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Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 35 mins
Servings: 3
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Watalappan is a custard dessert served in Sri Lanka, similar to the Spanish flan but, in my opinion, way much flavourful. And better🤭 It contains coconut milk, eggs, jaggery (it’s refined-sugar free!) and spices: commonly cardamom and nutmeg, but cloves can be added too.

It is believed that this dessert was brought to today’s Sri Lanka territory in the 18th century, once the Sri Lankan Malays came from Indonesia to Ceylon during the Dutch time.

The name “watalappan” comes from the Tamil (the language spoken in Sri Lanka) “vattil” (cup) and “appan” (cake)



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  1. Start by mixing the jaggery with some boiling water (2-3 tbsp) until you get a nice and thick paste.

  2. Add the eggs and keep mixing. Don’t mix too hard, we don’t want air bubbles. Add the cardamom and mix well. Add the coconut milk and mix everything well. 

  3. If you want, you can give it a few pulses in the blender just to ensure everything gets mixed together.

  4. Pour the mixture into 3 ramekin cups. Add them to a tray filled with hot water and bake until set. Enjoy!

My name is Andreea and I live in Bucharest, Romania. Born with a passion for cooking, I grew a fondness towards global cuisine and the local food consumed around the world. Not only would I like to share this passion with you all but also introduce recipes from around the world that you can try and discover how incredibly good these dishes can be.