Foolproof Dairy-free Sugar-free Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut whipped cream is a delicious dairy-free classic whipped cream alternative, and it's so easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients.

If you're avoiding dairy and carbs, this dairy-free sugar-free whipped cream is going to be your new BFF to top everything from pancakes to your favorite desserts. And this post has the tips you need to make sure yours comes out right every single time.

whipped cream in glass bowl with beaters.

When you have food allergies or food sensitivities in your home, eating regular meals is hard enough, but special occasions are especially difficult and you can easily feel left out. Enter your special occasion special diet helper--coconut whipped cream!

This coconut whipped cream recipe is an easy way to make anyone with a dairy allergy or sensitivity feel special. Plus it's so good, even those who aren't avoiding dairy will love it and it's easy enough to make anytime!

Ingredients

This Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe couldn't be easier. You only really need 1 ingredient (the can of coconut milk or cream), but adding a few other ingredients that you likely have in your home makes it taste even better.

  • cans of coconut milk (or coconut cream)
  • sweetener
  • salt
  • vanilla extract
labeled ingredients for dairy-free sugar-free whipped cream in bowls with measuring spoons.

Instructions

Here's how to make what is soon to be your go to dairy-free dessert topping for everything:

  1. Choose a good quality brand of coconut milk or coconut cream
  2. Chill can overnight (or for at least 8 hours)
  3. Chill the mixing bowl and beaters before beating
  4. Scoop hardened coconut cream from can into mixing bowl, reserving leftover liquid for other uses
  5. Whip until peaks form
  6. Sweeten if desired
  7. Enjoy
  8. Store leftovers in airtight container

Depending on the brand and other factors, your final result likely won't have the stiff peaks that traditional whipped cream has, but it will still be one of the most amazing things you have tasted.

What Brand of Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream Is Best?

There are lots of brands of coconut milk on the market. I haven't tried all of them (which would be nearly impossible), but a lot of people say that Native Forest is the best brand out there. I agree that it makes an incredibly delicious dairy-free whipped cream.

However, I have also read that some say that Trader Joe's Coconut Milk gives good results, but we've tried that a number of times and it's been quite disappointing.

One thing is crucial--you MUST use full fat coconut milk to get any kind of decent result at all. Light coconut milk simply doesn't have enough fat in it for this recipe to work.

Coconut Cream will produce more whipped coconut cream than coconut milk will since there's more fat content and less liquid.

Here are some brands that have received good reviews that are definitely worth trying, along with my thoughts on them (that I will be updating as I try all of them--and hopefully more!)

  1. Savoy Coconut Cream 
  2. Nature’s Charm Coconut Whipping Cream 
  3. Sprouts
  4. Aroy-D
  5. 365 Whole Foods Organic Coconut Milk
  6. Thai Kitchen Organic - we tried this and I wasn't thrilled. It's super creamy coming out of the can, but the coconut flavor was quite strong and hard to mask.
  7. Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk Classic - we have had great results with this brand every time we've tried it.
  8. Thai Coco (available at Trader Joe's)

I recommend using organic coconut milk to avoid pesticides in the final product.

coconut cream in glass bowl.

Notes and Tips

  1. Coconut Milk Choice: Make sure to purchase a good quality brand of coconut milk (see recommendations above).
  2. Chilling Coconut: Be sure to chill at least 8 hours or overnight for best results and do not try to speed the chilling process along by chilling in the freezer.
  3. Chilling Equipment: Chill your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes before whipping
  4. Lumps: If the cream still has lumps after whipping, continue whipping while scraping the sides of the bowl, taking care not to over-whip. Add a bit of the reserved liquid if needed, but just add a little bit (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) at a time.
  5. Firm in Fridge: Use immediately or for a more firm product, you can chill in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
  6. Sweeteners: Use a powdered sweetener for best results. Granulated sweeteners will not blend in well. A liquid will likely make the cream too thin, but liquid stevia or liquid monk drop are great options unless for some reason your cream is too thick. If you aren't avoiding sugar, plain powdered sugar works great, but we use low-carb powdered sweetener.
  7. Coconut Liquid: You can save the leftover liquid from the can in the fridge for 3 days or so for use in smoothies, etc., or freeze in ice cube trays for future use
  8. How to Thin: In the unlikely event that your coconut whipped cream is too stiff add a bit of the reserved liquid from the can (1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time) and then blend slightly before evaluating.
  9. How to Thicken: Other options for thickening include adding a bit of tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, or other thickeners. I have only tried glucomannan and didn't care for the result, so no guarantees here.
whipped coconut cream in bowl with beaters.

FAQs

Can You Freeze the Canned Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream to Chill it Faster?

Freezing actually doesn't work as well as chilling in the fridge so it's not recommended.

Can You Freeze this Topping?

There are people on both sides of this topic. I tried it once and it didn't work out that well. I need to try it more before stating whether it really works or not.

Where Can You Buy Full Fat Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream?

Since special diets are more common these days, you should be able to find it at your local grocery store. Otherwise, you can easily find it online. Though it's not the best for this recipe, Trader Joe's has both options, however as I mentioned, I don't get good results with their coconut milk and I've read mixed reviews on their coconut cream.

Can You Use Coconut Cream for This Recipe?

Yes, you can, contrary to what one popular blog post says about this topic. Just don't use cream of coconut, which has added sweeteners and stabilizers.

Can You Make This Without Sweeteners?

Yes, you can since the coconut has an inherent sweetness, but I prefer adding some sweetener (typically a low carb one) since it makes this recipe simply dreamy.

