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If you are not from Brazil or familiar with our gastronomy, I bet you might be thinking: “What now?” or “What’s she talking about?” or even, “What a funny word!”

Well, I agree.  I really think Quindim (pronounced keen-DEEN) is a funny word — especially for a dessert, considering its meaning. 🙂

The word itself comes from the Bantu language, and originally meant “the gestures, demeanor, or humor that is characteristic of adolescent girls.”

Maybe the correlation between the humor characteristic of teens and the vibrant color of the dessert was made because they both make us smile.  I don’t know…

Anyway, the fact is that quindim is a popular Brazilian baked dessert, made from sugar, egg yolks, and ground coconut, plus other ingredients that vary from recipe to recipe.  Technically, quindim is a custard, which usually is presented as an inverted cup with a glistening surface and intensely yellow color.  Quindim can also be made in a large ring mold, in which case it is called a “quindão” and served in slices.

The typical quindim recipe is believed to be based on traditional Portuguese baked desserts that make heavy use of egg yolks.  The recipe was then modified during the 17th century by slaves in the Northeast region of Brazil , where coconuts were abundant and where sugar– extracted from sugarcane– was a major industry.

Ah, I cannot forget to mention that Quindim is also the name of a rhinoceros character (named after the dessert) featured in a famous series of children’s books by Monteiro Lobato, as well as on the Sítio do Picapau Amarelo television show, which is based on his works.

The word quindins (plural for quindim) also appears several times in the lyrics of Ary Barroso’s “Os Quindins de Iaiá,” which was sung by Aurora Miranda (Carmen Miranda’s sister) in the Disney movie “The Three Caballeros”.

We, Brazilians, are crazy for quindim, aren’t we? 😉  I hope you become, too…


Quindim - Super easy and quick to make Brazilian Coconut Custard

Print Recipe
Delicious and unique recipe of quindim, a typical Brazilian coconut custard!
Votes: 5
Rating: 4.4
Rate this recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Votes: 5
Rating: 4.4
Rate this recipe!
  1. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees F (110 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together using a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour into 16 mini-muffin tin that has been greased with butter (or butter-flavor cooking spray) or a 6 inch (15 cm) greased ring mold pan, and sprinkled with sugar (bottom and sides).
  4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes (mini baking pan for quindins) or 50-60 minutes (medium ring mold pan for quindão) , or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool down a bit on a rack. Place a plate over the baking pan and invert the warm custard on a plate (It is very important not to unmold the custard hot, because it will break, or cold, because it will not leave the pan easily). Run a small metallic icing spatula around the edges to help unmold the custard, if necessary. The coconut "crust" will be on the bottom of the plate. Let cool down completely and refrigerate. Decorate and serve chilled.


19 Responses to Quindim

  1. Lori May 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I found your blog through Foodgawker and I’m so glad I did! We lived in southern Brazil for about 2 1/2 years. Now that we’ve been back in the US a few years, I’m really craving all my favorite foods from there. I can’t wait to browse your blog and get cooking!

    • Denise Browning May 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi, Lori! Thank you for visiting From Brazil To You and leave a comment. I do appreciate it. I am happy to have you here! I hope you continue to visit it and find many recipes that you enjoy. If you have any questions, please let me know. I’ll be glad to answer them. If you wish, you can also subscribe by email to receive new posts with delicious recipes. Have a great day. Tchau!

  2. Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine April 14, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    Such a pretty dessert Denise, it reminds me of the beautiful color of mangoes. I love learning of all these wonderful Brazilian specialties 🙂

    • Denise Browning April 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      Thanks a lot, Chris! You are very welcome. This dessert is quite popular in Brazil. I don’t know any Brazilian who isn’t crazy for it. By the way, I made a Portuguese casserole for Easter recently which reminded me of you since you visited Portugal.

  3. Carolina July 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Came across your website and i love it!Thanks for sharing your recipes and knowledge with us!

    • Denise Browning July 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

      Thank you for visiting us, Carolina! It is a pleasure to have you here. I hope you find all that you need. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Have a great week!

  4. bamsiepants September 25, 2014 at 2:30 am #

    Hi there! I’m a little confused on the crust part. At what point do you add it and is it just the coconut shavings?

    • Denise Browning September 25, 2014 at 8:15 am #

      Hi, there! Thanks for stopping by.
      The crust will be formed by the coconut flakes that will sink to the bottom of the pan. The coconut flakes should be mixed together at once with all the other ingredients, as you can read in the recipe. Have a great day!!!

  5. Adriana July 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Ai, que saudade!!!
    I was born and raised in São Paulo and there is so much I missed since I haven’t been able to go back in over 20 years.—–ESPECIALLY the food! As you probably are aware, we Paulistas are known for our culinary consumption.

    I frequently search various websites for those recipes that pull my heart strings despretly wishing to share these ethnic tastes with my daughter. I kick myself for not having Mercedes (our cook) gift me with her recipes each time i try one and am disappointed because the taste isn’t quite right. Mercedes was the best cook we had and as is common among the talented, shecooked from memory and rarely measured her ingredients.

    I am FREQUENTLY dissapointed! When this happens I try your version and I have to say, out ot ALL the various sites I’ve used, YOUR recipe seems to ALWAYS come the closest to my memories! Thank you! 🙂

    • Denise Browning July 22, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      Hello, Adriana!
      It is so good to hear that you enjoy my recipes. I grew up in Pernambuco and immigrated to the USA when I was 29 years old. Brazilian food brings me fond memories from our home country and fill my life with joy. I hope you can return again and again for more recipes of our delicious Brazil. Um abraco grande!!!

  6. Adriana July 22, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    I wrote yesterday because I wanted to make sure that a banho maria isn’t necessary when baking the quindim. Then I got sidetracked by my ” fofóca “. Sorry!

    • Denise Browning July 22, 2016 at 11:17 am #

      Hello, Adriana! No, bain marie is not necessary for quindim. I hope you make this recipe and enjoy!

  7. Michael October 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    Is 230 degrees F the correct temperature? After 25 minutes the mini quindims were still uncooked.

    • Denise Browning October 9, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      Hi, Michael!!! Yes, that is the correct temperature. Are you sure your oven is heating properly? If you live in high altitudes, you will need to bake them for a longer time.

  8. Ellen November 1, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    Really want to try this dish. Must I use dried coconut or fresh coconut? There are so many things called coconut milk, what is necessary for this recipe?

    • Denise Browning November 1, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

      Hi, Ellen!!!
      I used store-bought dried coconut flakes in this recipe. CANNED coconut milk (unsweetened), the type used to make curries and savory Asian and Latin dishes, was used in it. It is NOT the type you drink out of a carton. I hope you have the chance to make it and enjoy. Thank you for stopping by!

  9. Paul Olson January 19, 2018 at 11:22 am #

    can these be made a day ahead ??

    • Denise Browning January 19, 2018 at 11:35 pm #

      Yes!! You can make these more than 2 days ahead. Just make sure to refrigerate them covered. Enjoy!

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