Haupia (Coconut Jell-O)


July 12: Eat Your Jell-O Day

Hawaiian keiki (kids) and keiki-at-heart love the cool and creamy blocks of a coconut-flavored gelatin known as haupia. Islander grew up eating Hawaii’s version of coconut Jell-O as a simple dessert at get-togethers with ‘ohana and friends. It is so popular that haupia is served even at the largest luaus so tourists can taste these tropical treats, too. With the summer season underway, have some Hawaiian haupia on “Eat Your Jell-O Day!”


(Adapted from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)


  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup milk


In a sauce pan, mix together the coconut milk and sugar over low heat. In a measuring cup, add the gelatin with water and dissolve for one minute. Stir the gelatin mixture into the sweetened coconut milk. Add milk and mix well.


Pour the hot, white liquid into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and serve.



  • The traditional haupia recipe is simpler with fewer ingredients. We used the above recipe because it is a sturdier version to transport to a kanikapila or luau. The former recipe uses cornstarch as a thickening agent, whereas the latter uses unflavored gelatin to firm up the dessert. To make traditional haupia, check out our recipe post for Mini Haupia Pies (eliminate the pie crust and whipped cream topping).
  • Prepare this easy dessert ahead of time but be patient as the gelatin solidifies.