Coconut Jelly

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 08/06/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 3 hours 15 minutes
Silky, smooth, cold and refreshing coconut jelly is the ultimate summer treat to cool off with. Made with fresh coconut water, coconut milk, milk and sugar, this easy coconut jelly recipe can be yours with only 5 simple steps.
Coconut Jelly

Silky, smooth, cold, and refreshing coconut jelly is the ultimate summer treat to cool off with. Made with fresh coconut water, coconut milk, milk, and sugar, this easy coconut jelly recipe can be yours with only 5 simple steps.

Several small glasses full of coconut jelly and mango with spoons nearby.

Calling all coconut lovers, this silky smooth coconut jelly is a delicious and refreshing summer treat that was made specifically for you. It can be paired with any fresh fruit, for a variety of different flavor pairings.

So if you live in SoCal you may have heard of Melo Melo. Melo Melo is a dessert brand that sells silky soft coconut jelly dessert cups with a variety of fruit toppings. It is not too sweet, velvety smooth, and very refreshing. The one caveat is that it is $8-12 EACH.

When I had a cup for the first time, I was hooked. I knew that I had to have more but I couldn’t live with its steep price. After a ton of research and recipe testing, I have created a Melo Melo copycat that I deem to be just as good—or dare I say—even better than the original coconut pudding. If you are looking for more cool summer desserts, check out my matcha popsicles, che Thai, che ba mau (Vietnamese three-color dessert), or lychee rose popsicles.

Lifting a spoonful of coconut jelly from a glass

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Coconut jelly is a popular crowd-pleasing dessert that can easily be made in bulk for large gatherings and events.
  • This refreshing coconut jello recipe is made with only 6 ingredients and 5 simple steps.
  • I provided you with tips and tricks on how to make the most delicious coconut pudding at home without the premium markup!
Two small glasses of coconut jelly topped with mango on a serving tray.

Kitchen Equipment

For this coconut pudding recipe, you do not need any fancy kitchen equipment.

  • Kitchen scale: I highly recommend adding a kitchen scale to your kitchen equipment staples for any type of dessert or bake. It will ensure the most accurate measurements and flavor every time.
  • Mixing bowl: you will need a small mixing bowl to bloom the gelatin.
  • Small saucepan: you will need a small saucepan to heat up your coconut mixture in order to activate the gelatin.
  • Fine Mesh Sieve: you will need a fine-mesh sieve to strain the coconut mixture to catch any large gelatin clumps.
  • Rubber Spatula: used to mix the mixture together.
  • Small cups, bowls, or jars: for holding the coconut jello. This coconut pudding recipe is very soft and cannot hold its shape on its own without a container. You can use any small cup, bowl, or jar.

Ingredients

You can find all six of these ingredients for this coconut jelly recipe at your local Asian grocery store.

  • Gelatin powder: I used Knox gelatin powder for this coconut pudding recipe. Make sure to bloom the gelatin to ensure a smooth finish.
  • Young coconut: fresh is always best. If you have access to an Asian grocery market with a large fruit selection, chances are you will find a young coconut. I bought mine at my local 99 Ranch market. If you don’t have access, you can always opt for canned young coconut water.
  • Coconut Milk: coconut milk is one of the strongest flavor ingredients in this recipe. Opt for a high-quality tasting full-fat coconut milk. My go-to always is Chef’s choice coconut milk.
  • Milk: you will need milk to thin out the strong coconut flavor yet keep the creamy consistency of the coconut jello.
  • Salt: a touch of sea salt will bring out the other flavors of this coconut jello.
  • Granulated Sugar: sweetens the coconut pudding mixture. For more sweetening flavors, check out the additions section below.
All the ingredients to make coconut jelly organized on a counter..

Substitutions and Additions

This coconut pudding can be customized based on your access to the ingredients and your diet! I have listed vegan coconut pudding ingredient substitutions below.

Substitutions

  • Young coconut juice: if you do not have access to fresh young coconut, you can opt for canned young coconut water or regular coconut water.
  • Gelatin: you can also use gelatin sheets or agar for a vegan alternative. Simply use the same weighted amount as listed.
  • Milk: if you opt to remove regular milk from the recipe, I suggest using 3 cups of young coconut water and 1 cup of coconut milk instead.

Additions

  • Vanilla: for added flavor, you can add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Pandan Leaves: for an earthy vanilla flavor, you can steep freshly washed pandan leaves for about 30 minutes in the warm coconut mixture. Make sure the mixture is not boiling hot when you add the gelatin.

How to Make Coconut Jelly

This coconut pudding recipe is incredibly simple to re-create for a cool and refreshing dessert on a hot day.

