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What is Coconut Candy?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Coconut is an favorite ingredient in many candy recipes. There is not a single coconut candy, but rather a nearly inexhaustible list of candies with coconut that are made throughout the world. Coconut may be mixed in with nougat, married with chocolate, covered with other delicious glazes, chopped up with nuts, or employed in so many other ways. People looking for coconut candy at stores are likely to find quite a few things, and many people make their own candy at home.

Commercial coconut candy types include things like the Peter Paul Manufacturing Company’s Mounds® and Almond Joy® Bars. Most are familiar with the jingle of this company claiming “Sometimes you feel like a nut; sometimes you don’t.” Mounds® were already popular mixes of coconut covered with chocolate when the company added Almond Joy® in the 1940s. Instead of just coating the coconut mix with chocolate, an almond was added on top before chocolate was applied, leaving consumers to decide if they “felt like a nut” or not.

Although there are many candy bar companies that have created various types of coconut candy, the meat from this nut is not just suited to candy bars. One popular type of coconut candy is the haystack, which mixes toasted coconut flakes with chocolate or white chocolate. Any candy might be made better by the addition of coconut and it can be added to things like truffles, peanut butter cups, fudges, and fondants used as soft centers for dipping. Sometimes people consider the coconut macaroon to be more rightly a candy than a cookie, though truly either definition will work.

Candy books and Internet sites devote significant space to recipes for coconut candy made at home, and these may be very simple and easy to follow or may alternately require some complex candy making skills. Simple things like haystacks might not need too much work, but elaborate fondants and fudges may require precise boiling of ingredients to certain temperatures and ability to work quickly.

Some types of coconut candy use both coconut meat and milk. These include the hard Latin American candy cocada, which is a combination of the above with regular milk, sherry, egg yolks, sugar and almonds. Other versions of cocada exist and recipes may differ depending upon individual regions. Numerous countries make use of coconuts in various forms of candy, and international food websites can be great places to find a variety of recipes that are fun to try at home.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Planch — On Oct 16, 2010

Have you ever tried Chinese coconut candy? It's different from the normal American chocolate covered coconut candy, but tastes so, so good. I'm still looking around for a good recipe for it, so if you guys have any good Chinese coconut candy recipes, let me know -- then I can stop bugging my friend to send me big boxes of it!

By googlefanz — On Oct 16, 2010

Here's a really old recipe for coconut caramel candy that my grandmother taught me:

You take a pint of milk, a knob of butter, the white part from one coconut grated very fine (its best if you do this by hand rather than get the store-bought versions because they're usually too big), three pounds of sugar (white or brown, doesn't matter), and two teaspoons of lemon juice or extract.

You mix it all together, then boil it until it starts to get stiff, then take it off the stove and beat it into a cream. Then you pour it into shallow baking pans and let it set for a few hours.

Then you're good to go -- just cut up the set cream into caramels, and you'll be set with the best coconut caramel candy you've ever tried.

By EarlyForest — On Oct 16, 2010

In my experience, coconut candy is one of those things that you either love or loathe. I really have never met anybody who feels "in-between" about coconut candy.

I happen to love coconut candy, even the weird coconut hard candy, though coconut cream candy like Almond Joys are my favorite.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, can't stand it. Oddly though, he loves coconut milk -- just not candy. He says it's too sweet, though he doesn't even like the sugar free coconut candy versions.

So like I said, love or loathe seems to be the rule of the game with coconut candy. Which one are you?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
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