Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk (Everything You Need To Know)

coconut cream dessert

Both coconut cream and coconut milk are popular ingredients in many types of recipes. They are often incorporated in desserts, beverages, and even savory dinner recipes.

In this article you will learn the differences, similarities, and the best uses for both coconut milk and coconut cream.

And no matter what you are planning to make, you will know which of these coconut based ingredients you can use.

Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream: Differences, Similarities, and Uses

carafe of coconut milk

If you are wondering what coconut cream and coconut milk are you will find the answers right here. After reading this article you will know everything you need to properly use these two ingredients in your next recipe.

Related: Coconut Cream vs Coconut Butter

Coconut Cream

bowl of mixed coconut cream

So what is coconut cream?

Coconut cream is a thick cream produced from the milk of a coconut. It is made by chilling coconut milk and skimming the cream that accumulates on the top.

Coconut cream offers a rich coconut flavor. It is not overly sweet (as no sweeteners are added).

Coconut cream is available at most grocery stores and is most often found in cans.

Related: Substitutes for Coconut Cream

Coconut Cream Uses

vegan fruit and coconut cream dessert

Coconut cream is a popular ingredient used in all types of recipes. Coconut cream can be used to make desserts, beverages and dinner dishes.

Related: How to thicken coconut cream

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Dairy free whipped cream
  • Thicken pudding
  • Add to cake
  • Thicken soup
  • Cream filled cookies
  • Smoothies
  • Pina Coladas

Coconut Milk

pitcher of coconut milk

Coconut is the liquid found in whole coconuts. It is produced by processing the pulp and extracting the liquid.

Coconut milk offers a rich flavor and can be found sweetened and unsweetened. It is usually found in cans and is available at most grocery stores.

Related: Coconut Milk vs Cream of Coconut

Coconut Milk Uses

curry in pot on table

Coconut milk is a traditional ingredient in Caribbean, Latin American, and Southeast Asian Cuisine. It is also popular in East African recipes. But coconut milk has gained in popularity and can be found in recipes from dessert to dinner to mixed drinks.

Related: Coconut Milk Substitutes

Here are some coconut milk ideas to get you started.

  • Dairy milk substitute
  • Sauces for dipping
  • Smoothies
  • Mixed drinks
  • Curry
  • Pudding
  • Custard
  • Cake
  • Vegan ice cream
  • Soup

Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk FAQ

vegan avocado ice cream made with coconut cream

It’s not uncommon for someone to purchase coconut milk or coconut cream when they meant to get the other one! So I am most often asked is they can be substituted for each other and I am happy to say yes you can! Read the FAQ for more info.

Can you substitute coconut cream for coconut milk?

Yes. To use coconut cream instead of coconut milk you will add 3/4 cup of water to each two tablespoons of coconut cream and mix. This will create one cup of coconut milk.

Can you substitute coconut milk for coconut cream?

Yes. First put your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and chill overnight. When done chilling, remove can and open. The cream will be at the top. Skim off the cream and use in your recipe.

Each can of coconut milk will produce around a half cup of coconut cream.

Related: How to freeze coconut milk

Can you substitute coconut cream for coconut milk in soup?

Yes you can use coconut cream instead of coconut milk when making soup. You can use your coconut cream as is for a rich and creamy soup. Or follow the steps above for making coconut milk out of coconut cream.

Is coconut milk or cream better for Curry?

Coconut milk and coconut cream are both great for curry. Neither is better, but coconut cream will add a richer, creamier texture to your curry than coconut milk.

What is the difference between coconut cream and coconut milk?

Coconut milk is the entire liquid found in a whole coconut while coconut cream is the thick cream separated from the rest of the coconut milk.

Can I use coconut milk instead of coconut cream in a pina colada?

Yes, both coconut cream and coconut milk can be used to make pina coladas. Coconut cream will make a thicker pina colada than when coconut milk is used.

Written by Liv

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