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Coconut Fingers

Coconut Fingers is simply the best cake in the world. These pink fingers melt in the mouth and take you to sweet heaven.

Coconut Fingers

How to make Coconut Fingers

Coconut Fingers

A delicious cake unique to St Helena. Learn how to make Coconut Fingers with this easy to follow recipe. Including video and images.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Saint, Saint Helena, Saint Helena Island, St Helena, St Helena Island
Author The Saint Cooks
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 30 Fingers


  • Flat Cake Tray (Approx. 3-5cm high)
  • Cooling Rack


  • 283 g Plain Flour
  • 225 g Granulated Sugar
  • 225 g Butter or Margarine
  • 4 Eggs
  • Vanilla Essence
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 750 g Icing Sugar
  • 1 kg Desiccated Coconut
  • Pink or Red Food Colouring


Making the Cake Base

  • Cream the sugar and butter/margarine in a bowl until soft and light in colour.
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, and one tablespoon of sifted flour to the mixture.
  • Add a few drops of the vanilla essence to the mixture.  Mix well.
  • Add the remaining sifted flour and the baking powder.  Mix well.
  • Line the baking tray with bakery parchment.
  • Place mixture into a flat cake tin and bake in a moderate oven at 350F / 180c / Gas 4 for 18-20 minutes.

Making the Coconut Fingers

  • Make sure that the cake is completely cooled from baking.  Otherwise the icing will melt during decoration.
  • Cut the cake into fingers about 7-10 cm long by 2-3 cm wide.
  • Using a medium/large bowl, mix some of the icing sugar with water to make the icing mixture.  Start with a few drops of water, adding more as you mix, until it has the consistency of Tomato sauce. (Note: Depending on the amount of cake fingers you have, it is best to make make a small amount of icing and make more as required).
  • Add a few drops of the food colouring to the icing sugar mixture.  Mix it well.
  • Add some of the Coconut to a medium/large bowl.
  • Using a fork or your fingers dip the fingers into the icing sugar bowl, making sure to cover all the sides of the cake with icing.
  • Then roll the fingers in the coconut bowl.
  • Leave to set on a plate.
  • Once set, enjoy with a hot beverage, or a glass of milk.  Perfect for any occasion really.  Robin likes to eat as many as he can just by themselves.  Whereas Emma-Jane likes hers with a nice hot cuppa.
St Helena Coconut Fingers

Memories about Coconut Fingers

We wanta hear about and record your memories about this recipe. What happened when you made it. Did your mum make it with a special ingredient. Share it with us and celebrate St Helena food!

   Memory from Robin Richards

The most delicious cake delight in the world!  Let me tell you why.  All sides of the cake are covered – meaning you get some icing with every bite.  The contrast of textures ensures an interesting mouthful – the softness of the sponge against the rougher coconut, all held together by the smoothness of the icing.  It melts in your mouth as you enjoy it with any drink or just by itself.  Can still remember some I had once as a kid, made by a friend’s Gran, it was like eating ice cream they way they melted in my mouth.

We made them at a Saint themed event for friend’s in the UK a few years ago. Now they refuse to come to any similar themed event without the promise of Coconut Fingers. They might require some effort to make, but damn it is worth it. So worth it!

   Memory from Emma-Jane Richards

When I think about Coconut Fingers  I think of two things; weddings and My Nanny Lillian.  Weddings because there were always coconut fingers served at weddings and after you ate your weight in pineapple and cheese on sticks and curry puffs, coconut fingers were the best thing ever at a wedding.  They remind me of my Nanny because she would make dozens and dozens of them in her little kitchen to sell at the Half Tree Hollow Community Centre at Saturday night dances back in the day when everyone you knew went to dances were bands played the Boston and you got to have a good ole’ swing out.

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Coconut Fingers St Helena recipe

Stunning Coconut Fingers recipe card available

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