Pandan Coconut Candy

Pandan Coconut Candy

The two most evocative flavors of the tropics are coconut and pandan (screwpine). Combine them together into a single sweet confection and you have a “blockbuster” dessert! Just a couple pieces of this candy with your cuppa will satisfy any sweet tooth, that is if you can stop yourself from reaching for a another and another.

Coconut candy speaks to me of childhood more than any other treat. These delectable cubes were very popular back when I was in primary (elementary) school. They were a mainstay of many year-end class parties, birthdays, and festivals. Because coconut candy is vegetarian, it is a suitable dessert for all the different races in Malaysia. It is also very easy to prepare and require only five ingredients – coconut, condensed milk, sugar, flavoring, and food coloring. Furthermore, freshly grated coconut is inexpensive and easily available.

Pandan Coconut Candy

The previous time I posted about coconut candy was in January 2010. Back then I could not find fresh grated coconut and had to use dessicated coconut instead. I added a little butter and some milk to rehydrate the coconut and was delighted that it turned out really well. Two days back I made it again and decided to update my post with new pictures. To check out the post, click on the picture below.

This time round I found frozen grated coconut at the Indian grocery store. The texture is a little coarser than what I was used to but I am thankful for the supply as I can now make pulut inti, another favorite childhood dessert.

I decided to use some of the pandan paste that I have had for a while to flavor this batch of Pandan Coconut Candy. The paste is a combination of flavoring and food coloring, and so there is no need to add more coloring to the coconut. Pandan has the most amazing fragrance and this paste comes pretty close to the real thing. If you can’t find pandan paste, please use 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a few drops of food coloring. I hope you will give the recipe a try.

Pandan Coconut Candy

Pandan Coconut Candy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 pieces
  • 3 cups (300g) fresh grated coconut
  • ½ cup (110g) sugar
  • ½ cup (4 oz/160g) condensed milk
  • 1 tsp pandan paste
  1. Grease a 7-in x 5-in (18cm x 13cm) pan or rectangular container.
  2. Combine coconut, sugar, condensed milk, and pandan paste in a non-stick pan on medium low heat.
  3. Stir constantly until coconut clumps together, about 25 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared container. Level the surface with a spatula. Press down firmly with wax paper or plastic wrap. Set candy aside to cool.
  5. After about 30 minutes, cut into 16 pieces with a well greased knife.
  6. Allow candy to cool and set overnight. Remove cubes from pan and store in an air-tight jar.
  7. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Pandan Coconut Candy

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎

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  1. says

    How beautiful they look! And in my favourite flavour too! Coconut candy is also a very nostalgic treat for me. I think many south east and south Asians, especially Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indians feel the same. Just looking at yours makes me want to stir up another batch, though I know they won’t do my teeth or my hips any favours :)

  2. Jeannie says

    I eat a lot of these little very sweet candies when I was young, we have a neighbour who love to make these and always generous to share with us kids:D Those days coconuts are free! yum! thinking about it makes me crave for some!

    • Biren says

      We do share quite a few similar dishes, don’t we? Really enjoyed these as a good. Still enjoy them now but can only have two pieces at the most at one time. 😉

  3. says

    Hey Biren, is this peranankan? Looks like those colourful coconut candies I used to eat when I was young. Mom used to take me to an area called “Katong” in S’pore to buy these.

    • Biren says

      I am not sure if it is Peranakan but I did eat it as a kid. For me, it was usually home made. Rarely is it found at the stores.

  4. says

    Wonderful way to use the panda paste, I love this combination. I am sure they make a great afternoon treat. Wonderful photos, Biren.
    Have a blessed day :)

  5. says

    Wow, love the color of this! So intense. I’ve never heard of pandan – I’ll have to see if I can source some. I often get frozen coconut at Indian and Asian markets, but noticed a couple of weeks ago that my supermarket is now carrying it! But I didn’t notice if it was sweetened or not. Anyway, this is really a terrific recipe – thanks so much.

    • Biren says

      The frozen coconut sold at Indian and Asian markets are usually not sweetened. Do use vanilla extract if you can’t find the pandan paste.

