Coconut Whipped Cream: A Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial

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Did you know you can make a decadent whipped cream by using a can of coconut milk? Not only is it simple to make, but it’s easily the best-tasting whipped cream I’ve tried.

I know whipped coconut cream isn’t new to many of you – people have been making coconut whipped cream for years and years. I first read about it a couple years ago on Vegan Joy’s website and have seen it popping up everywhere.

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In today’s post, I’ll show you just how easy it is to make. I can promise you, your life will change when you taste this stuff!

1. Grab a can of full-fat can coconut milk (without guar gum listed as an ingredient) – Update: Native Forest now puts guar gum in the ingredients and this causes the cream and water to emulsify which is not what we want. The can must also be full-fat because you will be whipping the solid cream. Do not use light coconut milk because it won’t turn out. In summary – look for a full-fat can of coconut milk that does not have guar gum listed on the ingredient list. Cool?

Many of you have had trouble making whipped coconut cream with certain brands because some cans don’t always separate. A reader let me know that Thai Kitchen has changed their formula so that it doesn’t separate anymore. Apparently they are coming out with small cans of pure coconut cream instead. Be on the look out! I used Native Forest with decent result, although I have had some duds before.

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2. Place can in the fridge overnight. This is another crucial step. You need to chill the coconut cream until it’s very firm. I once tried to make whipped coconut cream without chilling the can – big mistake! It was a watery mess. I like to keep at least a couple cans in the back of my fridge just in case I need a quick whipped cream for a recipe. Then you always have it on hand and don’t have to wait overnight to use it. A few extra cans of chilled coconut milk never hurt anyone.

Just before you make your whipped cream, place a mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes or so. This helps keep everything cold and will be especially helpful for those of you in very warm climates.You can also put the beaters in the freezer too, but it’s not necessary.

3. Remove the chilled can from fridge and FLIP it upside down.

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Why flip it upside down?

The liquid coconut milk (the part that doesn’t harden) will now be at the top of the can!

4. Open the can. See the liquid at the top? You won’t be whipping this part.

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5. Pour the coconut liquid into another bowl. You should have just under 1 cup of liquid, but this yield will vary a bit by brand and even by can.

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Don’t throw it away – I like to use it in smoothies along with mango, kale, banana, and chia for a fun tropical smoothie. You can also use it in baking and cooking.

As you can see below, you are left with only the hardened coconut cream! Come to mama!! This is exactly what we want to use to make our coconut whipped cream.

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6. Scoop the coconut cream into your chilled bowl. (I don’t recommend using a shallow bowl like this one – I only used it for photo purposes so you could see it better!)

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As you can see, you get a lot of hardened cream to work with!

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7. Whip the cream. Grab a hand mixer (alternatively, you can do this in a stand mixer – just chill the bowl first) and whip the cream until fluffy. It’s really too much fun.

coconut whipped cream   Coconut Whipped Cream: A Step By Step Photo Tutorial

There may be a strong urge to shove your face in the bowl.

8. Add in a touch of sweetener and vanilla extract and whip it again.

You can use regular cane sugar, confectioner’s sugar, or even a touch of maple syrup. I find 2-3 teaspoons usually does the trick for my taste buds. I also like to add about 1/4-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or a vanilla bean. The vanilla really takes it over the edge – I don’t suggest skipping it!

The first time I made this I could not get over how amaaaaazing it tastes. Eric even said he wouldn’t be able to tell that it wasn’t made from dairy. Two big thumbs up from us!

How to use:

You can use this whipped cream just like regular dairy whipped cream. I like to use it in desserts & frostings, it’s amazing over a simple bowl of fruit or pancakes, and sometimes I add a dollop on my vegan overnight oats for an extra creamy bowl. You can even spoon a bit on top of a pie or fruit crisp or stir some into a bowl of banana soft serve. The options are really endless! Have fun making different kinds of flavours and fooling your friends and family.

If making a whipped frosting, I suggest storing the decorated cake/cupcakes in the fridge until ready to serve.

Storing:

Have leftovers? You can easily store it in the fridge for at least 1.5 weeks (probably longer) in a sealed container. It will firm up a bit more in the fridge. Simply scoop it into a bowl and re-whip it when you need it.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! For those of you who’ve been making it for a while now, what’s your favourite way to prepare/enjoy it?

