How Do Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk Differ?

You may have observed that coconut milk and coconut cream are sold close to one other on supermarket shelves and have almost identical packaging.

They seem to be so identical that you may easily confuse one for the other. They may seem to be great alternatives for one another, but are they?

The fundamental distinction between coconut milk and coconut cream, like with dairy milk and cream, is the fat content.

Although they are comparable in many respects, they are also not interchangeable.

Continue reading to discover about the differences between them and how they may and cannot be used as alternatives in your regular meals.

What Is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk is nothing more than an emulsion of coconut and water. Stabilizers and preservatives are also often found in store-bought types. They aid in keeping it fresh, since the high fat content of coconut milk causes it to deteriorate rapidly.

Homemade coconut milk is a possibility. It’s as easy as heating coconut flesh in water, blending it, and then straining it through a cheesecloth or equivalent to remove any clumps or pieces.

Don’t waste the pulp; instead, prepare coconut flour by roasting the residual pulp at a low temperature to thoroughly dry it, then blending it until smooth. Coconut flour is an excellent gluten-free flour replacement!

Do you want to purchase coconut milk? Look for coconut milk at the grocery store.

What Is Coconut Cream?

Coconut cream is likewise an emulsion of coconut and water, but the coconut to water ratio is greater, making it thicker and more delicious. This variation in consistency is akin to the difference between heavy cream and dairy milk.

Coconut cream must have at least 20% fat, but coconut milk has just 10% fat. That implies that coconut cream is more paste-like, making it ideal for recipes that call for extra fat without a lot of moisture.

Do you want to purchase coconut cream? Find out where to get coconut cream at the grocery shop.

Can I Use Coconut Cream Instead of Coconut Milk?

In a pinch, you may be able to swap coconut cream for coconut milk, but it nearly always depends on the meal.

You run the danger of using too much fat or too little moisture when creating baked products, which may ruin items like cakes and biscuits. You might perhaps remedy this issue by diluting coconut cream with warm water, resulting in coconut milk.

You’d only have to be careful not to dilute it too much or too little, since this might impact baked items. Coconut milk should be opaque, fully blended (no lumps! ), and approximately the consistency of whole milk.

Nevertheless, replacing coconut milk with coconut cream is a little more difficult.

In principle, you could heat the coconut milk to evaporate some of the water and make it richer and thicker, similar to coconut cream. But, this should be done with great care, particularly if you only have enough stuff to make one dish!

If you heat coconut milk for too long at too high a temperature, it can curdle, which is probably not what you want. To keep it smooth, gently cook it on the burner while stirring it often.

There is a more easy option depending on how much time you have.

You may store a can of coconut milk in a cold area (ideally the refrigerator) for a few hours before using it. When you open the can, the solids and water will have separated, leaving you with lovely coconut cream at the top!

So be cautious while scooping it out since you don’t want much of the water below to mingle with the cream.

What Can I Make with Coconut Cream and Milk?

Coconut products are quite flexible, appearing in a wide range of cuisines and kinds of foods.

The main thing to remember is that the unique coconut taste is generally highly noticeable in meals that use it. As a result, if you or the folks you’re cooking for dislike its taste, it’s not the greatest dairy alternative (but if thats the case, then you likely wouldnt be reading this in the first place).

Many people associate coconut with a sweet taste profile, which makes sense given that it is a fruit. Coconut milk or cream is a significant element in a variety of sweets.

Both coconut cream and coconut milk may be used to produce a great dairy ice cream alternative, and many Asian cuisines utilize it to boil sticky rice and serve it with mango or other fruits.

These treats, among others, are ideal for vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant. Coconut cream may also be beaten like heavy cream to make a delectable vegan icing for anything your heart wants.

On the savory side, coconut milk and cream have several applications. The fat content helps to offset excessive heat levels, making it ideal for hot foods that need something to tone it down.

It is a common element in curries as well as various types of sauces and soups. Its taste profile complements meals like salmon very well, making it an excellent item to have on hand.

In Summary

In brief, coconut cream and coconut milk are fundamentally the same, with varying coconut-to-water ratios. Coconut milk may be made by diluting coconut cream, and coconut milk can be cooked down to become more like coconut cream if necessary.

Nevertheless, there are also additional factors to consider before utilizing them as alternatives, such as the changing fat content and their impact on baked products. Coconut milk and cream are both versatile ingredients that may give your food a distinct taste and lovely texture.


Can I substitute coconut milk for coconut cream?

Can I use coconut cream instead of coconut milk? Yes, you may use coconut milk instead of coconut cream in recipes. If you’re in a need and need coconut cream, a can of full fat coconut milk will suffice. To begin, place the canned coconut milk in the refrigerator.

How to make coconut cream out of coconut milk?

To produce coconut cream from coconut milk, keep a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. After refrigerating the can, remove the coconut cream from the top with a spoon, leaving the water underneath. 12 cup coconut cream should be plenty.

Does coconut cream actually taste like coconut?

Coconut cream is a creamy substance created from coconut milk. The cooled coconut milk is then skimmed of the top layer of cream that floats to the surface. It is quite thick and has a coconut flavor, but it is not sweetened. It’s commonly sold in cans next to the coconut milk.

What is coconut cream used for?

Coconut cream is often used in vegan and dairy-free recipes and desserts to enhance taste and richness. It works particularly well in sauces, curries, cakes, and custards. You may also prepare a vegan version of whipped cream using coconut cream.

How do you thicken coconut milk into cream?

Include cornstarch or all-purpose flour.

As a thickening agent, you may use cornstarch or all-purpose flour. To produce a slurry, dissolve some cornstarch or cornflour in a basin of cold water. Finally, add the slurry to the coconut milk and heat until the required consistency is reached.

What is the best substitute for coconut cream?

Coconut Milk is the best substitute for coconut cream. I seldom purchase coconut cream nowadays since I like to have just one kind of coconut product in my cupboard, and coconut milk is more flexible…. Whipping Cream…. Nut Butter or Tahini…. Greek Yoghurt…. Canned tomatoes or passata…. Homemade Coconut Milk.

Does coconut cream need to be refrigerated?

DOES COCONUT CREAM NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED? Cream of coconut is shelf-stable while unopened, however it should be refrigerated once opened. Since it normally separates somewhat during refrigeration, you’ll need to shake or mix it before using.

Can you use canned coconut milk instead of cream?

The solution to this dairy dilemma is as easy as a can of pure coconut milk! Coconut milk is a versatile ingredient that can lend creamy texture to soups, rich taste to sauces, and is an excellent substitution for heavy cream in any of your favorite savory recipes and sweets.

Can you use coconut cream in coffee?

Absolutely! In this dish, we use coconut milk or coconut cream, and it comes out really creamy and tasty! My favorite coffee creamer base is coconut milk!

Should I use coconut cream or coconut milk for curry?

In dishes like curries and soups, coconut milk and cream may be used interchangeably. Use coconut cream for a fuller flavor and texture, or vice versa.

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