This 3 ingredient coconut whipped cream is the perfect vegan friendly substitute for traditional whipped cream, and comes together with coconut cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. It makes the perfect sweet topping for fresh fruit, desserts, and blended drinks.
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It's no secret that whipped cream is the most delicious topping for all things sweet.
But did you know it's just as easy to make this plant based alternative using full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract?
Once you've learned to make this coconut whipped cream, you'll be using it as a topping on all of your favorite sweets.
Here's everything you need to make it:
- full-fat coconut milk, chilled (see note for details)
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
See recipe card for quantities.
Prep the coconut milk. Chill the can of coconut and an empty bowl in the refrigerator overnight.
Hint: Make sure to place a can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before you need this coconut whipped cream.
Separate the cream from the water. Open the coconut milk, scoop all the solid cream out and place in the chilled bowl. Set the remaining water aside and use for whatever you like.
Whip the coconut cream. Whip the coconut on it's own to get it nice and creamy before adding in sugar and vanilla and continuing to whip with an electric mixer. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form and enjoy!
Recommended Coconut Milk (And What Not To Use)
While I'm usually an advocate for using whatever you have on hand, for this recipe the brand of coconut milk is actually pretty important.
Because the fat content varies from brand to brand, using one of the brands listed below will help ensure your whipped coconut cream comes out light and fluffy as expected.
Here are my favorite brands of coconut milk to use for this recipe:
- Trader Joe's Coconut Milk & Coconut Cream - both the coconut milk and coconut cream from Trader Joe's have a high fat content and work well for this
- Thai Kitchen - the Thai Kitchen coconut milk and cream also work well for making whipped cream, although it can be quite expensive
- Native Forest - this is the one option I've tried and failed with, the cream and water were still liquid even after days in the fridge.
Whatever brand you decide to go with, make sure it is full-fat coconut milk. The water and fat should be separate when opened.
If you're not a fan of powdered sugar or don't have any on hand, here are some alternative sweeteners you can try:
- Maple Syrup - a drizzle of maple syrup adds a delicious, naturally sweet flavor when subbed for the powdered sugar
- Honey - while this sweetener isn't vegan, it is an easy subsitutute in a pinch! Substitute it one for one for the maple syrup.
- Caramel - again, this one isn't vegan, but a tablespoon of dulce de leche results in a super delicious caramel whipped cream
All things considered, I do think it's worth a try using the powdered sugar first. Because cans of coconut can vary in fat content, this ingredient does help in fluffing up the cream.
The options for flavoring your coconut whipped cream are endless!
Here are some of my favorite flavor profiles to play with:
- chocolate whipped cream - add a tablespoon of cocoa powder for a chocolatey kick
- coffee whipped cream - add instant coffee to the mix and enjoy the coffee flavor
- lemon whipped cream - a few teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and zest goes a long way
- dulce de leche whipped cream - a tablespoon of caramel will infuse the cream and eliminate the need for any other sweetener
- fruity whipped cream - add a tablespoon of your favorite fruit juice and enjoy
Play around with your favorite ingredients and get inspired!
Why Do We Chill the Can?
Chilling the can of coconut milk is really helpful in aiding the coconut cream and coconut water to separate.
The cold allows the solids and liquids to separate, making it very easy to isolate the cream and whip.
You can try to make this recipe without chilling the can, and it does work sometimes, but it's more much easier to make successfully when chilled.
What to Eat it With
Here are some of my favorite uses for this coconut whipped cream:
- spooned over a bowl of fresh strawberries
- on top of these piña coladas
- served with this Spanish hot chocolate
- spooned on this traditional Puerto Rican tembleque
- on top of cupcakes and cakes, like this piña colada cake and piña colada cupcakes
- as a topping for coquito
The beauty of this coconut whipped cream is that it will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.
In fact, it will continue to firm up the longer it's left in the fridge, so it's a great recipe to make ahead.