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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{ 385 comments… read them below or add one }

Marlene October 4, 2012

I didn’t know that you could whip coconut milk but I have heard that you can whip up coconut manna. I could try this if only to find coconut milk without sugar in it, since I’m in a diabetic family and we try hard to not eat sugar laden products. Coconut manna is sugar free, I do know that much for sure.

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Jen October 19, 2012

You pictures look fantastic. I’ve added melted chocolate to mine and then popped in the fridge, the best chocolate mousse ever! I have never been able to get it to look like yours though and have followed all instructions. The last lot even started to look like it was curdling and it became more watery. Any suggestions?

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Evie October 22, 2012

The warm chocolate is probably what is making it watery. I would try using coco powder instead.

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Jen October 23, 2012

Thanks Evie. It was watery before I added the chocolate though, I might try another brand and see if the same thing happens. Like the idea of using coco powder though, will be better than store bought chocolate!

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Kim October 22, 2012

One question…which is probably stupid. But does it taste like coconut? I know its made from coconut milk, therefore I assume iwilling taste like coconut, but you state you wouldn’t know it wasn’t dairy. My fiancé doesn’t like coconut….

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 22, 2012

Yes it does taste like coconut. The flavour can be masked somewhat with other add-ins, but its still there.

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Melissa October 28, 2012

This was amazing! Loved your pumpkin pie smoothie as well. The best part is that my boys loved it too and they are very picky eaters. Thanks!

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lise November 1, 2012

I just tried this and it didn’t come out at ALL like yours! I live in Morocco and my shopping choices are pretty limited but I did use a can of ‘creme de coco’ but the ingredient list includes sugar, water and a bunch of stuff i can’t pronounce (never a good sign!). Is it that i don’t have real coconut cream? tx

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Brooke November 6, 2012

Hi. I tried this and it didn’t whip at all. I used fresh coconut milk that I had chilled overnight in the fridge. But I spooned the cream off the top and don’t understand why it didn’t whip up. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Dana November 15, 2012

I’ve tried making whipped cream from coconut milk before and for some reason it never worked. I used your tutorial when I tried it again tonight, and it worked perfectly! Thanks!

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Alis November 16, 2012

So, I tried this today, but I took the cream out of the can the night before, put it in a plastic box, mixed it with some agave sirup and left it in my fridge until today. The result was not creamy at all, it was whipped into tiny pieces! (I still made a nice dessert out of it, but it was a bit of a let-down). Is this the brand of coconut milk I used or is it really the fact that I took it out of the can the night before? I don’t want to make this mistake again!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 18, 2012

Im sorry I am not sure. It could be the brand – I’ve tried other brands and some have been really “mealy” if that makes sense, Better luck next time! I would also leave it in the can until you are ready to use, just to be sure.

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Angela November 18, 2012

This is the most brilliant idea ever. I have a young son allergic to milk, soy, peanuts and tree nuts. I spend a lot of time modifying kid friendly and family favorite recipes so he can enjoy them too. I wanted to make my husband a chocolate silk pie for thanksgiving, but was stonewalled when I could not find an acceptable stand-in for whipped topping (even cool whip is no longer a “non dairy” whipped topping, and other options were made with either soy or tree nuts). Then I found this page. I cannot describe the joy and excitement as I made it exactly the way you showed it, and how lovely it turned out. A million thank yous for sharing this with us!! You have unlocked the door to a million things for me and my family. Bravo!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 18, 2012

Hi Angela, Thank you so much for your kind words! I appreciate them so much. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Jessica November 20, 2012

Adding a tsp of cinnamon makes this crazy good with pie as well :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2012

I love doing that too!

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Melissa November 22, 2012

So…. it’s Thanksgiving day and I just whipped up a new pumpkin pie recipe (gluten & vegan) and thought… hmmmmmm this really needs some whipped cream on top! Then I found this recipe, ran to the cupboard and grabbed a can of coconut milk put it in a container of ice cubes and stuck it in the refrigerator! I hope it gets cold enough by dinner time! Looks delicious!

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Sara November 23, 2012

Used this for Thanksgiving, and it was fantastic! Thank you so much for the tutorial! :)

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Karen November 26, 2012

Just wanted to add a couple of tips:

(1) Flip the can upside down BEFORE you put it into the fridge and let it solidify upside down. That way you can open it right side up and pour off the liquid. Not all cans allow you to open the bottom of them.

