Sweeten Your Dessert Course with Coconut

Sweeten Your Dessert Course with Coconut



You can't beat coconut desserts made with coconut milk. Our favorites range from steamed coconut-pandan cakes to coconut ice cream—here's how to make them.

You can’t beat coconut desserts made with coconut milk. Our favorites range from steamed coconut-pandan cakes to coconut ice cream—here’s how to make them. (Laura Sant/)

Popular throughout Latin America, this milk-soaked cake is thought to have originated in Nicaragua. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pastel-de-Tres-Leches--39400">Pastel de Tres Leches (Sponge Cake with Three Milks)</a>

Popular throughout Latin America, this milk-soaked cake is thought to have originated in Nicaragua. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pastel-de-Tres-Leches–39400″>Pastel de Tres Leches (Sponge Cake with Three Milks)</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/danish-dream-cake-recipe/">Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)</a>

This delightfully basic white sponge cake, encrusted with a coconut and brown sugar topping, is a dream to make and eat. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/danish-dream-cake-recipe/”>Danish Dream Cake (Drømmekage)</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

Often used in southeast Asian curries and Indian rice dishes, pandan leaf lends a subtly exotic savory note to this coconut ice cream. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pandan-Leaf-Ice-Cream">Pandan-Coconut Ice Cream</a>

Often used in southeast Asian curries and Indian rice dishes, pandan leaf lends a subtly exotic savory note to this coconut ice cream. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Pandan-Leaf-Ice-Cream”>Pandan-Coconut Ice Cream</a> (Laura Sant/)

Thick Italian meringue is sandwiched between moist layers of cake, which is topped off with sweetened shredded coconut in this recipe from chef Thomas Keller. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/thomas-kellers-coconut-cake/">Thomas Keller's Coconut Cake</a>

Thick Italian meringue is sandwiched between moist layers of cake, which is topped off with sweetened shredded coconut in this recipe from chef Thomas Keller. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/thomas-kellers-coconut-cake/”>Thomas Keller’s Coconut Cake</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

Anna Watson Carl relies on sweetened condensed milk to add richness to this frozen dessert flavored with coconut milk, lime zest, and toasty pistachios. Simply macerated peaches provide a fresh, fruity counterpart. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/coconut-and-pistachio-semifreddo-fresh-peaches-recipe/">Coconut and Pistachio Semifreddo with Fresh Peaches</a>

Anna Watson Carl relies on sweetened condensed milk to add richness to this frozen dessert flavored with coconut milk, lime zest, and toasty pistachios. Simply macerated peaches provide a fresh, fruity counterpart. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/coconut-and-pistachio-semifreddo-fresh-peaches-recipe/”>Coconut and Pistachio Semifreddo with Fresh Peaches</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

A hint of rosewater adds sweet, floral aroma to this moist, dense semolina cake, packed with four types of coconut. Refrigerating overnight gives the semolina time to soak up the sweet coconut liquid, resulting in a softer, more tender crumb. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/coconut-semolina-cake-recipe">Goan Coconut Cake (Baath)</a>

A hint of rosewater adds sweet, floral aroma to this moist, dense semolina cake, packed with four types of coconut. Refrigerating overnight gives the semolina time to soak up the sweet coconut liquid, resulting in a softer, more tender crumb. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/coconut-semolina-cake-recipe”>Goan Coconut Cake (Baath)</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/semolina-coconut-cake-with-orange-and-rose-waters-recipe">Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters</a>

This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/semolina-coconut-cake-with-orange-and-rose-waters-recipe”>Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

The Lamington, an Australian favorite, is a cube of butter cake dipped in chocolate, then rolled in coconut flakes; some versions are filled with cream or jam. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Lamingtons/">Lamingtons</a>

The Lamington, an Australian favorite, is a cube of butter cake dipped in chocolate, then rolled in coconut flakes; some versions are filled with cream or jam. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Lamingtons/”>Lamingtons</a>

This cream-topped pie is filled with a thick coconut milk custard that perfectly complements the zip of fresh lime juice and grated zest. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/coconut-lime-custard-pie/">Coconut Lime Custard Pie</a>

This cream-topped pie is filled with a thick coconut milk custard that perfectly complements the zip of fresh lime juice and grated zest. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/coconut-lime-custard-pie/”>Coconut Lime Custard Pie</a> (Andrew Ingalls/)

Chewy, mochi-like sweets packed with dark sugar and nutty coconut. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/chinese-coconut-brown-sugar-rice-cakes-yi-bua-recipe/">Coconut and Brown Sugar Rice Cakes (Yi Bua)</a>

Chewy, mochi-like sweets packed with dark sugar and nutty coconut. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/chinese-coconut-brown-sugar-rice-cakes-yi-bua-recipe/”>Coconut and Brown Sugar Rice Cakes (Yi Bua)</a> (Jason Lang/)

This coconut cheesecake with a thick whipped cream topping looks typical enough, but it's perfumed with musky, flowery aromas and flavored with notes of caramel and smoke. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Smoked-Coconut-Cheesecake/"> Smoked Coconut Cheesecake</a>

