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Kanom Krok Recipe (Authentic Thai Coconut Pancakes)

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Kanom krok recipe makes delicious authentic Thai coconut pancakes, a sweet dessert found at nearly every street food corner in Thailand. Ok, maybe not as common as a 7-Eleven, but you get the idea!

Kanom krok, Thai coconut pancakes, on a banana leaf.

These pancakes are deliciously crisp on the outside and sweet and creamy on the inside, perfect for any day of the week.

I love getting this dessert at Thai street food markets. I’m so glad I got a special pan to make it at home. Making it was so much fun. It’s now one of my favorites, along with pandan coconut jelly and bua loy.

What is kanom krok

Kanom krok (ขนมครก) is a creamy Thai dessert made in a special pan over charcoal. These crispy-bottomed pancakes are filled with a creamy coconut milk custard. Toppings like green onions, sweetcorn, and sesame seeds add extra flavor.

Thai coconut pancakes

If you’ve ever traveled to Thailand and walked the busy street food markets, you must remember the delightful aromas of the fresh coconut milk hitting the cast iron kanom krok pans.

They’re so, so addictive, and making them at home makes you feel like a street vendor in Bangkok. Your kitchen will smell amazing, and the kids will probably snag them away faster than you can make ’em.

They’re dairy and gluten-free, perfect for the family. Speaking of family, you’ll love making these with the kids in the weekends!

Hand holding kanom krok, a Thai coconut pancake.

And hey, these coconut snacks aren’t just reserved for dessert, you can totally enjoy them guilt-free for breakfast too! (Or so I’ve convinced myself ever since I purchased a kanom krok pan.) They’re delicious any time of the day, with a rich and creamy coconutty filling, they’re SO hard to resist!

You’ll love how you can mix and match toppings to create different flavors for each coconut pancake. From traditional choices like taro and corn to your own creations like nuts, cheese, or even candy, the options are endless.

Seeing Bangkok street vendors make kanom krok seems easy, like counting 1, 2, 3! But when I tried, it wasn’t that simple. Don’t worry, as always, I’ll give you detailed instructions to make it smooth as butter for you.

Kanom krok pan

The secret to the perfect kanom krok is all in the pan, giving each small pancake a crispy bottom with a creamy and sweet coconut milk filling.

You can order one online, or you can head to an Asian grocery store or Asian market and ask around. Either way, you’ll need to purchase one in order to make this kanom krok recipe.

Thai mold pan kanom krok

A Thai mold pan is the real deal. It’s the closest thing you’ll get to the pancakes found at Thai food markets.

Seasoned kanom krok pan.
Seasoning my kanom krok pan over charcoal.

To season it, I recommend placing it over charcoal until it’s smoking hot. Then, fill each hole with neutral oil like vegetable oil and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This will prep it perfectly for cooking.

Electrical takoyaki pan

The electrical takoyaki pan is great for indoor use. Super convenient, just plug it in and pour in the batter! The surface is made of non-stick teflon.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for kanom krok labeled: rice flour, water, palm sugar, white sugar, salt, and coconut milk.

Batter

  • Coconut milk – For both the batter and the filling, use a high-quality full fat coconut milk like Aroy-D. (not coconut cream)
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar provides a unique sweetness with a caramel-like flavor.
  • Rice flour – Gives structure to the batter, keeping the kanom krok light and crisp.
  • Water – Binds the other ingredients.
  • Salt – Enhances all the other flavors.

Coconut filling

  • Coconut milk – In the filling, the coconut milk transforms into a creamy custard substance that melts in your mouth.
  • White sugar – White sugar dissolves easily for a smooth filling.
  • Salt

Optional garnishes

  • Toasted coconut flakes
  • Chopped green onions
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Fresh coconut shreds
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Chocolate chips

Cooking instructions

Make the batter

Step-by-step images showing the preparation of kanom krok batter in a bowl.

Step 1: Pour water into a large mixing bowl and add the rice flour to it.

Step 2: Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Knead the mixture well until it’s completely smooth and free of any crumbs.

Step 4: Add in the coconut milk, palm sugar, and salt. Continue to knead the mixture until the palm sugar dissolves completely.

Make the batter

Instructional images for making the batter.

Step 5: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut filling ingredients: coconut milk, white sugar, and salt.

Make kanom krok

Step-by-step images of making Kanom Krok pancakes: pouring batter into the hot indented pan, the batter beginning to cook and bubble, adding the coconut milk topping, and then finishing with green onions for garnish.

Step 6: Preheat your pan. Place your cast iron pan over charcoal and let it get hot. If you’re using a different type of pan, you can place it over medium heat on the stove top.

