Looking for the absolute EASIEST way for how to make coconut whipped cream?! This is IT! Get perfect results each and every time, ready to top your next batch of brownies or a bowl of beautiful summer berries.
Coconut whipped cream = LIFE.
Okay, maybe this is old news/a very bold statement, but have you jumped on the vegan coconut whipped cream bandwagon?! Ever since I read about it being a pretty much perfect stand-in for the old faithful whipped cream, I’ve been OBSESSED.
Back in my dairy baking days, I bought cartons on cartons of heavy whipping cream. I sandwiched it between puff pastry, folded melted chocolate into it, and topped just about every fruit crisp and pie with it. Nowadays, I have a can of full-fat coconut milk chilling in my fridge at all times and have found the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to making coconut whipped cream.
If I’m being totally honest, I have to credit my girl Ashlae for doing a lot of the work on this too. She’s tested the crap out of all kinds of coconut milk for whipped cream, so I linked up her experiences here and I’ll tell you about my own too. Let’s get to WHIPPING!
I’m going to list my process and tips/tricks in bullet form because nobody has time to read paragraphs on paragraphs of my gabbing that can easily be broken down into bite-size chunks. Cool? Let’s do it!
How to make coconut whipped cream
1. Chill. Your. Coconut. Milk. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you want to make luscious, perfect vegan coconut whipped cream, YOU HAVE TO DO THIS for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight. I don’t mean to yell, but it’s the only way you are going to get it stable enough to whip into creamy oblivion. I tried to fool myself one time and whip up a warm, fresh off the shelf can of coconut milk into whipped cream and guess what? Doesn’t work. At all. Don’t do it, don’t try it, just trust me!
2. Plan ahead and always have at least a couple cans of coconut milk in your fridge at all times. I’ve too often thought ‘this needs coconut whipped cream!’ and then skipped to the fridge, only to realize I only have lukewarm cans of coconut milk in the cabinets. Just do yourself a favor and put those cans in the fridge as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Turn your can upside down when you chill it so the good stuff will go to the top and the liquid part will be at the bottom when you flip it back over to open the can.
3. Drain off the liquid. If you have the good stuff, your full fat coconut milk is going to separate into the thick and creamy part and the liquid part. Drain off the watery liquid to use in smoothies and scoop the super thick white coconut solids off the top for whipping. DO NOT just pour the whole can in and start whipping. You won’t get the desired effect and you will be having so many regrets.
4. Whip it! This is not the time to work out your arm muscles (I mean, you can if you want, but you’re going to be there for a while). Pull out your trusty stand mixer (this is not sponsored but I will live and die by my Kitchen Aid mixer) or hand mixer. Again, you can whisk by hand, but it’s not going to work as well or as fast.
5. Keep whipping! It’s going to seem like you’ve gone on for long enough, you haven’t! Once you start to see something that looks like whipped cream, keep going. You want to incorporate a ton of air into the coconut milk so it looks and acts like a good batch of whipped cream. I would say my total whipping time is usually around 3-4 minutes. Longer if the coconut milk is really weepy/liquidy and less if it’s super stable. The general rule of thumb is that if it looks ready, go for another 2-3 minutes!
6. Chill again. I know, more chill time! It’s annoying and irritating and all you want to do is eat your coconut whipped cream RIGHT NOW. But, if you chill the whipped coconut cream AGAIN, it will come out even thicker and creamier than after you just whipped it. Whipping the coconut milk incorporates a lot of air into it, which is great! But the downside is that it kind of makes it weepy and fall into a flatter whipped cream, than a fall off the spoon and drool-worthy kind that mimics the dairy-laden stuff. If you have time/patience, transfer your coconut whipped cream into a jar or small bowl and chill for another 1-2 hours. It will solidify into something next level dreamy and it will be 100% worth the wait!
7. (Optional but pro tip) Use vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract. I don’t know if you know the wonders of vanilla paste, but it’s something that every baker should have in their cabinet. It’s the lovechild of extract and pure vanilla bean, but in a pourable paste that transforms everything it is in. I believe that using paste in coconut whipped cream ends up with a more solid, better tasting result because you aren’t adding more liquid to your coconut cream. You’re adding more of a pourable paste to it, ending up for more vanilla bean flavor and less just a hint of vanilla type thing. Treat yo’self and pick up a jar!
The best brands of coconut milk
If you’ve read Ashlae’s post by now and have figured out, not all cans of coconut milk are made the same. Some have all kinds of weird gums and stuff in them that will not allow them to turn into the perfect coconut whipped cream, no matter how long you whip them. Others firm up each and every time and provide you with that perfect texture, without weird ingredients. I’m here to tell you what to look for!
