Cream of Coconut Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 7, 2023

Cream of coconut is a thick, rich, sweet cream made with coconut milk and sugar, and it's a fantastic cocktail ingredient. Discover how to make it at home with our recipe.
Cream of Coconut recipe

Cream of coconut is the key ingredient to turning an average Piña Colada into a true masterpiece. Yet, depending on your location, it is not always easy to get as only a few brands produce and sell it.

But don't worry, here's an easy recipe to make an excellent version of creme of coconut that can keep up with the product from Coco Lopez - one of the most famous brands.

You don't need artificial ingredients like emulsifiers, polysorbate, alginate, and the stuff store-bought products usually contain. You can easily make a sensational homemade cream of coconut with our recipe. All you need is coconut milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. These all-natural ingredients make it even better than the store-bought versions.

Cream of Coconut

Cream of Coconut Recipe

A delicious homemade version of cream of coconut
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Shaking time10 minutes
Course: Syrup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut
Calories: 130kcal
Cost: $1.50


  • 1 sauce pan
  • 1 sealable container


  • 0.75 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Coconut milk - (10 - 15% fat content)
  • 1 pinch Salt


  • Add the coconut milk and granulated sugar into a small saucepan.
    0.75 cup Granulated sugar, 1 cup Coconut milk
  • Increase heat to medium to medium-high and constantly stir the mix. Ad the salt while everything is heating up.
    1 pinch Salt
  • Cook the mix for around 3-4 minutes on medium heat or until the sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should have a very thick and syrupy texture.
  • Remove from heat and let it chill. Once it's cooled to room temperature, you can bottle it and store it in your fridge.
  • You can store your homemade cream of coconut for up to 7 days.


Serving: 1ozCalories: 130kcalCarbohydrates: 21gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4.5gSodium: 15mgSugar: 20g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More About the Ingredients 

You don't need a lot of elements to create this tasty cocktail ingredient. And the ones you do need are pretty easy to get and affordable. 

Quality coconut milk with around 10 - 15 % of fat, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt is all you need to get this right. Regarding coconut milk, I like to use Aroy coconut milk from Thailand, but if you have a favorite brand that fits the brief, stick to that.

For the sugar part, you can stick to regular white granulated sugar. There's no need to shop for anything fancy, as the coconut is the sole star of the show.

If you now wonder why you cannot just use coconut cream as a substitute or at least use that for our cream of coconut recipe, read on to find out.

Cream of Coconut vs. Coconut Cream

Let's quickly talk about the difference between cream of coconut and coconut cream:

They are two different products used for different purposes. You can not simply replace cream of coconut with canned coconut cream. The texture won't be right. The sweetness level won't be right. Thus, the result will be miles away from how it is supposed to taste. 

If you want to know more, check out our article comparing cream of coconut vs. coconut cream.

Difference between coconut milk and coconut cream

That still leaves us with the question of why you should not use coconut cream as a base for our recipe. The answer is simple: The main difference between coconut milk and coconut cream is the fat content. 

The more coconut pulp is used in the product, the higher the fat content. Now, for our cream of coconut recipe, you should use coconut milk because the fat content is similar to that of cream of coconut and you just have to increase the sugar part.

Whereas canned coconut cream is already so "dry" and fatty that the result won't turn out great - and you will find it impossible to lower the fat content to that of a standard cream of coconut.

Further, keep in mind that when cooking coconut milk, water will evaporate. Ultimately the fat content of the final mix will therefore increase even more.

How long does it keep?

Homemade products without added preservatives will almost always have a shorter shelf-life than their store-bought counterparts. That's no different in this case. Stores in the fridge, homemade cream of coconut will last for about 5 to 7 days max. If you keep it in the freezer, you can extend that to about 2 to 3 months. 

Cream of Coconut cost per serving

If you buy your cream of coconut from the supermarket, the cost per serving will be around $0.25. That is alright, but you could save up to 80% on that by making your own cream of coconut. 

The sugar and coconut milk will add up to roughly $0.04 - $0.07, depending on what you spend on the coconut milk. That's only a fraction of the price of, for instance, the product of Coco Lopez.

Cocktails with Cream of Coconut

Apart from the aforementioned Piña Colada, you can use your homemade cream of coconut:

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