Jalao– a type of Dominican candy– chewy balls made with freshly-grated coconut, ginger, and enough honey that's for the right amount of sweetness, the ultimate indulgence for any occasion. So, what are you waiting for? Make these mouthwatering treats – you'll love them!
By- Last reviewed . Published Feb 9, 2011
Why we ❤️ it
When you savor one of these lovely sweet treats, honey, ginger, and coconut flavors dance together perfectly, creating a taste explosion that'll make your taste buds dance happily. I love the chewy texture and perfect combination of freshly grated or shredded coconut and caramelized honey.
Honestly, these honey and coconut balls are so moreish you might find yourself fighting overindulgence. But hey, no shaming!
What is jalao?
Jalao is a simply Dominican dessert made of coconut and honey. Other ingredients can be added depending on the region.
Jalao (Coconut and Honey Candy) is a humble dessert that still languishes as colmado fare. Although a childhood favorite with its fresh taste and chewy texture, it is never served to guests. A shame because this is a fantastic candy, or at least coconut lovers think so.
Jalao balls (Dominican coconut candy).
This recipe has a few variations nationwide. The biggest ones are whether ginger or molasses are added.
Neither is strictly necessary and seems more of a Southern Dominican Republic version. In my region (Northwest), molasses are not used. This makes sense because sugar cane molasses are not produced in this area of the country.
- The color of your jalaos will depend on the color of the honey you use. Some people add molasses. Some don't. I prefer it without, but if the honey is too pale, a bit of molasses will give it the right dark chocolate color.
- They're typically just brown coconut balls, but I love the look of a bit of snow-white grated coconut sprinkled on top. You can skip that.
About this recipe
I have always wondered why some of our dishes have been relegated to obscurity. Perhaps the humble provenance of those dishes, something we have written about, keeps them away from the refined table.
Maybe it's time the revolution reached the cupboards.
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Jalao [Recipe + Video] Honey and Coconut Balls
1. Cooking the candy
- Grease the tray with oil. Mix in honey, coconut flakes, and ginger. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts boiling stir vigorously until the honey has turned a very dark caramel color (about 5 minutes).Pour the mixture on the greased tray. Cool to room temperature.
2. Making balls
- Cover your hands with a bit of oil and put enough of the coconut mixture on your palm to roll into balls about 1.5 in [4 cm] in diameter.Rest on the greased tray.
- Serve at room temperature. For a bit of contrast, you can sprinkle with coconut flakes.It keeps in an airtight container for a couple of days or in the fridge for a week, but always serve at room temperature because when cold, they get very hard.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.
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For this coconut ball recipe, you need freshly-grated, unsweetened coconut.