Your Guide to Making Coconut Cream at Home

October 4, 2023

Do you have a recipe that calls for coconut cream but can’t seem to find any at the store?

That’s not a problem!

What many people don’t realize is that you can actually whip up this ingredient in your own home.

Doing so actually produces a fresher, richer taste.

So, without further ado, here is what you need to know about the process!

What is Coconut Cream?

Most people know what coconut milk is, but things can get a little confusing when it comes to coconut cream.

So, what exactly is it?

Coconut Cream vs. Coconut Milk

To begin with, let’s take a look at coconut cream and coconut milk.

For all intents and purposes, they are quite similar.

They are both made from coconut meat that has been soaked in water.

The only real difference is that coconut cream has a higher fat content than coconut milk.

As such, you will find that it is a thicker version.

Cream of Coconut vs. Coconut Cream

Now, if you have ever seen a recipe call for cream of coconut, you may have wondered if it is another term for coconut cream.

However, this isn’t the case.

Cream of coconut is a more processed version and is sweetened quite a bit.

You will traditionally find it in drinks and desserts.

As such, it can be a substitute for coconut cream. 

Berry and Coconut cream topping pancakes

What Does Coconut Cream Look Like?

For the most part, coconut cream does look like regular cooking cream, perhaps a little whiter.

It has a similar texture as well.

It is only once you have tasted it that you will be able to tell the difference.

Does Coconut Cream Taste Like Coconut?

So, what does coconut cream taste like?

Well, it does have a distinct coconut flavor to it.

In fact, it tastes a great deal like coconut milk, only richer and thicker.

Is Coconut Cream Sweet?

Naturally, coconut cream isn’t all that sweet.

At the same time, coconut cream can be – and is often – sweetened.

All you have to do is to add powdered sugar or some other sweetener to the coconut cream to make it sweeter.

What Is Coconut Cream Used For?

Coconut cream can be used in a multitude of ways.

In short, it can be used as a substitute for regular cooking cream.

Just be aware of the coconut flavor when adding it to certain dishes.

If you want to add it to your cooking, it can be used in curries and soups in the same way as cream or coconut milk.

You will simply end up with a more decadent dish.

Coconut cream can also be used in desserts. If you sweeten it and whip it up, it becomes an excellent substitute for dairy whipped cream.

It can also be used as a base for both coconut ice cream and milkshakes as well.

soup with vegetables

How is Coconut Cream Made?

There are a couple of different ways that you can make coconut cream.

The first can be made from the canned version of coconut milk.

Or, you can choose to make it from scratch.

Related Reading
Your Guide to Making the Best Homemade Coconut Whip Cream

DIY Coconut Cream Recipes

Your guide to making all of the best coconut cream recipes are below…

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50 Sweet & Savory Coconut Recipes to Try

Coconut Cream From a Can


  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk


Step 1: Cool Coconut Milk

Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge.

Allow it to chill over night or for a full day.

Step 2: Remove Can from Fridge

Be gentle when removing the can from the fridge.

Don’t shake or tip it in any way.

Carefully place the can on the counter.

Step 3: Open the Can

Gently open the can, taking care not to jostle it.

Don’t mix the contents of the can.

Step 4: Scoop Out Coconut Cream

The thick layer at the top of the can is the coconut cream.

Slowly spoon it out into a bowl or glass container.

Do this layer by layer so that you don’t disturb the coconut water underneath.

Use the cream immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container.

Homemade Coconut Cream from Scratch

Homemade Coconut Cream from Scratch


  • ¾ cup of fresh or frozen shredded coconut
  • 2¼ cups of hot water


Step 1: Blend Coconut and Water

Add the water and then the coconut to a blender.

Blend on high for up to 5 minutes.

Allow the mix to sit for around 10 minutes.

Step 2: Strain the Coconut

To strain the coconut, you can use either a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth.

Place the strainer or cheese cloth over a bowl.

Pour the coconut water mixture over the strainer and bowl.

Allow the liquid to pass through.

Step 3: Squeeze the Excess

Once most of the liquid has passed through, it is time to squeeze out the excess.

For the strainer, use the back of the spoon to press the coconut pieces against the strainer.

Do this until the coconut is as dry as possible.

For the cheesecloth, gather up the ends of the cheesecloth so that the leftover coconut is in a bundle.

Squeeze the bundle so that the remaining liquid is removed.

Continue this until all the liquid has been extracted.

Step 4: Refrigerate the Coconut Milk

Pour the coconut milk into a wide-mouthed jar and place it in the refrigerator.

Allow the coconut milk to cool overnight.

The coconut cream will separate during this time.

Step 5: Separate the Coconut Cream

Carefully remove the jar from the refrigerator.

Take care not to jostle it or tip it over.

Slowly scoop out the coconut cream into a bowl.

Avoid adding any of the water to the bowl.

Once you are done, use the coconut cream or refrigerate it.

This is how you can make coconut cream. As you can see, it is rather simple to do. Thus, even if you can’t find coconut cream in your local supermarket, you can now make it yourself.

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An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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