Desiccated Coconut VS Coconut Flour

Did you know desiccated coconut and coconut flour are actually two different products? Do you know the difference? Which should you use in your cooking?

The main difference comes from the amount of fat in the product. Desiccated coconut is made by grinding coconut meat which helps it retain its fat content. Coconut four is made with coconut meat after it has already been pressed for coconut oil. This means it has a lower fat content.

They are similar products, but the method of production is slightly different. This means they are used in different ways. Let’s look at the differences and best uses.

What is desiccated coconut?

Desiccated coconut is a product that is made by taking a fresh coconut and drying out the meat. It is ground up very finely and is usually made to be unsweetened.


Desiccated coconut is used for many different things. Some people prefer to snack on the coconut itself. It’s found often in Thai and Indian cuisine but is also used in things like:

  • Smoothies
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Cereal
  • Macaroons
  • Truffles
  • Cookies

Why use desiccated coconut?

While similar to coconut flour, desiccated coconut retains more of its fat content. This means the two probably should not be used as substitutes for each other. Desiccated coconut is great to use for great flavor in different desserts and meals since it maintains that tropical coconut flavor!

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What can I use as a substitute?

If you’re looking for a substitute for desiccated coconut, instead of turning to coconut flour, try:

  • Shredded coconut
  • Ground almonds
  • Coconut milk powder
  • Coconut extract
  • Dried fruit

What is coconut flour?

Coconut flour is made by grinding up the fresh coconut meat after the oil has been removed. It’s very fine and has several health benefits in comparison to regular wheat flour.


There are a lot of ways to use coconut flour! You can use it to make:

So why use coconut flour?

Coconut flour has many great benefits. It’s higher in protein and fiber than wheat flour. It’s also gluten-free and is great for many keto recipes!

What can I use as a substitute?

Since its generally best not to use desiccated coconut as a replacement, if you’re looking for a substitute for coconut flour, here are some ideas:

  • Almond flour
  • Soy flour
  • Rice flour
  • Chickpea flour

So, what’s the difference?

Overall, the main difference between these two products comes down to the fat content. Each product is a wonderful product to use in many recipes. Though, they generally shouldn’t be used interchangeably.  If you’re looking to substitute one of these products, try finding something similar to use!

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Dried coconut in any form is a delicious addition to many recipes and dishes. Though they are very alike, they’re not quite the same. Learning the difference can make your cooking even better. Experiment and find which you prefer! Or if you’re running short on coconut flour or desiccated coconut, try one of the substitutes!