Coconut butter is a creamy coconut spread, made from only 1 ingredient– dried coconut! It can be quite expensive to buy at the store, so today you’ll learn how to make it at home in just minutes, for a fraction of the price.
What is coconut butter? Just like peanut butter is made from ground peanuts, and almond butter is made from ground almonds, coconut butter is made from ground coconut. Be sure to use shredded, unsweetened coconut for the best results.
You don’t want to use the sweetened coconut that is used in traditional baking, as it’s too moist and has added sugar.
What You Need to Know About Coconut Butter
- What’s the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter? Coconut oil is extracted from the plant, so it has no fiber and is in liquid form when melted. Just like almond oil or peanut oil are extracted from their respective nuts, with a liquid consistency. Coconut butter is made from pulverized coconut, so it includes the fiber, and has a thicker texture, similar to a nut or seed butter.
- It will change with the temperature. Coconut butter has a runny, drippy consistency when it’s warm, and is very thick and firm when it’s stored in a cooler temperature.
- It has a gritty texture. Despite how drippy and runny it looks, coconut butter has a gritty texture from all of the fiber it contains. The mouthfeel can be surprising, if you’re not prepared for it.
- Homemade is cheaper. An 8 ounce bag of shredded coconut is roughly $3.50 in my area, making a 16 ounce jar of homemade coconut butter about $7. A 16 ounce store-bought jar runs between $11-15 at my local stores, so it’s definitely a significant savings!
- How long does it last? You can store coconut butter in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a month, as long as you don’t introduce any moisture into the jar. (Make sure the utensils you use in the jar are very dry and clean!) To be on the safe side, you can store it in the fridge, but just keep in mind that the coconut butter will turn rock-solid when chilled. I usually melt a portion of it in order to use it in recipes again. Coconut butter can last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months, when you keep the moisture out.
- How to measure it. Since coconut butter firms up just like coconut oil, I recommend melting it in order to measure it for recipes. You can do this by sticking the jar in a bowl of very hot tap water for 10 to 15 minutes, or you can remove a portion of the solid coconut butter and melt it over a double boiler on the stove.
What does coconut butter taste like? Coconut butter tastes like straight coconut. It’s lightly sweet and nutty, and I find it to be very pleasant! But, if you’re not a coconut fan, this recipe probably isn’t for you.
How to Make It
- Start with dried coconut. Make sure you’re using a brand with no other added ingredients. The only item on the label should be dried coconut, with no added sugar or flavors. For the best results, use 16 ounces of dried coconut, so the machine will have enough volume to keep everything moving. (Don’t use less, unless your machine’s capacity is less than 12 cups.)
- Process. Pour the shredded coconut into a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. In my experience, it’s easier to make nut butters in a food processor, rather than a blender, but in this case you can probably use a blender, too, as long as you don’t mind stopping to scrape down the sides a lot. Start processing, and let the machine run for 5 minutes or so.
- Scrape & Keep Processing. Stop and scrape down the sides, once you see that the coconut is starting to change into more of a paste consistency. You don’t want to miss any coconut pieces that are stuck on the sides. Then secure the lid and keep processing, until the coconut butter is very runny in texture. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes in total.
- Enjoy! Once the coconut butter has a drippy consistency, it’s ready to use. You can use this as a spread on toast or waffles, or in your favorite recipes to add more fiber. Store in an airtight container for up to a month at room temperature, or for up to 3 months in the fridge.
As a reminder, it’s important to keep moisture out of your coconut butter jar for best storage results. I don’t recommend adding in any flavorings here, and always use a clean, dry utensil to remove the coconut butter, so you don’t introduce any moisture or bacteria into the jar.
How to Use it in Baking
If you’re interested in oil-free recipes, coconut butter can be used as a substitute for coconut oil in certain situations. I wouldn’t use it as an oil substitute for sautéing anything, but you can swap it for butter or oil in baking, for more fiber in each bite.
The results will be slightly different, so you might want to ease into things by replacing only half of the oil or butter in a recipe with coconut butter, to see how you like it. And I certainly wouldn’t test this on company for the first time!
I have tested it as a substitute in my Vegan Fudge recipe, and it works adequately in that case. The result is definitely more fibrous in texture, so it’s not something I would serve dinner guests, but my family gobbles it up!
Recipes that Use Coconut Butter
Wondering how to make the most of your homemade coconut butter? Here are some ideas!
- Use it in Coconut Macaroons.
- Or in Chocolate Coconut Macaroons instead of almond butter.
- Try it on top of Almond Flour Waffles.
- Or on a slice of Banana Bread.
- Add a dollop to your steel cut oats in the morning.
I’d love to hear how else you might use it, too!
How to Make Coconut Butter
- 16 ounces shredded unsweetened coconut (about 4 1/2 cups)
- Pour the shredded coconut into the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, and begin processing. After 5 minutes, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.
- Continue processing, until the coconut becomes more runny. After 2 to 3 more minutes, it should be much more drippy in consistency, with a slightly grainy appearance.
- Continue processing the coconut, until you hear a "sloshing" sound. This is a sign that the coconut butter is much smoother. The grainy texture should only be noticeable when a thin layer is left on your spoon. It should take 10 minutes or less to achieve this texture, from start to finish.
- Store the coconut butter in a sealed glass jar at room temperature for up to a month. Be sure to avoid adding any moisture to the jar for best shelf life, and you can store it for up to 3 months in the fridge, if you prefer. Please note that it will turn solid if stored in a cool place. You can set the jar in a bowl of hot water or melt it over a double-boiler to use it again.
If you try this coconut butter recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how it works out for you!
Reader Feedback: Let me know if you have any specific recipe requests for coconut butter, and I’ll see what I can do.