  6. says

    Wow, we make something very similar in Sri Lanka called Coconut Rock Candy. I have never used pandan in sweet dishes… I must give it try. I love the vibrant color!

  7. says

    This candy brings me back to my childhood. They were always red or pink. Great idea to tint it with the pandan paste. Bet it is more fragrant than the red one too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Biren says

      Red or pink was and continues to be the most popular color although green is sometimes used especially during Hari Raya. Pandan paste is a more recent thing but it works beautifully in this candy.

  8. says

    What a beautiful little candy! One of these days I’m going to find some pandan paste so I can taste it. I’ve been seeing it a lot lately and my curiosity is killing me. If I find some, I know I will have to make this candy. I love anything with sweetened condensed milk. :) It sounds SO good!

    • Biren says

      Thanks MJ! I hope you find some pandan or pandan paste soon. It has the most amazing fragrance. You won’t be disappointed.

  9. says

    These look so good Biren! Funny how some flavors just go together…like coconut and pandan…peanut butter and chocolate! I will have to make these. I picked up some fresh grated coconut in the Vietnamese store to make some abok abok, and now I can make these, yum! My pandan plant never really took root so I’ll have to use pandan paste.

    • Biren says

      I am sorry to hear that your pandan plant never took root especially after you went to so much trouble to get the plant. Pandan paste comes pretty close to the real thing.

  10. says

    You know what, I have a can of 400ml pandan extract in my larder for a couple of weeks now. Bought that at a Thai grocery store. I was thinking of making “kueh salat” at the time, but never got round to doing that, as it’s quite time consuming (with the glutinous rice), hence I was wondering if the pandan extract could be used to make these attractive looking candy? They are a lot easier to make. Just the lazy me 😀 Tips?

    • Biren says

      You can most definitely use pandan extract though I think pandan paste has a stronger fragrance that is closer to the real thing. Of course you can also use vanilla extract instead. :)

  11. says

    This reminds me of ‘coconut ice’, which usually comes in pink and white over here. It was one of the first recipes I ever made, as it was included in my childhood ‘Learn to Cook’ cookbook. Haven’t had it in ages! I don’t know if we can find the pandan paste here, but you’ve put coconut candy back on my radar, and my to-do list!

    • Biren says

      I like the name “coconut ice”. :) Yes, traditionally these candies were pink in color but we do see green ones as well especially for Hari Raya (Eid). How fun! I hope you kept that childhood cookbook. It would be really nostalgic to try out those recipes again.

      I think you may be able to find pandan paste at the Asian stores in London. If not, please use vanilla extract. I am sure your kids will be delighted with this candy. :)

      • says

        I do still have it! I’ll stop at one of the Asian supermarkets next time I’m in London and seek out the pandan paste then get to work! :-)

  12. Mk says

    I made this candy a couple of times and yet not getting it hard enough. thou the taste was there but it formed into a chewy candy instead. Could you please correct me as to where have I gone wrong.

    • Linda says

      I think it has to do with the moisture in the freshly grated coconut. It may help if you can dry out the coconut a little in the oven.

  13. raji says

    Hi, if I want to try using Pandan leaves, how many leaves and what is the quantity of juice I must use?


    • Linda says

      You should use at least 8 to 10 pandan leaves to get a decent amount of pandan juice. Please refer to my Pandan Cream Pie recipe on how to extract the juice. I would use probably just a quarter cup (60ml) for this coconut candy. However, by using the juice you are introducing water into the candy and it may need a longer cooking time to dry it out or the candy will be soft.


  1. […] Look at the charming jade green, are you fascinated by it? It is generally agreed that coconut and pandan are the most evocative flavors of the tropics. They will become a super hit when combined together into a single sweet candy. Believe it or not, it tastes crispy and yummy as it looks. What amazes me most is that it’s pretty easy to prepare and only require five ingredients! As long as you prepare coconut, sugar, condensed milk, food coloring and flavoring, you already half succeed. Let alone fresh grated coconut is easily available and inexpensive. They are such vibrant colorful candies that will bring you much refreshment in the lazy summer days. At […]

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