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

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 30, 2012

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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! Note: Not all cans work for this – check yours.

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.

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Coconut Whipped Cream

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

You can easily create a decadent, fluffy whipped cream by using a can of full-fat coconut milk. Not only is the technique simple, but it’s easily the best-tasting whipped cream I’ve tried. You can use this whipped cream just like regular dairy whipped cream. I like to use it in a bowl of fruit, on top of a fruit crisp, or stirred into Banana Soft Serve. The options are really endless! One important tip: you’ll want to chill the can of coconut milk for at least 24 hours before you begin to ensure the white coconut cream solidifies (be sure to read all my tips below on how to buy the right coconut milk for this recipe).

Yield
1 cup (250 mL)
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce/400mL) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled for 24 hours*
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener (maple syrup, powdered sugar, cane sugar, etc), to taste
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours. I like to keep a few cans in the fridge at all times so I don’t have to wait.
  2. About 1 hour before making the coconut whip, chill a mixing bowl in the freezer.
  3. After chilling the can, open the can and scoop the solid white coconut cream into the bowl. Discard the coconut water or save it for another use (such as coconut water ice cubes).
  4. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in sweetener to taste and vanilla.
  5. Return whipped cream to fridge until ready to use. It will firm when chilled and soften at room temperature. This will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 1 week or you can freeze it in an airtight freezer-safe bag for up to 1 month. After chilling in the fridge, allow it to sit at room temperature until it softens slightly and then you can re-whip it as needed.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 2 tablespoons (30 mL) | Calories 100 calories | Total Fat 11 grams
Saturated Fat 9 grams | Sodium 5 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 3 grams
Fiber 0 grams | Sugar 2 grams | Protein 1 grams
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

  • * Some brands of canned coconut milk will be better than others for making whipped cream, and even some cans within the same brand can vary quite a bit. For whatever reason, the cream and water in some brands or cans do not separate. A few of the most consistent brands for making coconut whipped cream are: Thai Kitchen full-fat coconut milk, Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream (just the cream—no water in the can!), and Native Forest. I always keep at least a few cans of full-fat coconut milk in my fridge at all times just in case I get a “dud”—then I know I have more on hand. If you happen to get a dud don’t be discouraged. Try out one of the brands above, and be sure to chill it for at least 24 hours. Odds are you will find your perfect brand after some trial and error!!

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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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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

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Amanda December 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm

This looks like it might be a great alternative frosting for a cake I plan to make this weekend. How much does one can make, though? Would it be enough to frost a cake or would I need to do two cans? Thanks for the great recipes!

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Vicki December 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Hi Angela, I am in the middle of making your delectable cake ball little treats for my girlfriends who are coming over tomorrow night, one is vegan and one is gluten free. It’s my gluten free friend’s birthday so I want to have your cake balls with candles to sing happy birthday to her. My problem is that I had actual coconut cream in the can and thought heh, that should work perfectly without having to put the can in the fridge overnight. Well needless to say (and as you did warn me lol)….nope….it didn’t whip up much at all so now I have put another can of the coconut cream in the freezer hoping I can speed up the process in order to have them decorated before tomorrow rolls around. Have you ever tried it using actual coconut cream? I am using Earth’s Choice organic coconut cream. Any suggestions would be so appreciated. Also just as a side note, I’ve already done up the peanut butter balls and they are in the fridge and are really yummy and I ordered your cookbook from Amazon today. :) Thank you kindly. Cheers!

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Charlie March 11, 2016 at 7:38 pm

I bought this exact brand of coconut milk and it didn’t have the solid part at all… it was all liquid :( Any suggestions for when that happens, or do I just have to buy multiple cans when I’m planning to make this? Thanks!

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Angela Liddon March 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Hi Charlie, Unfortunately – for whatever reason – sometimes the cream and water don’t separate, even in a trusted brand. I always keep at least a few cans in my fridge at all times just in case I get a dud. It happens!

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Monica March 27, 2016 at 8:24 am

I am using the organic Natual Value brand which was highly recommended in all sorts of blogs and by the Whole30 community. It separates, looks just like the pictures. I chill it etc. but then it won’t whip. Not even a little. I’ve tried 2 cans so far. Anyone know what this could be? Thanks.

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Joanna Laznicka March 31, 2016 at 10:18 pm

I tried this tonight for a vegan cake made for a vegan potluck. Everyone loved it. Thanks for posting it. It was the hit with all the guests.

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Francesca April 3, 2016 at 10:51 am

not sure what happened. I followed all the istructions but did not work out.

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:36 am

Oh no! If you tell me a little about your results, maybe I can help you out for next time?

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Smash April 13, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Help. I used pure coconut cream and followed the instructions.. i ended up wth coconut cottage cheese. Any ideas what went wrong?

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Wendy May 15, 2016 at 5:26 am

I can’t have whipping cream or the fake cool whip. Is this stable enough to use in a mousse or cream pie??

