Coconut cream is a popular ingredient in many dishes, from sweet to savory, adding a delicious tropical flavor and creamy texture. However, like most food products, coconut cream has a shelf life, and it’s important to know how long it lasts for the best quality and safety.
Once opened, coconut cream can last for 4-7 days in the refrigerator if it’s stored in an airtight container. However, this time frame can vary based on factors such as temperature, storage conditions, and the type of coconut cream.
I cover all of these, and more, below! First, I’ll start with shelf life.
What is the shelf life of coconut cream?
The shelf life of coconut cream can vary depending on storage conditions and whether it’s opened or unopened. Unopened coconut cream can last for several months or even up to a year when stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
However, once opened, coconut cream should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and can last for 4-7 days. If you’d like to extend its shelf life, you can also freeze coconut cream for up to 3 months, but it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator before use, and use it within a few days.
For more specific storage instructions, check out my tips for storing coconut cream!
Comparison of coconut cream shelf life
|Shelf life – room temperature||Shelf life – refrigerator, unopened||Shelf life – refrigerator, opened|
|Canned coconut cream||1 year or by “best by”/expiration date||1 year or by “best by”/expiration date||4-7 days|
|Homemade coconut cream||n/a (needs to be refrigerated)||n/a (already open)||1-2 days|
Homemade vs canned coconut cream – differences and storage
Homemade coconut cream is typically made from fresh coconut meat and water. It’s more perishable than store-bought varieties due to the absence of preservatives. Speaking of store-bought, these are the best coconut cream brands you can buy!
Homemade coconut cream should be used within a couple of days and stored in the refrigerator, while canned coconut cream can be stored unopened in a pantry or refrigerator for up to a year or the “best-before” date. Once opened, canned coconut cream should be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator, where it can last for several days or up to a week.
It is important to note that both homemade and canned coconut cream may separate and solidify when stored in the refrigerator, so it may need to be warmed and stirred before use.
How do you know if coconut cream is off?
When coconut cream has gone bad, there are a few things to look for, including an off smell or sour taste, or any visible signs of spoilage like odd coloring (brown or yellow color), mold growth, or funky changes in texture. If you notice any of these things, these are all signs that the coconut cream has gone bad and you should not eat it!
It’s always important to play it safe when dealing with food safety, so if you suspect that your coconut cream has gone bad, it’s best to discard it immediately.
Potential risks of eating coconut cream that has been open for a long time
Consuming coconut cream that has been open for too long can increase the risk of food-borne illness caused by the growth of bacteria, yeast, or mold.
Even in the refrigerator, these microorganisms can grow, especially if the coconut cream has been exposed to moisture or contamination. The symptoms of food-borne illness can range from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to more serious illnesses, depending on the type of microorganism involved.
Of course, it’s always best to check the expiration date and use-by instructions on the package and make sure that the can is properly sealed before buying and/or eating coconut cream.
So, how long does coconut cream last after opening?
While coconut cream can last a while in a sealed, unopened can, once it’s opened, coconut cream should be used within a week. For homemade coconut cream, you’ll want to use it up as quickly as possible – in my experience, generally within 1-2 days. Overall, if your coconut cream looks, smells, or tastes off in any way, it’s best to toss it!
Coconut milk will generally last in the fridge for 4-7 days after opening, but this can vary depending on the brand and specific product. It’s important to check the expiration date on the packaging and use the coconut milk within that timeframe or freeze it for longer storage.
I don’t recommend using expired coconut cream as it may have spoiled or developed harmful bacteria that could cause foodborne illness. It’s best to check the expiration date before using and if in doubt, discard it.
Once opened, a creamed coconut block can last for several weeks to a few months if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. However, it’s always best to check the packaging for any specific storage instructions or use-by date.