Coconut whipped cream. It’s a must-have recipe for many vegan desserts and I have used it multiple times on this website (with oatmeal, pancakes, and creme brûlée). Today, I want to go a little deeper into the process of making this super-simple coconut whipped cream and share some ideas on creating vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry varieties.
One of the great things about coconut whipped cream is that it is not coconut flavored. The final product only has a very faint coconut taste that most people won’t even notice. In other words, you can pass this off as regular ‘ol whipped cream and no one will be the wiser
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- Favorite sweetner to taste
- Flavorings: 1 tablespoon vanilla, a few vegan chocolate chips, or 3 strawberries
Making the Whipped Cream
To make this recipe, you will need a can of full-fat coconut milk – “light” coconut milk won’t work for this recipe. Some brands work better than others and I have had the best results with Thai Kitchen.
When you hear someone mention coconut milk they could be talking about one of three things: 1) the thick liquid made from the pure grating and pressing of a coconut – that’s what we need here, 2) the same as #1 but watered down to be lower in fat – “low fat coconut milk”, or 3) a milk-replacement beverage that is derived from coconuts.
The science behind this whipped cream is incredibly simple. In every can of coconut milk, you have coconut water and coconut fat. If you shake and open the can, the two will be mixed together into a creamy liquid, but if you let the can sit overnight in the refrigerator, the fat rises to the top and solidifies while the water sinks to the bottom.
To make the whipped cream, you want to chill a sealed can in the refrigerator overnight. After at least 8 hours, carefully remove the lid and you should have a solid white block of coconut fat along the top of the can. Scrape this into a cold bowl, taking care to leave the runnier parts behind. You’ll notice in the picture below that most of the solids have been removed and you can see the clear water remaining at the bottom. You can discard the water or save it for smoothies, etc..
Next, with a small whisk or hand mixer (recommended), beat the coconut milk into a firm whipped cream. It will start out fairly runny and become thicker over 3-5 minutes. When the consistency is right, add in a little solid sweetener. Stevia works well and you could also use a small amount of fine-grain sugar. Liquid sweeteners like maple syrup may work, but they will make your final product more runny. Beat again until the sweetener is combined, then add in one of the following flavorings.
For the Vanilla
To make a vanilla whipped cream, simply add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and beat until combined.
For the Chocolate
The chocolate whipped cream is my favorite. To make this variety, take about 2 tablespoons of vegan chocolate chips and melt them down. Then, slowly drizzle them into the whipped cream while mixing. The heat from the chocolate might make the whipped cream become more runny, but it should firm up again when chilled.
For the Strawberry
Heat 2-3 medium strawberries until they become very soft. Break them up into small chunks and add to the whipped cream. Beat thoroughly until the strawberries are completely incorporated. The whipped cream will become a gorgeous pink color, but it will turn grey after several hours so this one is best to make right before using.
No matter which variety you choose, the whipped cream can be used immediately or kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.