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Irene Hayden May 23, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Hi, thanks for a great site and I did download your app on my ipad, but unfortunately, I use my note 5 for a quick look when I am not home. The whip cream sounds great, but so far it seems impossible to find coconut milk without guar-gum. I shopped all over looking for the native brand to find it also had the guar-gum and then read your blog that the brand you show on your site now has guar-gum. I am at a lost. I live in Sarasota FL, but originally from New England.
If you have any ideas of what brands to purchase I would appreciate your help. You’re recipes are spectacular! God bless you and your family…

Reply

Angela Liddon June 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Hi Irene, Thank you for your support! I hope you’re enjoying the app so far. I think most of the coconut milk brands I buy all have guar gum in them, so I’m sorry I don’t have any to suggest! I would also check out this Q+A post on another site: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60447.html

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Ann October 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Hi Angela,

Will the whipped coconut cream recipe still work if the can has guar gum in it? You mentioned at the top of the tutorial to find coconut milk without guar gum. I have no issue with guar gum, I just want to make sure the recipe will work.

Reply

Angela Liddon October 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Hi Ann, Guar gum causes the cream and water to emulsify, which will spell trouble for the recipe. So it’s best to look for a can of full-fat coconut milk that does not contain guar game in the ingredient list. :)

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Alex July 8, 2016 at 12:20 am

Can you use tinned coconut cream instead of coconut milk – surely this makes it easier given it is thicker or does it not work? Thanks

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Maggie July 21, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Hi!

If you use Trader Joe’s coconut cream, do you still need to chill it? How does using this Trader Joe’s product make the coconut whipped cream process different? Thanks for your help! I’ve been LOVING your site!!

~Maggie

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Diana July 26, 2016 at 4:37 pm
Recipe Rating:

Wow! Amazing taste better than diary whipped cream and stays in the fridge for 3 days!!! I will never buy diary cream again! Love this recipe!

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For the LOVE of coconuts August 5, 2016 at 3:08 am
Recipe Rating:

I wonder if this would hold together nicely if I froze the coconut cream, then added Xylitol while whipping. Since a person cant whip it long before it starts resembling coconut milk and the xylitol takes a while to melt. I like Xylitol because it doesn’t have a bad aftertaste.

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Marie August 19, 2016 at 11:20 am
Recipe Rating:

I think this is going to become a staple in my house now just like frozen banana turned into ice cream is. I always have some form of fruit in my house so a quick topping on top of fruit slices is a great go-to when wanting something sweet. I made this for the second time last night and I much prefer what I did last night: whipped coconut milk with vanilla and coconut palm sugar (lower glycemic natural sugar). I’m going to try stevia with it. If I like it with stevia then I have an even healthier dessert for me. :) Thanks for posting

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Angela Liddon August 23, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Thank YOU for the thoughtful comment! :)

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Marie August 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’ve made this before but I’ve never liked it nor found it easy until I saw this recipe. The flipping the can upside is genius. I add Stevia for 0 on the glycemic scale or Coconut Palm Sugar which is second lowest healthy/natural sugar on the glycemic scale. I now enjoy adding it on top of sliced fruit and a pinch of cinnamon on top for a quick, healthy dessert. Thanks!

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Angela Liddon August 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm

I’m glad that trick works for you, Marie!

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christopher paul September 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

I will definitely make this soon… Thanks so much for this recipe, am very lazy when it comes to preparing food but following your style makes everything easy

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Ann October 1, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Hello,
I notice that all the cans of coconut milk/cream contain guar gum (including Native Forest). Will the whipped coconut cream process still work if the can contains guar gum? Has anyone in Canada found a brand that has no guar gum?
Thanks

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Anand Iyer January 27, 2017 at 8:11 am

if you are looking for a retail product, then i’d recommend the rich’s whipped cream, but only the unflavored one is vegan. http://www.richgraviss.com/

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Sharon Wegner January 29, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Is there an exact amount of coconut cream that is used? Is it possible to use actual coconut cream rather than the full fat coconut milk as mentioned in your recipe?

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Angela Liddon March 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Do you mean a can of pure coconut cream? I suspect it should work, but I haven’t tried it myself so I’m really not sure. If you give it a try, please let me know how it goes!!

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Cindy February 17, 2017 at 10:11 am
Recipe Rating:

This is a recipe blog, right? I read some comments to get more ideas about recipes tried and used. Ended up in some editorials on meat eaters verses vegetarian/vegans. Why? Who cares. Eat what you want. Go where you want. Stick to the topic.
Thank you for your recipe and directions. I found what I was looking for. Worked great for me. Now, can we talk about why you used an orange bowl while you made this? Because a clear bowl makes so much more sense since you can see what’s going on while you work. While the handle of your can opener looked black, which doesn’t fit the decor set by the orange bowl.

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Lisa Molnar February 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

I agree Cindy, the comments got way off topics. Love your comment, eat what you want, who cares. I have a vegan daughter, I tell her, you eat what you want, and I will eat what I want, don’t push your personal agenda on me. Anyway, I just realized where I was going wrong with the coconut whipped cream, I was using the one with the gums, I never looked at the ingredients, ugh. Thanks.

