This coconut jelly makes truly creamy and refreshing coconut milk and palm sugar layered agar agar jelly. Poured into thin alternate layers of white and amber, these cooling dessert makes excellent party treats too!
This coconut jelly is an agar agar jelly made using coconut milk (for the white layers) and palm sugar (for the brown layers).
The jelly uses agar agar powder, but you can also use konnyaku jelly if you like. The coconut milk used in making this coconut jelly is the creamy white liquid that is extracted from the white flesh of the coconut and not the clear liquid (coconut water) that is readily present in coconuts.
The process starts by cooking the agar agar powder with water. The jelly solution is then divided into 2. The thick coconut milk and white sugar are added to one portion while palm sugar syrup is added to the other portion.
Both portions are then poured in layers, alternately, to make the pretty layers in the coconut jelly. This process can take some time as you need to wait for each layer of the jelly to set before pouring in the next layer. If you are pressed for time, you can make this coconut jelly into 2 simple layers - 1st layer of coconut milk jelly and the second layer of palm sugar jelly. The jelly will still taste great and will still look pretty.
How to Make the Coconut Jelly (Coconut Agar Agar)
- Jelly (agar agar) powder
- White sugar
- Palm sugar (Gula Melaka)
- Thick coconut milk
Preparing the palm sugar
- Cut the palm sugar into small pieces for easy dissolving. Alternatively, grate it with a cheese grater. Place in a small pot.
- Add water into the pot.
- Cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir the sugar to help it dissolve quicker.
- Strain to remove any residue. Set aside.
Making the jelly solution
- In a medium sized pan, add water. Sprinkle the jelly powder (agar agar powder) over the water.
- Heat it up the solution over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the jelly powder. This should take approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
- To test if the jelly is completely dissovled, scoop a spoon and wait until all the bubbles subside. If the solution is clear (not opaque), the jelly is dissolved and the agar agar solution is ready for next stage.
- Strain the jelly to remove any undissolved jelly lumps. This is an optional step, so you can skip this if you are confident there are no jelly lumps in your cooked agar agar solution.
- Divide the strained jelly solution into 2 pots. Mix coconut milk and white sugar into the first portion. Heat it up over low heat and stir until the sugar is all dissolved. If you don't get the grainy feeling at the bottom of the pan as you stir, the sugar is dissolved and you can stop stirring. Turn off the heat, cover and set it aside.
- In the second jelly portion, add the palm sugar syrup. Heat up the solution and stir until well combined. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.
Assembling the coconut milk jelly
- Spoon the first layer of the coconut milk jelly solution into the prepared mold. Refrigerate to set.
- Remove from fridge and gently spoon the second layer, this time the palm sugar jelly solution. Refrigerate to set.
- Repeat the process until the jelly solutions are used up.
- If there is any residual that is not enough for full layering, you can combine both the coconut milk and palm sugar jelly solutions into one.
- Pour them as the final layer for your coconut jelly.
- Remove any bubble you see on the surface with a spoon. Return the jelly mold to the fridge to chill completely for at least 2 hours before serving.
Cutting and serving the jelly
- Once the jelly is completely set, remove it from the fridge. To loosen the jelly from the mold, run a thin spatula along the sides of the jelly and the mold.
- Cover the mold with a plate and holding both the mold and the plate together, turn the jelly over onto the plate.
- Tap lightly to remove the jelly onto the plate.
- Cut the jelly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To prevent the jelly solution in the pots from setting while assembling the coconut jelly layers, keep them warm by placing them over pots of hot water (double boiling) or simply heat them up intermittently to ensure they don't cool down. Keep stirring the solutions every now and then to prevent any jelly films from forming at the surface and the sides of the pots.
- This coconut jelly can also be made into individual serving cups. Here is how I did mine:
What is coconut milk?
- Coconut milk is the thick, white and creamy liquid that is extracted from the white coconut flesh. It is not the clear water that is naturally present in coconuts (coconut water).
How to make coconut milk?
- The coconut milk for this coconut jelly recipe has to be thick. If you are going to make your own coconut milk, is it important to not add too much water when extracting the milk.
- To extract the milk, you cut or grate the coconut flesh and place it is a food processor. Add some water and process until fine. Strain the coconut milk with a fine sieve or a muslin cloth. Discard the pulp.
What if you dont have palm sugar?
- Palm sugar (also know as Gula Melaka) is naturally derived from palm trees. It is brown is color and is often sold in cycliderical blocks. Palm sugar is widely used in Asian cooking and pairs excellently well with coconut milk.
- If you don't have palm sugar or cannot find it in your local stores, you can replace it with brown sugar for the brown layers of the coconut jelly. Simply replace the same amount of brown sugar as the palm sugar.
