Coconut whipped cream is an easy dairy-free alternative, made with just 3 ingredients. It’s perfect for topping cupcakes, pies, and more! Today I’ll show you how to make it, and which brands of coconut milk will work best.
What Does Coconut Whipped Cream Taste Like?
Coconut whipped cream tastes lightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla and coconut flavor. The coconut taste isn’t overwhelming, so it pairs nicely with almost any recipe!
Coconut whipped cream is:
- easy to make
- naturally sweet
- and Paleo friendly!
It’s the perfect topping for puddings, cakes, and more.
How Do You Make Coconut Whipped Cream from Scratch?
To make coconut whipped cream from scratch, you’ll need to start with a can of chilled coconut milk. Place a can in the fridge the night before you plan on making this, or stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes to help it chill faster.
For this recipe, you’ll need only the solid part in a can of full-fat coconut milk. Save the liquid part at the bottom of a can for a smoothie recipe!
Don’t buy “lite” coconut milk for this, because you won’t get as much coconut cream, which is necessary for making dairy-free whipped cream.
Combine the solid coconut cream (you should get roughly 1 cup of cream out of a 15 oz. can) with maple syrup and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to mix them together until the cream looks smooth.
Note: The cream most likely won’t look appealing or smooth at first, and that’s okay! Just keep mixing. I find that an electric mixer works best for this, so it can continue to whip everything together until it’s smooth and fluffy.
The whipped cream is ready when there are little to no lumps remaining, with a smooth texture. Coconut whipped cream isn’t quite as light & airy as traditional whipped cream, but it’s still perfect for topping a French Silk Pie, or serving with fresh fruit.
How Do You Thicken Coconut Whipped Cream?
If you find that your coconut whipped cream isn’t thick enough, you can use powdered sugar as the sweetener, or add a tablespoon or two of arrowroot to the mix, to help thicken it up.
Coconut whipped cream will also soften at room temperature, so if you find that it’s getting too warm and melting, just pop it back into the fridge, or freezer briefly, to help it thicken again.
Coconut whipped cream is even more solid once it’s been stored in the fridge. Be sure to whip it again before serving, or let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and stir well, to help it become more smooth.
What’s the Best Brand of Coconut Milk to Use?
I’ve been making coconut whipped cream for years, but recently put several brands to the test, to see how they stack-up.
Here are my notes from experimenting with these brands:
- Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream: The solid cream has a very hard texture, like it has a higher ratio of coconut oil in it. It turns out “okay” for coconut whipped cream, but it’s slightly lumpy with pieces of harder coconut oil throughout. I got 227 grams of cream from one can. This brand has no guar gum added, if you are looking for that option.
- More Than Fair Coconut Milk: I got 230 grams of cream from this can, but the cream becomes very runny when mixed. I tried saving it with the addition of arrowroot starch, but it’s not as thick as other brands, and I won’t be buying this brand for the purpose of making whipped cream. If you can only find this brand, use powdered sugar as the sweetener to avoid any additional moisture.
- Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream: This brand produces a lumpy coconut whipped cream, similar to the Trader Joe’s brand. I got 215 grams from one can, which is just under 1 cup. This one isn’t my top choice, but it works in a pinch. I’d probably use powdered sugar with this brand, to help it whip up without getting runny.
- Native Forest. I got 210 grams of cream from this can, but it was also very runny when mixed. Adding arrowroot starch helped slightly, but it wouldn’t be able to be piped as a dessert topping. If you can only find this brand, use powdered sugar as the sweetener to avoid any additional moisture.
- 365 by Whole Foods Coconut Milk: I’m very impressed by how smooth the coconut cream is in this can. I don’t know why it’s different, because the ingredients are the same as the two brands above, but it’s really nice! I got 213 grams of cream from this can, which is slightly under 1 cup. It whips up very nicely, and holds its shape for piping.
- 365 by Whole Foods Coconut Cream: If you can find cans of “coconut cream” at the store, they usually have a higher ratio of the solid coconut cream inside. (There is still some liquid in there, too.) In this can I got 283 grams of cream, compared to the 213 grams I got out of the same brand’s full-fat coconut milk. This also whips very nicely with maple syrup as the sweetener. I was able to add 2 tablespoons without it becoming runny.
My favorite brand (by far!) is the 365 brand from Whole Foods. This is not sponsored; just my honest opinion. Both the coconut milk and coconut cream produce a smooth coconut whipped cream, with a better, less-lumpy texture than other brands.
