Pastelitos de Coco

Tiny Coconut Turnovers


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    3 dozen

Appears in

Eating Cuban

Eating Cuban

By Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs

Published 2006

  • About

These sweet, delicate little pastries are the perfect complement to a strong, flavorful cup of café Cubano. Grated coconut in heavy syrup, which is sold in cans at many Latin American grocery stores, makes these tiny turnovers a snap to make.


For the Dough

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling

  • ½ (17-ounce) can grated coconut in heavy syrup
  • 1 large egg white, beaten together with 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup sugar


Make the dough: Sift the flour, then sift it again with the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, use a heavy-duty electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line baking sheets with baking parchment.

Roll the dough out as thinly as possible. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out circles of dough. Brush the edges with water. Place 1 scant teaspoon of the coconut on one side of each dough circle and fold the other side over to make a turnover. Press the edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Place the pastelitos on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops lightly with the egg-white mixture and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, until barely golden. Allow to cool on a rack; serve at room temperature.