Natilla Colombiana (Colombian-Style Pudding)

by Erica Dinho on December 6, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

Receta de Natilla Colombiana

Natilla is a sweet custard that is traditionally served during Colombian Christmas gatherings. There are many variations of this dish throughout the country but this Natilla is my grandmother’s recipe and is very special to me.

natilla

I called my mom and one of my aunts for the recipe, but they didn’t have it because they don’t measure when they make it. So, I e-mailed my cousin Natalia in Colombia and asked her if she knew how to make it. Anyway, after calling her mom she got mamita’s recipe after my aunt Consuelo figured out the correct measurements. Here is my grandmother’s Natilla, with my own twist, of course. I’ve omitted the white cheese and powdered milk that mamita used in her recipe but the rest is the same. Thank you Natalia and Consuelo :)

natilla colombiana

The difference between Mamita’s Natilla and other traditional recipes that you’ll find for it is that she did not use panela, a sweet brown product made from sugar cane, she used condensed milk instead. That is the reason this Natilla is special and delicious. Some people add aguardiente to their natillas, but it in our family we don’t.

recetas de navidad colombiana

Natilla2

Print

Ingredients

(About 6 Servings)

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1  cup + 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 can (14 oz) condensed milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Cinnamon powder to taste

Natilla

Natilla3

Directions

  1. Place 1 cup of milk in a small bowl, add the cornstarch and stir to dissolve it, then set aside.
  2. Place the coconut milk and grated coconut in the blender and blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. Place the rest of the milk and cinnamon sticks in a medium pot and bring the mixture to boil over medium-low heat. When the milk is a little warm, but not boiling, add the coconut mixture.
  4. When the milk starts boiling, add the condensed milk, sugar and salt. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the milk and cornstarch mixture and continue stirring constantly.
  5. Add the vanilla extract. Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring until the Natilla thickens, about 10 to 20 minutes. Add the butter, stir and remove from the heat. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Ladle into a serving dish or individual custard cups. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top and let it cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Recetas Colombianas-Natilla

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Simply Life December 6, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Oh my gosh…this looks INCREDIBLE!

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2 Natalie December 6, 2009 at 3:32 PM

That looks amazing Erica…I am a fan of custards, flans, blamange…so this definitely is in that catagory of deserts I love…! Thanks for the recipe…

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3 rebecca subbiah December 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

oh yummy Jasmine would love this so happy you got the recipe

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4 Joy December 6, 2009 at 7:43 PM

How exciting! Another delicious pudding different to anything I have had before! I look forward to trying this one!

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5 Oysterculture December 6, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Oh, this sounds delicious. I am curious about the Panela, is it a type of brown sugar?

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6 Erica December 6, 2009 at 10:01 PM

LouAnn- It is similar, but hard and comes in blocks. I am going to write a post about panela next week.

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7 KennyT December 7, 2009 at 1:05 AM

Oh wow Erica pls send me some Natilla! Hahaha

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8 Palidor December 7, 2009 at 7:58 AM

Coconut milk and condensed milk? Now that sounds incredible!

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9 Adriana December 7, 2009 at 9:17 AM

For Oysterculture
You may find panela in some mexican food stores.

*******************
Erica, this recipe looks so gooood. I will try it for the novena in my house this year.

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10 Erica December 7, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Adriana- Thank you so much for your comment! Let me know if you like mamita’s natilla :)

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11 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie December 7, 2009 at 10:43 AM

This sounds amazing, I love the coconut flavor of this pudding!

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12 Ivy December 7, 2009 at 11:29 AM

I think rice pudding is the recipe made in almost all countries of the world. I love the addition of coconut in it and it sounds delicious.

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13 Sunita December 7, 2009 at 12:06 PM

The pudding looks delicious, such an interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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14 karen December 7, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Oh, my… this sounds wonderful!

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15 Sook December 7, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Looks beautiful!

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16 MaryMoh December 7, 2009 at 3:15 PM

I know I will surely like this udding. You have my 2 favourite ingredients there….coconut milk ad condensed milk….mmmm. Thanks for sharing.

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17 Erica December 7, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Thank you all for visiting my blog and for the wonderful comments!

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18 Danielle December 8, 2009 at 12:57 AM

im not much of a pudding person but wow!! this looks fantastic! love the ingredients

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19 VintageMixer December 8, 2009 at 11:24 AM

We had a Santa Fe style Christmas one year and I made this but accidentally used cornmeal instead of cornstarch! Big oooppps! Ladies this doesn’t work with cornmeal:)

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20 Pearlyn December 10, 2009 at 11:45 PM

Me and my kids love sweet desserts and anything made with cinnamon and condensed milk and this pudding has all the ingredients we love…wonderful !

