This rich bright yellow dessert has a sweet silky egg custard with a slightly chewy coconut base. Its high egg content of 18 egg yolks reflects Brazil’s Portuguese influence and, with the addition of coconut, its African one too. It is a perfect dessert for entertaining as it can be prepared a day in advance.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (75 votes)


  • 18 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cups (330 g/11½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1½ cups (100 g/3½ oz) shredded coconut
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 10 minutes

Cooling time 20 minutes

Chilling time 1 hour

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Lightly grease a 22 cm (8½ inch) ring cake tin with the extra melted butter and dust the pan with the extra sugar.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the coconut, melted butter and 1 cup (250 ml/8½ fl oz) water and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared cake tin.

Place the tin in a deep baking tray. Set aside for 10 minutes, to allow the coconut to float to the surface  this will be the base.

Pour enough hot water into the baking tray to come halfway up the side of the tin. Bake in the oven for 50–60 minutes, or until the custard has set and the coconut top is golden brown.

Remove the tray from the oven. Carefully remove the tin and set aside for 20 minutes to cool lightly, then refrigerate until completely cool.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the cake and use your fingertips to gently pull the cake away from the edge of the tin  this will release the seal so you can invert it onto a serving plate.


Recipe and image from South American Grill, Rachael Lane (Hardie Grant, $34.95, hbk)