Dulce de Coco (Coconut and Milk Dessert)

Dulce de Coco (Coconut and Milk Dessert)

My grandmother loved to make little homemade desserts, or “dulcesitos caseros”, as she called them. Dulce de Coco is a simple and delicious traditional Colombian dessert and one of my favorites.

There is something intensely satisfying about this Dulce de Coco. It is sweet and creamy, and I love the thick texture and that crunch from the coconut. It’s great as a puffed pastry filler, or serve it with fresh cheese, queso fresco, like Mamita did. For me the best way to eat Dulce de Coco is to spoon it straight out of the jar!

Buen provecho.



  • 4 cups of grated coconut
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 3 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dulce de Coco (Coconut and Milk Dessert)


  1. Place all the ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. 
  2. Let it simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until thickened. Stire often with a wooden spoon to prevent the dulce de coco to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Let it cool and serve or transfer to a glass jar.
  4. Dulce de Coco (Coconut and Milk Dessert)

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  1. Cheryl says

    Bingo! Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been wanting and wanting to find a way to make this recipe. :) The summer before my last yr in high school, I spent several weeks out on Bahia Solano helping to run a clinic (about 30 yrs ago, way before any tourism was in the area: we slept on corn husk mattresses, showered in a wood framed open air hut, took dugout canoes to cross the river @ high tide that ran through the middle of the village, waited ’til the tide was out to walk up the beach to get to homes up the coast from the village, and ran generators for light after the sun went down. The kitchens were separate huts, and cooking was all done over wood fires. :) ). One of the ladies made a whole pot of this dulce de coco for me, and sent me home with an overflowing can full! I made it last as long as I possibly could! :) It was darker colored, smokey, caramely and coconutty – and delicioso!! I’m sure I won’t be able to reproduce that woodfire taste, but this will come close! :)

      • Heather B says

        I dont know why I didnt think of fresh coconut!

        I have a history of struggling with coconuts in the past…so I and possibly others would be open to a coconut tutorial! For example, how to pick a good one, and safest way to open one.

        Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Cheryl says

    Update: This was SOOOOOOO good! Couldn’t stop eating it! :) I only made 1/4 the recipe, and used half&half instead of the evap. milk (cuz that’s what I had), and dried unsweetened shredded coconut. Still turned out wonderful! Thank you, Erica!

  3. Dianna V says

    I don’t think I can find unsweetened coconut at the store. So if using sweetened, should I just not use sugar? Also, I want to make it as you suggested, as a filling in a pastry. I’m thinking of frying it in an empanada was some queso rallado. Is that a bad idea?

  4. Kim says

    Hi and thankyou for sharing this easy recipe. I made it to use as a filler on my coconut cupcakes, it was delicious however it did not thicken and it wasnt a sticky like brownish consistency. What did I do wrong. Followed the recipe 3 times to make sure my measurements were correct.
    Thankyou for your advice!

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