Here’s how the solid coconut milk ratio compares for the 365 brand:
- 15 oz. can coconut cream: about 1 1/3 cups of solid coconut cream (283 grams)
- 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk: slightly less than 1 cup of solid coconut cream (213 grams)
The can of coconut cream definitely seems to be the better value if your goal is to make whipped cream! In both cases, I still used the same amount of sweetener and vanilla, and both batches turned out delicious, so this recipe is relatively forgiving with the amount of coconut cream you get out of the can.
Pro Tip: For a piped look like the photos here, transfer the coconut whipped cream to a piping bag (like you’d use for frosting) and then pipe it onto your dessert. It will hold its shape for quite a while, as long as you don’t leave it in direct sunlight or a warm room.
How to Sweeten It
My favorite vegan sweetener is maple syrup, but if you are worried about the added liquid making the coconut cream too runny, you can also opt for organic powdered sugar in this case. (Make sure it’s organic if you need a vegan sugar option.)
In my experience, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, sweetness-wise. I tested that amount with several of the brands listed above, and the results were perfectly sweet, without going overboard. (It basically tastes like regular whipped cream to me!)
Clearly, I don’t use powdered sugar often, but it can really help save a bad batch of coconut cream if you’re worried about it getting too runny. See my notes above regarding coconut milk brands.
How to Serve Coconut Whipped Cream
Just like regular whipped cream, coconut whipped cream is the perfect topping for a bowl of berries, or a baked dessert!
Try it as a topping on:
- Chocolate Pots de Creme
- Healthy Hot Chocolate
- Avocado Pudding
- Chocolate Almond Flour Cupcakes
- First Birthday Cupcakes
- Healthy Birthday Cake
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- Strawberry Cream Pie
- Vegan Chocolate Cake
However you use this dairy-free whipped cream, I hope it’s a hit!
Coconut Whipped Cream (Dairy-free!)
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (chilled; cream only)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Start with a chilled can of coconut milk, that has been stored in the fridge overnight. (You can also freeze it for 30 to 60 minutes to speed the process.) When you remove the chilled can, be careful not to shake it. You want the cream that floats to the top to stay separated from the liquid portion at the bottom.
- Carefully open the can of coconut milk and scoop the thickened cream into a large bowl. The amount of cream may vary in each can, but you should get roughly 1 cup (give or take) of coconut cream per 15 oz. can. Reserve the remaining liquid in the bottom of the can for a morning smoothie.
- Add the pure maple syrup and vanilla extract to the coconut cream in the bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat everything together until smooth. This should take 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add more sweetener, if needed.
- Serve the coconut whipped cream right away, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The cream will thicken up even more when chilled, but you can whip it again to help it fluff up, or just let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes, and stir well. For a "piped" look, scoop the cream into a piping bag with a frosting tip, and squeeze it onto your favorite desserts. (See brand recommendations in this post to see which brand of coconut milk works best for this.)
If you try this coconut whipped cream recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite dessert that calls for whipped cream?
Questions and Reviews
This recipe is amazing, finally I have a healthy cream recipe I can use to make fruit pies 😀 . Thanks!
Where do you do most of your shopping? I can’t ever seem to find the same items.
I found the coconut milk at Whole Foods, but I usually have to shop at three different stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco) to find the items I need at the best prices.
I’ve tried it once before & wasn’t thrilled with the results, both taste & texture. But the “recipe” didn’t include the syrup, which would definitely sweeten it up. I’ll give it a try once more & see how goes it 🙂
I get better results (stays thicker, longer) if I don’t use a liquid sweetener (maple syrup). I really like using 100% coconut or maple sugar! A bit of shaved vanilla bean is heavenly in there as well!
You can just throw it in the blender too! It works with regular whipping cream
Wow it looks so yummy! And easy! And resembles the real deal 😉
Too cool that shaking it also works!
I used it as frosting on the cupcakes for my son’s third birthday. It. definitely also works in the blender. Add cocoa powder for chocolate frosting!
I have yet to own a food processor or electric mixer. Once my Ninja gives out, Im skipping all that and getting whatever the equivalent to a Vitamix will be in 5 years 😉
Also, locally, there is a BPA free organic brand called Natural Value.
If anyone has figured out how to get their home made milk as thick as full fat canned, I would love to hear!
There’s nothing “detox” about canned foods. u should not be promoting this recipe.
