Coconut milk is an ingredient that is often called for in baking recipes that showcase coconut, used in place of regular milk or other liquids to further emphasize the coconut flavor of a recipe. Most grocery stores stock it, and they also stock a similar looking product called cream of coconut. Coconut milk is a creamy liquid with the consistency of milk made by cooking coconut and water together and straining out the coconut meat. Cream of coconut is to coconut milk what condensed milk is to regular milk: cream of coconut is a very thick, almost paste-like cream that is essentially cream of coconut with most of the water removed from it. It is made by chilling coconut milk and skimming off the thick, rich layer of cream that forms on top of it. Coconut cream has a buttery mouth feel and a good coconut flavor, but it is not particularly sweet.
Although basic cream of coconut is not a sweetened product, many types of cream of coconut sold in stores come presweetened. These are typically used for making mixed drinks and ice creams, where you want an intense flavor and sweetness. Cans are not always clearly labeled that they have been sweetened (making them more like sweetened condensed milk than evaporated milk), so it is important to check the labels when picking some up. Cream of coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, is not often called for in baked goods or recipes because coconut milk is more widely available and easier to incorporate, but know that cream of coconut should not be substituted directly for coconut milk in recipes, especially when dealing with baked goods.