Coconut and spring


News feeds have recently been buzzing with coconut desserts for both Easter and Passover, but the reason for coconut’s popularity during these springtime religious holidays remains an enigma. There certainly isn’t a grand historical tradition–coconuts weren’t everyday ingredients in Biblical times. So why have coconut desserts – especially coconut cakes and macaroons – become so popular during these holidays?

Perhaps its popularity with Easter stems from the idea that shredded coconut resembles bunny fur when used in the adorably kitchy Easter Bunny cake. While that cake is cute, more popular Easter cakes are layer cakes like the wildly popular coconut cake from Ina Garten, and this one from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. These individual chocolate coconut Easter cakes from Delicious Magazine are an interesting diversion from the traditional layer cake.

Maybe coconut’s ascendency was caused by the use of green-dyed coconut being used as grass under Easter eggs. You could certainly do that in these squee-inducing Easter nest coconut & white chocolate cupcakes from BBC Good Food Magazine.

Coconut’s popularity during Passover may be explained by its versatility in desserts that don’t require flour, dairy or leavening. There are a plethora of coconut macaroon recipes in the EYB library that fit the bill here including coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate from Leite’s Culinaria and double chocolate coconut macaroons from Serious Eats.

A final “springtime” theory is that since it resembles snow, coconut is used in desserts as a final send-off to that unwanted white stuff after a long winter (many of us could drink to that). But let’s face it – whatever the reasons for its rise to the top of springtime desserts, coconut remains popular because it’s delicious.

What’s your theory on coconut’s popularity during this season?

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