Traditional Sweets – Malaysian Coconut Candy (Gluten Free, Vegan Option, Allergen Friendly)

Growing up, my mom used to make us many different traditional Malaysian and Sri Lanka savoury and sweet snacks. One of the sweets that I had fond memories of is this coconut candy. My mom would make it most years for Deepavali (Festival of Lights) and I used to love eating them πŸ˜‚ For those of you who have never tried this sweet, it reminds of the coconut centre of the Bounty chocolate but a little harder and it will melt in your mouth once you bite into it (a bit like coconut fudge). And the smell is divine as it is made with all the good stuff: butter, sugar, evaporated milk and of course, desiccated coconut πŸ˜…

Yummy coconut candy

So for Harmony Day for work last year, I made some coconut candy to share with my work colleagues for morning tea. And I only received positive comments and feedback for making this candy πŸ™‚ So, I would like to share this recipe with all of you.

A little word of advice though, this candy can be quite difficult to get right the first time. If you overcook it, it will become too hard to eat and if you undercook it, it will not harden and you will get soft coconut candy. So, it may take you a few tries before you perfect this candy recipe 😊

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. As always, please let me know what you think of this recipe. If you like what you see on this blog, you can follow me on my blog, Facebook or Instagram for some food porn. Also, if you do recreate this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @subz_foodie πŸ™‚



  • 3 cups desiccated coconut;
  • 2-3 cups white sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer your candy);
  • 300 ml evaporated milk (or canned coconut milk for vegan option);
  • 1/3 cup butter (or vegan butter for vegan option), softened;
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla essence; and
  • 2-3 tsp food colouring (optional).


  1. Grease a 9 inch square or rectangular tray with butter/olive oil;
  2. Dry roast desiccated coconut in a nonstick wok over medium high heat until the coconut is slightly golden brown;
  3. Once the coconut is golden brown, add the sugar and milk and stir continuously;
  4. The mixture should thicken as you continuously stir it. The mixture will then slightly come of the edges of the wok (this should take 30 minutes);
  5. Add the butter and continue to stir;
  6. When the mixture is really thick, quickly add the vanilla essence and food colouring;
  7. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring all the time. The candy mixture is ready when the mixture leaves the side of the wok like a lump. The mixture will lose some of this shine, almost going matte. Another way to check that the candy mixture is ready is to take a tiny amount of the mixture and roll into a ball and drop it into a glass of cold water. After a 1-2 minutes, if the ball holds its ball shape, it is ready. If it falls apart, it still needs to be cooked;
  8. Working quickly, put the mixture into the prepared tray and flatten with the back of a spoon;
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into squares whilst still warm. You need to cut whilst still warm as when it completely cools, it will harden and won’t be able to cut it; and
  10. Let cool completely (this will take a few hours or overnight) before breaking off into the cut squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks or fridge for 1-2 months.
Malaysian coconut candy

Happy making,


Xx πŸ’‹


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.