Cream of Coconut or
Coconut Cream?

Which is it?  Are they the same product or different?

Cream of coconut on wood table

Cream of Coconut

This question is a common one and if you are wondering about it too, then stay tuned...

Unless you use these products regularly you might not have a clue as to any difference between them.  (I certainly didn't for a long time).

However, truth be told, there is a difference.  It's a subtle one, but there is a difference!

So, here is a quick explanation...

How Is Cream Made?

Whichever term you like to use, they both come from coconut milk. The cream is what rises to the top when the meat and water are blended together into milk. It's a popular ingredient in lots of things like soups, drinks and desserts.

The process of blending the meat and water together is called, extraction. It's a perfect name because the liquid (milk) is extracted or drawn out from the meat/water combination.

This liquid is considered a beverage and food.

Coconut milk is very tasty and is rich in fat and protein. It reminds most people of a thicker cow's milk and is very healthy. Nature has provided so many nutritious elements in this food that it's considered to be a meal in itself.

Coconut milk contains around 17-24% fat which can vary depending on the amount of water you add to it. The higher fat coconut milk is what is known as coconut cream.

Here are some examples of some dishes made with cream from the coconut:

Cream of coconut with rice noodles

Coconut Cream And Rice Noodles

Coconut Cream Soup

British Style Chicken and Coconut Cream Over Rice

On the other hand, cream of coconut is coconut cream but with added sugar. It's very sweet and is commonly used in drinks and desserts.

It’s particularly popular in alcoholic drinks like the pina colada or blue hawaiian but can also be used in non alcoholic drinks like the acapulco gold, cranberry cream cocktail and lava flow.

When it comes to desserts; it's pretty much a must have if you want your cakes, pies or puddings to go from good to great!

Cream of coconut pudding

Pudding Made With Cream From The Coconut

Cream of coconut cake

Coconut Cream Cake

An oldie but goodie dessert recipe using coconut cream as it's main ingredient: coconut cream pie.

Coconut sour cream cake and coconut cream bread pudding are a few other examples.

In addition, it can also be used in sauces, salad dressings, main dishes, side dishes, breads, spreads and after dinner drinks.

We’d like to mention that there are also low-fat versions of both coconut milk and coconut cream.

Often, low fat just means more water has been added to lower the fat content.

So, as you see, the difference between the two just comes down to the quantity of fat or sugar.


  1. Fife, Bruce N.D., “Coconut Cures - Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut”, 2005, pg. 149

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