Great Granny’s Coconut Ice

Published by Amy

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Coconut Ice recipe from Baking with Granny. Traditional coconut recipe using desiccated coconut, sugar and milk.

There’s two things I think of when I think of my own Granny: endless cups of tea & Coconut Ice. And not the pink & white condensed milk version that seems to come up whenever you search for a recipe. I’m talking about the good old fashioned Scottish sweet shop version with just 3 simple ingredients, boiled in a pot until it “spits at you”!

Great Granny’s Coconut Ice has always been a favourite of mine and I’d often find myself with a recycled punnet full of the stuff to take along to any school fair or bake sale as a child. Usually topped with a few hairs from Bobby the dog (not something I recommend adding to this recipe, mind you)!

So a few years back after Christmas dinner I asked Great Granny to write down the recipe of her infamous Coconut Ice. I can still remember her laughing at me even wanting it written down as it’s so simple, she’d always just done it from memory. She told me it without a second thought, as if it was ingrained in her memory and I wrote it on a piece of scrap paper which I still have to this day.

In fact, this recipe holds such reference to Great Granny that there was even a bake-off style competition between our family to try and recreate the infamous coconut ice to enjoy in her memory at her funeral. It’s safe to say this was the winning one (not that I let-on to having the recipe when agreeing upon a competition…) and although it may not have the Bobby hairs that Great Granny’s Coconut Ice had, it’s still in the style of her well loved & remembered treat.

Love this? Try this:

Coconut Ice recipe from Baking with Granny. Traditional coconut recipe using desiccated coconut, sugar and milk.

Coconut Ice

4.20 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes


  • 500 g bag of Granulated Sugar.
  • Half a Pint of Whole Milk.
  • 200 g of Dessicated Coconut.
  • Few drops of pink food colouring (optional.)


  • Grease your baking tray with a little butter or coconut oil.
  • In a large pan mix the milk & sugar together over a low heat.
  • When the sugar granules have dissolved, add the coconut & a few drops of pink colouring (optional) to the pan.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil until it start to "spit at you," stirring continuously. Continue to stir for around 10 minutes.
  • After around 10 minutes the mixture will have become very thick & sticky. "When you can spoon a small amount into cold water & it remains set together, you know it's ready."
  • Spoon the delicious mixture to your pre-greased tin, spreading evenly with the back of your spoon. Allow to cool & set, which will take at least a few hours but ideally overnight.
  • Cut into bars or squares & enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Tag @bakingwithgranny or use the hashtag #bakingwithgranny!
Coconut Ice recipe from Baking with Granny. Traditional coconut ice, made with sugar, coconut and milk.

20 Responses

  1. I am looking for an old fashioned cooked coconut ice recipe that includes milk/sugar/condensed milk/colouring is there someone that can plz help me

    1. that’s not the old fashioned using condensed milk!!, with condensed milk you just blend the ingredients together no cooking

  2. I have been browsing your traybake recipes and I have found that you rarely mention what size tin is required. If you could provide this information it would be very useful and help prevent any disasters.

  3. 5 stars
    Goodness me, those pink slabs look awfully decadent and succulent. What disconcerts me a little is the amount of sugar, almost double the amount of the coconut.

    1. Old fashion recipes tend to be that way. People weren’t as health conscious as we are today. Recipes like this are best made as treats on special occasions

  4. I made this and it turned out all sticky and chewy and not like coconut ice at all. What did I do wrong?

    1. I have answered this question above. Mine also didn’t set and that is probably because the Coconut should be added after the sugar and milk have boiled for 10 minutes and not the way this recipe has suggested. I used a similar recipe some 50+ years ago and I am sure that is how it was done.

  5. 1 star
    Epic fail.
    Whenever I try a new recipe, I follow it carefully. I don’t have failures.
    Have you left out a step? Are your proportions correct?
    The coconut ice did not set.
    What a waste of ingredients and time.
    Very, very disappointed.

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you, thank you, and thank you! I’ve been searching for an authentic recipe like my Nana’s recipe for Coconut Ice which she used to make every New Year’s Eve along with Bridies. I see these other recipes using sweetened condensed milk but she always used just milk, sugar, and coconut. Can’t wait to make this!!!

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Hi! I'm Amy

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Hello, I’m Amy, the voice-behind and creator-of Baking with Granny.

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