Can I substitute coconut milk for coconut cream?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can I substitute coconut milk for coconut cream?” and will discuss the difference between coconut milk and cream and will also discuss other alternatives for coconut cream.

Can I substitute coconut milk for coconut cream?

Yes, you can substitute coconut milk for coconut cream. Don’t worry, you can swap one for the other. 1 full-fat coconut milk can be refrigerated overnight. After refrigerating the can, remove the coconut cream from the top with a spoon, leaving the coconut water on the bottom. It yields 1/2 cup of coconut cream.

What are coconut milk and its uses?

Coconut milk is a creamy beverage made from the puréed flesh of coconut and water. It’s a common component in curries and as a basis for Laksa in Asian, Indian, and Caribbean cuisines. Coconut milk is commonly marketed in cans and has the viscosity of extremely thick cow’s milk. Its thick texture makes it a great ingredient for smoothies, soups, and stews.

Another form of coconut milk will most likely be seen alongside dairy-free milk. This sort of coconut milk is even more diluted, so it’s more of a beverage than a culinary component.

Coconut milk is so versatile that you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it once you try it. It’s the perfect thickness for curries, soups, smoothies, and as a dairy-free coffee creamer. With coconut milk as the foundation, you can even make your dairy-free ice cream. For additional taste, mix in some raw cacao and nut butter, or crushed cherries.

What are coconut cream and its uses?

Coconut cream, on the other hand, is significantly thicker than coconut milk due to the use of less water in the blending process. It may be substituted for coconut milk in recipes by diluting it with water, or it can be used in meals and desserts that call for thick, heavy cream.

 The good news is that you’re only one night away from having coconut cream if you have a can of coconut milk on hand. Simply chill the can overnight, then open the next day and scoop off the thick top layer of coconut cream. And there you have it: coconut cream!

While coconut cream may be used in the same way as coconut milk, it has a thicker texture that allows you to try out new recipes. Because coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk, it may be used to make dairy-free whipped cream to serve on top of the fruit, pies, ice cream, milkshakes, and hot beverages. Coconut cream may also be used to make thick cake icing.

In general, use coconut milk in recipes when you want smoothness with a little moisture, and save coconut cream for more solid creations.

What’s the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream?

Grated coconut flesh is pressed into a paste to make coconut milk and cream. Coconut cream is thicker and more concentrated than coconut milk, with a fat level of about 24%. Use coconut cream instead of coconut milk in Asian curries, soups, and marinades, or if you want a stronger flavor and thicker consistency. In vegan dessert recipes, coconut cream is an excellent substitute for thickened cream.

Alternatives for coconut cream

Whipping cream

Regular whipped cream is a simple coconut cream alternative if you don’t mind dairy. Because cream has a greater fat content, you may want to dilute it with water. 1 cup cream + 1/4 cup water = 1 cup cream I, on the other hand, hardly bother. You won’t get the additional coconutty flavors, but you won’t notice them in most recipes.

Nut butter

You can produce a creamy substitute for coconut cream by diluting almond butter. Measure out 150g nut butter and 250g water to create 1 can coconut cream replacement. To begin, add a small amount of water to loosen the mixture. Using a whisk, a stick blender, or a food processor, combine the ingredients. Then pour in the rest of the water.

Greek yogurt

Unless you need to boil the mixture, Greek yogurt is a great coconut cream alternative. Boiling the yogurt will turn it into a curdled mess. Cold yogurt can be stabilized by stirring it with maize flour or starch. However, I prefer to add the yogurt towards the end of the cooking process and then simply reheat it to a low boil to avoid curdling. Even though yogurt has a reduced fat content, I’d just use a 1:1 replacement.

Canned tomatoes

When coconut cream is used to provide liquid in a dish such as a curry or soup, you may change up the flavors by adding a tomato-based component. A blend of cream and tomato may be wondering if you still want some smoothness. To create a can of coconut milk, for example, I’d use 1 cup canned tomatoes and 2/3 cup cream.

To learn about the recipes containing coconut cream, click here 

Other FAQs about Coconut that you may be interested in.

Does coconut milk need to be refrigerated?

When should I add coconut milk to a curry?

Are coconut bowls safe to eat from?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can I substitute coconut milk for coconut cream?” and discussed the difference between coconut milk and cream, and also discussed other alternatives for coconut cream.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.