Coconut whipped cream is such a baking and dessert staple in my life that I’m not sure why I haven’t shared a basic recipe for it until now. Several recipes throughout OE shared instructions on how to make it – it tops this chocolate orange tart, sandwiches a giant scone cake, and ices gluten free chocolate cupcakes – and it’s a great staple recipe to know.
Although this is a common addition to desserts in vegan/dairy free baking, it’s also really handy as coconut milk is shelf stable. No need to go out to buy whipped cream when you can pop a can of coconut milk in the fridge instead.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind, which are outlined in greater detail in the recipe notes section. The main point is to check the type of coconut milk you’re buying to make sure it can be whipped. Otherwise this is just as straightforward as any other whipped cream.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
If you don’t mind a bit of coconut flavour, there’s no better option for plant based whipped cream. There are a few other good things about making it yourself:
- Less plastic waste: unlike tetra-packs, which are lined with plastic and often can’t be recycled, you can often find canned coconut milk that doesn’t use plastic in the packaging.
- No additives: unlike other dairy-free whipping creams, this doesn’t need added oil or thickeners to whip up properly. It’s just pure coconut cream and whatever else you feel like adding.
- No strange taste: and no weird oily mouth coating, both of which are common with ready-made vegan whipping cream options. Just a slight coconut flavour.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Maple syrup: I think you can probably use powdered sugar to sweeten, but I’ve never tried, and I’d be concerned about a grainy texture. I always stick to liquid sweetener. As usual, maple syrup and honey are used interchangeably but honey should be avoided if you’re making this for someone following a fully vegan diet.
- Vanilla: or vanilla powder or a scraped bean if you want to be fancy. Alternatively, a bit of cinnamon or other spices are nice too, depending on the season. For a lighter option go for the zest of a lemon.
Step by Step
1. Chill the cream: chill overnight and then scoop the separated cream into a large mixing bowl.
2. Whip: add the sweetener and mix on high speed until creamy and fluffy, a couple of minutes.
There’s a lot of junk floating around the internet about exactly what brand or type of coconut milk you need to make whipped cream. And it’s junk! I use different brands all the time and never have any problems.
Look for two things: no additives in the milk, just coconut solids and water, and that when you shake the can you don’t hear it sloshing around everywhere. If the cream and water is separated, it makes little to no noise when shaken. So go around the store shaking cans of milk. It needs to be a minimum of 60% solids to work properly and most brands list that in the ingredients.
As you might see in the ingredient photo, one of my cans of milk is a lot more solid than the other. Both were refrigerated for the same amount of time. This doesn’t really matter, and if anything, the really hard and solid stuff doesn’t whip as nicely. As long as the cream and water is separated you should be fine.
How to Store
Storage: the whipped cream can be refrigerated in a sealed container, but it will harden slightly when re-chilled.
Freezing: this can’t be frozen once whipped, as it will separate when it thaws. Make coconut milk ice cream instead.
- Chill the cans of coconut milk: overnight, or for at least eight hours, before beginning. I keep at least one can in the back of the refrigerator at all times just in case (you can always take it back out for curry).
- Use a hand mixer: you can whip by hand with a bit of elbow grease, though it’ll be softer peaks, or use a standing mixer. The only trouble with a standing mixer is that the size of the bowl can make it a bit tricky for the whisk to get in and whip properly. A hand mixer is best.
- Add cocoa: if you hate the idea of having that faint coconut taste, add some cocoa powder and make an easy whipped chocolate frosting. Use this vegan chocolate mousse recipe.
Recipes with Coconut Whipped Cream
If you make this Coconut Whipped Cream or any other vegetarian staples on Occasionally Eggs, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email.
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 2 cans full-fat coconut milk 400ml / 13.5 oz
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup to taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator to chill overnight or for at least eight hours before beginning. See the notes in the post about what type of milk to choose.2 cans full-fat coconut milk
- Once the coconut milk has chilled, scoop the cream from the tops of the cans into a large bowl. Add the maple syrup and vanilla.1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whip the cream for 1-2 minutes at high speed with an electric hand mixer, or until soft peaks form. Serve immediately. The whipped cream can be chilled but will harden slightly in the refrigerator.