Does This Taste Like Whipped Cream?

Not completely, but it's so close and delicious. If you add the optional vanilla, any coconut flavor from the coconut cream or milk will be diminished.

Can You Use Coconut Milk with Guar Gum for Making This Vegan Whipped Topping?

Yes you can--maybe. I have seen comments from people saying that you need guar gum to get a good whipped cream and also that you can't make a good whipped cream with it. So something else must be going on.

Native Forest's Full Fat Coconut Milk gives us great results without any guar gum.

Guar gum is a stabilizer, which would lead me to think it should make a better whipped cream, but it's also an emulsifier, so that would prevent the cream separating from the coconut water. I suspect it depends on the brand and how much guar gum is in there, so I think it's best to avoid using it.

coconut whipped cream on spoon.

Serving Recommendations

You can of course top so many things with this coconut whipped cream.

How about:

Buckwheat Pancakes

buckwheat pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

pumpkin chia pudding with whipped cream and cinnamon sticks.

Oatmeal Cake

pieces of gluten-free oatmeal cake with yogurt and berries on top.

Of course you can eat this right off the spoon!

Believe me, this WILL happen, so you might seriously want to double this recipe. We always feel that we need more!

If you are going to use it to frost a cake, cupcakes, or some other treat, you can top them ahead of time, but you will want to keep the frosted desserts in fridge until you are ready to serve them, taking them out of the fridge no earlier than 2 hours ahead of time.

Flavor Variations

Try these delicious variations to make flavored dairy-free whipped cream.

  • Chocolate: add 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder or to taste
  • Almond: 1-2 drops of almond extract
  • Coffee: 1/2 teaspoon or more finely ground instant coffee or 1-2 drops of coffee extract
  • Strawberry: 1/2 teaspoon or more strawberry powder
  • Mint: 1-2 drops of peppermint extract
  • Chocolate Mint: add cocoa above and mint extract as listed above
  • Spice: 1/8- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or to taste

Special Diet Options

As written, if using a low carb sweetener, this recipe is keto, vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, THM:S and vegetarian.

For a Paleo or AIP recipe, monk fruit extract is a great sweetener to use, or use no sweetener at all, or a dash of maple syrup or honey.

Unrefined powdered sugar can be used, but it will change the color. That would be a great option for making the chocolate, coffee, mint chocolate, or spice variations mentioned in the variation section.

whipped cream in bowl with beaters, on pancakes with strawberries, and on pineapple chunks. collage with text overlay.
homemade coconut whipped cream

Dairy-free Sugar-free Whipped Cream

This Vegan Low-carb Whipped Cream is so easy and delicious, it's the perfect dairy-free alternative to traditional whipped cream.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Dressings, Seasonings, etc.
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Sugar-Free, THM:S, Vegan
Keyword: Coconut Whipped Cream, Dairy-free Sugar-free Whipped Cream
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Choose a good quality brand of coconut milk or coconut cream (see recommendations in post.)
  • Chill the cans overnight (or for at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator.
  • Chill mixing bowl and beaters for 10-30 minutes before whipping (optional but recommended.)
  • Remove cans from the fridge, keeping upright, taking care not to shake or tip.
  • Scoop the hardened coconut cream from the tops of cans into a medium mixing bowl, reserving the leftover liquid for other uses.
  • Whip at high speed with stand mixer or electric hand mixer for about 20-30 seconds until fairly smooth. until peaks form. Do not over-whip.
  • Add sweetener, vanilla, and salt, if desired.
  • Whip again until soft or stiff peaks form, for a total of about 1 minute.
  • Serve as desired.
  • Store whipped cream or leftovers in air tight container in refrigerator for up to one or two weeks.

Notes

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 - 3 cups of whipped topping, depending on the brand of coconut milk used. If you use coconut cream, you will have more topping due to there being more fat in the can.
If you use coconut cream, you might wish to use more of the other ingredients.
  • Coconut Milk Choice: Make sure to purchase a good quality brand of coconut milk (see recommendations above).
  • Coconut Chilling: Be sure to chill at least 8 hours or overnight for best results and do not try to speed the chilling process along by chilling in the freezer.
  • Equipment Chilling: Chill your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes before whipping
  • Lumps: If the cream still has lumps after whipping, continue whipping while scraping the sides of the bowl, taking care not to over-whip. Add a bit of the reserved liquid if needed, but just add a little bit (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) at a time.
  • Firm in Fridge: Use immediately or for a more firm product, you can chill in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
  • Sweeteners: Use a powdered sweetener for best results. Granulated sweeteners will not blend in well. A liquid will likely make the cream too thin, but liquid stevia or liquid monk drop are great options unless for some reason your cream is too thick. If you aren't avoiding sugar / carbs, plain powdered sugar works great.
  • Coconut Liquid: You can save the leftover liquid from the can in the fridge for 3 days or so for use in smoothies, etc., or freeze in ice cube trays for future use
  • How to Thin: In the unlikely event that your coconut whipped cream is too stiff add a bit of the reserved liquid from the can (1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time) and then blend slightly before evaluating.
  • How to Thicken: Other options for thickening include adding a bit of tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, or other thickeners. I have only tried glucomannan and didn't care for the result, so no guarantees here. One important thing to note is that while the whipped cream tastes great at any temperature, it doesn't last very long at room temperature. For best results, if you aren't going to be consuming it immediately, refrigerate it until ready to serve.

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

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