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What Are the Different Types of Coconut Desserts?

Karize Uy
Karize Uy

There are lots of different types of coconut desserts, from pies, puddings, to cookies and even ice cream. Even a simple gelatin can become a coconut dessert if plain water is replaced with coconut water or milk. Some of the more popular coconut desserts are macaroons, coconut pie, and coconut cake, which has different varieties.

The macaroon is a baked dessert and can resemble a bite-sized cake or a cookie, depending on the variety. Originally, its main ingredient was ground nuts, specifically almonds, but the inclusion of coconut became popular and, in some recipes, almonds were not included. Coconut macaroons are mainly made of desiccated coconut, egg whites, and sugar. Condensed milk can also be included or can replace the sugar. Macaroons can be topped with shaved nuts or dipped in chocolate.

Desiccated coconut.
Desiccated coconut.

Another baked coconut dessert to make is the coconut pie. One variety of the pie involves filling a pie crust with big pieces of coconut meat slightly cooked in condensed milk and covering it with a top crust before baking. Another version is the French coconut pie, which uses shredded coconut, whether desiccated or fresh, instead of the big pieces. Some wet ingredients, such as butter and eggs, are used to bind the shredded coconut together, along with some sugar and other ingredients as sweetener. The filling is then poured in the pie crust, but is often left uncovered with a top crust, creating a very crunchy external shell of toasted coconuts.

Coconut pie and coconut cake are popular coconut based desserts.
Coconut pie and coconut cake are popular coconut based desserts.

Coconut cakes are also popular coconut desserts that can be baked for special occasions, such as during Christmases, weddings, and birthdays. Many coconut cakes often call for layers, with white cream frosting in between the cake layers. After assembly, the cake can then be completely covered with frosting and sprinkled with shredded coconut. The cake can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a la mode style. The recipe for coconut cakes can also be the basis for making coconut cupcakes.

Macaroons often contain coconut.
Macaroons often contain coconut.

Other coconut desserts are coconut sorbet, rice pudding cooked in coconut milk, and even deep-fried coconut puffs. As an ingredient, the coconut fruit is very versatile and can be a healthier and more flavorful substitute for some ingredients. Desiccated coconut can partly replace flour, and coconut milk extracted from the meat can be used in place of dairy milk. The taste of the coconut also makes for good desserts as the fruit’s flavor is clean, refreshing, and cleanses the palette after a meal.

Discussion Comments


@Scrbblchick -- Coconut cake is good, but I love coconut pie. There are two kinds you see in my part of the South: the coconut cream pie that every barbecue place has, and then the French coconut pie that's a lot like a chess pie. I'll gladly eat either kind.

I love the coconut cream pie, even though I'm not crazy about the meringue topping. If I made it at home, I'd probably just make the pie part and top it with whipped cream sprinkled with toasted coconut.

Coconut chess pie is easy and it's delicious. It doesn't take a meringue. It's baked in the crust, and it's awesome!


I love, love, love coconut! I really like coconut macaroons. They are so good. I also love the little cheap coconut bar cookies you get in the discount aisle at the grocery store.

My favorite coconut recipe ever has to be coconut cake. I just drool thinking about it. There's nothing like a good, moist yellow cake filled with coconut and divinity frosting and then covered in the frosting, with coconut on the outside. I also use coconut water in the cake itself, instead of some of the liquid. Makes it moist and very coconutty in flavor. That's a big thing at Christmas in the South.

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    • Desiccated coconut.
      Desiccated coconut.
    • Coconut pie and coconut cake are popular coconut based desserts.
      By: bergamont
      Coconut pie and coconut cake are popular coconut based desserts.
    • Macaroons often contain coconut.
      By: tashka2000
      Macaroons often contain coconut.
    • Many coconut desserts are even better when served a la mode.
      By: munchkinmoo
      Many coconut desserts are even better when served a la mode.