Cream of coconut is the key ingredient to turn an average Piña Colada into a true masterpiece. But cream of coconut is not always easy to get as only a few brands are producing and selling it. But don't worry, here's an easy recipe to make an even better version of creme of coconut than the one from Coco Lopez - one of the most famous brands to sell it.
You don't need artificial ingredients like emulsifiers, polysorbate, alginate, and other crap that store-bought products usually contain. You can easily make an amazing one with my cream of coconut recipe by only using coconut milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. And the best thing is, it will be even better than the industrially produced version.
Cream of Coconut vs. Coconut Cream
Before we get started, let's quickly talk about the difference between cream of coconut and coconut cream. It is two different products used for different purposes. You can not simply replace cream of coconut with the canned coconut cream you can find everywhere. The texture won't be right, the sweetness won't be right, and the result will be miles away from what it is supposed to taste like. If you want a more in-depth explanation, check out my article comparing cream of coconut vs. coconut cream.
The cream of coconut recipe
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 you can use any that fits the brief.
- 0.75 cup Granulated sugar
- 1 cup Coconut milk (10 - 15% fat content)
- 1 pinch Salt
- Add the coconut and granulated sugar into a small saucepan.
- Increase heat to medium to medium-high and constantly stir the mix. Ad the salt while everything is heating up.
- 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.
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 not incredibly much, 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 $0.045 - $0.07, depending on what you spend for the coconut milk. That's only a fraction of the price of, for instance, the product of Coco Lopez.
And as I mentioned previously, it even tastes better than the store-bought product.
Difference between coconut milk and coconut cream
For the sake of thoroughness: If you wonder what the difference between ordinary coconut milk and coconut cream is, it's mainly the fat content. The more pulp of coconut is used in the product, the higher the fat content. For making cream of coconut, I highly recommend using coconut milk because the canned coconut cream is already so "dry" and fatty that the result won't turn out great.
Keep in mind that when cooking coconut milk, water will evaporate. Ultimately the fat content of the final mix will also increase.