Cream of coconut is a sweet coconut syrup made with sugar and coconut milk. It’s a key ingredient in Pina Coladas and many tropical cocktails. Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut and Real Gourmet are brands that make cream of coconut, this recipe works as an alternative.
If you’ve ever made a pina colada, you have most likely come across cream of coconut.
I initially used cream of coconut with my first coconut cream pie endeavor. I hadn’t ever baked coconut cream pie and confused coconut milk with cream of coconut. Unfortunately, the pie was a flop and was way too sweet. That was my fault, of course. The recipe called for full-fat coconut milk, and I bought cream of coconut milk instead.
With an abundance of coconut products on the market, it’s challenging to keep up with them all. Coconut cream and coconut milk are two different products that are often confused with each other. But what about cream of coconut? Like I did years ago, many people mistakenly purchased this product, thinking it’s the same as coconut milk. Below I’ll break down the difference between cream of coconut and coconut milk and share my recipe for making cream of coconut.
Cream Of Coconut FAQ:
What Is cream of coconut?
Cream of coconut is a simple syrup that is made with coconut milk instead of water. It has a sweet creamy consistency and smooth texture. It’s perfect for beverages, especially tropical cocktails.
Is cream of coconut the same as coconut cream?
No, these products are not the same and aren’t interchangeable in recipes. Cream of coconut is a sweetened coconut milk sauce, while coconut cream is a thick heavy cream made from coconut milk.
What can I use as a substitute for cream of coconut?
If you have coconut milk on hand, you can make cream of coconut at home in minutes by simmering the coconut milk with sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, you can use the mixture in place of the cream of coconut.
How do I use cream of coconut?
Use coconut cream for cocktails like my virgin pina colada, or add it to smoothies (it tastes great in my pina colada smoothie), or try out this pineapple upside-down cake dessert (I totally need to make a healthy version of this recipe)! Like coconut milk, you can freeze cream of coconut to use at a later time.
Is coconut cream the same as Coco Lopez?
No, coconut cream is not the same as Coco Lopez. Cream of coconut is sweetened and thicker in consistency than coconut cream.
How To Make Cream of Coconut from Scratch
If you’re anything like me, you tremble when you read long ingredient labels with ingredients like polysorbate, diglycerides, guar gum, citric acid, and other weird additives. Instead, consider making your own version of this coconut product at home with just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! Below you’ll find my simple recipe for making cream of coconut with natural ingredients. This recipe is vegan friendly!
Also – if you don’t have time to make this, you can just buy Coco Lopez on Amazon.
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Cream of Coconut Recipe (Coco Lopez Alternative)
If you’re in need of cream of coconut, try out this homemade recipe made with coconut milk and sugar. This recipe can be used in place of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 7-10 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/2 Cups (12–14 ounces) 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (here’s my favorite brand)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar*
- pinch of salt
- (optional) 1/2 tablespoon coconut milk powder**
- Pour all the ingredients into a small pot and heat over low heat.
- Stir until the sugar and coconut milk powder dissolve.
- If the coconut milk powder doesn’t dissolve properly, pour the mixture into a blender and blend to break down the powder. Add back to the pot and stir until there are no clumps.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. The coconut cream will keep in the refrigerator for 7 days. Freeze any leftover for future use.
*Sugar is traditionally used in cream of coconut. You can however, use your favorite sweetener of choice to make a low-carb/sugar-free substitute.
**Coconut milk powder is an optional ingredient. It slightly thickens the cream of coconut and adds more coconut flavor to the syrup.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 185
- Sugar: 25.5g
- Fat: 9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 25.5g