Coconut ladoo are traditional Indian sweet balls made with coconut, cardamom powder, a sweetener & milk (optional). There are 3 different ways of making coconut ladoos & I have shared all of them in this post. We make these for most festivals and occasions as they taste delicious and are easy to make. These also make an amazing gift to share with friends.
Traditionally coconut ladoos were made with fresh grated coconut and jaggery as it was the most common sweetener used in traditional Indian cooking. These were made across India mostly in the coastal regions where fresh coconuts were grown in abundance.
However these delicious ladoos can be made using fresh coconut, frozen coconut or even desiccated coconut. To sweeten the balls you can use sugar, jaggery or condensed milk to suit your taste buds.
As I mentioned I have 3 recipes on this post. Choose the recipe depending on the ingredients you have.
- Recipe 1 uses coconut (fresh, frozen or desiccated), sugar & milk.
- Recipe 2 uses desiccated coconut & condensed milk.
- Last one – Recipe 3 uses fresh or frozen coconut & jaggery.
You may like to check these 30 Coconut Recipes.
Preparation coconut ladoo – recipe 1
1. Add 2 cups coconut, ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup milk to a pan. I used desiccated coconut so I used 1 cup milk. If using fresh coconut, you can reduce to half cup.
2. Mix well and leave aside for about 15 minutes.
How to make coconut ladoo
3. Begin to cook, stirring often to prevent burning. The mixture becomes gooey when the sugar begins to melt.
4. Cook till the mixture gets cooked well and all the moisture evaporates. It turns thick as seen in the picture. The mixture should be moist but not soggy else they will not get a good shape when rolled. Add roasted nuts, cardamom powder and stir well. Set aside till the temperature comes down.
5. When the temperature comes down to warm, take small portions of the mixture to your palms and press down with your fingers to form round balls. You can also roll them in desiccated coconut if you prefer. To roll the balls in coconut make sure the balls are still warm and moist.
Store coconut ladoo in an airtight jar. Refrigerate and use with in 5 to 7 days.
Coconut laddu with condensed milk
1. Pour the half cup + 2 tablespoons condensed milk in a pan.
2. Next add the 1½ cups desiccated coconut. If it is not fine, then process it in a grinder or food processor.
3. Mix both of them together well. Taste test and check if it the sweetness is okay. If you like it more sweet add more condensed milk. Then begin to cook on a low flame.
4. Cook stirring continuously until the entire mixture turns to a mass. It must still be moist. Do not overcook otherwise the ladoos will turn hard. Then turn off the stove and add cardamom powder and 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or any nuts. Cool down.
5. When the mixture is still warm, take small portions of this mixture to your palm and press down gently to shape them to balls.
6. Roll them in coconut for garnishing. You can also skip this.
Store the coconut laddu in a air tight jar and refrigerate. Use within a week.
Recipe 3 with jaggery
1. Add 2 cups fresh or frozen coconut to a pan. You can take ¾ to 1 cup jaggery. Read my recipe notes in the recipe card.
2. Mix well and begin to cook on a low heat. Jaggery will melt and the mixture turns gooey. Taste test at this stage and add more jaggery if needed.
3.Cook the mixture until most of the moisture evaporates. It must still be moist. Then add cardamom powder and turn off. Cool down the mixture.
4. When it is still warm, take small portions of the mixture to your hand and press down with your fingers to give them a round ball shape. Cool them completely and store in air tight jar.
Tips to make coconut ladoo
Choosing coconut: Fresh coconut tastes best to make these balls. But you can also use frozen coconut or desiccated coconut. If you prefer to use frozen coconut make sure it is raw coconut and not steamed.
If using desiccated coconut then use the fine shreds and not large ones. You can also use copra and make these no cook copra ladoos
Sweetener : You can use sugar, jaggery, palm jaggery or condensed milk to sweeten the balls. The coconut ladoos made with jaggery are the best and have a depth of flavor.
If your jaggery has debris then you will need to dissolve it first and then use. You can find the detailed step by step photos here on kobbari jaggery laddu.
Flavoring : Traditionally cardamoms are used to flavor the coconut ladoos. However during winters some people also use dried ginger powder & nutmeg.
Vegan : For a vegan version just replace the milk in the recipe with coconut milk or make them with jaggery. Jaggery has lot more moisture in it than sugar so the recipe works well without milk.
Quantity of milk: For the first recipe if using fresh or frozen coconut, the amount of milk used in the recipe can be scaled down to half. Otherwise the milk is simmered till it reduces to half the quantity and then the coconut and sugar are added.
There are so many optional ingredients you can add to these coconut ladoos to make them taste rich. Khoya, milk powder, cashew nut powder & sesame seeds are some of the ingredients I use.
To make khoya coconut balls, you can check these stuffed kova ladoo recipe.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Recipe – 1
- 2 cups grated coconut (fresh or fine desiccated)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 8 cashews (broken)
- 1 teaspoon ghee (or any neutral oil)
- ¾ cup sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1 cup milk (½ cup if using fresh coconut)
Recipe – 2
- 1½ cups desiccated coconut (refer notes)
- ½ cup + 2 tbsps condensed milk (200 grams or ½ of 400 grams tin)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
Recipe – 3
- 2 cups coconut (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup grated jaggery (or ¾ cup tightly packed)(refer notes)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 10 cashews (chopped)
Recipe 1 – Preparation
- Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a pan, add 8 broken cashew nuts.
- Fry them stirring often until they turn golden. Remove these to a plate and set aside.
- To the same pan, add grated coconut, milk and sugar.
- If using desiccated coconut set the pan aside for 15 minutes for the coconut to absorb the milk and soften.
- Mix all of the ingredients well.
- Begin to cook till the coconut ladoo mixture thickens and all the moisture evaporates completely.
- The mixture must still be moist and not dry.
How to make coconut ladoo
- Add cardamom powder and nuts. Mix well. Cool the mixture slightly.
- When it comes down to warm temperature, take small portions of this to your palm and press down with your fingers to bind the mixture. This gives the round shape coconut ladoos. (Check video)
- When they are still warm and moist you can also roll the ladoos in desiccated coconut.
- Store coconut laddu in an airtight jar and refrigerate. Use within 5 to 7 days.
Recipe 2 – Coconut ladoo with condensed milk
- To a pan, add 1½ cups desiccated coconut, ¼ tsp cardamom powder and ½ cup + 2 tablespoons condensed milk.
- Mix up all of these and cook on a low flame stirring often. Taste test and If needed add more condensed milk for more sweetness.
- Cook stirring continuously, till the mixture thickens and turns to a mass. (check step-by-step photos above for consistency)
- Turn off the stove. At this stage the coconut ladoo mixture must be still moist. If you overcook then the ladoos will turn hard.
- Cool and add chopped pistachios. When it is still warm, take small portions of this mixture to your palms and press down with your fingers to give a round shape to the coconut ladoos.
- Cool these completely. Store in a air tight box and refrigerate. Use up within a week.
Recipe 3 – Coconut ladoo with jaggery
- Heat 1 tsp ghee and fry cashews. Remove and keep them aside. In the same pan, mix together fresh coconut and grated jaggery in a pan.
- Once the jaggery melts, taste test and add more if needed. Cook until the mixture smells good , turns thick & binds together.
- Add cardamoms and fried nuts. Cool down and roll to balls.
- Store coconut laddus in a air tight jar and store at room temperature. Use up within 7 days.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes