<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >A Taste of the Beach: Yucatecan Coconut Desserts</span>

A Taste of the Beach: Yucatecan Coconut Desserts

23 february 2024
6 min. de lectura

Fall in love with Yucatecan coconut desserts

Despite being originally from Oceania, the coconut palm is a tree that has managed to establish itself throughout the world and become part of the culture of those who cultivate it. Coconut palms line the entire Yucatecan coastline and grace each of its towns, where locals have skillfully utilized their fruits to craft a wide array of desserts that have evolved into cherished traditions over the years.  


On Yucatán’s coast, two ports stand out for their delicious coconut desserts: Chelem and Telchac Puerto. Telchac Puerto is a traditional fishing village 40 minutes from Progreso. As soon as you approach it, you will see countless signs announcing a wide variety of coconut-based sweets and preparations. Telchac is definitely not short on options, but one of the most traditional ones is Dulcería Chay, which has offered locals and visitors its original coconut dessert recipes since 1954.


No matter which store you end up visiting, here’s a guide to what you can normally find in a traditional candy shop on the Yucatecan coast, each with its unique touch.  


Cremita de Coco Crema, by Gonzalo Nav Dulces de coco yucatecosCremitas de Coco (coconut custards)

Perhaps the most famous coconut dessert of all, a Cremita de Coco is a delectably sweet, dense, and velvety cream infused with cinnamon and a blend of milks. Best enjoyed chilled to preserve its luscious texture.  



Rollitos de Coco (coconut rolls)

Small spirals of sweetness, these rolls combine the rich flavor of coconut with the perfect touch of sugar, creating a crunchy and smooth experience with each bite.  



Tortillitas de Coco (coconut tortillas)

With a texture reminiscent of a crispy and flat tostada, these tortillas are ideal for those who prefer less sweet flavors. They’re thin and wafery, which is great news because it's hard to eat just one.  




A classic among coconut sweets, Cocadas are a perfect combination of shredded coconut and sugar, molded into spheres that are then oven-browned. Each Cocada is unique, varying in tone and texture depending on the roasting.    



Mazapán de coco (coconut marzipan)

The marzipan made in Yucatán is very different from versions made elsewhere in México, since it is made with pumpkin seeds instead of almonds or peanuts. On the Yucatecan coast, these marzipans go one step further, being made with a touch of coconut, which gives it a soft tropical flavor.  



Coconut-filled papaya 

This dessert is made with wild papayas, which are characterized by being considerably smaller in size than traditional papayas. These are crystallized and filled with a sweet coconut preparation.  



Dulcería Chay Limón relleno de cocoCoconut-filled lime

A hollowed-out green lime, crystallized, and filled with a delightful blend of grated coconut; once prepared, it's enjoyed whole, offering a harmonious balance of bitter and sweet flavors.  



Garapiñado de Coco (candied coconut)

Pieces of shredded coconut that are toasted and caramelized with sugar until crispy, on a base of solidified sugar.  



Bolita de coco (coconut ball)

These small spheres of grated coconut and sugar are a compact and sweet delight, ideal for a quick but flavorful bite.  



Yellow "Dominguera"

A tropical fusion where grated coconut meets pineapple, creating a refreshing and sweet flavor.  



White "Dominguera"

A sweet that plays with flavors, combining coconut with anise to enhance the fruit flavor with a unique spicy touch.  



Boli de coco (frozen coconut treats)

The perfect option to cool down on a hot Yucatecan day is a coconut Boli. This is a sweet coconut preparation with milk that’s frozen in a small plastic bag; they’re traditionally eaten by biting off a corner of the bag and enjoying them as they melt in your mouth.   




Burnt and caramelized coconut sweet, usually in a rectangular shape with an intense flavor of toasted coconut.  




A sweet concoction made with coconut and sweet potato, blended and cooked until achieving a thick and sticky consistency.  



Coconut/Atropellado pastry

A small pastry (empanada) filled with the coconut and sweet potato mixture known as Atropellado.



Other traditional sweets

Although not coconut-based, these traditional Yucatecan desserts can almost always be found alongside your trusted candy vendor: caramelized peanuts and pumpkin seeds, tamarinds (sweet and spicy), papaya candy, pumpkin seed marzipan, taffy, meringue, guava paste, and Mambitos.   So, now you know, the next time you visit Telchac Puerto or any corner of Yucatán, don't miss the opportunity to try these sweet culinary treasures.  



Traditional Yucatecan coconut sweets to add to your shopping list:

  1. Cremitas de Coco (coconut custards)
  2. Coconut rolls
  3. Coconut tortillas
  4. Cocada
  5. Coconut marzipans
  6. Papaya stuffed with coconut
  7. Coconut-filled lime
  8. Candied coconut
  9. Coconut balls
  10. Yellow Dominguera
  11. White Dominguera
  12. Frozen coconut treats
  13. Negrito
  14. "Atropellado" (a coconut and sweet potato candy)
  15. Atropellado pastries


Photography by Gonzalo Navarrete for it's use in Yucatán.

Gonzalo N. González

Author: Gonzalo N. González

Yucatecan accountant. Lover of nature, video games, plants, new places, and silence.

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