Cocada Amarela

(Angola Coconut Dessert)

September 2: World Coconut Day

We go nuts for coconuts, especially since Islander grew up eating a lot of it in Hawaii. The tropical fruit is grown in warm climates around the world and it has made its way into African recipes as well, such as cocada amarela. This shredded coconut dessert from Angola was influenced by the cuisine of Portugal. Cocada amarela blends the best of both countries, making this a sweet treat and global goody on World Coconut Day!


(Adapted from Whats4Eats)


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cups coconut, unsweetened, grated
  • 6 egg yolks, beaten
  • Salt, pinch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


In a large pot, boil together the water, sugar and cloves. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until it becomes like a syrup (or the temperature reaches 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and discard the cloves. Reduce to low heat. Stir in the coconut, being careful not to burn the bottom of the pan. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a pinch of salt.

Add a spoonful of the hot coconut mixture into the egg yolk to temper it. Gradually add the rest of the beaten egg yolks and coat it until the dessert turns yellow.

Return everything to the pot and cook over very low heat for another five minutes, stirring constantly so the yolks do not curdle. Scoop into dessert plates and sprinkle with ground cinnamon (optional).


  • Search our blog for other recipes containing coconut.