The Happy Home Cook: Buko-Pandan Gelatin (Young Coconut-Pandan Gelatin)

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Buko Pandan Gelatin (Source: Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2013))

Buko Pandan Gelatin (Source: Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2013))

The green gelatin and the vanilla ice cream make an attractive combination. The coconut juice sweetens the gelatin, and sugar becomes unnecessary.

Serves 6


2 young coconuts (buko) or substitute prepared 700 ml young coconut juice in packs
5 fresh screwpine (pandan) leaves or substitute 1/2 tsp (2 ml) pandan flavoring
2 packs (75 g/pack) unflavored or sweetened green powdered gelatin
2 cups (500 g) coconut sport (macapuno) ice cream or 250 g whipped cream


  1. Crack open the young coconuts, if using. Reserve the coconut juice (approximately 3 cups or 720 ml).

  2. Scrape meat from the coconuts with a spoon to yield 1 cm (1/4 inch) strips. Set aside. Discard coconut shells.


1. Boil pandan leaves in the coconut juice for about 10 minutes or until pandan flavor has been extracted. Remove leaves. (If using pandan flavoring, mix this with the coconut juice.)

2. Add the green powdered gelatin to the coconut juice mixture and dissolve.

3. Pour into a shallow rectangular pan (mixture should reach about 1 cm or 1/4 inch thick). Chill for about 4 hours until firm. Cut into 1 cm cubes and place in a serving bowl. If using young coconuts, mix in the coconut meat and refrigerate. 

Serving Suggestion

Just before serving, scoop ice cream into individual bowls and stir to melt it a bit for a creamy consistency. Add the gelatin cubes and the coconut meat to the bowl of ice cream.


Vanilla ice cream, or better yet, the rich ice cream called mantecado are refreshing variations on the predictable macapuno ice cream.

Use big martini glasses for attractive individual servings. 

From Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition. (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2013)