Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Cream


Questions and Answers – Coconut Milk vs. Cream of Coconut




I have a recipe for a pina colada cake that calls for Cream of Coconut or Coconut Butter.  I cannot find it, only coconut milk.  Is it the same thing?  Thanks for your help! – Karen (1/08/01)



Coconut milk – Coconut milk is not the juice found inside a coconut, but the diluted cream pressed out from the thick, white flesh of a well-matured coconut. Coconut milk is a rich, creamy liquid made from water and coconut pulp.  It is a staple ingredient in Thai curries and in beverages, sauces, soups, and desserts throughout Southeast Asia.  Unsweetened coconut milk is available in cans at well-stocked grocery stores and Asian markets.  Do not substitute cream of coconut.


Cream of Coconut, Coconut Cream, or Coconut Butter – Cream of coconut is a smooth, thick liquid made from fresh coconuts.  It is thick and very sweet, and commonly used in mixed drinks.  Can usually be found in your local grocery stores and liquor stores, available in liquid and powdered forms.


Coconut ButterSubstitutes for Cream of Coconut:

Sweetened condensed milk with coconut extract to taste

1 cup top layer of canned coconut milk (not low fat) – do not shake or stir can before skimming

1 cup heavy whipping cream (35%) plus 1/2 cup coconut cream powder


Learn how easy it is to make homemade Coconut Butter.  

Coconut butter is simply just coconut flakes blended into a buttery consistency.  It is so easy to make and so much cheaper than purchasing coconut butter.


Comments and Reviews

5 Responses to “Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Cream”

  1. Debbie

    Coconut cream is not the same as cream of coconut, the sweetened stuff used in pina coladas. Coconut cream can be purchased unsweetened and it is a thicker, creamier version of coconut milk and can be used in thai curry dishes.

  2. babs

    Does CONDENSED COCONUT Milk taste anything like coconuts? Or…
    Does it just taste the same as “regular” Condensed milk?

  3. Lilly

    Condensed Coconut Milk does taste like Coconut.
    It’s very sweet, of course. And it does make a lovely Coconut Caramel sauce, although it doesn’t thicken the way regular condensed milk does.

  4. Irene Kraft

    I used cream of coconut instead of coconut milk in cake and it did not rise, instead it sunk

  5. Irene T Poole

    My cake recipe calls for Sweetened Condensed milk and Cream of Coconut. I could not get Cream of Coconut so I have Coconut milk. Will it work?


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