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{ 408 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah August 31, 2012

A little scoop in a coffee or hot chocolate might be best way to “use up” this….. :)

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Wendi September 1, 2012

Thank you so much for this! I’ve read about it somewhere before; but honestly, I didn’t get it. Your pictures and instructions are so helpful. I can’t wait to give this a try.

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Jody September 1, 2012

I picked up a can of coconut milk during my shopping trip yesterday and popped it into the fridge but when I went to use it this morning it was all still watery. I bought the full fat stuff, any idea why it won’t harden?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

Hey Jody,
What brand is your coconut milk? Someone else had this problem below – please see my response. I think it could depend on the quality of the coconut milk? I’m not sure. I hope you have better luck next time!

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Laurie September 1, 2012

OK, so there must be something wrong with me because I tried and totally failed on this one!!! I bought full fat coconut milk and chilled it over night. I turned the can upside down to open but nothing had separated at all! I’m wondering if some brands aren’t honest about how much they dilute the coconut milk because mine really had no fat separation it didn’t whip up. I used “Thai Kitchen” brand – “unsweetened, premium, first pressing” — sounds like it should have worked, right?? I’ll have to try again with a different brand.

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Brie September 3, 2012

I had the same issue w/ the Thai Kitchen brand when I tried this last night! It separated a bit, but not nearly enough as it would’ve needed to make a proper whip. I’m going to try another brand next time.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

Sorry to hear that guys!! That is so strange. I just did some googling and found some interesting comments about this. Apparently, NF source their coconut from two different places and this can result in inconsistent coconut milk. I haven’t had this happen to me before, but maybe some cans are “off” depending on where it comes from? You might want to contact the company to see if there is a way to tell the difference.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2012

I have an update for you!

I contacted the company and they verified that while they used to source from both Thailand and Sri Lanka, they now only source from Thailand (which apparently yields better quality coconuts). They also said the country of origin is found on the can if you want to verify.

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Jessica Long September 1, 2012

thanks for the tutorial! i’ve been putting off making this, but you make it look so easy!

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Charlie September 1, 2012

I loooove coconut whipped cream! It tastes way better than regular whipped cream! And so easy to make too :)

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summertimedaffodily September 1, 2012

Oh my goodness! I tried this once before but used the light cream. I was mystified as to why my coconut whipped cream ended up a runny mess! Your post totally cleared up my confusion! Thanks!

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char eats greens September 1, 2012

Officially going out and buying 2938 cans of FULL FAT coconut milk haha!! It really has been popping up a lot lately, and now it just smacked me in the face. I need to make it, like this week, and eat it on top of peaches. That’s kind of what I envision as my first encounter with it.

I don’t know how I’m going to fit all 2938 cans into my fridge, but I’ll figure it out :P

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Marielle September 2, 2012

Dear Angela,

I wanted to try this recipe this morning, together with vegan wholewheat pancakes, but there was almost no cream in my can, maybe a teaspoon. I put it in the fridge for over 48 hours… The can doesn’t say whether it is low fat or full fat, could that be why it isn’t thick the way it is supposed to be?

Now I feel forced to make that tall handsome hot chocolate… What else to do with an opened can of coconut milk? :))

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

Hmm, my guess is that it was light coconut milk? I would try another brand. If in doubt, check the nutrition label – the calories should be around 150 per 1/4 cup if I remember correctly.

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Marielle September 3, 2012

O dear, then I definitely have the light version! I’ll see if I can find another brand, coconut milk is quite exotic for the Netherlands ;)

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Vera Zecevic - Cupcakes Garden September 2, 2012

Excellent instruction with beautiful images! Great job! Looking forward your next post!

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Gulcan September 2, 2012

Hi Angie, you can do the same with pure chocolate, a bit of water and cold bowl. Check out this mousse recipe which I also use for decorating cakes etc: http://cafefernando.com/the-best-chocolate-mousse-of-your-life-under-5-minutes/
I cannot wait trying this with coconut milk, thanks for the recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

Oh my gosh that looks unreal!!! Thanks so much for sharing, I will certainly try it out. :)

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Kath September 2, 2012

Love this tutorial!

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Kimberly September 2, 2012

I just finished making your homemade pumpkin pie and crust for mine and my husbands birthdays this weekend, they are cooling on the counter now. Me- staring down pie wondering if your stirn direction to put the pie in the fridge for a minimum of three hours was really more of a mild suggestion.
Head: “Angla knows what she’s doing, dont screw this pie up. Suck it up!”
Stomach: “Pie good! Eat pie!”

