Coconut Cream Substitutes

Running out of coconut cream can be frustrating, especially when you have a recipe that calls for it. However, there are simple and delicious alternatives you can use in place of coconut cream. With these substitutes, you’ll be able to continue creating your favorite dishes without missing the rich and creamy taste that coconut cream provides.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the best and easy-to-find coconut cream substitutes that can save your recipe in a pinch. Plus, you’ll learn how to make your own coconut milk at home, allowing you to explore a wide variety of ingredient substitutes that suit your dietary needs and preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover simple coconut cream substitute options
  • Learn how to make your own coconut milk at home
  • Explore a variety of ingredient substitutions to suit your needs

What is Coconut Cream?

Coconut cream is a delightful, creamy white liquid crafted by blending fresh coconut flesh with water. It boasts a rich, flavorful taste with a fat content of around 24%. It’s similar to coconut milk but has less water, making it thicker and more luxurious.

The Best Coconut Cream Substitutes

Coconut cream substitutes are great options when you want to maintain a recipe’s texture while adding your unique touch. Here are some top choices for substituting coconut cream:

  1. Coconut Milk: A versatile option, coconut milk can be a 1:1 substitution for coconut cream in most recipes, except those requiring whipped coconut cream.
  2. whipping cream: If you’re not avoiding dairy, regular whipping cream is an easy alternative. To mimic coconut cream’s consistency, you could dilute it with water, but it’s not mandatory.
  3. Nut Butter or Tahini: Almond butter or tahini can be used to create a creamy substitute for coconut cream. Combine 5oz of nut butter with 1 US cup of water, adding water gradually while stirring with a whisk, stick blender, or food processor.
  4. Greek Yogurt: This works well as a 1:1 coconut cream substitute as long as you don’t need to boil the mixture, which may cause it to curdle. To avoid curdling, add the yogurt at the end of cooking and gently heat.
  5. Canned tomatoes or passata: In recipes where coconut cream provides liquid, such as curries or soups, you can use tomato-based ingredients for a unique twist. For some creaminess, combine cream and tomato, like 1 cup passata with 2/3 cup cream, to make up a can of coconut milk.
  6. Homemade Coconut Milk: If you have desiccated coconut on hand, you can make your own coconut milk. Although it’s not as creamy as store-bought varieties, it’s a fun and natural alternative.

With these alternatives, you can easily substitute coconut cream in your recipes without compromising flavor or texture.

How to Make Coconut Milk

To create your own coconut milk, follow these simple steps for a delightful and creamy result:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Seasoning
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 78 kcal


  • Gather your ingredients: You'll need 200g 7oz of desiccated shredded coconut and 3 cups of boiling water.


  • Combine the coconut and water: In a glass jug or bowl, mix the shredded coconut with the boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Blend the mixture: Using a high-powered blender, process the mixture for about 10 minutes to ensure you get a smooth consistency.
  • Strain the milk: Pour the blended mixture through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, collecting the coconut milk in a container while separating the solids.


Calories: 78kcal
Keyword how to make coconut milk
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Frequently Asked Questions

Low-Fat Alternatives to Coconut Cream

  • Greek yogurt
  • Low-fat cream cheese
  • Skim milk mixed with a thickening agent

Nutritious Options Instead of Coconut Cream

Non-Dairy Substitutes for Coconut Cream

  • Almond milk cream
  • Cashew cream
  • Soy cream

Substituting Solid Creamed Coconut

Original RecipeSubstitute
1 cup1 cup grated
unsweetened coconut
and ¾ cup warm water

Making Coconut Cream from Coconut Milk

  1. Place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge for 4-6 hours.
  2. Open the can and scoop out the thick cream on top.
  3. Use the remaining liquid for another recipe or smoothie.

Coconut Cream vs. Coconut Milk

Coconut CreamCoconut Milk
FatHigher (around 24% fat)Lower (around 17% fat)
TextureThick and richLighter and more liquid
UsageDesserts and thick saucesCurries, beverages, and soups
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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