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Easy Coconut Ladoo

Updated August 20, 2022
Coconut ladoo are an easy Indian sweet treat. My simple recipe uses just 2 ingredients and comes together in minutes!
Total Time 20 mins
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coconut ladoo stacked on top of each other

Coconut ladoo are an Indian sweet enjoyed at many celebrations. These perfect little bites of sweetness are a must-make for coconut lovers, and the recipe is fool-proof!

To make coconut ladoo, you need just 2 ingredients: desiccated coconut and condensed milk. It’s really that simple!

Desiccated coconut vs. shredded coconut

It’s important you use the right sort of coconut for this recipe so the coconut ladoo mixture holds together. If you live in the United States, you may find shredded coconut in your supermarket – this is NOT what we want for coconut ladoos!

Shredded coconut is a lot larger and more strandy than desiccated coconut which is finer in texture. If you cannot find desiccated coconut in your supermarket, you can make your own at home using this handy guide from Alpha foodie!

How to make coconut ladoo step-by-step:

The first step to making coconut ladoo is to lightly toast the coconut in a frying pan until it *just* starts to turn golden (photo 1). Toasting the coconut brings out the flavour, so definitely don’t miss this step!

Next, we’ll drizzle the condensed milk into the toasted coconut (photo 2). I can’t be the only one who’s obsessed with condensed milk? Like, could eat it straight off the spoon level of obsessed?

It’s important not to add all of the condensed milk at once, to ensure we have the right consistency (photo 3).

At this point, try to roll a ladoo and assess the consistency. You are aiming for the mixture to be slightly sticky to the touch, and you should be able to roll the ladoos by first pressing the mixture within your hand (by folding your hand in half) and finally using the centre of both hands to roll the ladoo into a perfect sphere (photo 4).

Some like to coat the ladoos in sugar after rolling. You could even mix some hundreds and thousands into the sugar for extra colour. You can also garnish your ladoo with chopped pistachios, almonds or even rose petals!

Tips for making perfect ladoos

  • Immediately transfer the toasted coconut to a mixing bowl. Once your desiccated coconut just begins to turn golden-brown, remove it from the heat and transfer the coconut to your mixing bowl. If you leave it in the pan it will toast further and can even burn. Not cool.
  • Add the condensed milk gradually. The mixture should be slightly sticky to touch before rolling out – once you attempt to roll the ladoos you will soon tell whether the mixture is perfect in consistency or whether it needs more coconut/condensed milk.
  • Wash your hands in between rolling. Once you’ve rolled out 3-4 ladoos you may notice them to start having a rough exterior as opposed to a smooth one. This is due to the excess coconut on your hands – once you wash your hands, your rolled ladoos will be nice and smooth again!
a tray topped with coconut ladoos

FAQ

Can I make vegan coconut ladoo?

Yes! Simply swap the condensed milk for condensed coconut milk. I like the brand Nature’s Charm!

How long do coconut ladoo last?

Freshly prepared coconut ladoo will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Can I make different flavoured ladoos?

Yes! Try adding in 1/4 tsp cardamom powder, or mixing in a little rose syrup. To make pistachio ladoos, add some ground pistachios and sub part of the condensed milk for homemade pistachio almond butter.

Ways to use up leftover condensed milk:

This recipe uses 1/2 cup condensed milk, and even after taking account potential condensed milk addictions, you may have a little left over!

A particularly tasty way to use up leftover condensed milk is to make Vietnamese iced coffee – a delightful upgrade on the classic iced coffee that replaces milk and sugar with condensed milk. If you have a sweet tooth you’ll love it! I like to make my classic iced latte recipe sans sugar and add condensed milk to taste.

And of course, another way to use up your excess condensed milk is to make some more ladoos! This recipe is easily doubled or even tripled to accommodate a larger crowd.

a tray of coconut ladoos held by a girl in a lehenga

More Indian recipes:

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please leave a rating + review below and share your photos on Instagram tagging #shivanilovesfood!

coconut ladoo stacked on top of each other
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5 from 1 vote

Coconut Ladoo Recipe (2 ingredients!)

Coconut ladoo are an easy Indian sweet treat to make to celebrate Navratri or Diwali. My simple recipe uses just 2 ingredients and comes together in minutes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 10 ladoos
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Shivani Raja

Ingredients

  • 1 ½cups/ 150 grams Desiccated Coconut
  • ½ cup/ 165 grams Condensed Milk or condensed coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp Ground Cardamom optional; see recipe notes for variations

Instructions

  • Add the desiccated coconut to a frying pan or wok over medium heat. Warm the coconut, stirring frequently, until it just begins to brown. At this point, take the pan off the heat and immediately transfer the coconut to a medium-size mixing bowl.
  • Add roughly 3/4 of the condensed milk to the bowl and stir with a spatula until well-combined. We are aiming for a mixture which is slightly sticky to the touch – the best way to tell is to try to roll a ladoo and see if the mixture holds together. Adjust the consistency by adding more condensed milk or coconut until you can easily roll the ladoos.
  • When rolling the ladoos, I use a two-step method: first press the mixture within your hand (by folding your hand in half), switching between hands as necessary, and secondly use the centre of both hands to roll the ladoo into a perfect sphere.
  • Enjoy the ladoos plain, or coat in sugar after rolling. You can also garnish your ladoo with chopped pistachios, almonds or even rose petals!

Shivani’s Tips

  • Recipe variations:
    • Mix in a little rose syrup. This sticky pink liquid has delightful rose flavour and produces beautiful looking (and tasting) pink ladoos!
    • Add some ground pistachios to make coconut pistachio ladoos! You could also try subbing part of the condensed milk for homemade pistachio almond butter to add extra flavour.
  • Tip: Running low on desiccated coconut to adjust the consistency of your mixture? Try adding a little coconut flour instead! 
 

NUTRITION

Serving size: 1 ladoo
Calories: 161 kcal | Fat: 12.3g | Saturated Fat: 10.6g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 26mg | Carbohydrates: 12.4g | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 9.6g | Protein: 2.4g 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @shivani.lovesfood and use the hashtag #shivanilovesfood!

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