6 Substitutes for Coconut Cream

At about 24% fat, coconut cream is great for baking, making mixed drinks, and adding to desserts. If you’re looking for a substitute for coconut cream, you already know how versatile this ingredient can be.

Some common substitutes for coconut cream when you are out of this ingredient or can’t find it at the store include coconut milk, whipping cream, tahini, greek yogurt, canned tomatoes, and even homemade coconut milk. 

Depending on how much time you want to spend perfecting your coconut cream alternative, some of these replacements can be found on store shelves. Yet, others can be made right at home. 

Popular Coconut Cream Replacements

Every coconut cream alternative has a specific use that allows it to work better in some recipes than others. Consider the following substitutes for coconut cream and evaluate based on your needs: 

1. Coconut Milk

If you’re making a recipe that calls for coconut cream but you’re fresh out, opt for coconut milk as a valid replacement. Although these two ingredients are derived from the same source, coconut milk is rich in fat and is derived from coconut pulp. Coconut cream is actually made from coconut milk, as it is the thick layer of fat that rises to the top of the coconut milk. 

Because of their similarities, you can easily substitute coconut milk for coconut cream and vice versa. It may just take a bit of patience and practice. Simply leave one can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight to make your very own coconut cream. After the milk is chilled, open it up and scrap the top layer off for a coconut cream substitute that works perfectly every time. 

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2. Whipping Cream

Coconut cream is considered to be a great dairy-free substitution for whipping cream. When you blend coconut cream, it gives you the same desired peaks and fluffiness that you will note in whipping cream. 

Whipping cream has the same consistency and can be used in the same way that coconut cream can be whipped for dessert items. 

3. Tahini

Tahini may sound pretty exotic, but it is actually just a fancy word for a nut butter. Find what exactly does tahini taste like?. By diluting it, you can have a great alternative for coconut cream, too. In fact, 5 ounces of nut butter can be mixed with 1 cup of water to serve as a replacement for coconut cream. 

Tahini is a good dairy-free substitute for coconut cream, as well. You can also change up its consistency by adding more or less water, if need be. 

4. Greek Yogurt

You probably wouldn’t think Greek Yogurt would be an acceptable substitute for coconut cream, but it can actually work wonderfully in place of this sweet cream. Talking about sweet cream, Irish cream tastes very similar to sweet cream.. You can replace 1 cup of coconut cream straight across with 1 cup of Greek yogurt and 1 Tbsp. of water. 

Greek yogurt can work well in place of coconut cream in curry recipes. If you’re making a recipe that relies on that coconut flavor, you can also add a Tbsp. or two of coconut oil or extract to your greek yogurt to achieve this taste. 

5. Canned Tomatoes

You might wonder what we are thinking of substituting canned tomatoes for coconut cream, but hear us out. Coconut cream can form the basis for a soup or curry, in which case, canned tomatoes would be a great alternative. 

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Even if you have a bit of cream, mixing it with tomatoes can be a great base for a soup or curry. Oftentimes, tomato-based ingredients can be exceptional substitutes for coconut cream. 

6. Homemade Coconut Milk

You don’t even have to have the real deal to include coconut milk in your recipe. In fact, desiccated coconut can be utilized to make a kind of homemade coconut milk. 

In doing this, you won’t have to worry about the BPA that can be found in metal cans that coconut milk is typically stored in. Your homemade rendition may be a bit less creamy, but sometimes it can be worth the effort if you can’t access regular, store-bought coconut milk. 

Making your own coconut milk is actually quite easy. You can follow these simple steps to make a coconut milk alternative in your own home:

  1. Put coconut into boiling water in a glass bowl, jug, or pan. Let it stand for 10 minutes. 
  2. Puree the coconut mixture in a high-speed blender for approximately 10 minutes. 
  3. Use a fine sieve to drain the coconut mixture through to collect just the milk and discard the solid portions. 

If you’re looking for a coconut milk substitute for your favorite curry or soup, many of these ingredients will work well in place of this liquid.