Okay that was scary. I’ll check in and see if Angela has a vegan whipped cream to distract me from the pie. Opened your homepage and this receipt was staring back at me. How cool. I will be introducing this to my inlaws and husbands family at the birthday their hosting for us. They all think Im weird because of my choice but so far I havnt made a dish they didnt like thanks to you. So let them think Im weird for obvious reasons like my twisted personality, and not my healthy lifestyle ;) . Thanks Angela.

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See September 2, 2012

Gorgeous whipped cream! Love the step by step

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Gabrielle September 2, 2012

YUM, you make it look so appetizing! Question, is this possible to make with a whisk? I am super low budget and dont have a mixer or hand mixer…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

I *think* it could work if you whip it really fast! Let me know if you try it out.

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner September 2, 2012

This is SO cool! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this step-by-step process of making it. It doesn’t seem to formidable any more! :)

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Heidi kokborg September 3, 2012

It looks so yummy! Think I am going serve it over a bowl of fresh fruit :) And what I really love about this whipped cream is that it is a muh healthier option to the regular whipped cream :)

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Maria September 3, 2012

Yummy!! Great pictures!!
I tried this a few months ago, and had no practical problems, but it was a massive fail because it tasted really awful! Sort of plasticky. I suspect it might have been that brand of coconut cream, but it has kinda deterred me from trying again. Has anyone ever tried something similar? Or have a tip for a good brand (I live in Denmark, and can’t find Native Forest)?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2012

I have heard it can vary by brand, I would give another brand a shot maybe? Goodluck!

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Myke September 4, 2012

This is great! But can you bake with this? I have a new york style cheesecake recipe that calls for whipped cream, can I use this as a sub? Thanks in advance!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2012

Im sorry Im not sure as I havent baked with it yet. I would try searching online to see if someone has tried it out. Goodluck!

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Connie September 4, 2012

So easy! And vegan! I’m going to buy a couple cans and store them upside down in my fridge.

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Rosalie September 5, 2012

Mine didn’t work! Is it supposed to become whipped and stiff like real cream? Mine stayed in a yogurt-like texture..

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Patricia September 5, 2012

Thanks for the great tutorial. I will try. Your cookie dough oatmeal changed me from an oatmeal hater to a raving fan!
Last week you invited suggestions for dishes from restaurants or stores to reconstruct as vegan. Well I visited “Art and Soul” restaurant in D.C. and had two amazing dishes I would love to prepare at home One was “Dirty Rice” , a risotto with mushroom “bolongese”. And a wonderful dessert, sweet potato beignets, smaller then usual ,about the size of doughnut holes, and with two dipping sauces, chocolate and berry.
Also my favorite carnivore comfort food was corned beef hash. There are vegan burger and “chicken” patties, but I’ve never seen vegan hash.
I cook but am not creative enough to know where to begin to make my own recipes. I’m sure you could do a bang up job.
And keep those cookie dough recipes coming. I LOVE cookie dough.

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Candice September 5, 2012

WOW great idea and it looks delicious. I’m going to try this on my grilled peaches for dessert this weekend.

Thanks :)

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Nathalie September 6, 2012

blurg, I made this tonight (with Native Forest brand) and it turned out great, except I needed it to ice a 9 x 13 birthday cake and there is definitely barely enough to frost half the cake. The bummer is that this cake is being served tomorrow morning so I have no clue what to do now! Anyway, just posting this comment so that future cake-frosters can know that one can will only make enough for a single 8-inch cake. Prepare two cans if you plan to frost something bigger :/ I’m going to try buying a can at 7am tomorrow morning and throwing it in the freezer for 2 hours, hopefully everything will separate in 2 hours…?

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Courtney Sellers September 8, 2012

I read your website frequently, and I just wanted to say thanks for your recipes. I love this one especially because it’s so easy lol. I’m not a vegan myself, but I still love your ideas! You’re so creative! Thanks for sharing :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 8, 2012

Hey Courtney, Thank you so much! I love how easy it is too. It’s also fun to play around with flavours – I’ve made a chocolate fudge version and a cinnamon spiced one. yum!

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Courtney September 10, 2012

Cinnamon Spice Sounds tres awesome!

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Danielle September 9, 2012

Can I do the same thing with coconut cream? I am dying to try this!

