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three ramekins filled with the Sri Lankan dessert called Watalappan topped with cashews.

Sri Lankan Watalappan (Creamy Coconut Custard)

A delicious creamy dessert that you are sure to love. If you can get kithul jaggery, I highly recommend it.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 303kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine


  • 5 large eggs
  • 250 grams kithul jaggery
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Roasted cashews For garnish



  • Shave the jaggery using a sharp knife, peeler or grate.
  • Heat a pan to medium heat, add the grated jaggery or sugar along with 2 Tbsp of water. Cook until dissolved.
  • Take the pan off heat and let it cool.
  • Whisk the coconut milk into the sugar syrup.
  • Whisk the eggs, with a pinch of salt and cardamom powder in a separate bowl.
  • Add the coconut milk mixture to the eggs and whisk until just combined. Do not over whisk
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve and discard any solids.
  • Pour into 6 x 1/2 cup ramekins. Take care not to over fill the ramekins as the watalappan will rise slightly during the cooking process.

Stove top steaming:

  • Place the ramekins in a large pot and fill the pot with water so that half of the dish is submerged in water. Cover and seal the lid. Steam for 30 minutes for the ramekins.

Instant pot:

  • Place the steaming insert in Instant Pot and add 2 cups of water. Place the ramekins on the insert. Close the lid and put the vent in sealing position. Steam for 15 minutes. Once done, use a mitt to release the pressure by turning the vent. Take out the ramekins and let it cool.

In the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the ramekins in a large dish and fill it half way with hot water. Cover the ramekins loosely with a foil.
  • Place the dish in the oven.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. You want the custard to be set.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  • You can serve the watalappan as it is, or chill for a few hours.
  • Garnish with roasted cashews when serving.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 198IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg