When the Going Gets Hot….Make Limber!

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite (and most delicious!) projects to do with Mami in the kitchen, was to make fresh coconut limbers, the tasty frozen little coconut flavored cubes we would make at home. Not to be confused with the shaved ice Piraguas (immortalized forever in “In the Heights”), limber was made at home in ice cube trays, although today you could put them in popsicle molds or whatever else your heart fancies. Limber was a big complicated affair to make, because first you had to grate the coconut by hand with a box grater, then you had to “wash” the coconut, and THEN you had to squeeze the coconut meat dry in a clean kitchen towel. Not until then could you sweeten with sugar, fragrance with vanilla, and pour into the ice cube trays.

After playing with a few recipes, I tried a recipe that calls for coconut milk, and cream of coconut, and water. This recipe did not work well for me, as I found that the limber separated when frozen, and did not maintain it’s pretty white color throughout. That sent me back into the kitchen, and here is what I was left with:

Limber de Coco

1 can cream of coconut

1 cup half and half

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

Whisk in the half and half into the cream of coconut Stir in the coconut milk, water, and the vanilla.

Pour into ice trays.

Cover the ice trays with  plastic wrap, and poke toothpicks into the wrap so your limbers have a little handle.

Place the trays in the freezer (I found that they were best after about 8 hours or overnight). Pop your limbers out of the trays and enjoy! This recipe yielded 3 ice trays of limbers.

It doesn’t get easier (or tastier!) than that!

Buen provecho!

19 Responses to “When the Going Gets Hot….Make Limber!”

  1. 1 Mike Delgado August 1, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    You just brought back some wonderful memories for me. I used the remember coming home from playing on those hot days and mami surprising us with those great limbers. At first we would fight to see who would get more. When we were younger, my argument of being the oldest was simple enough. But as we grew older and became more (five), that argument flew out the window and my brothers and sister would fight tooth and nail for the last ones! Imaginate – they actually gave me a Bronx throw-down over them, the NERVE 😛
    Anyway, mami caught on and had to buy five different ice trays with each of our names on it so no one could argue over them anymore.
    And if any of us tried to take from another’s tray, mami would wash her hands of it and told us not to go crying to her if we got our butts kicked!

  2. 2 daisy August 1, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Hahaha! Anyone of us can tell that same story, Mike! I tried pulling the old “I’m the oldest”, too, although, like you, it didn’t get me far. Thankfully, we have long memories so each of my kids got their own tray, lol!
    Hasta pronto, hermano,

  3. 3 Jeni August 2, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Ok Daisy,
    I’m ready to start my own traditions!!!!! My kids
    are 10 and 5. Never had Limber. I can’t wait till
    tomorrow when they are frozen!!!!

  4. 4 Laura August 2, 2008 at 10:39 pm


    My uncle Ricky has been searching high and low for a recipe; Coconut candy. He remembers my grandmother making this. She would place coconuts over the flame to burn the hairs and crack the coconuts open to drain them. My uncle would grate the coconut for my grandmother’s coconut candy. Do have a recipe, so that I can surprise him and make it?


  5. 5 Anita August 3, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I was in the 7th grade living in PR late 60’s in an urbanization called Country Club and on my walk to school there were several houses on the way were you could stop and buy two limbers for a nickel. My favorite back then was “limber de leche” my second “limber de frambuesa”. It has been 41 years since I have had one. This recipe at least will be a “tasty memory”. Thank you, ANicholl

  6. 6 Lydia August 3, 2008 at 7:55 pm


    Ahhhhh! you bring back so many fond memories, how we used to fight over that ice tray, as we ran into the kitchen coming home from school! But what about the cinnamon on top? Mami always put “un chin chin” of cinnamon on top just for that little extra “something something”…..Buen Provecho!

  7. 7 K. Morrow August 3, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Que rico! Thank you so much for this easy version of one of my childhood favorites… I loved it with a little sprinkle of cinnamon.. yummy. thanks again Daisy and keep up the great work.
    Hasta luego,

  8. 8 daisy August 4, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Thanks Jeni..happy to help! Let me know how it goes…


  9. 9 daisy August 4, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Hola Anita: Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories…

    Limber de frambuesa…probably my next project! Thanks you….


  10. 10 daisy August 4, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Dear Lydia: Make yourself happy and put cinnammon on top…



  11. 11 daisy August 4, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Dear Kim: you are welcome..enjoy!!


  12. 12 Carmen Gotay August 4, 2008 at 7:53 am


    You have made my dreams come true. I have been looking for this recipe for months. I remembered that my Titi Ali would make it for us in the summer, and how I looked forward to the weekend to have some limber at her house.

    My reaction to your newsletter was “No Way” and a big smile.

    Thank you,

  13. 13 daisy August 4, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Dear Carmen: Always happy to help!


  14. 14 Iris August 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Daisy! thanks so much for this recipe! i agree with everyone else in that it brings back wondeful memories!! When will see you on tv with new recipes? We miss you!!

  15. 15 daisy August 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    De nada Iris….looking forward to going back to studio pretty soon…..I will make sure you are all 1st to know.


  16. 16 Miriam Santiago August 5, 2008 at 11:30 am


    thank you so much for the Limber de Coco recipe, I have been searching for this recipe for a long time. I remember growing up and mami in the kitchen on Friday evenings making Limber de Coco for the weekend on huge batches. So, on Saturday mornings I would get up before anyone else and run to the freezer before breakfast to put 4 pieces in a cup, then I would hide that cup behind the meats in the freezer, so that I could have extra for later when they were all gone. Ayyyy que rico.

    Miriam Santiago

  17. 17 primaluz August 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Dear Daisy,
    Your Limber dessert reminded me of Tembleque and Masamorra. I would like to take adavantage of the corn harvest and would like to make Masamorra. Can you let me know what you find about this delicious dessert.

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