Coconut Cream

Rich & fluffy, coconut cream is my go-to substitute for dairy whipped cream. Use this easy coconut whipped cream recipe to top your favorite treats!

Coconut whipped cream in a stand mixer

Whipped coconut cream is my go-to substitute for regular whipped cream. It’s light, it’s fluffy, and it’s naturally dairy-free making it the perfect topping for cakes, pies, crumbles, or any dessert that would benefit from a dollop of whipped cream.

What is coconut cream?

In most grocery stores, you’ll find 3 canned coconut products: light coconut milk, full-fat coconut milk, and coconut cream. Coconut and water are the primary ingredients in all three, but they each have different concentrations of coconut. Canned coconut cream has the highest coconut percentage, meaning that it also has the highest fat content and the thickest texture. Full-fat coconut milk is second in line, and light coconut milk comes in last.

I use light coconut milk in lattes or soups, but if I want to use coconut as a rich, dairy-free alternative to regular cream in vegan ice cream or whipped cream, I always seek out full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. You can easily find both in the Asian section of most grocery stores.

How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream

Making homemade coconut whipped cream is no trickier than making regular whipped cream at home, but you do have to plan ahead. Always chill your cans in the fridge overnight. The coconut solids will rise to the top of the can in the fridge, leaving the coconut water behind. You’ll need this concentrated cream in order to create a fluffy coconut whipped cream. Once your cans have chilled, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Scoop the hardened coconut that has risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  2. Beat on high speed until it begins to thicken and peaks form. Be careful not to overmix here, as it could heat the cream and cause it to soften!
  3. Gently mix in your sweetener and seasonings. I like to sweeten mine with maple syrup and flavor it with vanilla extract, warming spices, or lemon, depending on what I’m making. You could use powdered sugar in place of the maple as well.
  4. Chill your cream until you’re ready to serve!

Coconut Cream Recipe in a Tart

Coconut Cream Recipe Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve made your coconut whipped cream, you have endless options for serving it. Dollop it onto almost any dessert – puddings, crumbles, pies, cakes, shortcake, etc. – or use it as the base for a creamy tart or pie. I especially like this Strawberry Tart recipe.

I also love topping coconut whipped cream onto overnight oats, like these Strawberry Rhubarb Overnight Oats parfaits. It would be equally good on any of these overnight oats recipes or on my baked oatmeal!

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Coconut Cream

rate this recipe:
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4
Light & fluffy, this easy coconut whipped cream is the best alternative to the traditional version! Just be sure to chill your cans of coconut milk or cream in the refrigerator the night before you want to make it.


  • 2 (13.5-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, optional, depending on thickness of your cream


  • Scoop the coconut solids that have risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure the solids have separated from the coconut water in the can - if it mixes, your coconut cream will not whip. Save the leftover coconut water for smoothies.
  • Beat the on high speed until it begins to thicken and and peaks form. Don't over-mix or your cream will soften too much.
  • Add the maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest, and mix until combined. If your coconut cream is very thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, if desired. If your cream isn't thick enough for the additional liquid, skip the lemon juice.
  • Chill the cream in the fridge until you're ready to serve.



5 from 18 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Maria

    Can sweetened condensed coconut milk be substituted for coconut cream?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Maria, I wouldn’t recommend using sweetened condensed coconut milk here, but you could use the solids from cans of regular full-fat coconut milk. Refrigerate the cans for a couple of hours to help the solids separate if needed.

      • Maria

        5 stars
        Thanks so much for the response. After some searching, I was able to find coconut cream. I made the dark chocolate olive oil cake and cardamon coconut cream for my daughter’s birthday last week. It was a hit. At my husband’s request, I made another tonight. I always have good luck with your recipes. You are my go-to trusted source. Thank you so much!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Maria, that sounds so delicious! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes.

  2. Laura Delany

    There is a big difference between coconut cream (unsweetened) and cream of coconut (which is sweetened).

  3. Carolyn

    Jeanine, I don’t have a stand mixer. Can the coconut solids be mixed using a hand mixer to form the peaks?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Carolyn, I think that would work fine!

  4. Rhonda

    I have always wanted to ask someone this. When you use the solids out of a can of coconut milk, what do you do with what is left over?


    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rhonda, it’s great for smoothies!

  5. Shara

    How long in the fridge will it last once it is made? Hoping to make some for my daughters birthday but want to prep it at least a day ahead.

  6. Donna

    Hello Jennifer,
    We have really enjoyed your recipes over the past few weeks. They are always spot on. Thank you. Do you think that an immersion mixer would work with this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Donna, with a whisk attachment, it should work. I haven’t tried it myself since I don’t have one.

  7. ali from

    you haven’t lived until you’ve tried this. it took all the will power in the world not to just sit down and eat a whole bowl of this and the skip the pie!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.