Home RecipesFilipino Sweet and Creamy Buko Pandan

Sweet and Creamy Buko Pandan

by Paula

I’m starting a new personal challenge today  — I’m pushing myself to work through a list of frequently served dishes for the Christmas (and New Year) holidays.  I figured that with the Christmas season starting in September in the Philippines (the longest in the world!), it would be neat to showcase the usual dishes that show up on the holiday menu.  The first thing that I’m crossing off my list is the easy-peasy, Buko Pandan.

Buko pandan is a Filipino dessert that is made of shredded coconut, pandan (screw pine) flavored jelly, and lots and lots of cream. It’s really simple to make and the color blends nicely with the seasonal reds and greens.  Despite being a standby on the Christmas table, buko pandan is a popular summer favorite, too.

Buko Pandan

Strictly speaking, buko pandan can refer to anything that uses coconut and pandan in its preparation, be it a salad, a drink, or a cake. You can find just about any iteration of this in the Philippines.  So far, I’ve had a buko pandan salad, a buko pandan ice cream, a buko pandan drink, and a buko pandan popsicle (you get the drift hehe).  I have yet to eat the cake version of buko pandan.

Buko Pandan

Anyway, the recipe that I’m posting below is a scaled down version of the one that I made last August when I was back in the Philippines. I’m not sure if it’s the same where you are, but shredded young coconut does not come by easily or cheaply here in Singapore. I had to order the coconut grater on the Internet and the price of 1 coconut from the grocery is more than the price of 1 kilo of the coconut meat back home. To top it all off, I had to buy 5 coconuts. ?

To those shredding their own coconuts, choose a young coconut with meat that is neither too soft (almost translucent) nor too hard (firm and opaque). The former will produce a watery and mushy buko pandan while the latter will be difficult to shred and tough to chew. Save the coconut water (about 6 cups) for the jelly later.

Buko Pandan

I’m so lucky that the Filipino stores here sell pandan flavored gulaman (agar agar) so I didn’t have to use pandan flavorings or boil some pandan leaves. If pandan flavored gulaman is not available where you are, don’t fret. I noted some substitutes in the recipe below.

This recipe uses more cream and condensed milk than what is normally used in other buko pandan recipes. I personally love a creamy buko pandan and this recipe has double the amount of cream and milk. Some recipes use evaporated or fresh milk instead of cream but I find the consistency too runny in my opinion.

Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of crushed cornflakes (or pinipig, if available).

Buko Pandan
Buko Pandan
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Buko Pandan

Buko Pandan

  • Author: Paula (Gobble The Cook)
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 20 servings 1x


Buko pandan is a cold and creamy dessert popularly served during parties. Top it with ice cream for a special touch.


  • 1 1/2 liters (6 cups) coconut water
  • 25 grams pandan flavored gulaman powder (agar agar)*
  • 750 grams shredded young coconut (from 45 coconuts)
  • 2 boxes all purpose cream (about 2 cups/480 ml)
  • 2 14 oz cans condensed milk (about 2 1/2 cups/600 ml)


For the jelly:

  1. Combine the coconut water and gulaman powder in a casserole.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly to dissolve the powder. Remove from the heat and pour onto a jelly roll pan or a mold.
  3. Let it cool until the jelly solidifies. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

To combine:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the coconut meat, jelly cubes, cream, and condensed milk.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

If you don’t have pandan flavored gulaman powder: Add 4 pandan leaves (washed and knotted) and a few drops of green food coloring to the gulaman powder and coconut water. Remove the pandan leaves after boiling.


  • You can also substitute a few drops of pandan flavoring instead of pandan leaves.
  • Gelatine may be substituted for gulaman.
  • It is best to store in the freezer if the weather is hot or if not serving immediately. The coconut gets spoiled easily.
  • I topped it with ice cream and crushed corn flakes.
  • Category: Filipino, Salad
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: Buko Pandan


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Brenda May 9, 2019 - 8:24 AM

Per 1/2 cup, how much calories and how much carbs without the ice cream and without cornflakes would the 1/2 cup of buko pandan be ,PLUS 2 boxes all purpose cream (about 2 cups/480 ml) What are boxes of cream. A brand name would be helpful. Thanks
Your recipe presentation’s so attractive.
kind of hoping a diabetic can have some. Thanks

Paula May 9, 2019 - 10:24 AM

Hi Brenda, thanks for checking this recipe. I’m so terrible with the calories and such, but I’m working on it. I’ve updated the recipe for the calories per cup/serving. For the all purpose cream, the commonly used brand in the Philippines is Nestle’s All Purpose Cream (250 ml). If it isn’t available where you are, you can use other brands too (like Bulla, Paul’s, or Emborg). Hope this helps you! ?


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