The Gelatin Diaries: Coconut Mounds

This is the continuing saga of me trying to figure out the popularity of gelatin recipes from the 1920s to the 1970s. Each month, I randomly pick a recipe from a jar filled with the good, the bad and the savory gelatin recipes to see which ones were worth it and which ones should stay forgotten. I post the recipe at the end if you are so inclined (or super brave) to try one out for yourself.

Wow, it has been a while since I have done one of these trips into the vintage culinary world of gelatin. Today’s recipe is the coconut mounds from Mrs. Knox’s Guide to Modern Gel-Cookery. This is a small booklet of recipes designed to be used with the Knox brand unflavored gelatin (though any brand will work). I can’t find a date on it but if I had to guess it most likely is from the 1950s.


Like I mentioned above the coconut mounds use unflavored gelation so there is no other flavor peaking through like when you use Jell-O. These use a sweetened milk base that coconut is then mixed in after it has sets up a bit. Unlike many of the other recipes that I have made using gelatin, these only made enough for four small individual molds. So keep that in mind if you try to make these especially if want to make one larger mold.

I will admit I am not a fan of coconut so these personally were not my cup of tea. I did get a coconut lover to try the gelatin and it was met with favorable reviews. If you are like me and don’t like coconut, I think chopped-up nuts or mini chocolate chips to replaced the coconut might be delicious. So do I think these are worthy of trying? Yes, they come together quite easily and make a pretty cute dessert.


Coconut Gelatin Mounds

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy coconut gelatin dessert from Knox Gelatin

source: Mrs. Knox’s Guide to Modern Gel Cookery


  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 3/4 cup milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (chopped if a finer texture is desired)
  • Optional: chocolate sauce and extra coconut for garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl, pour the gelatin over 1/2 cup of the milk and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat in a sauce pan, heat the milk while stirring frequently until it is warmed and little bubbles just start to form along the edges.
  3. Pour the hot milk along with the sugar and salt into the softened gelatin and stir until dissolved. Then mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Chill in mixture in the fridge until it is the consistency of unbeaten egg whites (usually about an hour depending on your fridge). Then stir in the coconut.
  5. Pour into individual molds or one large mold and chill until firm.
  6. Unmold and if using garnish with the chocolate sauce and extra coconut.


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