How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream


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Coconut whipped cream is a delicious dairy-free and vegan alternative to heavy cream. It’s light, fluffy, and can be whipped up in 5 minutes. Just mix together coconut milk, your sweetener of choice, and vanilla extract. Watch how easy it is to make on the step-by-step video below!

Coconut whipped cream dolloped on a plate of strawberries.

Are you ready for one of the tastiest whipped toppings? Coconut whipped cream is the perfect garnish for all your dessert recipes, whether it’s chocolate chia pudding, chocolate mug cake or molten chocolate cake. It’s also great to dollop on on my cashew date shake. And you can dip strawberries right into it!

Whether you’re dairy-free or not, you’re going to love this fluffy cream. I’ve been making it for years (side note: it was the first ever video on my YouTube channel!) and I’ve learned there are some nuances to it. So make sure to read through all my tips and watch the video below.

What Is Coconut Whipped Cream?

Coconut whipped cream is a dairy-free version of whipped cream. It’s made from the hard coconut cream that separates from the water in a can of full-fat coconut milk. When it’s blended with a hand mixer, it fluffs up to form soft peaks, just like regular whipped cream. Yet it’s also vegan and paleo friendly (depending on which sweetener you use).

An open can of coconut milk, with hardened coconut cream at the top.

Hardened coconut cream scooped from the can into a bowl.

How To Make Coconut Whipped Cream 

With just 3 ingredients and a hand mixer, making coconut whipped cream couldn’t be any easier. Here’s how to do it, with a few additional notes. 

  1. Chill the coconut milk: Place your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before making this whipped cream. You want the cream to harden and separate from the coconut water.
  2. Chill your mixing bowl: Heat is the arch nemesis of coconut whipped cream. This isn’t always a requirement (if it’s winter and your home is cool). But if it’s a hot day, it always helps to chill your mixing bowl for 30 minutes.
  3. Scoop out the coconut cream: Open your can of coconut milk and scoop out the hardened coconut cream with a spoon into your bowl. Pour the coconut water into a separate storage container and use that in a future smoothie recipe.
  4. Blend with a hand mixer: Using a hand mixer, fluff up the coconut cream for one minute. Add your sweetener of choice and vanilla extract and mix for an additional minute.
  5. Use or chill: Use the coconut whipped cream right away or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.

Blended coconut whipped cream in a bowl.

Coconut whipped cream dolloped on a plate of strawberries.

Tips for the Best Coconut Whipped Cream

Here’s a few tips to help you make perfect coconut whipped cream:

  • You MUST buy canned full-fat coconut milk. This won’t work with light or low-fat options. It also won’t work with cartons of coconut milk you buy in the refrigerator section of the market.
  • Chilling your can in the fridge for 1-2 days is the minimum. Longer is always better, just to make sure the milk separates and cream hardens.
  • Some brands are more successful than others when it comes to texture. Brands I consistently have success with include Native Forest (both the classic and simple versions), 365  and Arroy-D.
  • Don’t add your sweetener until you’ve figured out the consistency your cream. If your cream is really soft, adding a liquid sweetener might thin it down even more (it won’t thicken with beating). In this case, you might want to use powdered sugar. But if your texture is thick and waxy, honey or maple syrup can help to make it smoother.
  • If your coconut cream is too thick and stiff (after adding your sweetener), you can always thin it down with a little of the reserved coconut water. This will help to make it smooth and creamy. Just add a little bit at a time while blending.
  • To ensure your coconut cream is foolproof, make it the day ahead! You can refrigerate it in a sealed container, then just stir before serving.

A bowl of coconut whipped cream next to a plate of strawberries.

Watch Me Make This Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe

If you follow all of the steps and tips above, you should be good to go with this recipe. But it always helps to watch a quick video tutorial. Give this video a watch!

More Sweet Sauces For Desserts

And for a showstopper dessert recipe, check out the coconut whipped cream used in my Brownie Trifle!

Coconut whipped cream dolloped on a plate of strawberries.

How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream (Easy & Fluffy!)

4.83 from 34 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Coconut whipped cream is a delicious dairy-free, vegan and paleo-friendly whipped cream. It's fluffy and smooth and perfect to dollop on all your dessert recipes. Watch my step-by-step video above!




