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Dulce de coco is a milk-based thick syrupy dessert made from coconut flakes and sweetened condensed milk, then boiled until thick and sweet. Try it once and you’ll crave it forever!
About Dulce de Coco
Dulce de coco literally translates to ” sweet coconut” in Spanish, and that’s exactly what this recipe is. In Costa Rica, “dulce de” refers to almost any sticky, sweet fruit concoction that is not a jam.
This dulce de coco will generally be very thick, almost like a syrup. It also generally has larger chunks of fruit in it. We also call this dish in Costa Rica a “miel de coco.” Another example of a miel that is popular in Costa Rica is the miel de chiverre which we use to make empanadas.
Many Costa Rican cooks will purchase a coconut and break it open, soak it and then grate the coconut before making the recipe. I don’t have time for that so I just used store-bought sweetened shredded coconut and adjusted the sugar.
This Costa Rican dessert is very sweet- it’s also reminiscent of arroz con leche both because of the texture and the milky flavor. It’s definitely an acquired taste and if you don’t like coconut you won’t like it. When researching this article, I asked two Costa Ricans about the dish and they both told me they know nothing about it because they hate it.
Miel de coco is a very traditional Costa Rican recipe that can be served year-round, but especially during Lent, Holy Week (semana santa) and Easter.
Costa Rican Dulce de Coco Recipe
Ingredients: (printable recipe below)
- sweetened condensed milk
- shredded coconut
- granulated white sugar
- cinnamon sticks
In a pressure cooker/Instant Pot combine all ingredients. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Allow the pressure to release on its own. Open the pot and put the miel de coco in a serving dish. Serve hot or cold.
You can substitute any type of milk for the regular milk. Evaporated milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
If you don’t have sweetened condensed milk you can substitute one cup of milk and three tablespoons of sugar.
You can use the tapa de dulce, or piloncillo, as found in the Hispanic aisle, in place of the granulated sugar, or you can substitute dark brown sugar for a darker color.
Additional Costa Rican Dessert Recipes:
- Costa Rican Tres Leches Recipe
- Costa Rican Suspiros Cookies (Espumilla)
- Delightful Baked Costa Rican Empanadas de Chiverre
- Traditional Costa Rican Tamal de Masa Recipe
You can definitely make this on the stovetop. Just put all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. This recipe will burn on the bottom of the pan, so you have to keep a close eye on it.
Once the ingredients have bubbled constantly for about 5 minutes and the solution has thickened considerably, remove from heat. Serve.
Some people just eat the miel de coco, either hot or cold, in a small bowl with a spoon and accompanied by a nice cup of coffee.
You can also use the miel de coco as a filling for coconut empanadas.
How do I store the dulce de coco?
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
How do I reheat dulce de coco?
The best way to reheat is on the stovetop. The problem is that every time you transfer the miel from one container to another its a sticky mess. You can reheat in the microwave, but you need to go low and slow. Start with one minute on 40% power. Stir and continue heating until you reach the desired temperature.
Our most popular Costa Rican recipes:
- Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo Recipe
- Costa Rican Black Bean Dip Recipe
- Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe
- Costa Rican Tres Leches Recipe
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar (can substitute brown sugar for a darker color)
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- In pressure cooker/Instant Pot combine all ingredients.
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release on its own.
- Open the pot and put the miel de coco in a serving dish.
- Serve hot or cold.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 42mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 1g
Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.
Welcome! I’m Christa, a former high school teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. I love all things Spanish and bi-cultural, (especially travel and food!) and you’ll find my observations on life here. Thanks for stopping by