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Giana Shape May 24, 2017 at 7:51 am

Sounds like easiest way to have coconut whipped cream. I will try it on this weekend. My kids will surely love it. In fact, It is good for health purpose too. Thanks for your step by step tutorial and tips.

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jen June 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm
Recipe Rating:

Sorry to say but no matter what we did there was NO way we could whip up the cream that solidified from the canned coconut milk or the canned coconut cream. We put the cans in the refrig , some for a few hours, some overnight and some longer. It was almost impossible to break up the hardened cream from the trader joes brands and it is so hard. All are utensils and bowls were nice and cold as well. The “cream never whipped. It stayed almost separated like granules. We all became ill after consuming the guar gum brands. They destroy your tummy. Hours in the bathroom:(. Such a disaster so unless you can give us the specific one that works I don’t think we’ll attempt this ordeal again.

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jen June 21, 2017 at 12:08 pm
Recipe Rating:

P.S.
The organic coconut milk classic you show above and the results is made with GUAR GUM so telling us to not use it, but you DO seems hypocritical, don’t you think? It looks and whips nice in picture but the ones without guar gum do not!

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sharon July 29, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’ve made this, (as instructed) and It’s really the only way to go to have fresh, delicious whipped cream. I have no problem at all making it and eating it! It’s a keeper. I’m a health nut all the way and have been for many years. I go for only natural. This is about as natural as it gets.
Thanks!

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DaisysMom November 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm
Recipe Rating:

I tried this with both the Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods full fat coconut milk. Both worked!

Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 17, 2017 at 8:05 am

That’s great news! Thanks for sharing :)

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Alison November 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

In response to Salem: thank you for your comments. I am very happy that an alternative “whipped cream” is available. I happen to be Lactose intolerant and had to do without real cream, real dairy, etc. for many years. If I could, I would also like to have the real whipped cream on my deserts but cannot. I am going to try this recipe tomorrow after chilling the coconut milk; keeping my fingers crossed that all will go well.

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Susan B November 24, 2017 at 4:46 am

I have not been successful with the coconut whipped cream….well now I know why! Thanks for the info on the guar gum, I’ll look for coconut milk without guar gum and try it again

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Katie April 13, 2018 at 1:21 pm

Any tips on getting smooth whipped cream every time? So often I’ve ended up with whipped cream with a bit of a grainy texture. I pretty much always use native forest brand, and have always done it just the way you described.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

Hey katie, I’ve had this grainy problem too…and I have no idea why it happens with some cans sometimes, but then other times it is fine. Maybe someone else knows and can weigh in on this. I wonder if it has to do with it having a “gum” or not?

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Lidija May 14, 2018 at 9:56 pm

Definitely pinning this!

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dglve July 29, 2018 at 8:11 am

Well, this was pretty much an epic failure! I suspect it is the fact that all coconut milk contains guar gum, which I suspect keeps it from whipping to any degree. So recipes like this should really be coming down or revised to keep current.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Hey there, Oh no sorry to hear that! I make it frequently with guar gum in the ingredients and it turns out okay. But some cans seem to give me trouble too. I haven’t been able to figure out the inconsistency thing with canned coconut milk.

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Deborah August 15, 2018 at 9:03 am

Hi Angela,
Please help.

I have been making coconut whipped cream successfully for a couple of years until recently. I have been using the full fat organic Native Forrest brand which has the guar gum(used to work). The problem is that when I open the cans, the coconut is emulsified. There is no solid cream, it’s all mixed together. So it is very runny. I have gone through 10 cans bought from different places with the same results. I have tried chilling it for more than three days with the same result. I freeze my pan and beaters as always.

I tried to strain it and still have very runny results. Any suggestions? This is a family favorite and I don’t know how to fix this.

Thank you

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

Hey Deborah, I’m sorry your coconut milk is giving you trouble! I’ve had this problem a lot too, and I agree that it’s so frustrating to get those “dud” cans! Native Forest used to be my go-to, but I find it’s really hit and miss now. I did some digging online and it sounds like readers have had better success using canned full-fat coconut milk from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365 brand, and Thai Kitchen. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try any of those out…and if any other readers have had this same problem, please feel free to chime in with your tips. :) I hope this helps!

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Steph October 23, 2018 at 9:12 pm

I tried this last week with Trader Joe’s coconut cream, chilled for several days in the fridge. Bowl and beaters also chilled. The cream never softened, no matter how much I beat it. It was just hard and chunky. Is the cream a bad choice? Seems like it should be better than the milk.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Hey Steph, I’m sorry your coconut milk is giving you trouble! I’ve had this problem a lot too, and I agree that it’s so frustrating to get those “dud” cans! Native Forest used to be my go-to, but I find it’s really hit and miss now. I did some digging online and it sounds like readers have had better success using canned full-fat coconut milk from Whole Foods 365 brand and Thai Kitchen. You may also want to try letting it sit at room temperature for a litle bit as sometimes I find it can get a bit TOO firm when chilled in the fridge. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try any of those out…and if any other readers have had this same problem, please feel free to chime in with your tips. I hope this helps!

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