I use the term “detox” as a means of gradually improving both your diet and lifestyle choices. For someone coming from a typical Standard American Diet, filled with processed foods and trans fats, a homemade whipped cream using organic canned coconut milk is still a step in the right direction over the highly-processed versions. Progress, not perfection!
Hi Megan, do you know if a can of coconut cream would work just as well?
I’ve never tried it myself, but I assume if it becomes solid when chilled it would work!
Just did it with coconut cream… worked like a dream! 🙂
Thank you for reminding me of whipped coconut cream. We usually don’t use coconut milk, because my husband does most of the cooking and can’t stand anything with coconut in it.
But my mom has health issues that don’t allow her to eat dairy products. And I promised my son to make dairy free icecream or popsicles next time my parents visit, because he really wants to share.
So being insprired by this post I’m going to put the cream and strawberries into a blender and try to freeze it. Do you think that could work?
Sounds delicious! Please let us know how it turns out!
This looks absolutely fabulous!! I have a can of that exact coconut milk in my pantry. Can’t wait to make this. Thanks for posting such incredible recipes that always allow people like me with multiple food allergies to still indulge!
I didn’t realize my can of coconut milk was “light.” FAIL. 🙁
Tried it and it was excellent!! Thanks!
Could you whip this in the Vitamix?
Yes, I think so!
I’ve tried this in the past (blending it in the Vitamix) and it just liquifies it… too much heat. However, it will thicken up again after being refrigerated for several hours. I find this is the case no matter how I do it. Refrigerating the finished product thickens it up (as Megan mentions), so for best dessert-topping results, make ahead of time!
I tried chaokoh I don’t have any jnfo about the can, but it worked great & tastes fantastic. slightly higher fat content than the native forest.
Megan, What size Mason jar did you use? I had trouble getting the cream to move around in the 12 oz. jar so I added a few marbles and about 2 table spoons of almond milk. Quite a workout for the arms!! My wrists are actually sore the next day. I think I will use electric beaters next time.
I think my mason jars are about 20 oz. It’s definitely an arm workout! If you have electric beaters, I’d definitely prefer using those for a quicker result!
Does it taste super coconut-y? I love the non-dairy alternative but am not wild about coconut in general.
A bit of a late reply but I just tried this recipe, and tasting “too coconut-y” was also what I was worried about. I was pleasantly surprised! Def there but I thought pretty delicate. I used Trader Joe’s canned coconut cream.
Helene – I just came across this, hope you can tell me if you remember using the entire can. Thanks!
Does this turn out thick enough to use as a cake frosting? And will it run if the cake is sitting out at the party? The ingredients are perfection.
It’s pretty similar to whipped cream, so if that’s the texture you want to use for cake frosting, you could do that– but it will get runny at room temperature, so you’d need to keep it stored in the fridge until ready to serve.
Hey, I’ve been on about 10 blogs trying to find a bran of coconut cream that I can get in the UK that can work with these type of recipes? Can anybody recommend one who is UK based? Or is there somewhere I can get a tin online? Thank you!
Just another hint that I picked up. put coconut milk in the fridge to chill.. but when you open it, open it upside down. it makes it a whole lot easier to take out.
hi, my little one has 4 birthday parties in 4 days and I try to send her with a cupcake made w/o all the sugar etc. I was wondering if i can send the vanilla cupcake (your recipe) with this frosting and how long it can be “out” or if this frosting might not work if it is not served immediately.
Trader Joe’s coconut milk comes in BPA-free cans but unfortunately they only ever have the light coconut milk. But almost all their cans are BPA-free, just so ya know! Can’t wait to try out this recipe!
They now carry a coconut cream in a bpa-free can! It’s cheap ($1.49 here) and the can is filled almost full with cream instead of only partially full like the coconut milk cans.
How filling is this whipped cream? Is it light and airy like store bought which isn’t filling at all or heavier because of the higher fat content from the coconut milk?
I LOVE whip cream and non dairy whip but can’t really have it because all the preservatives and sugars give me a headache!! :(! This recipe is so delicious and doesn’t give me a sugar headache! Thank you for the awesome recipe!! Also you can buy this brand of coconut milk at Raleys! :)!
This is a good idea and I can’t wait to try again. At first it seemed like I couldn’t possibly shake up the hardened coconut cream. Over time it began to whip, and then all of a sudden it was coconut butter! I did not think that was possible. A little disappointing but I will enjoy it on my toast with cinnamon for a few days :)So – overwhipping IS possible! I also might try with a hand mixer next time so I will have a better Idea of the consistency (I had to keep checking it in the jar). But this is great if you do not have a hand mixer.
