Cocoa-Nut Pudding

Are you a fan of coconut?

After looking through 160 recipes in Louisa Macculloch’s (1785-1863) 19th-century cookbook, it was surprising to see several recipes containing coconut as an ingredient. Coconuts were surely an exotic, hard-to-find exotic ingredient in 19th-century Morristown. The pudding recipe below was most likely cooked/baked in hot water and served as a warm pudding rather than a chilled one which is common today.

Cocoa-Nut Pudding

Grate one coconut. Add to it:
1 quart of milk
3 crackers or stale bread pounded fine
6 eggs
¼ lb. of butter
Sugar to your taste, And bake in haste! Feb. 2, 1849 GMM

Adapted Recipe for Today’s Kitchen– Cocoa-Nut Pudding

½ cup shredded coconut, sweetened
1 can (12 oz.) coconut milk (shake before using)
1 piece of stale bread (about ½ cup breadcrumbs)
4 eggs
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and slowly add ½ cup of sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, allowing time in between to incorporate. Use a food processor to make fine breadcrumbs. Add breadcrumbs, coconut milk and shredded coconut. Mix well.
Boil water for a water bath. Use a large baking dish that is large enough to use for a water bath for a smaller casserole dish or ramekins. Pour pudding mixture into smaller containers and place them in the large baking dish. Pour boiling water into the large baking dish at least 1 inch deep. After 30 minutes of baking, check the water level and add more boiling water, if needed. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. For small ramekins, baking time will be shorter. Let cool before serving.
From the 19th century handwritten cookbook belonging to Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863).

For more recipes from the Macculloch Miller family, visit:


For a slightly sweeter coconut treat, visit A Taste of History with Joyce White for a similar recipe.

A slice of coconut pudding sits on a plate with whipped cream.

Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: High School, Life Long Learner