Bukayo / Bocarillo

Coconut Sweets

Bukayo is a Filipino sweet delicacy made from strips of coconut meat and sugar.

Growing up back in Manila, I remember 2 particular kinds(and in Malabon, they were both called Bukayo):

  • Bocarillo - Flat and in dry form where the sugar is crumbly and not very chewy.
  • The real Bucayo - Very sticky and very chewy - that comes round in ball form, or flat and cut in rectangles.

My recipe below is for the bocarillo, since that's what I have always enjoyed back home.

There are only 2 basic ingredient : coconut meat and palm sugar.

I use mature coconut, which is more chewy and a little harder than the young coconut.

Buying fresh shredded coconut meat here is unheard of - though there are frozen choices from Asian market, but they are not in big strips.

An option is to process your own coconut, which is quite a challenge.

Click here to learn how to process coconut for bocarillo, or if you want fresh coconut cream and coconut milk.

Then other key ingredient is the palm sugar, preferably the dark brown color, and around here, the commonly available palm sugar is from Thailand which is light brown in color.

If you could find the sinuklob or any dark color palm sugar, that would be better.

If not, the light brown color taste just the same.


  • Coconut
  • Palm Sugar


  • 4 cups mature coconut, coarsely shredded
  • 1 pound palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Wax paper, as liner

1  Dissolve the palm sugar in water over low heat, about 1 minute.

2 Once dissolved, add the coconut meat.

3 Coat the coconut meat with the sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes only.

4 Spoon the mix one tablespoon at a time on a wax-lined pan and set aside to air dry.

5 Once dried, the bocarillo is ready to eat.


  • Do not cook the sugar for too long because it will turn into liquid and won't dry up fast.
  • Light brown palm sugar results in light brown bocarillo, so try to get the dark brown palm color if you can.

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