I do not bake often, not because I’m not too fond of it, never think of it.

Last night it was not the case.

A school project required bringing a dish from the country on which he did his school paper. Chile, Latin America, was what he selected.

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Chilean Cocadas

Amongst all the information and papers that needed to be done, a recipe found its way to me, actually to the kitchen table.

The recipe had to be prepared to bring to class on the presentation day. I was happy to oblige.

Looking at the recipe, a sad and happy feeling overcame me. The recipe was Chilean Cocadas or Coconut Macaroons. My dad’s favorite dessert.

My dad not only loved them, but he also made sure he always had some stashed in the house, and on Sunday morning, some always found their way home from the Market.

You can imagine how I felt. Memories rushed back, and time and space brought me back to my early years living in Paris.

In this Article

Cocadas Or Coconut Macaroons

The European recipes require eggs, but the ones from South America do not.

Sweetened condensed milk is very dense and being the first time opening a can it surprised me. It is often used for things like dulce du leche and caramel sauce.

Those cute little macaroons not only looked delicious but also were easy to enjoy. Two was my limit as they are very sweet. A perfect party dessert recipe. Or they work well for special occasions when you want to want something a little different.

Truly a sweet tooth delight. To make it even sweeter, add some white chocolate pieces.

Chilean cocadas

What Is Condensed Milk?

Condensed milk is a form of cow’s milk where about 60% of the water content has been removed, leaving behind a thick, sweet product.

It is often sweetened by adding sugar, resulting in a product known as sweetened condensed milk.

This milk variant has a creamy, rich texture and a sweet flavor, making it a popular ingredient in a variety of desserts and sweet dishes across the globe.

Its long shelf life and distinct taste have made it a kitchen staple, particularly for baking and dessert recipes.

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

The assembly of the cookies took no longer than 15 minutes, with a 5-minute wait required so all the ingredients could incorporate themselves.

Pure almond extract – brings out the wonderful flavor of the coconut.

Vanilla extract – Use high-quality

Shredded coconut. Check to make sure you are using fresh. They are the best as they are crisp and full of flavor.

Powdered sugar – for a generous dusting, optional step.

Serve them at room temperature.


Equipment Needed

Wire rack – They will dry faster and more evenly as the air circulates underneath by placing them on a rack.

Baking sheet – Easy to use

Parchment paper – lining the baking sheet to avoid sticking to the pan.

Baking step-by-step instructions to make those wonderful Cocadas.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the coconut, cornstarch, condensed milk, almond extract, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Allow the mixture to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Using 2 tablespoons, scoop the mixture onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. You could also use a cookie scoop.
  • Carefully monitor the cocadas as they bake, ensuring a light golden brown color is achieved within 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Take the cocadas out of the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  • To add a touch of sweetness, generously sprinkle the cocadas with confectioner’s white sugar using a fine mesh sieve or sifter.

How To Get Cocadas Crispy Again?

If your Cocadas lose their crispiness, fear not! You can easily renew their texture.

Place the Cocadas on a baking sheet and warm them in an oven preheated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes or until they regain their crispness.

Be sure to watch them, as you don’t want to overbake them.

Once they’re crispy again, let them cool down before serving. It’s a simple way to keep your Cocadas fresh and delicious!

Substitutes And Additions

If you’re looking for alternatives or want to add some twists to your Chilean Cocadas, here are some suggestions:

  • Sweetened Coconut: Unsweetened coconut can be used if you watch your sugar intake. Just add a bit more condensed milk or honey to balance the sweetness. Another alternative is toasted coconut, which brings an extra crunch and a nuttier flavor.
  • Condensed Milk: A dairy-free option could be coconut cream or coconut condensed milk. If you want to cut down on the sweetness, evaporated milk can be used, but you might need to add some sugar to the recipe.
  • Almond Extract: This can be substituted with other nutty extracts like walnut or hazelnut extract. If you’re allergic to nuts, use a bit of extra vanilla extract instead.
  • Vanilla Extract: If you don’t have this at hand, vanilla bean or vanilla paste could be a great substitute. They provide authentic vanilla flavor, although they might slightly alter the texture of your cocadas.

As for additions, you might want to consider the following:

  • Chocolate Chips: Adding chocolate chips to the mix before baking can create a delightful contrast of flavors. 
  • Nuts: Finely chopped almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, or walnuts can add a nice crunch and additional flavor.
  • Spices: A pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg could add a warm, spicy note to your cocadas.


Storing leftover Cocadas is relatively simple. Just place them in an air-tight container and store these coconut treats at room temperature.

They can stay fresh for about a week. If you prefer them chilled, you can store them in the refrigerator, where they might last a bit longer, up to two weeks. 

Freezing Cocadas is also an option, and it can extend their lifespan for up to three months. Here is how you freeze them: 

  • Let the Cocadas cool completely. 
  • Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they’re not touching. 
  • Freeze the Cocadas on the sheet until they’re completely frozen. 
  • Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. 
  • To consume, thaw the Cocadas at room temperature for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. 

Remember, always ensure your Cocadas are stored in airtight containers, whether at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, to prevent them from absorbing the flavors of other foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Cocadas vegan?

Yes, you can make Cocadas vegan. Simply replace the sweetened condensed milk with a vegan alternative such as coconut or another plant-based milk. Make sure any additional ingredients, like chocolate chips, are also vegan.

How can I make Cocadas nut-free?

To make the Cocadas nut-free, omit the almond extract and any nut-based additions from the recipe. You can replace the almond extract with extra vanilla extract or another flavoring of your choice that does not contain nuts.

Why are my Cocadas not crispy?

Your Cocadas might not be crispy if they are undercooked or if there is too much moisture in the batter. Ensure you follow the baking time and temperature precisely. Also, make sure that the coconut you use is appropriately shredded and dried.

Can I use fresh coconut for Cocadas?

Yes, you can use fresh coconut for Cocadas. However, you must first shred and dry the coconut before using it in the recipe. Using fresh coconut may give the Cocadas a more authentic and richer flavor.

Is there a low-sugar version of Cocadas?

Yes, you can create a low-sugar version of Cocadas using unsweetened shredded coconut and a sugar substitute instead of the sweetened condensed milk. However, this may slightly alter the taste and texture of the Cocadas.

Equipment and ingredients used to prepare this recipe

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14 Oz, Pack of 4
Buy On Amazon
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02/18/2024 06:49 am GMT

Baker's, Angel Flake Coconut Sweetened, 7 Ounces
$5.00 ($0.71 / Ounce)
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02/18/2024 06:25 am GMT

Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract for Baking and Cooking 4 Ounce Bottle with Gift Box
$14.99 ($3.75 / Fl Oz)
Buy On Amazon
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
02/18/2024 06:30 am GMT

Chilean Cocadas

5 from 12 votes
Chilean Cocadas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Those cute little macaroons not only looked delicious but also were easy to enjoy. Two was my limit as they are very sweet. The perfect party dessert recipe.


  • 3.5 cup sweetened coconut, shredded
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk,
  • 2.5 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • In a medium mixing bowl stir together the coconut, cornstarch, condensed milk, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
  • Let the mixture sit for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Using 2 tablespoons, drop the mixture by heaping a rounded spoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
  • Watching the cocadas closely, bake them for 15 to 20 minutes until they are lightly golden brown.
  • Remove the cocadas from the oven and cool them on a wire rack.
  • Using a fine meshed sieve or sifter, dust the cocadas with confectioner’s sugar.
  • Store the cookies loosely covered until ready to use.


Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on March 8, 2015, updated on October 13, 2023.

Please read my privacy policy for more info. I only recommend the products that I love and use. This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.