4 pcs pandan leaves (tied in a knot) - If pandan leaves are not available where you live, you may omit it
200 g young coconut flesh (shredded)
2 tsp pandan paste
10 g gelatin sheets (soaked in water until softened) - can be substituted with gulaman powder
120 g sago
200 ml whipping cream (can be swapped for all purpose cream)
350 ml condensed milk
300 ml evaporated milk
100 g white sugar
500 ml water
Buko Pandan is a classic Filipino cold dessert that is creamy and filled with pandan flavor. It is made up of a variety of components such as soft and sweet young coconut flesh, sweetened milk, and pandan jelly. The soft pandan jelly cubes are drowned in the sweet and creamy sauce. With tender sago added into the mix, the dessert is given a delicate touch.
Served cold, this mouth-watering dessert is the perfect treat to cool you down on a hot summers’ day. So, what exactly is Buko Pandan? Its name means coconut screwpine – the two main components mentioned. Coconuts are known for their rich flavor. Sweet, milky, and nutty, adding such a profound flavor profile will provide pure indulgence for any dish or dessert. In the Philippines, pandan leaves can be seen growing almost anywhere, making them one of the commonly used ingredients when cooking.
Though requiring some precision in making the separate components of this popular Filipino dessert, our Buko Pandan recipe is easy to follow and is a must-try.
The dessert can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. You could alternatively store it in the freezer for up to two weeks. However, once thawed, the creamy dessert should not be refrozen.
If you would like your dessert to be creamier, add in all-purpose cream. In this recipe, the whipping cream can be swapped out for all-purpose cream.
There are no hard and fast rules for this recipe. The intention behind shredding them is so that there will be more coconut flesh in the dessert. When cut into small and thin strips, the coconut flesh can be mixed into the sweetened milk mixture more evenly.
1. Add flavor and texture to your dessert: Once your dessert has set, top it off with nata de coco or vanilla ice cream. The nata de coco will add more crunch while the ice cream will melt in with the milk and add to the creaminess. You can also create something unique by adding in tapioca pearls or kaong.
2. Delicious pandan jelly: Instead of cooking the gelatin sheets in plain water, try cooking it in coconut juice. Just like how the pandan paste will deepen the color and the aroma of pandan in the dessert, cooking the gelatin sheets in coconut water will heighten the coconut flavor of the jelly.
3. A melt-in-your-mouth dessert: Instead of serving the dessert chilled, try leaving it in the freezer for a few hours. This will turn some of the components like the coconut, pandan jelly, and sago seeds into little soft candies that will burst in your mouth when later consumed.
Transfer buko pandan into serving glasses and serve cold.
Looking to try out more desserts to beat the heat? Try these!