(2) Do not use coconut milk that has any other ingredients besides coconut milk and water. The other ingredients are what make it not solidify correctly.

(3) Blending a can of coconut milk (the whole thing) with one can of crushed pineapple and putting it into an ice cream freezer makes wonderful pina colada sorbet.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2012

great tips, thank you!

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milk allergy mom November 27, 2012

We recently used coconut whip in hot cocoa and in apple salad! :)

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Gulcan December 1, 2012

I have just tried this, with a touch of nutmeg and a bash of ground cinnamon. It smells and tastes X-macy yay! The only problem is that the texture is a bit lumpy here and there. Where did I do wrong?

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Jorge December 2, 2012

I put the can of coconut milk (same brand/full fat type classic) in the fridge and it came out all liquidy/thick when I opened it as opposed to the pic. Any suggestions?

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Jorge December 2, 2012

I left it for two days chilling in the fridge

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sastre52 December 7, 2012

I’ve been trying to make this recipe, but my coconut milk will not separate!!!! I put mine in a glass jar in the fridge overnight so that I could see if it is separating and it’s not. I bought “Thai Kitchen, Unsweetend Coconut Milk” and the only ingredients in it are coconut milk and guar gum. I know guar gum is an emulsifier, so maybe this is what is preventing it from separating, but I didn’t think it would do that good of a job.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 7, 2012

Hi there, Others have this problem occasionally too and I really don’t know why it happens! I havent experienced that yet, but Ive heard it can be fairly common. I hope you next trial goes better. I have also heard you can buy the coconut cream?

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Girldagger December 7, 2012

Sounds delicious! I want to make this for my children who are both sensitive to dairy. Do you have a print friendly version of this recipe? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2012

No Im sorry I dont. Enjoy!

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marctr December 12, 2012

This doesn’t apply to whipped cream specifically, but I always have trouble with the taste of coconut milk from a can–it tastes metallic to me. Is that just me? Does the brand make a difference? Does the sweetener mask the taste enough? It is usually fine for me if I use it in baked goods or if it is the coconut milk “beverage” in a box, but I hesitate to try this recipe because I’m afraid I’ll taste the can. Am I the only one with this problem?

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KarenK December 16, 2012

OK, so stupid question for you. If you put the cans in the frig upside down, would the watery part be on the top, so you can open from the top and pour off the liquid? Reason I ask is that some cans are hard to open with the new style openers, as they are rounded unlike the top (haven’t bought a can yet, so not sure if this is the case for what I can get here). thanks!

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KarenK December 16, 2012

Ok never mind, I see someone at the very end of the comments said this would work!

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Jessica December 17, 2012

Over the summer, I tried making coconut whipped cream with the wrong kind (less fat) and it was a sad, epic failure. Now that I’ve gotten over it, I’ve been stocking up on cans of the good stuff for a couple weeks every time they come on sale.

I just made it now and words cannot describe it. I’m forever changed. :)

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Wren December 18, 2012

I love your site! I had a problem with this working, though. I chilled the can for twenty-four hours and when I opened the can, it hadn’t even begun to separate. I’m now processing it in the hopes that it will be whipped after some time in there. What happened? Thanks.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 19, 2012

Hey Wren, If you read some of the other comments, this has happened to ohers. I don’t know why that happens, but it seems like some cans just don’t harden up like they should. I would contact the brand to see if they know why this happens.

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Wren December 19, 2012

Thanks, Angela! You’re probably right about it being the brand. I’ll try a different one next time. Incidentally, processing it made it fluffy like whipping cream but then I ruined the batch by putting way too much agave in. It was a watery mess! Oh well… trial & error. Anyway, thank you again… for your response & for this great website!

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Wren December 22, 2012

Okay, this time I used the Native Forest brand, and I chilled it for two days in the fridge. It still did not separate. I decided to process it again anyway. I didn’t use any agave, vanilla or anything else this time, and it still wound up watery & chunky. Actually, first it was fine, almost whipped, but then it must’ve reached a mixing threshold or something because it fell apart. I’m baffled. Do you think I should freeze the can instead? I’m about to just throw my hands up at the whole thing.

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arbella December 20, 2012

i opened the can after refrigerating and it is all watery….what happpened??

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Tim December 21, 2012

It dosen’t work. The coconut milk will not harden. I even left the can in the refridge fow 2 days.