Help, I bought the same can of coconut milk as u, and put in fridge overnight. Just cracked it open and I have no cream it looks like creamy milk all through it. I did not shake it. Can I do anything to fix this?
This stuff is amazing! I made strawberry shortcake pancakes the other day and used your recipe for the whipped cream. I couldn’t even tell the difference. To be honest, I may even prefer this stuff over store bought. Thank you for sharing! Great recipe.
I buy the Natural Value brand…..no guar gum
No guar gum is important. Trader Joe’s and one of the Native Forest varieties that WF carries don’t have it either. And chilling the can upside down is a great tip. Then when you open it from the top, you can just pour off the liquid and the fat will be concentrated in the bottom of the can.
Just made this whipped cream for the first time and it’s delicious! I didn’t have a mason jar so I used my kitchen aid mixer.
My 2 year old loved it too!
How much did you make of this for the cupcakes? And can you make this ahead of time and then pull it out when you need to frost?
Can you do this, but with natural yoghurt?
I have made coconut whipped cream using “coconut cream” (in a can) from Trader Joe’s. I believe it was available around the holidays, and I grabbed it by accident. We used it for topping on a couple of dishes over my birthday weekend. My husband says there is now NO reason to use the “real” stuff (I’m dairy free, so we punted when we had some left over).
I whipped it with the whisk on my big kitchenaid stand mixer. (I think we used powdered sugar, so it wasn’t healthy, per se, but it was a birthday party…so there!) It came out perfectly. Lasted a day, but that was due to finishing it all!
Love your site and all the great recipes. Do you know how much cocoa should be added to make a chocolate type whip cream? I thought you had a recipe for it but I can’t find it!
Hey, your blog is absolutely lovely. I love this recipe! I use it for the filling in my Plant-based “Oreos”. Here is a link to the recipe if you are interested. http://heymorningstar.com/plant-based-gf-oreos/
You recommended coconut whipped cream for a baby’s first birthday cupcake, but vanilla extract contains alcohol, and since you’re not cooking the extract there will still be alcohol.
Does this make a mess for the smash cake? We had a coconut oil based icing for my daughter but it didn’t have a good mess effect. I am interested in trying this for my son but wonder if it will be messier (which would be a good thing!)
I know you said that Native Forest is among the only brands which contain BPA-free lining, but I just came across this article that warns against consuming even BPA-free cans of coconut milk:
I’m a newbe to all this, so anything I learn is helpful. I just thought I would pass it along to you. Thank you!
Is there a difference between canned coconut CREAM & using just the cream off the top of coconut milk?
No, I think they are pretty similar. Sometimes I still find some liquid in the cans of cream, and I would drain that for best results.
I made applesauce cupcakes with this on top for my son’s first birthday. Everyone loves them, including me and I’m the picky eater in the family. I love that this is a healthier alternative to buttercream frosting.
Hi Megan, I’m planning on using this on your cupcakes for my daughters 1st birthday. I would like to put the whipped coconut cream on the cupcakes in advance….will it be okay on the cupcakes out of the fridge for a couple hours? Or should I keep them in the fridge? Thanks so much!!
WOW! amazingly delicious…….
I would like to make this now, but I haven’t chilled my carton of coconut cream.
Would freezing it for, say, half an hour work?
Or should I not make it?
I’m allergic to coconut, and have yet to find a whipped cream alternative. I can’t do dairy… or soy. Any ideas of other possibilities?
I used a blender to combined the ingredients and the mason jar goes right in the freezer. I take it out of the counter a few hours before I want it. This results in a less whipped and more solid cream.
I did this twice using different shaking vehicles! The first time, I used a mason jar and my arms were going to fall off. The texture also didn’t turn out particularly thick. The second time, I used a shaker bottle that is normally used for protein shakes, and it worked out great with far less time! Thank you!
Super helpful comparison of brands. Thank you!
Hi I made this before and it s super yummy! now that I see coconut cream at the store, wouldn’t be better for me to buy coconut cream instead of coconut milk? which one would you use please.
I used the Thai kitchen coconut milk and was quite disappointed as despite adding powdered sugar and mixing for ages and getting cold again it never whipped up. The consistency was glue like. I wanted to pipe on top of my 1 year old daughter’s birthday cupcakes, however the texture prevented me from being able to.
As a whipped cream addict, this is the best!