  1. Bloom the gelatin. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of cold water. Then sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water, gently stir and let it absorb the water for about 5 minutes.
Blooming gelatin in a small glass dish.
  1. Heat coconut mixture. In a medium saucepan, mix together the coconut water, coconut milk, milk, salt, and sugar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot and reaches a gentle simmer along the edges. Do not boil!
Heating the coconut mixture in a small pot.
  1. Add gelatin. Once the mixture reaches a simmer, turn off the heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Mix until the gelatin dissolves and there are no lumps.
Adding gelatin to the heated coconut mixture.
  1. Sift the mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Skim off any bubbles on the surface.
Sifting the mixture to remove any clumps.
  1. Assemble and chill. Divide the coconut mixture into small cups or jars of your choice. Chill in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 hour and then cover and refrigerate for 3-4 more hours or until solid.
Pouring the jelly mixture into cups to chill.
  1. Serve. Top your coconut jello with fresh fruit and enjoy!
A small glasses of coconut jelly topped with mango on a serving tray.

Tips for the Best Coconut Jelly

  • Use fresh young coconut. For the best-tasting coconut jelly, fresh ingredients are best. If you have access to a local Asian grocery store that sells young fresh coconut, I highly recommend using it.
  • Do not boil the coconut mixture on the stove. Boiling gelatin will result in lesser efficacy and holding strength. If gelatin hits 212°F, it will weaken its gelling ability.
  • Sift the mixture before adding it to the cups. Make sure to sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any large lumps of gelatin that did not dissolve all the way.
Two coupe glasses with coconut jelly topped with chopped mango.

Storage Instructions

You can store the coconut jelly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Frequently Asked Q’s and A’s

Where can I find fresh young coconut?

You can find fresh young coconut at your local grocery store or Asian grocery store. I have seen them at my local 99 Ranch Market and Sprouts.

How do I open a coconut?

You can cut a fresh coconut at home with a knife. Simply follow this video for a safe, simple way to open the coconut.

Which containers do I use for coconut jelly?

This recipe yields 6 small 7 oz cups of coconut pudding. I used small bodega glasses I found at Crate and Barrel, but you can opt for any small cup, jar, or bowl that you have at home.

Did you make this Coconut Jelly?

If you made this dish and loved it, please leave a review and comment below. We would greatly appreciate it!

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Recipe

Several small glasses full of coconut jelly and mango with spoons nearby.

Coconut Jelly

4.50 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Silky, smooth, cold and refreshing coconut jelly is the ultimate summer treat to cool off with. Made with fresh coconut water, coconut milk, milk and sugar, this easy coconut jelly recipe can be yours with only 5 simple steps.
Servings: 6 cups
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Gelatin

Coconut Jelly

Toppings

  • mint
  • mango pieces

Instructions

  • Bloom the gelatin. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of cold water. Then sprinkle the gelatin on top of the water, gently stir and let it absorb the water for about 5 minutes.
  • Heat coconut mixture. In a medium saucepan, mix together the coconut water, coconut milk, milk, salt and sugar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot and reaches a gentle simmer along the edges. Do not boil!
  • Add gelatin. Once the mixture reaches a simmer, turn off the heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Mix until the gelatin dissolves and there are no lumps.
  • Sift the mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Skim off any bubbles on the surface.
  • Assemble and chill. Divide the coconut mixture into small cups or jars of your choice. Chill in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 hour and then cover and refrigerate for 3-4 more hours or until solid.
  • Serve. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use fresh young coconut. For the best tasting coconut jelly, fresh ingredients are best. If you have access to a local Asian grocery store that sells young fresh coconut, I highly recommend using it.
  • Do not boil the coconut mixture on the stove. Boiling gelatin will result in lesser efficacy and holding strength. If gelatin hits 212°F, it will weaken its gelling ability.
  • Sift the mixture before adding it to the cups. Make sure to sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any large lumps of gelatin that did not dissolve all the way.

Nutrition:

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Hello! It’s hard for me to find whole coconuts in my area, even at the local Asian grocery store. Do you have any recommendations for coconut water brands?

    • I really like any coconut water brand that uses 100% real coconut water and no added ingredients such as Zico Coconut Water and Harmless Harvest Coconut water (this one is fun and pink!)

  2. Hello,
    I just tried this recipe and the taste is amazing, but I found that after chilling, the mixture seems to have separated a bit, with the white layer of the coconut milk floating more towards the top and the bottom being more transparent. Do you have any tips on how to prevent this from separating?

    thank you,

    • Hi Terry!
      Thanks for trying out this recipe! There was a little bit of separation when I made it too. It is what naturally occurs when you mix coconut milk and with coconut water. To prevent it from separating, I recommend decreasing the temperature of your refrigerator so that it can solidify quicker before it separates.

    • Hi! You can use whichever milk you’d like! I used whole milk for a creamier, texture and consistency. Keep in mind the less fat in the milk, the thinner and less creamy the final result will be.