PS. This is NOT THE TIME to go low fat/ fat-free. Don’t even try to come here with that lite coconut milk, because it won’t work and you are just asking for a sad, goopy mess. Get the full fat/high fat stuff and move on. It’s worth it!
There are a couple super specific brands that work for me and I can find pretty easily and other that totally do NOT.
Coconut milk brands to buy:
Fresh Thyme Full Fat Coconut Milk (pictured above): I was super skeptical about this one, but it firms up nicely and whips up pretty well too. You will need to re-chill your whipped cream if you are using this one, just to make sure it firms up, but it’s totally worth that wait time.
Aroy-D Coconut Milk: This is the STUFF. Yeah, you have to buy it on Amazon and it comes in packs of 6, but if it keeps forever and is worth having on hand for any dessert emergency you might have come up. I got this recommendation from Ashlae and it still works the best for me. It always firms up, whips up nicely, and doesn’t taste weird at all. The best milk for coconut whipped cream, if you are going to do it, get this!
Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream (white and brown can): Ok this stuff is, both bad and good. First of all, you can’t always find it at the store (COME ON), but it’s always hit or miss. I’ve gotten some really good cans of this stuff and it’s whipped up so nicely, but others times it’s been pure crap and hasn’t even solidified in the fridge. All that to say, purchase and whip at your own risk. May work, may not!
Coconut milk brands to skip:
Anything else. Ok but seriously, most other coconut milks don’t work that well for this. I’m going to again refer to Ashlae’s post, but you have to find the good stuff and stick to it. I will say that Whole Foods Full Fat coconut milk does NOT work for this and Thai Kitchen notoriously doesn’t firm up for me. If you don’t have a Fresh Thyme or a Trader Joe’s around, I 100% recommend ordering the Aroy-D on Amazon.
OR, if you find any others that work, PLEASE tell me! I know it’s super frustrating that you can’t pick up any ol’ can of full-fat coconut milk and make whipped cream, but it’s the truth. I would say that you are good buying coconut cream too, but look for a bigger can or you will be left with a very small amount of coconut whipped cream and you will be very disappointed.
Tips on making coconut whipped cream
- Like I said, CHILL IT. Chill twice if you can. If you have time, chill your whisk and stand mixer bowl too. This is going to create a colder environment for the coconut milk to be whipped in and less likely to get warm and start getting liquidy and weird.
- Get yourself the good coconut milk!
- Drain off the liquid part. You only want the creamy solids that rise to the top. Like I mentioned above, if you just plop the whole can in and get to whipping, you are never going to get whipped coconut cream.
- Be patient! I know, HA for me to say this as a very not patient person. But, you are going to keep whipping and whipping until it gets super aerated and luscious. It’s 100% worth the wait!
- Like I said: DON’T GO LOW FAT FOR THIS. Get full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. Done.
- If your coconut whipped cream doesn’t work after the initial whip, don’t worry! Just chill everything (including the bowl and whisk) and try again in an hour or two. This should make it solid enough to turn into creamy, dreamy coconut whipped cream.
More kitchen DIYs on Heart of a Baker:
- Homemade Cashew Milk
- Homemade Vegan Nutella
- How to Make Vegan Puff Pastry
- How to Make Vegan Pie Crust
- Homemade Vegan Sprinkles
- Homemade Vanilla Extract
Looking for the absolute EASIEST way to make coconut whipped cream? This is it! Get perfect results each and every time with these easy instructions.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 cup powdered sugar (plus additional for taste)
- To start, chill for coconut milk in the fridge upside down for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight or for a couple days. This will cause the coconut solids to separate from the coconut milk and be ready for whipping.
- Once your coconut milk is chilled and separated, flip it back over (right side up) and open the can. Scoop the solids that have come to the top off and place them in your stand mixer bowl or the bowl you are using with your hand mixer. Leave the liquid part in the can and save for smoothies or other recipes later.
- Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and start to whip on medium speed. Continue to whip for upwards of 2-3 minutes, or until coconut milk starts to look like whipped cream and starts to get more sturdy. This could take longer, depending on how solid your coconut milk is.
- Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whip for another 2 minutes. Make sure the powdered sugar is evenly incorporated.
- Stop mixer and detach the bowl and whisk. If you can dip the whisk attachment into the whipped cream and lift it up to see a peak (like a big swoosh of whipped cream on the end) and it doesn’t fall/get droopy, you are done! If it’s still liquidy, you might need to chill the whole thing (bowl, whisk, whipped cream) for a few hours and try again.
- Chill again for 1-2 hours to make sure coconut whipped cream is solid and ready to serve. If you don’t have time, that’s ok! It just might not be as solid as it could be. Still perfect for topping a cheesecake, fruit crisp, or brownie.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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