Step 7: Brush a layer of oil into each hole. Give the batter a good stir and fill each indentation about two-thirds full, beginning at the outer edge and working towards the center of the pan.

Step 8: After all holes are filled with batter, stir your topping mixture and top off each hole with the topping.

Step 9: Sprinkle a few scallions or your choice of topping onto each pancake.

Step 10: If available, place a large lid over the pan. This creates an oven-like environment that cooks the pancakes through, giving them a golden brown hue and ensuring the filling sets just right.

Step 11: Once cooked, gently use a small spoon to release the kanom krok. Serve these coconutty, crispy treats warm.

Kitchenware

  • Spoon to flip the kanom krok or remove them from the pan
  • Pouring jug to pour the dough and filling into the pan
  • One mixing bowl for the dough and one for the filling
  • Heat-resistant cooking brush
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Kanom krok pan
  • Whisk

Khao nom kok recipe tips

Cook over medium-low heat: This ensures your pancakes don’t burn (if too high) or lack crispiness (if too low). You can start with one pancake as a test.

Taste-test: Starting with a test pancake allows you to adjust the flavors in your batter and filling. Aim for a balance of creamy, sweet, and subtly salty flavors.

Serving Thai pancakes with coconut

Serve as a warm snack, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, as a coconut dessert, or as a late-night treat. The best time to enjoy kanom krok is fresh off the pan, while they’re hot and crisp.

Close-up of kanom krok - Thai coconut pancakes, delightfully crispy on the edges with a creamy, soft center, topped with corn and green onions, presented on a banana leaf.

Storing coconut milk pancakes

Let any leftover coconut milk pancakes cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. Separate layers with parchment paper, and store the container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Reheating: Reheat in an oven or in the kanom krok pan until they’re warm, or enjoy the leftovers cold.

Make ahead: The batter and topping can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge.

Fun facts

  • In Laos, this dessert is known as khao nom kok.
  • “Kanom” translates to “candy” or “dessert”, and “krok” to “mortar”. It’s uncertain whether the batter was traditionally made using a mortar and pestle. Even my Thai grandmother couldn’t confirm this.
  • Legend says kanom krok has a sad love story, like a Thai fairy tale. A couple in love, forbidden to be together, made a dessert to symbolize their bond: creamy inside, firm outside. They were separated forever, but the recipe spread. The round shapes represent their love.

Frequently asked questions

Where to buy kanom krok pan?

A kanom krok pan can be bought at a specialized Asian grocery store or supermarket. Additionally, you can purchase it online at Amazon.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is gluten-free (excluding the garnishes, you have to double-check those) as well as dairy-free.

Authentic Thai coconut dessert recipes

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Kanom Krok Recipe (Authentic Thai Coconut Pancakes)

Kanom krok, Thai coconut pancakes, on a banana leaf.
Authentic kanom krok recipe for Thai coconut pancakes that are just as delicious as those in Thailand!
Praew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Dessert, Snack
Serving Size 10 people

Ingredients

FOR THE BATTER

  • 10.5 ounces rice flour
  • 34 fluid ounces water
  • 1.7 fluid ounce coconut milk
  • 4.2 ounces palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

FOR THE COCONUT FILLING

  • 13.5 fluid ounces coconut milk
  • 1 ounce white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

MAKE THE BATTER

  • Pour water into a large mixing bowl and add the rice flour to it.
  • Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.
  • Knead the mixture well until it’s completely smooth and free of any crumbs.
  • Add in the coconut milk, palm sugar, and salt. Continue to knead the mixture until the palm sugar dissolves completely.

MAKE THE TOPPING

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut filling ingredients: coconut milk, white sugar, and salt.

COOK THE KANOM KROK PANCAKES

  • Preheat your pan. Place your kanom krok pan over charcoal and let it get hot.
  • Give the batter a good stir and fill each indentation about two-thirds full, beginning at the outer edge and working towards the center of the pan.
  • After all holes are filled with batter, stir your topping mixture and top off each hole with the topping.
  • Sprinkle a few scallions or your topping of choice onto each pancake
  • If available, place a large lid over the pan. This creates an oven-like environment that cooks the pancakes through, giving them a golden brown hue and ensuring the filling sets just right.
  • Once cooked, gently use a small spoon to release the kanom krok. Serve these coconutty, crispy treats warm.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • For this recipe, you'll need a kanom krok pan. You can purchase one online at Amazon. For more information, see recipe under 'kanom krok pan'.
  • The batter and topping can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge.
  • This recipe makes enough kanom krok for 10 people to enjoy.

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