East Indian Bol de Coc | Coconut Cake

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Bol De Coc is a traditional East Indian coconut cake that’s quite similar to the Thalie sweet. This cake has a delicious coconutty taste and a moist crumb, and is the perfect tea time snack!

Like so many others East Indian recipes, this sweet coconut cake also has its origins in Portuguese Cuisine and it is quite similar to Thali Sweet or the traditional Coconut cake.

The Portuguese seem to have left quite an impression on us East Indians, especially our food and desserts, with so many recipes like Bol De Portugal, Bol De Rai, Bol De Marie, Bol De Gram, and also Bol Lucrecia. And these are just the cakes that are similar to Bol De Coc or the Bolos de Coco cake as they called it.

Talk about other desserts and dishes like the sorpotel and vindaloo and you’re in a whole different world!

One day you’ll have to try all of them, but for now, here’s the recipe for the Bol de Coc. This cake is really easy to put together and tastes awesome. Just give it a try…

What ingredients do you need for Bol De Coc?

To make Bol de Coc all you need are eggs, semolina (sojee or rava), desiccated coconut, butter, powdered sugar and rose water.

Traditionally, this cake is made with freshly grated coconut and the original recipe uses double the number of egg whites than yolks, but this time we’ve used equal amounts of both.

How do you Make Bol De Coc?

You start with the eggs first. Separate the yolks and the whites. Mix the yolks well and leave aside. In another vessel beat the egg whites to a stiff froth.

Eggs yolks in a vessel.
Egg Yolks
Beat the egg yolk.
Beaten egg yolks
Beat the egg white fluffy.
Egg white beaten to a froth

Mix these together and then add the powdered sugar, butter, and semolina (sojee or rava). Mix all this up, add rose essence and allow it to rest overnight.

We usually cover with a sheet of paper to prevent dust or flies from getting in.

Mix beaten egg yolks and whites.
Mix beaten egg yolks and whites
Add butter to the beaten eggs.
Add butter to the beaten eggs
Add the powdered sugar to the mix.
Add powdered sugar
Add Semolina (sojee) to the mix.
Add Semolina (sojee)
Mix all the ingredients together.
Mix the ingredients
Let the batter rest overnight.
Cover and let it rest overnight

In the morning, mix the desiccated coconut with the rose water in another vessel, and once the coconut has soaked the rosewater, add this to the batter. If you’re using freshly ground coconut, which is what mom and granny would traditionally use, just add it directly to the batter. We use desiccated coconut to make life easier.

Desiccated coconut mixed with rosewater.
Desiccated coconut with rosewater
Batter kept overnight becomes fluffy.
Mixture in the morning
Add the desiccated coconut to beaten egg and butter.
Add the desiccated coconut to the batter

Grease cake tins or thalis with butter paper and then pour the batter into the tins.

Fill the batter in the tray covered with butter paper.
Fill in the tins

Pre-heat the oven for about 10 mins and then put the trays in. Bake the cake at 200 degrees Celsius or 390 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 mins.


Once the timer goes off, stake the center of the Bolos de Coco with a toothpick to check if the cake is ready.

If the cake batter does not stick to the toothpick, it’s ready to be taken out of the oven and cooled. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, heat for another 5 to 10 mins and check again. Repeat this process till the toothpick comes out clean.

And that’s it! The Bol de Coc is ready to serve!

Bol de coc in cake tins.
Ready Bol de Coc
A slice of bol de coc on a black tray.
A slice of Bol de Coc
Delicious Bol de Coc
Delicious Bol de Coc

Cooking Tips and tricks

  • If using freshly grated coconut, mix only 1/2 wine glass of rose water (about 20 ml) and then add to the batter.
  • You can double the number of egg whites and lessen the yolks in the cake batter, as traditionally done. Use 6 egg whites and only 2 yolks.
  • Although it’s traditional to keep the batter overnight, you can mix the batter in the morning and bake in the evening too.
  • If you are worried about whether the sugar granules will melt or not, use powdered sugar instead!

FAQ’s about Bol De Coc

How long can you store Bol De Coc?

You can store Bol De Coc in an air-tight container for about a week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight and serve warm.

Is it necessary to keep the batter to rest overnight?

Yes, it helps the semolina or sojee to open up or expand. If you don’t want to keep batter overnight, you could mix it in the morning and bake in the evening so that it gets about 6-8 hours of resting time.

Can I replace the desiccated coconut with fresh coconut?

Yes, you can. The traditional recipe uses fresh coconut that needs to be finely grated.

What’s the difference between the Bol de Coc, Thalie Sweet and Coconut cake?

Bol de Coc, Thalie Sweet, and Coconut cake are traditional East Indian cakes based on our Portuguese cultural heritage. However, the Bol de Coc is made using both egg whites and yolks, while the Thalie sweet uses only egg whites to maintain its light color and airy texture and Coconut cake is made using extra yolks.

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Delicious Bol de Coc

East Indian Bol de Coc | Bolos de Coco | Coconut Cake

Bol De Coc is a traditional East Indian cake with a delicious coconutty taste and a moist crumb, and is the perfect tea time snack!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 50 mins
Course Christmas, Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 20 Slices


  • 5 Eggs
  • 200 g Semolina Sojee or Rava
  • 100 g Cocount Desiccated (You can use freshly grated.)
  • 200 g Butter
  • 350 g Sugar Powdered
  • 100 ml Rose Water Use only 20 ml if using freshly grated coconut.
  • 5 ml Rose Essence


  • Separate the yolks and egg whites.
  • Mix the yolks of the eggs together.
  • Beat the whites to a stiff froth.
  • Mix the yolks and the white together gently.
  • Add powdered sugar, butter and semolina, mix well, add rose essence and keep overnight.
  • In the morning, mix the rose water with the desiccated coconut.
  • Add this coconut to the batter, mix and then pour into pre-lined tins.
  • Bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius / 390 Fahrenheit for 40 mins and your Bol de Coc is ready to enjoy!

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  • If you are using freshly grated coconut, lessen the amount of rose water to 20 ml.
  • Use double the number of egg whites and half the yolks, for the traditional recipe.
  • You can mix the batter in the morning and bake in the evening. It’s not necessary to keep the batter overnight. 
Pinterest image of How to make Bol de coc.
Pinterest image of Bol de Coc.
Pinterest image of wedge-shaped slices of the Bol de coc coconut cake.

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