Natilla Colombiana (Colombian-Style Pudding)

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

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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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Comments

  1. says

    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…

  2. Adriana says

    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.

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. Maria Elena says

    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!!!

  6. claudia says

    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 !!!!

    • Erica says

      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.

    • Anonymous says

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

  7. Adriana says

    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).

  8. Erica says

    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.

  9. claudia says

    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.

  10. Gil says

    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.

  11. Nats says

    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. =)

  12. Olga says

    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!

    • Erica says

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

  13. Yolanda says

    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!

  14. Roxy says

    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.

  15. Kristin says

    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.

  16. Carolina says

    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.

  17. Patricia says

    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.

  18. Julie says

    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!

  19. Olga says

    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?

  20. Angélica Zabala Benson says

    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!

  21. Jeslynj says

    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. :(

  22. Vicky says

    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!

  23. Maria says

    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.

    • Erica Dinho says

      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.

      • Anonymous says

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

  24. Anonymous says

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

  25. says

    From what part of Colombia does your family originate?
    I read the natilla recipe and have never heard of using condensed milk . . .

    Ours is from the Medellin, Antioquia region and pPanella is the ingredient of choice there!

    • Erica Dinho says

      Hi,

      My whole family is from Medellín. I was born and raised there. My grandmother didn’t like natilla made with panela, this one is called natilla blanca or white natilla and it’s very popular in some Colombian homes. The brown natilla made with panela is more traditional.

  26. says

    Hi Erica –

    My wife is a Colombian from Pueblorrico and had a restaurant in “La Plaza Minorista.” She laughed at me when I read your reply (as a good Colombian spouse will do) and said that she’s sure I’ve never seen white Natilla because their family does not make it that way. Excuse my ignorance . . . Then the humiliation went further as she asked me o make the white natilla because she remembered how good it was.

    When it is something special, I usually cook it here at home (i.e., Papa Rellenas, Carne en Polvo, La Natilla). ONLY because I found a book about 10 years ago in Denver, Colorado called “Secrets of Colombian Cooking” by Patricia McCausland-Gallo.

    Like your Web site there are excellent examples of the best of Colombian cooking . . . which should be more broadly distributed here in the US.

    As for me, I was the head cook in an Italian-american family restaurant when living in South Carolina many years ago. I grew up in the Chicago area where my wife, daughter, y un perrito loco live. We have a VERY small circle of Colombian friends (because Colombians typically live North of the city and we are to the South.)

    I will visit your site more often now that I know it is here.

    Thanks for your reply,

    Michael Melone (The Gringolombiano de la familia)

    • Erica Dinho says

      Thank you for visiting the site, Michael! I understand…..my husband is American and He is learning about my traditions and culture.Merry Christmas :)

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