  • Place your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • Chill your mixing bowl for 15 minutes in the fridge.
  • Open your can of coconut milk and scoop out the hardened coconut cream. Pour the coconut water into a separate storage container and use that in a future smoothie recipe.
  • Using a hand mixer, fluff up the coconut cream for one minute. Add your sweetener and vanilla and mix for an additional minute, until smooth and creamy. If it's too firm or too soft, see my notes above.
  • Use the coconut whipped cream right away or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 210mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coconut Whipped Cream, Dairy Free Whipped Cream, how to make coconut whipped cream, Vegan Whipped Cream
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted July 2016, but updated to include new photos and information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I used Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk. Full fat unsweeteded and it did not harden/seperate. I wasted $50. From my experience and research, it is best to make this recipe with coconut milk that has no guar gum. Guar gum is added so that the coconut milk “will not seperate”

  2. Hi Lisa, I want to make your coconut whipped cream for Easter. I made it for Christmas and it didn’t turn out because I neglected to pay attention to your brand recommendation in your tips. I was just looking at the reviews for Native Forest and a complaint was that they now add water and that’s new. I’m just wondering if it will still work in the recipe. Have a wonderful Easter! Thanks, Marie

    1. Hi Marie – I used it recently and had no issues making this recipe, so I think you should be okay!

  3. I used Thai brand coconut milk and it whipped beautifully. I have used the whole can water and all to make a pudding and it still whipped into nice peaks. I haven’t had any problems with this brand but other brands especially generic will not whip.5 stars

  4. Hi Lisa! I made this recipe and I added about two tbsp of matcha powder and made matcha coconut whipped which I used to make dairy-free matcha parfait with fruits and granola. This is a great recipe and love how we can easily experiment with different flavors by adding to it.5 stars

  5. Apparently, as with any coconut milk recipe I’ve tried, I personally don’t think vanilla goes very well with coconut milk.  BUT, I added 8 or 9 drops of wild orange essential oil in, and that really complimented the coconut.  I was using it in a fruit salad, so the orange was fine to use.

  6. Hi Lisa! I don’t know why but always my cream is not well. This evening it had lumps and was not melted and creamy. Can you help me? Is it because it’s too cold Or too solid? Or do I whisk it a little? Or do I whip it too much? I just don’t understand. A thousand thanks! Hello
    Laura from Italy

    1. Hi Laura – it’s hard to say as all brands (especially in different countries) are different. Give the video a watch and see if you can pinpoint the issue there. :)

  7. So Easy and so good! Finally planned ahead enough to buy coconut creme then to scoop and refrigerate. The more maple syrup and vanilla, the less coconut cake taste- which was pretty distinct at first. Will make again, thank you!5 stars

  8. I have coconut cream from the Philippines. Extra virgin cold pressed. Do i just whip it with a sweetener coconut milk and vanilla?

  9. Thank you so much for this simple recipe. I am glad you clarified chilling the can of coconut, what to do if the creme to thick or thin and suggestions as sweeteners.5 stars

  10. I make this all the time and it is such a treat. I use if for your Pumpkin Spice Latte. I use Native Forest brand but it never turns out creamy like yours. Mine still has some lumps in it, but it sure tastes good!  I don’t mind the lumps. Delicious alternative to dairy.5 stars

  11. Hi Lisa,
    I tried the recipe exactly as written except the Simple Truth Organic (Fry’s/Krogers) full fat coconut milk can I refrigerated for 2 days didn’t create a hard coconut milk surface at the top. I scooped the top off and used that and of course it didn’t work – but it did taste good!! So then, I bought the Native Forest brand “Simple” version without Guar Gum, refrigerated the can for 3 days, and opened it just now and am sad to report, had a little thickness of the coconut milk at the top but definitely not the hard coconut milk substance like in your video. I am now freezing it to see if I can get a shell to form and then I’ll peel scoop that out and use it… Should I be buying the Native Forest brand version with Guar Gum in it by chance? Is there any better brand I should try? Thanks!!2 stars

    1. Hi Deb – sorry you’re struggling to find a can that thickens. Sometimes it’s just dependant on the brand and how they’ve manufactured a particular batch. But I will say the longer you can chill the better. Try leaving the can in the fridge for a week (in the coldest part of your fridge, and not the door). I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    1. Hi Lauren – evaporated coconut milk has added sugar and I haven’t tried that yet, to see if a can of it will firm up. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

  12. I would like to make this and I have a can of full fat coconut cream. Does that work the same as full fat coconut milk?

    1. I made this today with full fat coconut cream and it worked perfectly. As far as I can tell, the only difference between coconut milk and coconut cream is the ratio of solid to liquid, with cream having more solid.

    1. The canned coconut cream works way better for me than the milk. I recommend the Sprouts one and freezing it for 20 minutes and shaking it every 5 minutes. 

    1. No, unfortunately it’s not. It’s not stable as a frosting on a cake and would likely melt.

  13. My coconut cream froze in my refrigerator. Is there any way I can still use it?
    Love your chocolate chia pudding/mousse. Thanks for your recipes and help.