Coconut whipped cream is a dreamy, creamy, dairy-free topping that can be used on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, fresh fruit, and anywhere else you’d use whipped cream. Get ready to be impressed!

Coconut hipped cream in a white bowl with a spoon.

Homemade whipped cream is a treat, but if you’re vegan or simply trying to eat healthy, it’s hard to find a good substitute for heavy cream. Most plant-based milks just don’t hold air when beaten like dairy cream does… but that’s where coconut milk comes in.

If you’ve ever opened a can of coconut milk, you know there’s a dense creamy layer on the top. Skim this off and you have exactly what you need for the best vegan whipped cream substitute!

About this coconut whipped cream recipe

  • Delicious for everyone: Coconut whipped cream is a popular dairy-free alternative to traditional whipped cream, but it’s so irresistible, you definitely don’t have to be vegan to enjoy it—in fact, you might even like it more than traditional whipped cream!
  • Easy to make: You make coconut whipped cream by chilling a can of full-fat coconut milk, then scooping out the solidified coconut “cream” that forms at the top of the can. (The liquid underneath is coconut water, which you can drink as-is or add to smoothies!) This coconut cream is then whipped with a mixer until it reaches that same light and fluffy texture of traditional whipped cream. You can add different extracts for flavor, or cocoa powder for vegan chocolate whipped cream. Yes!
  • Versatile: Use coconut whipped cream in place of regular whipped cream on pies or frosting on cakes, or serve it as a topping for fruit, pancakes, and waffles. It’s also a delicious addition to your favorite morning latte or hot chocolate recipe.
Coconut whipped cream being added to a bowl of cut strawberries.

What you need

At its most basic, you can make coconut whipped cream with only the solids from coconut milk, but we give it an upgrade with a few additional ingredients:

  • Full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream – This recipe will only work with a high-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. Check the nutrition facts and choose a variety that has a minimum of 130 calories in a ¼-cup serving. 
  • Vanilla extract – You can add other flavors of extract to customize your whipped cream!
  • Powdered sugar – Also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar. It dissolves easily and won’t make your whipped cream grainy.
  • Cream of tartar – This helps your plant-based whipped cream hold its volume.
Overhead view of ingredients including coconut cream and vanilla extract.

How to make it

Chill the coconut milk. Refrigerate the unopened can of coconut milk for at least 24 hours. Leave it there until you’re ready to start the recipe.

Remove the solids. Open the can and scoop out the solid cream at the top, placing it in a tall measuring cup. Discard the coconut water or save it for future use.

Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk

If you use a can of coconut cream instead of coconut milk, there shouldn’t be any liquid at the bottom of the can.

Whip the cream. Add the remaining ingredients to the measuring cup with the coconut cream.

Use an immersion blender to blend it until it’s thick, creamy, and whipped.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, place the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat them with a hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Serve. Use coconut whipped cream any way you’d use traditional whipped cream!

Pancakes being topped with coconut whipped cream topping.


Is coconut whipping cream the same as coconut cream?

Yes, as coconut whipped cream has become more popular, more brands are marketing coconut cream as coconut whipping cream. So, for this recipe, you can buy coconut milk, coconut cream, or coconut whipping cream (which is actually just coconut cream).

How do you thicken coconut whipped cream?

Adding more powdered sugar will help thicken up your coconut whipped cream, as will popping it in the refrigerator for a bit. You can also add cornstarch to thicken and stabilize it.

What does cream of tartar do for whipped cream?

Cream of tartar helps stabilize traditional whipped cream, and it can be used the same way for coconut whipped cream. It provides the whipped cream structure by keeping the protein molecules in place after whipping.

How to use coconut whipped cream

Here are some of our favorite ways to use coconut whipped cream:

Make Ahead Ideas

One of the fantastic things about coconut whipped cream is that it lasts much longer in the refrigerator than whipped cream made with heavy cream! It will keep for one to two weeks in the fridge, so you can easily make it ahead of time.

Storage Suggestions

Store your coconut whipped cream in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to a month; let it thaw in the refrigerator before you use it.

Coconut whipped cream in a white bowl on a wood cutting board.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut whipped cream is a dreamy, creamy dairy-free topping that can be used on pancakes, waffles, ice cream, fresh fruit, and anywhere else you’d use whipped cream.
5 from 2 rating


  • 1 (398 ml/14 oz can) full fat coconut milk or coconut cream (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Place the unopened can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  • Remove the can from the fridge when you’re ready to make the whipped “cream.”
  • Open the can and carefully scrape the solid cream out, leaving the watery part behind (save the coconut water to add to a smoothie!).
  • Place the cream and the remaining ingredients in a tall measuring cup.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend until thick. You can also use the whisk attachment on a hand mixer.
  • If, after 2-3 minutes of blending, you still don’t have a scoopable product then there’s likely too much liquid and it won’t work. It’s very important to use a high fat coconut milk (see note).


  • Makes about 1  1/2 cups, serving size 1/4 cup.
  • This recipe will only work with a high fat coconut milk. Check the nutrition facts and choose one that has a minimum 130 calories in a ¼ cup. We tested it with one brand that had 100 calories in a ¼ cup and it made a semi-scoopable whipped product but it wasn’t nearly as good as the one with more fat!
Serving: 0.25cups, Calories: 220kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 236mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 2mg