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Mary H. September 9, 2012

I was really excited to try this today, but my coconut milk didn’t separate in the fridge! :( It’s a Thai brand, so I’ll try it again with the brand you show here. Thanks for sharing all your amazing recipes!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 10, 2012

Hey Mary, I’ve heard this can happen sometimes…hope your next can is better!

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Cookie and Kate September 9, 2012

I have been wanting to try coconut whipped cream for so long! Thank you for the excellent tutorial, Angela.

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wanda sandoval September 9, 2012

love coconut whipped cream great idea I added stevia to mine is delicious I love whipped cream

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Janie September 9, 2012

Thanks for the great instructions! The days of missing whipped cream on my vegan chocolate malts are over! :-)
http://whipitupvegan.com/2012/09/09/chocolate-malt-with-vanilla-bean-coconut-whipped-cream/

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Marcy September 12, 2012

Do not try to use Kroger ‘Authentic Coconut Milk’. It also does not separate. Although it doesn’t actually say light on the can, I do notice now that it must be since it has only 110 calories for 1/3 cup. I was so looking forward to this, but will try another brand.

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Ashley September 12, 2012

Awesome! My son is allergic to dairy (amongst a ton of other things) and I think this would make a good allergy-safe cupcake topping. Just in time for his birthday!

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Sarah September 16, 2012

I’ve had a few cans recently that never separated : ( wondered if you have experienced this? I did not shake them-just put them right in the back of fridge for a couple of days and when I opened then they had not separated at all-soooo disappointing! I always buy the full fat and this has happened now with 2 different brands. Any other tricks? Not sure what is going on but boy is it disappointing when you want some nice coconut whip and you open that can and it’s just all liquid : (

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 16, 2012

Hey Sarah! Yes I have heard this is fairly common from a few other readers who commented about this on here too. I wonder why that happens? I can imagine how frustrating it is!! I hope you have better luck next time. I havent had that happen to me before with my brand of choice, but I do know others have said it has happened.

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Deborah September 16, 2012

Thanks Angela, I just made a fabulous torte adding cocoa to the coconut cream, with a raw crust and fresh berry topping.Vegan and gluten-free delicious dessert. Decadent!

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Nancy M September 16, 2012

So have any of you tried making this whipped cream using a carton of fresh coconut milk?

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Celina September 18, 2012

Thanks for the step-by-step, Angela! The can flipping is genius – I messed up my first time but will definitely try again thanks to this post. Thank you :)

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Lia September 20, 2012

Hello! I am having some troubles with my coconut milk solidifying. I am using full fat coconut milk and for some reason it is remaining liquid in its entirety! My fridge is set to 35 degrees. I have used two cans of the same brand milk to no avail. Please help!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 21, 2012

Hey Lia, I’ve heard that some cans are duds! If you read through the comments here, you’ll see that others have had this happen to them too. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s worth contacting the company to ask them if they know?

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Stefanie September 21, 2012

Hey Ange,
our four cats go crazy over coconut milk, too LOL. I only feed it to them in very small amounts, though, as a treat if you will. As soon as I open a can of coconut milk our kitchen is filled with a lot of meowing :-)
I suppose this whipped cream will go very well with a chocolate cake, yum – I thinkk I will need to spend some extra time in the kitchen this weekend….

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Mary smith September 29, 2012

Tis is truly amazing and delicious. It is the ultimate vegan icing I have been searching for. I added just a bit more maple syrup and used it to frost chocolate cupcakes, then sprinkled them with toasted coconut. Yum. Seriously.
I am thinking you could flavor it with almond extract, or chocolate extract (whole foods) or espresso powder for a mocha flavor. I wonder what would happen if you melted some chocolate, cooled it a little and then tried to beat it with the coconut?
This has to be the beginning for all vegan frostings.
I know many people are working on the holy grail for vegan foodies: meringue, but this is a great start!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 30, 2012

I couldnt agree more! So happy you enjoyed it :)

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NinaN October 2, 2012

Thank you! I’m going to use this frost my son’s vegan chocolate birthday cake! He’s turning 2 and very intolerant of dairy! It’s nice to know that the other guests can still enjoy a yummy birthday cake! Any tips for using it as a cake frosting? And how much does one can yield? Enough for a 9×13 ‘ish cake?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2012

I would probably use two cans of coconut milk if using it for a cake (to be on the safe side!)

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