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Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut Whipped Cream

Since becoming both a baker and a blogger, I have noticed an intrinsic change in the way I approach, prepare, and appreciate food. In many ways, I anticipated that a small evolution would take place when I carefully typed out my first post, but I could not have imagined how much it would affect (and continue to affect) my life.

When I started blogging, it was out of desperate desire to find a passion for myself, a need to express the confused emotions and excitement of growing up and coming into my own. I latched onto the idea that baking was where I should be, clutching onto the hope as if it was the only life saver in my ocean of feelings. There was no evidence to support these feelings—I did not bake often and knew very little about it—but I was so frantic to find something to call my own that this indomitable mountain did not seem to matter. When I began blogging, I started from scratch. I taught myself how to create desserts through trial and error. I experimented with yeast, rolled out pie crusts, and stumbled around the kitchen, sharing these moments of discovery with you.

Coconut Whipped Cream

I have met people who have changed the way I think about food. While I lived in Montreal, my roommate unknowingly shared her philosophy of cooking and eating over the dinner table each evening, as she consistently prepared fresh and healthy foods (a feat I had yet to master). She took me to the local farmer's market and shared her thoughts about fruits and vegetables, as we wandered through the colorful, vibrant aisles with our market bags growing increasingly heavier. Though her wisdom was disguised as everyday conversation, she unconsciously taught me to treat my body with respect. Looking back, it was a lesson I needed to learn more than I understood.

By chance, I once listened to a segment on the radio in which Nigella Lawson talked about her perspective on summer fruits. Her passion was so evident and her descriptions so vivid that I was swept up in her approach to food. Her words affected me so deeply that I can recall them several years later.

Coconut Whipped Cream

In those early months of discovery, when I could not have anticipated what my approach to food would become, I imagined myself making colorful cakes and using sprinkles on everything from cookies to ice cream cakes. My real evolution has taken me by surprise—a mixture of rusticity, homespun flavors, and what I hope to be honesty. I am driven by the seasons and fall prey to my whims and cravings. What started as a desperate compulsion to find a passion has matured into a journey of butter, sugar, and self-discovery.

Any path that leads to something so simple and elegant as coconut whipped cream is a path I deem worth following.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut Whipped Cream is a dairy-free/vegan alternative to traditional whipped cream. The natural fat content of coconut milk makes it possible to whip it up with a mixer, creating soft peaks. While coconut whipped cream is not as stiff as whipped cream, the flavor is immaculate and can be spooned over any dessert of your choosing. The natural subtlety of coconut, along with a few vanilla bean seeds, makes this whipped cream memorable.

One Year Ago: Sun Dried Tomato Basil & Brie Spread
Two Years Ago: Vanilla Almond Cupcakes and Banana Pudding

Coconut Whipped Cream

14 ounces (414 ml) full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

Chill the coconut milk in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, taking care not to disturb or shake the container. The coconut milk will separate with the white liquid on top and the clear on the bottom. Once cold, flip over the can, open it, and carefully pour the clear liquid into a small container to save for another purpose, such as smoothie making (if you get too much of the clear liquid mixed with the white cream, the coconut milk will not whip up properly. Put the coconut milk back in the refrigerator and wait until it separates to try again). Place the thick, white coconut milk into a mixing bowl and beat in the powdered sugar. Continue whipping the coconut milk on high for 5-7 minutes while it increases in volume and gets soft peaks. Beat in the vanilla bean paste.

While you can use the whipped cream immediately, I find that it sets up a bit better if chilled in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

The coconut whipped cream will keep for several days. If it separates in the refrigerator, whip briefly before serving and it will come back together.

Use the coconut whipped cream to top anything you would eat with traditional whipped cream (or, like me, you can eat it shamelessly by the spoonful).

Reader Comments (35)

Only yesterday I was talking to someone about how I was looking for some way to reach a whipped cream consistency with coconut milk/cream. This is so smart. And so obvious it's making me slap my forehead and go 'duh'!
And I bet it's gorgeous too. Well done!
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBombay Chowparty
It's funny how our tastes change over time, isn't it - back when I started spending more time baking and started the blog, I was more interested in big layer cakes and things like that. But, like you, I've mellowed into a rustic, seasonal and not-so-sweet place. It doesn't seem to happen to everyone though.

I also love the idea of coconut whipped cream - I've seen it around but never tried it. Soon, I think.
I love this post! You describe your evolution so beautifully. I too lean towards rustic, wholesome, fresh, seasonal in my baking and cooking....I think it's the most lovely way to make and eat food! This coconut whipped cream sounds incredible.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate Harvey
Will definitely have to try this!!
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenae
Wonderful idea! I love this! Thank you so much for caring for the lactose intolerant. :-)
I stumbled upon your blog through Pinterest a few weeks ago, and have still only scratched the surface of all your beautiful posts, but I am constantly astounded by your beautiful writing, as well as the stunning photographs. Not to mention the mouthwatering recipes. There is so much wisdom in your words, I often find myself gaping at the screen and in deep thoughts when all I was looking for was a recipe for chocolate cake.

