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How to toast coconut

Toasting coconut, in progress

Shredded coconut is an ingredient that is packed with possibilities, both in terms of texture and flavor. Raw shredded coconut, whether you prefer sweetened or unsweetened, has a sweet coconut taste and a chewy texture. Toasted coconut still has the same basic flavor, but it also has a caramelized nuttiness and a crisp-chewy texture that raw doesn’t offer. It’s easy to toast coconut at home and it’s a great way to maximize the coconut flavor in a recipe or to change the texture of a favorite coconut recipe, like macaroons, by switching raw and toasted.

You can toast coconut in the oven or on the stove top. To toast coconut in the oven, spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300F for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly. To toast coconut on the stove top, spread shredded coconut into a large skillet (or small, if you only need a small amount) and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until coconut is mostly golden brown. Coconut will probably brown a bit less evenly in a skillet than in the oven.

Before you start, keep in mind that coconut can burn very easily, so it’s better to take your time than to try and increase the heat and rush the toasting.

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31 Comments
  • joanna
    January 13, 2009

    This weekend I tried to make granola for the first time, and the coconut definitely burned- it was disappointing, but I learned my lesson! Thanks for the tips!

  • snookydoodle
    January 13, 2009

    thanks I love coconut 🙂

  • Hayley
    January 13, 2009

    great tips!

  • Big Sky Chef
    January 13, 2009

    Have you ever noticed how toasted coconut gags you when you open the oven? What’s that all about?

  • Abutton
    January 14, 2009

    I *love* toasted coconut! Everytime I need some for a recipe, I end up eating a lot of it plain. 🙂

  • Linda
    January 14, 2009

    I’ve never had good luck with the baking sheet and toasting coconut. I’m always flipping it out of the side into the oven or on the floor. I have started using a 3″ cake pan (diameter depends on the amount of coconut I’m toasting). I find I have better control over losing coconut while I easily toss it and rotate it. It might take a little longer since I make it pretty deep and store leftovers in a plastic container to easily have it ready for the next recipe. But I find it is much easier to stir with some sides to keep it in the pan!

  • Treasure
    April 22, 2010

    Thank You So Much.I was cooking Samoaa Cookies and my dad and I were arguimg about how we should toast the shredded cocanuts He said to put tham in the toaster oven.But I was so right.Now I taste a Sweet Cocanut Victory!

  • Lori @ Girl Meets Oven
    April 18, 2011

    I just toasted coconut following your instructions last weekend, and now I can’t stop putting toasted coconut on top of everything I eat! It is so good! I baked mine on a metal baking sheet in the oven, and my oven must be running a little hot because it was fully browned after 10 minutes instead of 20. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mohamed
    May 23, 2011

    Could someone please advise on a recipe for roasted hard cocconut square sweets

  • KitchenChaosGirls
    June 20, 2011

    We used this advice in our browned butter coconut choco-chip cookies! ( http://ourkitchenchaos.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/browned-butter-coconut-cookies/ )
    Thanks for easy to follow steps!

  • Don
    November 26, 2011

    I put the unroasted coconut in my coconut rum balls then roll them in some roasted coconut for the Hoidays!

  • Kalie
    June 2, 2012

    I just bought a fresh coconut at the local grocery store. The milk is delicous and the fresh coconut inside is the bomb…. I love coconut

  • Nancy
    August 17, 2012

    I tried toasting coconut in the oven according to your instructions. I don’t know if was the pan I used or what, but mine was burnt before 10 minutes were up. Thankfully I still had enough coconut for the recipe I was making and I did a second batch in a skillet on top of the stove with much better results.

  • EJF
    November 22, 2012

    I use a large tin-foil turkey pan with 3 1/2″ sides to toast coconut. I toast two bags at a time, cranking the heat to around 425F stirring the coconut about every two minutes! Takes about 1/2 hr to a perfect toasted coconut! Happy Toasting!

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