Cocadas con Panela o Panelitas de Coco

Coconut Panela Balls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 12

    large 3 inch balls

Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

Originally from the Pacific zones of the Valle del Cauca and Antioquia, both Cocadas con Panela and Panelitas can be prepared in the same manner. All you have to do is shred the coconut finer for the panelitas than for the cocadas and form into tablespoon-size balls. These cocadas keep fresh for up to a month if stored tightly in tin cans.


  • 1 coconut
  • 2 cups (1 pound) grated panela*


  1. Pick a large coconut that has water inside; drain, open, and shred the coconut to yield cups of coconut water and 3 cups shredded or finely grated coconut.
  2. Place the coconut water, panela and ½ cup of water in a medium, heavy pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated or been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of coconut onto a buttered foiled baking pan.
  5. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.
  6. Serve, or keep in an airtight container.