Can you make this jelly in individual mini cups?
- Yes, you can. Layer the jelly in the same way as mentioned above into each of the individual molds.
How long does it take for the jelly to set?
- Agar agar jelly sets when its temperature reduces. Thicker layers of jelly typically take a longer time to set as compared to thinner layers.
- Also, placing the jelly in the fridge will make it set faster as compared to room temperate.
How to prevent the jelly solution in the pots from setting while waiting for the jelly layers in the molds to set?
- Since the jelly will start setting as it cools down, it is important that the coconut jelly and palm sugar jelly in the pots (while waiting to be assembled into the jelly layers) is kept warm.
- To do this, you can place the jelly solution over pots of hot water (similar to double boiling) or your can heat the jelly solution intermittently, just so that it does not reduce to a temperature where it will start setting.
- Keeping the jelly solution covered will also delay the cooling process.
Why do you need to make sure the layers are set before adding in the next layer of jelly?
- As the jelly layers set, the top surface of the jelly will set first. This is because it gets cooled first. That is why when you touch the jelly surface after a while, you will notice that the top has formed a film but the bottom will still be jiggly. That layer of thin film on the surface of the jelly can break easily, depending on how much time the jelly has had to cool down and set.
- If you pour your next layer of jelly while the bottom layer is not adequately set, the thin film that has formed on the surface of the jelly can break and your jelly layers will get mixed up. You will end up not getting the distinctly separate white and brown layers anymore. Hence it is important to let each of the jelly layers to set reasonably well before adding the next layer of jelly.
Does the coconut milk jelly melt after cutting?
- When poured into a larger mold and cut into pieces, the jelly tends to release some liquid after a few hours of cutting. This is normal and does not mean that the jelly has turned bad. You can still consume the jelly and it is still as good as new.
- One way to prevent the jelly from melting is to cut it only before serving. Another way is to pour it into individual serving cups. That way, the jelly will remain solid for a good one week.
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- Pineapple Nata Jelly - An Easy Tropical Konnyaku Dessert
- Lychee Jelly - An Easy Fruit Jelly Recipe
- Coffee Jelly - An Easy Homemade Coffee Dessert
- Aiyu Jelly - How to Make
- Sago Pudding with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar (Sago Gula Melaka)
Here is the full printable version of my coconut milk jelly recipe.
Coconut Jelly (Coconut Milk Agar Agar with Palm Sugar)
- 10 g jelly (agar agar) powder
- 100 g white sugar
- 100 g palm sugar (Gula Melaka)
- 300 ml coconut milk (thick)
- 900 ml water
- Prepared the molds and set them aside.
Cooking the jelly
- Measure 300ml water in a small pot.
- Grate the palm sugar and add it to the water. Cook over medium heat until the palm sugar is all dissolved. Strain the solution and set it aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, measure 600ml water.
- Sprinkle the jelly powder into it.
- Cook on medium heat until the jelly is all dissolved. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Strain the jelly solution into 2 separate heat-proof pots in equal portions.
- Pour the coconut milk and white sugar into the first portion. Stir over low heat until the sugar is all dissolved. Cover and turn off the heat.
- Pour the strained palm sugar solution into the second portion. Heat it up briefly and stir well.
Assembling the jelly
- To prevent the coconut milk and the palm sugar jelly solutions from setting in the pots, you would need to keep the solution warm as you assemble the jelly. If you notice the solutions cooling down, heat them up lightly and stir well. Keep them covered.
- Spoon 5 small ladles of the coconut milk jelly solution into the prepared molds. Refrigerate until the jelly sets lightly (you should be able to feel the surface of the jelly set if you touch lightly with your finger, but the bottom can still be soft).
- Remove from fridge and very gently, pour 5 ladles of gula melaka jelly on the white layer. Spoon the jelly as close to the top surface as possible to prevent it from breaking. If it breaks, the coconut and the palm sugar jelly will get mixed up and you will not get the pretty white and brown layers.
- Refrigerate until the second jelly layer sets lightly.
- Repeat the process until both the jelly solutions are used up. For the final layer, if there is not enough of either solution to make a full layer, combine both the solutions and pour into the mold as one final layer.
- Refrigerate the jelly until it is completely set and thoroughly chilled for about 2 hours.
- Once completely set, remove the jelly from the fridge. Run a thin spatula along the sides of the mold to loosen the jelly.
- Place a plate on top of the mold and turn it over with the mold underneath it. Tap to remove the jelly onto the plate.
- Cut the jelly into small blocks before serving.
And that's my super easy and refreshing coconut jelly recipe for you.