Watallapam — traditional dessert in Sri Lanka



Watallapam — traditional dessert in Sri Lanka. A delicate, creamy pudding with a characteristic spicy nut note is one of the most commonly found on almost all birthday and wedding receptions or holidays.

This traditional dessert in Sri Lanka, owes its characteristic flavour, thanks to a special addition, which is jaggery, ie dark palm sugar.

 The sap of the flowers of palm (Caryota Urens) is cooked until it changes into a dark, dense, syrup called kithul treacle. Further, cooking leads to the formation of jaggery (dark palm sugar). It can be however replaced with dark muscovado sugar in this recipe. The darker the sugar, the darker the colour of watallapam (similar to Sri Lanka). This also is affects the taste.

A small addition of cardamom and nutmeg emphasizes the taste of this dessert. Baked slowly in the oven, in a water bath or in a steamer, it achieves its delicate creamy consistency. There are many modified versions of this recipe with raisins, vanilla, cinnamon or cloves added, but it is a matter of taste and it should be individual choice.

Watallapam - traditional Srilankan dessert
                                         Watallapam – traditional dessert in Sri Lanka


  • 1 cup jaggery or dark sugar muscovado
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 5 whole eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed grains of cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • cashew nuts for sprinkling
  • a pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees.
  2. Lightly heat the coconut milk with cardamom, nutmeg and jaggery or dark cane sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Let it cool down to room temperature.
  4. Pour it through a sieve.
  5. Beat whole eggs.
  6. Add the cooled milk mixture, salt, and mix well, but do not too long.
  7. Bake in the water bath for 45 minutes. The surface of the cream should slightly bend at the touch of your finger.
  8. Sprinkle with walnuts (you can also sprinkle with nuts 10 minutes before baking).


  1. Apeksha Gomis

    You have done a great job Alina
    Thank you for valuable articles

    1. Alina Kręcisz

      Your comment is very important to me and it encourages me to work even harder. Thank you so much.

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