This coconut cheesecake with a thick whipped cream topping looks typical enough, but it’s perfumed with musky, flowery aromas and flavored with notes of caramel and smoke. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Smoked-Coconut-Cheesecake/”> Smoked Coconut Cheesecake</a> (Todd Coleman/)

The original recipe for this pie, adapted from Princess Pamela's Soul Food Cookbook, was a mere few lines—devoid of even a dough recipe and intended for laid-back, confident bakers. Using fresh grated coconut is essential: It creates the ideal texture and keeps the sugary filling from skewing too sweet. Use the fine side of a box grater, or place small pieces of fresh coconut in a food processor. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/brown-coconut-pie-recipe">Brown Coconut Pie</a>

The original recipe for this pie, adapted from Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook, was a mere few lines—devoid of even a dough recipe and intended for laid-back, confident bakers. Using fresh grated coconut is essential: It creates the ideal texture and keeps the sugary filling from skewing too sweet. Use the fine side of a box grater, or place small pieces of fresh coconut in a food processor. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/brown-coconut-pie-recipe”>Brown Coconut Pie</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

With their powerful coconut flavor, chewy texture, and crisp edges, these gluten- and dairy-free all-coconut bar cookies (made with coconut extract, oil, and flour) are the ultimate macaron. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/coconut-bar-cookie-recipe">Coconut "Macaroonies"</a>

With their powerful coconut flavor, chewy texture, and crisp edges, these gluten- and dairy-free all-coconut bar cookies (made with coconut extract, oil, and flour) are the ultimate macaron. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/coconut-bar-cookie-recipe”>Coconut “Macaroonies”</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

This sticky-sweet cake, made with semolina flour and coconut milk, is commonly served at holidays and special occasions in Myanmar. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/sesame-topped-semolina-cake-coconut-shwekyi-senyinmakin/">Poppy Seed-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)</a>

This sticky-sweet cake, made with semolina flour and coconut milk, is commonly served at holidays and special occasions in Myanmar. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/sesame-topped-semolina-cake-coconut-shwekyi-senyinmakin/”>Poppy Seed-Topped Semolina Cake with Coconut (Shwekyi Senyinmakin)</a> (Laura Sant/)

A simple combination of sugar syrup and unsweetened coconut cools and hardens into sweet, crunchy treats that are perfect served alongside tea or coffee. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/qashat-al-narjeel-omani-coconut-cookies">Qashat al-Narjeel (Omani Coconut Cookies)</a>

A simple combination of sugar syrup and unsweetened coconut cools and hardens into sweet, crunchy treats that are perfect served alongside tea or coffee. Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/qashat-al-narjeel-omani-coconut-cookies”>Qashat al-Narjeel (Omani Coconut Cookies)</a>

Think of these silky, chewy, coconutty gummies as richer, more flavorful Jello jigglers, made with a steamed batter of coconut milk with sticky rice flour and tapioca and arrowroot starches. It's a labor of love: to form the neat layers, you have to let the previous layer steam enough until set but still a little tacky before adding the next. The cake also benefits enormously from making your own pandan extract; though you can buy pre-made extract in Thai groceries, it won't compare to the unique sweet herbal fragrance of the fresh leaves. (You can buy fresh or frozen pandan leaves online or in well-stocked Thai groceries.) Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.saveur.com/thai-khanom-chan-recipe">Thai Steamed Coconut-Pandan Cake (Khanom Chan)</a>

Think of these silky, chewy, coconutty gummies as richer, more flavorful Jello jigglers, made with a steamed batter of coconut milk with sticky rice flour and tapioca and arrowroot starches. It’s a labor of love: to form the neat layers, you have to let the previous layer steam enough until set but still a little tacky before adding the next. The cake also benefits enormously from making your own pandan extract; though you can buy pre-made extract in Thai groceries, it won’t compare to the unique sweet herbal fragrance of the fresh leaves. (You can buy fresh or frozen pandan leaves online or in well-stocked Thai groceries.) Get the recipe for <a href=”http://www.saveur.com/thai-khanom-chan-recipe”>Thai Steamed Coconut-Pandan Cake (Khanom Chan)</a> (Matt Taylor-Gross/)

This recipe is based on one in Emma Rylander Lane's <em>Some Good Things to Eat</em> (self-published, 1898). Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Lane-Cake-Recipe/">Lane Cake</a>

This recipe is based on one in Emma Rylander Lane’s <em>Some Good Things to Eat</em> (self-published, 1898). Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Lane-Cake-Recipe/”>Lane Cake</a> (Todd Coleman/)

Coconut milk gives these donuts from Seattle's Top Pot donut shop a super-moist interior and a gratifying crust. Get the recipe for <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Triple-Coconut-Donuts/">Top Pot Triple Coconut Donuts</a>

Coconut milk gives these donuts from Seattle’s Top Pot donut shop a super-moist interior and a gratifying crust. Get the recipe for <a href=”https://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Triple-Coconut-Donuts/”>Top Pot Triple Coconut Donuts</a> (Todd Coleman/)

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