry jam, yum, yum!

  7. This bread!! Love it. 5-6 cups of flour freaks me out, too. I made a 3-loaf recipe once that started with “11 cups of flour” and I almost died. I always have coconut milk in the cabinet and I really don’t know why it never occurred to me to make bread with it, but I’m doing it. This and those honey dinner rolls are at the top of my bread list!

    • And you have more kids than I do and you have boys (they eat more!) so an 11 cup recipe is almost laughable here. My daughter eats a half slice and tells me she’s full. Lol Then again, bread does freeze well, but ya know.

  8. Totally honestly, this is the most perfect looking homemade bread I’ve ever seen! Thanks for sharing, Averie!

  9. This bread looks like a pillow I want to dive into!

  10. This would be my favoite bread of your bunch too, Averie. I have to tell you – I love how you explain the process. I know it’s a ton to type (it takes me SO long!) but I truly have learned so much about bread baking from your posts. I am thankful! I just used coconut milk last week to make my oatmeal very creamy. Well, it was SUPER creamy and amazing. I have to bake with it now! This loaf of bread looks SO soft and yes – like a huge bread pillow! The shot of the slice of bread with jelly – ummm, I shot my bread with strawberry jelly lol. Last night I toasted the last piece with a little butter. Amazing! I bet this would be even better. Such pretty pictures too!

    • Glad that my posts have taught you things and that you find them helpful. With bread, there are things that can go wrong, even ‘simple’ loaves, like this one. Rolls, cinn rolls, etc. are even more detailed b/c you have to talk fillings and frostings! But I’d rather spell it out as much as possible so people make it, and with success!

      That’s too funny about your strawberry jam + bread pics. We are twins, I swear!

  11. as a complete carb addict and everything coconut lover, this is my idea of a perfect food! your loaves are always perfect looking – I will be making this bread tomorrow, and I can almost smell it already:)

  12. Okay. I reeallllllly need to make bread now. You’re a bread genius Averie, I love this!

  13. I’m a little crazy for coconut as well lately, oil, butter, milk, you name it, it’s in my pantry at the moment!

  14. Could this bread be any more perfect?! Nope! I loooove that it only uses two cups of flour and also has the addition of oats. Awesome recipe!!! And PS – every recipe you post makes me want to run to the kitchen and start baking right away!

  15. Ooooh I love the idea of biting into this pillowy soft bread with just a hint of coconut flavor! It sounds phenomenal

  16. Another wonderful looking bread on the “to make list”. Got to get some supplies first. If it is anything like the fluffy sandwich bread you made- it will be delicious! Tell me – how do you cut your bread to make the slices so perfect??

  17. I love that this bread is made with coconut milk! It’s one of my favorite ingredients without a doubt. I’ve totally got the bug to start making my own bread, and this is another nudge in that direction1

  18. I absolutely LOVE baking with coconut milk! This bread looks absolutely delicious! Total perfection as always :)

  19. Everything looks wonderful! I’m hosting a new linky party at

    I would love to have you!

  20. That bread looks so fluffy and gorgeous! I am really into bread baking these days – I haven’t tried RedStar yeast though. Do you think it is much better than other kinds?

    • The Red Star Platinum yeast is without a doubt my FAVORITE yeast and I get wayyyyyyyyy better results with that yeast than any other. It’s forgiving, works better, and is just a great yeast. It’s a few nickles more than other yeast but so worth it. Look for the Platinum like of yeast, not just their regular line.

  21. Love this! It looks so fluffy. I’ve been using tj’s coconut milk since it’s not in a can but I can barely detect coconut flavor. Most of the time I use it just like almond or regular milk.

    • I use their unsweetened almond milk or Silk’s for many things and usually buy their canned coconut milk for baking needs b/c it’s thicker than the cartons of coconut milk. It just depends on what I’m going for!

  22. The thin crust and soft texture of the bread caught my eyes. This is another blog that I will explore further.

  23. Could this loaf be any more perfect?! It is gorgeous and it looks SOOOO delicious!

  24. Now that is one gorgeous bread, Averie! I LOVE coconut so this recipe is going onto my to-bake list!! Pinning!

  25. Hi,
    I tried this bread today. It look wonderfull, till I placed it in a cylinder pan. It went down and didn’t come up again. Ik stayed very flat after baking. I hope you can tell me what I did wrong.I am following
    your blog since a while and I love it.

    • It’s so hard to tell what happens with bread-making and all the possible pitfalls. It sounds like it rose fine during the first rise but something happened on the second rise after you rolled it out. I am not sure what that was or where in the many steps things went wrong; climate/temperature is a big one and normally if something is going well overall, it won’t tend to crash and burn from the first rise to being rolled out and placed in a pan for the 2nd rise; so it’s hard for me to say what happened.

      If you try again, make sure you are very, very particular with the temperatures from the temp of the milk added to the temp your bread is rising in (not a cold house) and make sure your yeast is super fresh. Thanks for trying the recipe.

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