Brazilian Coconut Pudding (Cocada Cremosa)
If you love coconut, this Brazilian Coconut Pudding will knock your socks off! Made with only 5 ingredients and ready in less than 10 minutes, this is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The other day, as I was devouring the last of a jar of cocada cremosa that my mom brought last time she was here, I realized I had never attempted to make my own.
Living in the States has its perks, but on the downside, I can’t get some of my favorite treats as easily as I did back in Brazil. Well, it turns out that most Brazilian delicacies are actually quite easy to make. And this cocada (hereby titled Brazilian Coconut Pudding, as that is the closest definition I can think of) is no different!
To be honest, I wish that I’d never learned how simple and quick it is to prepare this. The whole batch was gone in a single day, and I’m supposed to be eating low carb while I’m pregnant!
But who can resist a melt-in-your-mouth creamy coconut pudding treat? Clearly, not me! Even Tim, who doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, couldn’t stop eating it.
The good news is that a little goes a long way with cocada. It can be quite sweet for the American palate – even though I cut down the sugar considerably, compared to how they are made in Brazil – so I recommend small servings! You can always go for seconds, or thirds!
It is a great dessert to serve in little shot glasses. And it certainly brings that tropical feeling we’ve all been craving after such a long winter!
What is Cocada?
Cocadas are traditional coconut confections found in many Latin American countries.
In Brazil, they are found nationwide, varying in color (white, brown and black) and texture. The most traditional one, which originated from the northeast region of the country, is what we call cocada de corte. They are similar to fudge, but are sometimes found shaped like macaroons.
There’s also cocada de forno, which is a baked coconut custard served warm, and cocada cremosa, my favorite and the one I’m sharing today.
With so many varieties, it is hard to find a Brazilian who doesn’t love cocada!
What type of coconut should I use to make cocada cremosa?
Flaked? Shredded? Sweetened? Unsweetened? Which coconut should you use for this recipe, and does it really make a difference? And the answer is: yes, it does.
In an ideal world, this coconut pudding would be made with freshly grated coconut. You really can’t beat that, both in texture and flavor!
But since it is not always that I can find fresh coconut at the grocery store, the next best thing would be unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut from a bag. Both types would work, depending on the texture you’re after! Stay away from the desiccated kind, as it is ground too fine, almost to the point of coconut flour, and it won’t give you a little bit of bite that a good cocada should have.
How to Make Brazilian Coconut Pudding
If you’ve ever made brigadeiro, this is a similar method.
- You combine all the ingredients, minus the heavy cream, in a pot and cook, over medium low heat, until the coconut pudding thickens and starts releasing from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the heavy cream and stir to incorporate. It might look like it is not set, but it will continue thickening as it cools!
- Pour into serving glasses and serve at room temperature or chilled.
I find that the texture is creamier at room temperature, so even if I take it to the fridge to chill, I like to let it sit and get closer to room temperature again before serving. If it gets too thick after being refrigerated, you can always add a little bit of heavy cream to loosen it up!
So, what do you say? Ready to get your coconut fix by trying this cocada?
And if you got intrigued by all the different types of cocada that are out there, don’t worry! I plan on sharing many of them soon.
After all, one can never eat too much coconut!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweet condensed milk
- 8 ounces (3 cups) unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Combine the butter, sweet condensed milk, coconut and coconut milk in a medium saucepan. Cook, over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and starting to release from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in the heavy cream and remove from heat. At this point, the coconut pudding might look like it is not set, but it will continue thickening as it cools!
- Pour into individual serving glasses.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
If, after refrigeration, your cocada is too thick, you can add some more heavy cream to loosen it up!