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21 Chef E December 12, 2009 at 8:23 AM

I have to say, coming over here in the morning makes me hungry! I love south american foods, and of course Indian too, but a special place in my heart since I am from Texas and have had many of these dishes :) Happy Holidays Erica!

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22 Melanie December 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Erica–I love your recipes and share some of them regularly on my face book page.

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23 Maria Elena December 12, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Hi Erika

I was looking for this recipe because I forgot some ingredients, but your recipe looks delicious. I’m going to try it right now. Thanks and Feliz Navidad!!!

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24 claudia December 13, 2009 at 3:29 PM

HOLA ERIKA , SOY COLOMBIANA PERO VIVO EN ITALIA. HOY PREPARE UNOS BUNUELOS NO MUY BUENOS PORQUE POR ACA NO ENCUENTRO LAS HARINAS PARA HACERLOS. DE TODOS MODOS BUSCANDO UNA RECETA PARA HACER LA NATILLA ME ENCONTRE CON TU SITO Y ME SUSCRIBI INMEDIATAMENTE. PROBARE CON LA NATILLA , A PROPOSITO LA HARINA DE MAIZ NO SE ENCUENTRA , SABES SI PUEDO USAR LA DE TRIGO? Y LAS MEDIDAS “CUP” A QUE EQUIVALE EN GRAMOS? TE AGRADEZCO DE ANTEMANO LA AYUDA QUE ME DAS . GRACIAS Y FELIZ NAVIDAD PARA TI Y TODA TU FAMILIA !!!!

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25 Erica December 13, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Claudia- Para la natilla tienes que usar maizena (cornstarch). La harina de trigo no sirve para esta receta. Trato de darte las medidas en kilos más tarde.

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26 Anonymous February 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Claudia vos donde vives?? Si vives serca de Napoli ahi una Piazza (piazza Garibaldi) donde venden muchascosas colombianas!!!

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27 Soma December 15, 2009 at 9:41 PM

This is an heirloom recipe. Very interesting use of coconut here. Does it have a coconut flavor? Looks very festive.

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28 Adriana December 18, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Hola Erica…anoche fue la noche de la novena en mi casa y preparamos la Natilla sin embargo no “cuajó” como debería. Mejor dicho no cogió la consistencia que esperaba. De sabor…fue un exito! Creo que al reducir la temperatura de coción a bajo para que espece deberia ser por mas tiempo para lograr una mejor consistencia (Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring until the Natilla thickens, about 2- 4 minutes. ). Sugerencias?

*****************
Para Claudia en Italia, Cup = Taza y el cornstarch como dice Erica es Maizena (Fecula de Maiz).

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29 Erica December 18, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Adriana – Siento mucho que la natilla no te cuajo. A mi me cuajo perfecto con ese tiempo, pero puedes tratar de dejarla mas tiempo en el fuego, pero ten cuidado de que no se espese mucho. Normalmente cuando se deja enfriar es cuando se vuelve mas dura. Si tratas de nuevo cuentame como te fue.

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30 claudia December 19, 2009 at 5:56 AM

GRACIAS POR LA SUGERENCIA DE LA MAIZENA HOY MISMO VOY A COMPRARLA PARA HACERLA EN NAVIDAD, ESPERO QUE ME QUEDE BIEN PORQUE SERIA LA PRIMERA VEZ QUE LA PREPARA A MIS HIJOS Y PARIENTES ACA EN ITALIA. VOY A USAR LA MITAD DE LOS INGREDIENTES … ESPERO QUE ME CUAJE. TE LO HARE SABER, CHAO ERICA.

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31 liliana December 19, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Panela is a brown sugar, but you can get it al the Mexican stores, they call Panela PILONCILLO

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32 Gil December 23, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Maizena o fecula de maiz (1 cajita de 450 gramos) azucar morena dos tazas o pocillos, dos litros de leche, canela y clavos de olor al gusto, es todo lo que necesitas para una natilla estilo colombiano.
Mezclas todo en un recipiente, disolviendo bien la fecula de maiz, y colocas todo en una olla o recipiente que pondras a la estufa, a temperatura mediana. Tendras que estar revolviendo constantemente, para evitar que la mezcla se peqgue en el fondo del recipiente.
Toma mas o menos una hora, para que este lista. o espesa.
Para saber cuando esta lista, ( darle punto) al pasar el mecedor o espatula (con que estas revolviendo) por el fondo, debes verle el fondo a la olla.
Tambien puedes echar una cucharadita de natilla en un vaso con agua, y si no se disuelve, es que esta lista para vaciarla en recipientes, (platos) en donde se le deja enfriar. Despues de unas horas de estar fria, se puede partir en trozos o porciones para los invitados.
Algunos acostumbran a adicionarle a la mezcla (antes de poner al fuego) una copita de aguardiente. Es opcional.

