This coconut dessert is a twist on an old-time favorite! It’s creamy, coconutty, and oh, so luscious! It’s also incredibly easy and made WITHOUT any instant pudding mix!
Calling all coconut lovers! This easy coconut dessert is for you!
Classic Coconut Lush typically has a baked crust and a layer of cream cheese filling, but I cheated by using a layer of ladyfingers and homemade coconut pudding, instead!
This is a popular crowd-pleasing dessert in my family. I usually make this in the summer, but I often get asked to make it for family dinner parties throughout the year, too.
This coconut lush is:
made in one pan.
Now, that’s my kind of dessert!
This dessert is heavenly! First, there’s a layer of ladyfingers, then there’s homemade coconut pudding and then whipped cream on top. Finally, everything is topped with toasted coconut chips.
What you’ll need:
Ladyfingers: These are also known as Savoiradi – Italian biscuits. They’re perfect for trifles and layered desserts.
Eggs: I use organic. It really makes a difference.
Milk or coconut milk: If you can’t find coconut milk, you could use regular milk.
Vanilla: I always use pure vanilla extract, but if it’s hard to find, you could use vanilla flavor.
Shredded or desiccated coconut & some coconut chips: I use unsweetened desiccated coconut, and I like adding some toasted coconut chips on top for extra flavor and texture.
Sugar: I use regular, granulated sugar.
Cream: I don’t like ready-made whipped toppings because they usually have a lot more sugar and a bunch of additives which I tend to avoid like the plague! Even though there may be more fat in real whipped cream, it far exceeds the flavor of anything you can buy.
Baking pan: I used a 35cm X 23.5 cm (about 14in X 9in) glass baking pan.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What’s the difference between flaked, shredded & desiccated coconut?
Shredded coconut is in strips. It’s mainly dry, but still has some moisture. Desiccated coconut is dried and ground, rather than shredded. It looks like freshly fallen snow! I prefer desiccated coconut, because it’s easier for me to find. Flaked coconut (also known as coconut chips) are much larger and wider than desiccated coconut; they’re mainly added for texture.
Could I use instant pudding mix?
You could, but, believe me, pudding made from scratch beats the boxed one any day! The taste cannot compare – homemade pudding is so much more flavorful than the instant stuff! Plus it’s easy to make and there are no strange ingredients in it! That’s a win-win!
Instead of coconut chips, you could sprinkle some caramelized walnuts, sliced almonds, or chopped pecans on top.
Let me know how this coconut lush dessert turns out for you in the comments below! I would love to hear from you!
Easy Coconut Lush Dessert
For the Base
- 1 packet (200g / 7 oz) ladyfingers
- 1/4 cup milk
For the Filling
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (60 g / 2.15 oz) all-purpose flour
- dash of salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 cups (1 liter) coconut milk or regular milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (122 g / 4.3 oz) dessicated coconut
For the Topping
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups flaked coconut (coconut chips)
- 500 ml (18 fl oz) whipping cream or heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- caramelized walnuts, sliced almonds, or chopped pecans (optional)
For the Base
- Line a plate with some paper towel. Dip the ladyfingers, one at a time in the milk and place them on the paper towel to drain.
- Line a pan evenly with the ladyfingers. Set aside.
For the Filling
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, the milk and the vanilla . Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir over medium heat until it becomes thick and bubbly.
- Continue stirring and reduce heat to low. Contintue to stir for 2-3 minutes longer. Stir in the dessicated coconut.
- Pour the filling over the ladyfingers and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to cool completely.
For the Topping
- Toast the coconut flakes in a non-stick fryng pan on medium-low heat until light brown, about 3 minutes, mixing often to prevent burning. Set aside.
- Beat the whipping cream and the powdered sugar together with a hand mixer until whipped cream forms, about 5 minutes.
- When filling has completely cooled, remove the plastic wrap, add the whipped cream and spread evenly on the top.
- Add the toasted coconut flakes or nuts. Refrigerate before serving, at least 2 hours.
- Toasting the coconut flakes in a non-stick frying pan is such a time-saver as opposed to using the oven! Just be careful because it can burn easily.
- Keep the dessert in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so the ladyfingers will have enough time to soften up.