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Cheryl December 23, 2012

I’m no where near vegan, neither is my coworker.. However. She can’t do cow dairy, and I needed a whipped cream to fill a roulade for a Christmas party and hoping this will work.

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Amy December 28, 2012

Looks yummy. Do you find it “wilts” when left out, i.e. if I topped a pie w/ it and left it on the table for an hour or so?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 28, 2012

Yes it can, I recommend chilling it until read to enjoy

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TT January 5, 2013

I put the can in the door of the fridge over night, but the coconut milk did not get hard? What did I do wrong??

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Julia January 7, 2013

I’m wondering… I can’t find the coconut milk in cans, I don’t think they sell them at my store, but there is the stuff the comes in a big juice carton thing.
Is it possibly to do something like this with that?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 7, 2013

Hi Julia, Im not sure. It might be worth a try! Maybe you can find the info online? Let me know how it goes

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Katie in Japan January 21, 2013

Hello, just wanted to let you know I tried your recipe and it was awesome!! I can’t eat regular whipped cream anymore… I used this as a whip topping for a haupia coconut pudding dessert (a Hawaiian dessert) for my Adult English class in Japan. It was a hit!! The Japanese students loved it too. I had no problems making this. I used Chaokoh coconut milk and I froze my coconut cans for about 4 hours in the freezer. The coconut liquid nicely separated and became “slushy ice” so it was easier to separate that from the coconut cream. Then just whipped up the cream with a hand mixer. Came out perfect! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. :)

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Bob January 23, 2013

Great recipe! Looking forward to giving it a whirl. I am going to make a coconut cream pie and would like to use this as a stand-in for the traditional whipped topping. I’ll whip it up, add a touch of vanilla and some coconut extract and put a healthy amount on the filling and form a dome. I’ll use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to create some peaks, I’ll then sprinkle some coconut flakes that i will have already roasted and pop it in the oven to give the peaks a golden brown color. My questions…… roughly, what’s the yield of whipped cream per 1 can of coconut milk? Will it cover my pie or do you feel that I would need second can? Secondly, will the coconut whipped cream stand up in the oven?
Thank you for sharing your recipe and thanks in advance for your response.
bob

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Drea January 26, 2013

I’m about to try this recipe today to top off some deserts….*fingers crossed* wish me luck…I’m from the Caribbean so I’m hoping the brand I use doesn’t affect it particularly in the warm climate. I was thinking honey to sweeten….is that ok?

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carol bowman January 30, 2013

I am baking a cake for my husband right now and wanted a tip on how to fill it. This is fantastic idea. I bought some whipping cream so I am going to try a half and half mixture. love the photos. xx

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Lindsay @FitandAwesome January 31, 2013

Wow, this looks really good and so easy to make! I am going to have to try this once I’m done with Whole30. Thank you for sharing!

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finn February 1, 2013

You can also add 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence and sugar to taste to make chocolate mousse/icing!!! yum!!!

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Chris February 2, 2013

Hi, My chilled tin of coconut cream seperated into 3 layers. Milk, cream and a very solid oil layer. Is the oil good for cooking with? The tin states it contains stabalizer and thickener.
I was making a delicious choc. mousse that i found on the link below. And decided to research to find out what the solid layer is.

http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2013/01/4-ingredient-chocolate-mousse-vegan-in-a-good-way.html

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janie February 4, 2013

Good idea to shake the can and see if it sounds solid, because if it sounds too swishy it won’t separate. I think I just learned another tip the hard way: read the ingredients, and if it has “emulsifiers” in it, it won’t separate either. (As I understand, that is the purpose of emulsifiers.)

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Aoife February 6, 2013

I think I love you! Lol! Honestly, this sounds so amazing. I just love your blog. Your banana peanut butter oatmeal is my heaven :)

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Chris February 8, 2013

Loved your pretty step by step tutorial so much that I just couldn’t resist trying my hand at this yummy vegan whipped cream. It was so lightning quick to make and easy anyone can and should make this! So much healthier and yummier than the store bought stuff!! It is now chilling in my refrigerator and will be topping my hot chocolate tonight since it is freeeezing here in Los Angeles! Can’t wait! Thank you, I loved this!

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Stephanie Watson February 10, 2013

I did this the other day and it was delightful, mine didn’t get as thick as yours even though it was in the fridge for two days. But, other than that it was still very edible and delicious and creamy.

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