Whipped cream is the perfect finishing touch for many desserts. Light and creamy, it can provide a good contrast for intensely flavored desserts, such as rich chocolate cakes, and it can also bring all the elements of a summery shortcake together. All you need is heavy cream and a mixer – or a strong arm, if you want to burn a few calories before you eat dessert. But whipped cream isn’t the perfect finishing touch for everyone. If you are vegan or avoid dairy products, for instance, you will be avoiding whipped cream. There are some non-dairy alternatives to whipped cream out there and one of the best is Coconut Cream Whipped Cream.
Coconut cream is the very fatty part of coconut milk, made from pressing the liquid out of coconut meat. The cream is thick and paste-like, more like yogurt or sour cream than milk. Because it is so high in fat, it is possible to whip it to a billowing, fluffy consistency – very similar to that of “real” whipped cream. The cream will be rich and smooth, with a slightly coconutty taste to it.
For the coconut cream to work, you must chill it very well before you attempt to whip it to help the cream hold its shape. Coconut cream is sold in cans and it often separates into more solid and more watery components. Using only the most solid part of the cream will give you a stiffer finished whipped cream, but I prefer to use the whole thing for a softer texture and (in my opinion) a slightly better, less oily flavor. I always sweeten it with a little bit of powdered sugar and vanilla extract, which is also my favorite way to make Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream, but folding in some toasted coconut would be a nice way to highlight that coconut flavor!
The whipped cream can be stored in the refrigerator once it is made and re-whipped slightly before serving, but it is best to make it just before you serve it if you can. If you decide to make this on a regular basis, keep a can of coconut cream unopened in the back of the fridge so you’re always be prepared.
Coconut Cream Whipped Cream
1 can (15-oz) coconut cream, cold
2-3 tbsp confectionersâ€™ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Pour the coconut cream into a large bowl. Beat cream until it reaches soft peaks by hand (about 5-6 minutes) or with an electric mixer on medium-low (about 3-5 minutes).
Sift in confectionersâ€™ sugar, using more or less to taste, and beat in. Briefly beat in vanilla extract, if using.
Note: For stiffer cream, use only the solids of the coconut cream and strain out the coconut water that might be in the bottom of the can.
Holiday Baker ManJune 6, 2013
If you are not vegan you could add a couple of teaspoons of skim milk powder to stabilize it. Great post!
Babs IsaacsonJune 23, 2013
There is no Trader Joe’s where I live. I bought a carton of “Coconut Milk Creamer”. Will that work the same as Trader Joe’s cans of “Cocnut Creamer”?
NicoleJune 24, 2013
Babs – No, that product is not the same. You might be able to find coconut cream (not creamer) in a well-stocked grocery store or a specialty store, such as an asian market or natural foods market.
MaxineJuly 27, 2013
Love this post & site in is in my top 5 – thank you! Question, maybe a “stupid” one but is “Cream of Coconut” the same as coconut cream? It says for piÃ±a colladas for example – it is sweetened per label. Thank you !
NicoleJuly 28, 2013
Maxine – That is a great question. Coconut cream is not sweetened. You can read about the difference between the two products here:
SarahDecember 16, 2013
You could also get a can of full fat coconut milk, chill it over night, open the can and whip only the solid cream on top of the can and leave the liquid portion left over in the bottom of the can out of the whipping process.
KrisFMDecember 21, 2013
Has anyone tried substituting the confection sugar with stevia or splenda?
CaroleJanuary 12, 2014
Making a coconut cream pie, Plains are to make the night before and take to work the next day.
How can I store the pie with the whip cream on it to be eaten later?
TrishaFebruary 20, 2014
I learned to do this a year ago and I prefer it to regular whipped cream! It’s so delicious, though it does sink faster in my hot cocoa. It’s great for desserts!
Sharon WestOctober 27, 2014
thanks for the tips! your question and answers helped me too. i was wondering anout the carton of coconut milk creamer.
LindaDecember 16, 2015
Has anyone used whipped coconut cream on a layered cake? i.e. does it spread easily and will the cake keep OK overnight with cream “frosting”?