Coconut ice (klapperys)

Here is a classic recipe for coconut ice, but with a modern tweak.

Marietjie's mother got the recipe from Aunt Hetty Gouws. Aunt Hetty used a drop of red food colouring for the pink coconut icing, but because we avoid artificial food colouring when we can, Marietjie experimented with natural freeze-dried raspberry powder, with excellent results.

You can use any colour or flavour you want to, of course.


  • 4½ cups (570 gram)  icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) cream of tartar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml)  salt
  • 3¾ cups (360 gram) desiccated coconut  
  • 1 x 395-gram tin condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of food colouring, or 1 to 2 teaspoons (15 ml to 30 ml) Fresh-As Raspberry Powder (made in, and exported from, New Zealand)


  1. Line a 20 cm x 25 cm x 5cm dish with baking paper.
  2. Sift the icing sugar, cream of tartar and salt together. 
  3. Add condensed milk, vanilla and coconut, and mix well. You can use a wooden spoon to get started, but because it's a dry mixture, it may be easier for you to use your hands. 
  4. Press half of the mixture into the dish.
  5. Add the food colouring or raspberry powder to the other half of the coconut ice mixture. Knead through until you have an evenly coloured mixture.
  6. Press the pink coconut ice onto the white layer, and sprinkle with raspberry powder.
  7. Chill in the fridge for at least three hours. Once set, you can cut it into squares or bars.