Recipe: Mexican Cocadas

These luscious coconut-pineapple sweets come from pastry chef Fany Gerson, author of My Sweet Mexico and owner of Manhattan’s La Newyorkina. 


Cook’s Note: You can also form cocadas into little balls instead of squares: use an ice cream scoop to drop the mixture onto the greased pan.


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened grated coconut (preferably freshly grated), toasted
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds (optional)
  • freshly ground Mexican cinnamon (optional)


Combine sugar, water and salt in a medium pot (preferably stainless steel) and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until mixture reaches consistency of corn syrup. Add coconut and pineapple and stir until mixture thickens and you can see the bottom of the pot when stirring. Stir in almonds, if using. Pour mixture into a greased shallow baking pan, and sprinkle with cinnamon, if using. Let cool, then cut into squares.