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 coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight before you make coconut whipped cream. 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:
- Scoop the hardened coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat the coconut cream 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!
- 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.
- Chill your cream until you’re ready to serve!
Coconut Cream Recipe Serving Suggestions
Once you’ve whipped up your coconut 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 Coconut Cream 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!
- 2 (13.5-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 2½ 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 solid coconut cream that has risen to the top of the can, and spoon it into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure the coconut cream has 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 coconut cream 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.