How to make coconut whipped cream

Coconut whipped cream

I’ve heard from a lot of people that making coconut whipped cream has proven to be a serious challenge – often times they can’t get the coconut milk fat to separate from the water, even after the can’s spent a good 24 hours in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, this has little to do with your cooling chamber and a lot to do with the stabilizers used to keep the coconut milk fat suspended in the liquid; the ingredients in some cans just won’t allow the two to separate.
Stabilizers aside, the other culprit is too much air – which you can avoid by picking up the can of coconut milk and giving it a gentle shake. If you can hear the liquid sloshing around, you need to put it back on the shelf – chances are this can is a dud as far as making coconut whipped cream is concerned. What you need to listen for is a small pocket of air that moves around, making a soft gurgley sound. This method has proven to be effective in finding cans of coconut milk that encourage milk fat separation. In other words, it’s never let me down. Not once.
If you don’t feel confident in your ability to differentiate between sloshing and gurgling, Thai Kitchen will be your best (and safest) bet. In my experience, it’s the only brand of coconut milk that has consistently produced good quality whipped cream. If you’re rolling your eyes because their cans are lined with BPA – I knooow. It pains me, but I suck it up and buy it because I’m not a fan of buying $2 cans of coconut milk that yield separation only 50% of the time. Which is what usually happens when I bring home Native Forest coconut milk with high hopes of turning it into whipped cream. When in doubt, buy a few different cans and experiment to see which brand works best for you. But for the love of Buddha, do not try to speed up the process by freezing the can. You’ll be left with a solid block of coconut milk and a half-exploded can. Not that I know from experience, or anything.

Refrigerated coconut milk
The good stuff
We be whippin'
Iced coffee with coconut whipped cream
Strawberries and coconut whipped cream

Notes: My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s super customizable and can take on whatever flavor your little taste buds desire. Strawberry? Muddle some strawberries and mix them in. Lemon? Squeeze in a bit of juice and add some zest for an extra kick. Chocolate? I think you know what to do. You could also go crazy and add some whiskey and a bit of caramel sauce. And then use the boozy whipped cream to smother your favorite chocolate bundt cake. Or you can enjoy the creamy white stuff, in its simplest form, atop your favorite caffeinated beverage, with fresh fruit, or with strawberry-coconut shortcakes (which are coming soon).


1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 tbsp powdered cane sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the top layer of white, fatty goodness into a decent sized mixing bowl (discard the coconut water or save it for smoothies). Blend the chunks of coconut milk with a hand mixer on high speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns to liquid. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy. Whipped cream is best served immideately, but can be stored in an air tight container for up to three days. It will harden in the fridge, so when ready to serve, simply blend with a hand mixer on high speed until creamy again.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups


22 thoughts on “How to make coconut whipped cream

  1. I opened a can of coconut milk the other day and was really annoyed that it had split when I wanted to use it as a liquid. I obviously should have gone the booze and caramel route instead of using it to make dinner πŸ˜‰

  2. It's about time I tried this coconut whipped cream thing. Thanks for the tips! Especially the one about the freezer, not that I'd have been tempted to try or anything.

  3. I'm totally picturing you crouching in the cap hill whole foods shaking cans of coconut milk. LOVE IT. Will definitely be following suit, this is groundbreaking stuff Ash. πŸ˜‰ ❀

  4. It's the BPA that makes it reliably whippable, heh heh.. heh… 😦 I was going to recommend buying the Thai brands (Chaokoh, etc) because I never have trouble whipping them up, but I realized their cans probably have BPA in them too? ack! Just can't win.I'm curious why you say to use a can of coconut milk, though. Why not just buy cans of coconut cream instead of separating it in the can?-Embla

  5. brilliant! i want to do this for my next cake! i also recently started replacing regular milk with coconut milk in a magnolia chocolate cake that i make, and it is way moister and has a whole new flavor element! i'm thinking coconut chocolate cake with coconut whipped cream on top.

  6. Hi Embla! I tend to stay away from products that aren't readily available to most people. I live in Denver and have a hard time tracking down coconut cream, so I figure most of my readers will too. Besides, separating it in the cane is cheaper, anyway πŸ˜‰

  7. this looks absolutely AMAZING. saw your cake on instagram and oh my did it look good! i'm thinking banana cake, with chocolate ganache sandwiched in between, topped with this whipped cream and berry compote. oh my.

  8. Yes, Thai Kitchen is my homie for this particular application too. Peeps need to be real on BPA and realize that having consistently successful coconut whip is REALLY EFFIN IMPORTANT.Also, I bought that TJ's coconut cream hoping it would be all whip, all the time. But I found that shit gritty as hell. Have you tried it? Did I get a bad can? I feel like, as an American with regular access to TJ's, you will have ALL the answers on this πŸ™‚

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