Maple coconut jelly squares are simply delicious and just the thing you need to refuel after a workout! They’re packed with collagen protein and healthy fats that love up your skin, guts and muscles. Super creamy and rich-tasting, while still being light means you won’t need a nap after treating yourself.
I’ve been eating some form of these for the entirety of my existence. My great grandma, Masao, would serve a similar version of these whenever we visited her in Oahu. I’m sure she’d be delighted that I’m continuing the tradition with a slightly modified recipe; I use grass-fed gelatin and replaced the refined cane sugar with pure maple syrup.
What makes these squares magic? Besides being simple, quick to make and delicious, the jelly magically sets into two layers: a clear base with a creamy top layer — Voilà!
For suggestions on what brands of coconut milk and gelatin I use and love, check out my Favorite Products list!
Magic Maple Coconut Jelly
- 2 tbsp grass-fed gelatin
- 1 3/4 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 2 1/4 cups filtered water
- 1/2 cup maple syrup — or raw honey (local if possible) or 1 tsp stevia powder
- a pinch unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp raw vanilla powder — optional , or vanilla extract
- 1 tsp avocado oil or coconut oil — for greasing the pan
- a medium-sized sauce pan
- a 8" x 8" cake pan — in glass or food-grade silicone
- a wire whisk
- measuring cups & spoons
- bee's wrap or another food wrap — to cover
- a knife — for cutting into squares
Start by placing a medium saucepan on the cold burner of your stove. Add in the coconut milk and water. Then, sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the liquids and whisk well until the gelatin is fully incorporated with no visible clumps. Set the burner to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally to keep the mixture smooth.
Meanwhile, get out a 8"x8" cake pan and very lightly grease it with a bit of avocado oil or coconut oil. This step is important to ensure the jelly doesn’t stick to the pan. NOTE: Don’t use too much or the excess will float to the top of the jelly.
Once the mixture has come to a gentle boil, take it off the burner, and whisk in the salt, maple syrup, and vanilla (if using.)
Whisk for a couple minutes and then pour the mixture into the greased cake pan. If you want the jelly perfectly smooth on top, skim off any surface bubbles with a spoon.
Cover the top of the pan tightly, while avoiding any contact between the cover and the jelly. Chill for at least 3-4 hours until jelly is fully set. Once set, you can cut the jelly into squares and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat within 4-5 days. Makes approximately 8-10 squares.
NOTE: If using raw honey, after stirring in salt & vanilla (step #3), set a timer for 10 minutes. This allows the mixture to cool enough to preserve the raw honey’s enzymes when we add it in. After 10 minutes, whisk in the raw honey until fully dissolved.
Prefer thinner squares? Or fun shapes? You can do it all with this recipe:
- 9" x 13" pan for thinner squares
- food-grade silicone molds for fun shapes
- ice cube trays for little bites (food-grade silicone works best)
Prefer firmer jelly? I like my coconut jelly on the side of just-set, like a panna cotta. If you prefer the texture of a firmer jelly, or need your jelly to be resilient to travel or slicing, start with small adjustments. Try adding just a little more gelatin, 1-1.5 tsp should work just fine.
This jelly is endlessly adaptable and takes on flavors well. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Vanilla Bean Coconut Jelly with Fresh Raspberries: Once you pour the hot jelly mixture into the pan, add in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh raspberries, and proceed as usual. The sweet/tart addition of raspberries can't be beat!
- Golden Milk Jelly: Add in turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper during step #1. It's all of the benefits of Golden Recovery Milk, in a snackable form.
- Orange Creamsicle Jelly: Replace 1 cup of the filtered water with freshly pressed (pulp-free) orange juice and up the vanilla to 2 tsp.
- Hawai'ian Haupia Jelly: Toast coconut in the oven. Once toasted, toss with 1 tsp coconut sugar and a pinch of salt. When serving, top the already cut and plated squares with toasted coconut mixture. Although my great-grandma always served her jelly plain, in Hawai'i, coconut jelly is commonly served with toasted coconut.