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33 Erica December 23, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Gil- Gracias por la receta.

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34 Nats December 29, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Is white Natilla the same as Manjar?

Well, I laughed so hard reading your story of how you got the recipe because I had a similar problem this december trying to get my mom’s recipes… she didn’t use actual measuring cups so your story was so familiar to me. =)

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35 Olga January 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM

I tried this a couple of weeks ago and the taste was great, but the texture and consistency was not as good as i would have liked. (kinda lumpy…more stirring maybe?) Can you post a recipe for postre de natas? Yum…. thanks for all your hard work, love the website!

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36 Erica January 5, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Olga- It is hard to get the right consistency in natilla, you have to check every second to get the right texture.

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37 Yolanda April 14, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Erika I would like to thank you for making such a phenomenal blog with such amazing recipes. I just made the natilla, omitting the sugar and butter to make it “healthier” and it is the most incredible pudding EVER. It tastes amazing right out of the pot still warm! I also made the tuna & shrimp cakes for lunch today and they were so so easy and delicious. I loved them! You do an excellent job I don’t even use cookbooks anymore. Whenever I want to make something delicious I just come here now. :D

Thanks again!

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38 Roxy October 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM

howzit im doing an oral on your natilla pudding so thanks for all the info! this dessert looks delicious! i hope i can make it soon.

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39 Kristin December 11, 2010 at 5:07 PM

I live in a small city in Germany and finding ingredients can sometimes be difficult… this was a great recipe to compensate for the lack of panela (and I couldn´t find fresh coconut either). Thanks.

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40 Carolina December 31, 2010 at 1:25 PM

I dnt know if your mom did this but in my family we sometimes add uvas pasas or rasins. It gives it a really nice tangy taste to go with the coco.

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41 Sara January 9, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Omg this so good. I am so happy I was able to find this recipe. Thank you so much for posting it!!!

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42 Patricia July 28, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Gracias Erica por esta receta tan deliciosa. La preparé el Diciembre pasado para la cena de navidad y todos quedaron encantados. El sabor es delicioso y la cantidad de dulce queda en su punto esto fué lo que más gusto.

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43 Julie December 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM

This recipe tasted so much better than the boxed Natilla that I usually buy around Christmas. I have already made two batches and my husband is begging for another one. Thanks so much, Erica!

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44 Laura April 7, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I made this today and everyone absolutely loved it! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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45 Olga December 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Claudia, con que leche de coco la haces la natilla. Usas de las que venden en lata? o tu la haces? Y si la haces como se prepara la leche de coco?

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46 Angélica Zabala Benson December 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Thanks for the recipes! I live in Utah and its very difficult to find the Pre-packed mixes for traditional Colombian desserts. I wanted to make Natilla and Almojabanas For X-mas and now I can from scratch, thank goodness for this website!
Muchas gracias!

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47 Jeslynj December 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I was looking forward to this, but what a disappointment! It was lumpy and runny. My fiancé who is from colombia was like ‘What is that?!’ I followed the recipe exactly as stated. I’ll need to find another recipe. :(

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48 Camila December 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Made this natilla last night for noche buena and it was delicious. thanks.

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49 Michelle December 20, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Cannot wait to try this!! Is the coconut milk canned? Thank you for posting such delicious Colombian recipes <3!

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50 Erica Dinho December 21, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Yes!

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51 Vicky December 21, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I made this natilla recipe last night and it was amazing. We all loved it! i used to hate the brown natilla, but this recipe is delicious. Thanks!

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52 Maria December 23, 2013 at 5:21 AM

Hi Erica, thank you soo much for the recipe! I tryied and it was lovely however i did not use use the whole amount of sugar. But what i wanted to ask, is when i put the corn starch mixture i thickened quite quickly, do you think i should put lower temperature? And the revipe says between 10-20 min stirring. I had the consistence and a very nice flavour. Or maybe i should put less cornstarch, what would you think? Thanks in advance.

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53 Erica Dinho December 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Hi Maria,
Every stove is different, so you can lower the heat next time and stir it OFTEN!!!Or use less corn starch and cook it longer over low heat.

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54 Anonymous January 6, 2014 at 6:22 AM

Thank you Ericka, when I did it for second time I put the mixture on low heat and it turned amazing, thank you!!

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55 Anonymous July 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Hi what’s those brown balls called, on the side of the custard, and do you have a recipe for it

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56 Erica Dinho July 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM

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