I hope that one day I will be able to bake with even half as much passion as you seem to.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
This recipe sounds amazing! :)

Have you considered using coconut cream instead of the milk? You should be able to buy them in Asian shops (they are in a tin similar to coconut milk). Basically it has more of the thick milk part and you don't necessarily need to separate it in the fridge.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterNilu
I didn't know you could make whipped cream out of coconut milk. It looks lovely and silky. :)
What a great idea - this looks totally delicious! :)
03.17.2013 | Unregistered Commentersara
Such a wonderful and delicious idea!
This post is great! I feel like we've all been on the brink of something--knowing what sort of person we'd like to become but having only a slight idea about how to get there. It's so nice to see someone share how they came into their own. The whipped cream looks lovely, too!
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDana
great idea... love that you don't need the non-nutritious fat of whipped cream, although this is fattening, it's much healthier fats.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered Commenterhoneywhatscooking
Nigella... she is magic.
03.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I love coconut cream and usually top it in place of whipped cream. Much more healthier and tasty!
It looks and sound like a great recipe. I love a home made whipped cream, it's so much better than a bought one.
I am a much more recent blogger that you.. just started blogging last year.. but I could identify with every word of this post...the need to find something that would excite me, in fact when I would first start blogging.. I would have absoloutely no clue on what shape my future posts would take.. I guess the journey of discovery is what makes blogging so exciting!!! :)
03.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarvani
OMG. Something so simple that can lead the imagination into so many delectably wicked ideas is definitely worth following. Love the post: love the writer. :)
03.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanie
What a great recipe, I had never thought of using coconut milk for making whipped cream, would there be any chance of replicating the recipe with a cream whipper?
03.18.2013 | Unregistered Commenterlaurence
What a beautiful post! I love hearing about how people evolve as cooks and bloggers. Your entry and evolution sound delightful. As a fan of Nigella Lawson's, I too appreciate her enthusiasm and sense of humor about food....I started my cooking journey in a very different way. I went to culinary school and was trained in classic French systems. Over the years, I moved toward simpler dishes, not because they were easier but because I realized that fresh foods rarely need much to dress them up a bit...This cream sounds delicious and I look forward to making it. Happy Blogging!
03.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDena
This is gorgeous. I love coconut whipped cream.
03.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim Beaulieu
I love this post and your beautiful, dreamy photos of this luscious whipped cream. I started blogging for the exact same reasons. I have a dry, super stressful, conservative day job and I desperately needed a creative outlet. I've always loved writing and baking so why not try my hand at blogging? It's changed my life - I love it. I've met so many amazing people and the things I've been able to make has surprised even me. I wish I had more time to do it. Quite frankly, if I didn't have to worry about money and could give up my day job, I'd pursue baking full time. I adore your blog, every recipe I've tried has been phenomenal, and I can relate to and appreciate all the lovely thoughts you share.
Wow - I've just started my own baking blog for almost the same reasons you started yours. Actually, your blog was one of the ones that inspired me to start my own! I'm excited and nervous but really passionate about it all at the same time, and I hope one day I can be where you are now: with archives full of beautiful pictures and beautiful words.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterZ
I ate the whole bowl. No joke. No regrets. :D
03.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa S.
I was making this. It taste great but it didn't get very thick. It is still pretty runny. How do I fix this issue? I can't find it anywhere on the internet. Thanks for all your help.
03.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn W.
A friend of mine liked the look of this recipe so much she forwarded it to me - and she was right I would love the idea. Fabulous! I must try it!
04.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterafracooking
Carolyn W.-- It sounds like you got too much of the clear liquid into your whipped cream instead of just the thick opaque white part. The clear liquid prevents the whipped cream from whipping up properly, leaving you with a thick liquid instead of whipped cream. To fix this, put the coconut milk back in the refrigerator and wait until it separates to try again
04.1.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
HELP! I did all the prep work, the can separated beautifully. Got nice chuncks of coconut cream/fat in bowl. Then the whipping started but nothing else. I whipped hoping to see air or fluffiness but instead I start getting a grainy mess. It looked like I over whipped but it was only 30 seconds.
The only thing I can think about is the heat. Maybe the kitchen is too hot (July in NYC).
Any suggestions or trouble shooting? I put the cream back in the fridge to hopefully try again.
07.5.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Michelle-- Grainy, huh? Did you use powdered sugar or regular granulated sugar? Powdered sugar shouldn't make it grainy. I think you should cool down the mixture in the refrigerator and try beating the mixture again. It can take up to 5-8 minutes to get a nice whipped cream. Coconut whipped cream is a lot softer than traditional whipped cream so it may not get as fluffy or airy. Unless you used granulated sugar, I cannot figure out why it would be grainy. I've made this half a dozen times with different types of coconut milk and I haven't come across that texture yet.
07.5.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I was craving pumpkin pie and whipped cream but don't eat dairy. I made everything from scratch, dairy free, then wondered about whipped cream. Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous option. It doesn't thicken up as much as real whipped cream but did the trick for me. I'm delighted to be able to enjoy a dairy free alternative of my favorite fall dessert. Cheers!
09.29.2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin
Going to use this as a topper for lime curd. Yum!
11.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFawn
This was quite a drama the first time!! I don't use coconut milk/ cream very often so I found it split when it was too cold and then didn't whip up when it was too warm- similar to mock cream. Once I got the temperature right (through microwaving and then putting over ice and then in the freezer) it was really really yummy! Although I wouldn't add sugar next time (but maybe that's because I'm not much of a sweet tooth- my mum loved it)! I put it on top of the lime curd tart
12.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSummer
have you tried adding some gelatin to the coconut milk to stiffen the cream to frost cakes. would love to have an alternative diary. going to try it today.
02.4.2014 | Unregistered Commentermerle barmania
Can it be used as a cake filling? What would be added?
04.3.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdora mae
Dora Mae-- The whipped cream is not strong enough to support a cake as a filling (I've tried). While this can certainly top a cake, it cannot go inside.
04.6.2014 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Nice blog and post! Glad to find you while searching for coconut cream information! I want to use coconut cream as a sub for heavy whipping cream to make a ganache like truffle base. Trying to make the truffles work for Passover therefore no dairy for those keeping kosher at a meat meal. Do you know the substitution ratio of the coconut cream vs the heavy whipping cream?

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