Wattalappam The tropical Custard From Sri Lanka


Think of  wattalappam  as  a  tropical  cream  caramel.  This is a perfect  custard for  those  with milk  allergies. It  is  a  a popular  Sri Lankan custard  made with  eggs, coconut  milk and  jaggery.  Jaggery gives it more  earthy, caramel like  flavors  and the  brown color.   Coconut  milk and  jaggery are  a  typical  dessert  pairing  found  in many of   desserts  from that region, and  works beautifully here.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting/Cooling Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Author Syama


  • 200 - 250 g Grated Kithul Jaggery Notes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1  ½ Cup Coconut milk Thick (Notes)
  • 3-4  Cardamom
  • ¼   Tsp Nutmeg


  1. Pre heat  the  oven  to  350°F (170°C).  Lightly grease  4  one  cup   custard   molds.  Place   them in an oven proof  container . 

    Heat  about   4 - 5   cups of  water. 

  2. Mix ¼ C of  coconut  milk  with the  jaggery (notes)  and mix  into a  smooth paste. Add the eggs  and  the  yolks  into the  jaggery mix  and  beat  until  mixed  well.  The  mix  should look uniform  and  seems  to have  thickened  and  bulked  a  bit   without  air pockets in it.

  3. Powder the  cardamom  seeds  (about  1/2 Tsp powder)  and   grate the  nutmeg  a  few  times to make  about ¼ tsp powder . Mix  the  spices  with the  jaggery egg  syrup.
  4. Add  the coconut milk   and  mix  with a  spatula. Strain the mix  and  portion into the prepared custard  cups. Cover  the  tops  of  the  cups  with  foil. 

  5. Pour hot  water  about  into the  pan  holding  the  custard  cups. Add  enough  water  into the  pan  to   reach half  way up the  sides  of the   cups. .

  6. Place in the preheated oven  and  bake  for 50 minutes to 1 hour  (if  using  different  size  pans  adjust  baking  times).

  7. Open the oven and slightly jiggle one cup. The custard should set but have a little give in the center. If too wiggly, bake for another 10 to 15 minutes before testing again.

  8. Remove  from the  oven  and  cool  on the  counter  for at least  30 minutes  before  serving. 

    Alternately after  30 minutes , transfer the  custards  to  the fridge  for  at  least  3  hours .  Take out of the  fridge  just  before  serving. 

Recipe Notes