Here’s a super-easy recipe for making delicious coconut burfi, just like the ones you find in Indian sweet shops. It’s moist, coconutty, and perfect for whipping up at home.
About this Recipe
Coconut burfi is a bit like coconut fudge, with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s a favorite treat in Gujarat and all over India. I have fond memories of my mom making this for us when we were kids. She’d make it for celebrations, birthdays, festivals, or whenever she wanted to add something special to a meal.
My mom’s version used freshly grated coconut, but I’ve come to prefer the texture of desiccated coconut which is more similar to what you get from sweet shops. Most importantly, hers was loaded with mawa which gives it that rich, creamy base.
My favorite coconut sweet has always been kopra pak, the kind with lots of mawa and a creamy, milky flavor. When I tried making it at home, it tasted fantastic, but I felt like it was losing some of that pure coconut goodness because of the mawa. To amp up the coconut flavor while keeping that milky base, I added concentrated coconut flavor using evaporated coconut milk.
Desiccated Coconut or finely grated fresh coconut
Evaporated Coconut Milk or regular coconut milk, evaporated milk, or whole milk
Mawa homemade with ghee, milk powder, and milk, see this recipe for instant mawa.
Nuts (Cashews are great, or pistachios for a pop of color)
Edible Foil (Varak) – Optional for that fancy sweet shop look (silver or gold, your choice)
Square Cheesecake Pan with a removable bottom (or any similar-sized pan) – I use a 7” x 7” pan, which is equivalent to an 8” round pan.
Offset Spatula (for spreading)
Microplane (for grating nutmeg)
Bench Scraper (for neat cutting)
- It’s important to cook it long enough. If you take it off the stove too soon it will not hold it’s shape. It happens quickly, so make sure it has come together enough before removing from the stove. Test by taking a piece and letting it cool on the counter. Squeeze it into a ball, if it retains its shape it is ready.
- Use evaporated dairy milk in place of coconut milk. Although I love the extra coconut flavor from evaporated coconut milk, dairy milk is what sweet shops would use and is easier to find.
- Toast the coconut before using it, in a dry pan until fragrant or even until golden if you prefer.
- Many people add food coloring to kopra pak: pink, yellow, or green are common additions.
- To keep it dairy-free or vegan, use 1/4 cup of ground cashews or almonds if you like with a tablespoon of plant-based milk in place of the mawa.
Allow the kopra pak to cool at room temperature for approximately an hour before transferring it to the refrigerator. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week. If you wish to store it for a more extended period, you can freeze it for as long as three months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply defrost it in the refrigerator overnight.
I prefer serving kopra pak directly from the refrigerator, but if you’d like it at room temperature, you can gently microwave it in short 10-second bursts until it reaches the temperature you like. The number of times you’ll need to microwave it will depend on your microwave’s power and the quantity you’re reheating.
Kopra Pak | Coconut Burfi
- 7"x7" Cake Pan
- Bench Scraper
- 1 12.2 oz can evaporated coconut milk or dairy
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 ½ cups desiccated coconut 1400g bag
- 6 Tbsp mawa or ricotta cheese
- 1 pinch saffron
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Ghee or oil for pan
- Silver leave optional
- A handful of slivered nuts optional
- In a small bowl or plate, add saffron strands and a small ice cube. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the saffron to bloom.
- Grease a 6×6 square cheesecake pan or 8” round cake pan and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat milk and sugar over medium heat. When the sugar has melted, stir in mawa. Stir to form an even mixture, breaking up any large clumps.
- Once the mawa is well integrated, stir in coconut and saffron. Mix well. Add cardamom and nutmeg. Continue to heat the until a piece removed from the mixture and slightly cooled retains its shape.
- Remove from heat. Transfer into your grease pan, pressing into shape with an offset spatula or silicon spatula.
- Optionally, for decoration, top with edible silver foil (vark) and slivered nuts of choice.
- Let cool for 1 hour, refrigerate if not serving immediately.