Homemade Coconut Milk

by Eddy Van Damme on October 10, 2011

It is not easy to find good quality coconut milk which provides consistent results and has an excellent coconut flavor.  Some canned coconut milks are very fatty or thick, others are very liquid without much flavor. Coconut milk can also be prohibitive expensive for use in coconut cream pies or other common preparations.  Our vendors do sell coconut extract, which some is natural and some artificial, however most extracts make me think of sun tan lotion rather than real coconut.

Making your own coconut milk is very easy and provides a natural flavor. Standard dairy milk is what I usually use, but for specialty diets, soy, almond, flax seed milk and others will work just the same. If you need whipping cream with a coconut flavor use the same method as the recipe below. Although a fuller flavor will be obtained when using regular milk versus a high fat containing cream. For a toasted coconut flavor in your gelato, panna cotta, ice creams etc, simply toast the coconut first.

Since coconut is sold in many versions in the world and to prevent confusion, the coconut to look for is what most of us already have in our pastry lab: Unsweetened desiccated or unsweetened finely shredded coconut.


Homemade Coconut Milk

Yield: 1 quart 3 oz (1 liter)

1 quart 12 oz Milk 1320 g
7 oz Desiccated coconut 210 g
  1. Bring the milk to a full boil Remove from heat and add the coconut. Cover and place in a refrigerator overnight.
  2. Strain the milk and use as desired.


This article: Homemade coconut milk recipe.





45 comments on “Homemade Coconut Milk

  1. I’m excited to try this! My husband’s favorite dish is Indian Curry, so I’d like to try it in that application.

  2. Rocio Ramirez on said:

    In case that I want to freeze it, this recipe is good for how long?

  3. Adriana on said:

    Would it be possible to use this recipe for cocktail purposes? 🙂 i hate artificial flavors.

  4. Hilary Adams on said:

    Amazingly simple! Thank you, Chef Eddy!!

  5. Simple and delicious! That is what I like about this and your website too chef. Recipes that take more time and effort and also simple but very tasty ones. Nice work!

  6. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Chef kook,
    What a very nice compliment! Thank you very much indeed.

  7. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Thank you Hilary!

  8. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    You could indeed.

  9. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Rocio,
    The milk would not be in good condition when it is defrosted. It would not recommend freezing it.

  10. Niah Clark on said:

    How long do the milk last?

  11. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Niah,

    Just as long as regular milk.

  12. Karen llorens on said:

    Very simple recipe indeed! Will be making it this weekend to try for my little brot
    her’s birthday party. So excited! Thanks chef!!

  13. Darienne McAuley on said:

    What do you do with the leftover pulp? Thanks.

  14. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi Karen,
    For sure!

  15. I really liked using the toasted flavor in the coconut cream pie. I shall try with the coconut flavored whipping cream next! Thanks for the tip!

  16. I love coconut milk! There is an awesome smoothie/juice bar in Newburyport, MA called “Sip” that makes their own coconut milk for their drinks….it is incredible! Can’t wait to try this recipe out! Thanks for posting all of these recipes for making things completely from scratch! Very much appreciated!

  17. Coconut is a good source of trace minerals, nutrients and vitamins. Dairy or dairy free, this should also make a great smoothie. Bonus use; freeze it in ice cube trays and add to coffee or tea as a natural creamer. Thanks for this healthful recipe!

  18. Thanks for the recipe Chef. I use a lot of coconut milk in my recipes so it’s great that I can actually make my own to use in my dishes.

  19. lisa Ibanez on said:

    I was wondering chef, in one of the recipes I have for Italian cream cake, since it has the coconut flakes and it calls for milk, could we use this homemade coconut milk? And would it effect the recipe?

  20. Gloria Campos on said:

    Chef Eddy,
    Very good recipe to substitute the canned milk for this home-made coconut milk for baked goods… I would rather make my own than to waste money on the canned coconut milk. Quick question: Can we substitute the coconut with any other fruit?

  21. I like this recipe because when you can’t buy canned coconut milk, you can make healthy food without coconut oil. It’s very good idea, and it tastes delicious (tastes close to and maybe even better than canned coconut milk.)

  22. Vanessa Villarreal on said:

    Awesome! I will definitely try this recipe the next time I make a coconut cake instead of using the canned coconut milk for the frosting and if I top it of with fresh shreded coconut it will taste much better.

  23. Yesenia Garcia on said:

    Chef Eddy ,

    Is it okay to drink a little cup of this milk when is cold outside instead of the sugary hot cocoa?

  24. Mayah Cash on said:

    If I were to use this milk to make a coconut ice coffee would it be a strong coconut flavor or would the coffee over power it? And does this milk have a sweet taste at all?

  25. Victoria Bishop on said:

    If you leave the coconut and milk mixture in the refridgerator for longer will it give it a stronger taste or will it mess up the flavor?

  26. Lee Ann Romero on said:

    Thanks for sharing simple tips for the best quality ingredients for your recipes. Always enjoy making ingredients like this (and your tip for coffee extract) from scratch so we know what is in them!

  27. Tilly Sherwood on said:

    I love this… I just found a couple recipes for healthy horchata that I can’t wait to try with this! Chef Eddy I love that you give healthy alternatives to such simple things.

  28. Rocio Ramirez on said:

    This milk gives a delightful flavor to the coconut cream pie. It is so delicious!

  29. Mayra Bernabe on said:

    Very nice recipe I love the way that it is natural and doesn’t contain any fatting products or artificial flavors.

  30. Jennifer Contreras on said:

    Wow this is just great! I never thought making your own coconut milk would be so easy! I will definitely try this next time I need coconut milk instead of using a can. Yum! Coconut milk-panna cotta delish!

  31. jessica raymond on said:

    we made this in class for the coconut cream pie. it gave the pie a natural flavor enhancement that put pie over the top. i always prefer to use a natural product over artificial creation.

  32. It always amazed how dependable we are of canned goods, when we can make it at home fresh and delicious. Anita the tip of the ice cubs sounds great. This recipe has open my mind to try and make other types of milks like almond or rice. Thank you Chef Eddy

  33. Jelani Byerly on said:

    Chef i agree most of the coconut milk that i buy in store and drink from can, i rarely like it. When we made this for our coconut creampie, I sampled it and the flavor was amazing. By the way, that pie is now my favorite.

  34. Michelle on said:

    This method of making coconut milk is interesting. In my part of the world we have fresh coconut from the tree. We shell and cut up the dry coconut and then placed it in a Blender together with a little water and blend it relly fine. Afterwards it is strained and squeezed out for the pure coconut milk. Then we use it in curries, stews, etc. It really change the taste of lots of dishes, it makes it more delicious.

  35. Ashly Willis on said:

    After making this, i expected it to have a stronger coconut flavor.

  36. Why do you prefer this method against the blender method after soaking the coconut?

  37. Raymond Estrada on said:

    Coconut milk was used in shampoos and it makes the person’s hair shine.

  38. Joy Arriola on said:

    I hve never had Homemade Coconut Milk before. Maybe I will make Homemade Coconut Milk and see if i like it.

  39. Renae Holman Murti on said:

    When we made this for the coconut cream pie last semester I instantly fell in love. You mention finely shredded coconut in your recipe. Does the size of the shred matter?

  40. Peter Tham on said:

    This is an interesting alternative to making a good & flavorful coconut cream/milk, will have to try it. I agree that i have not found any good canned coconut milk for cooking. However, for the purpose of making dessert, have you try out the thicker canned coconut cream (not milk) made for dessert only (I belief by AROY-D brand)?

  41. Fatima Biskar on said:

    very simple but very useful ingredient. I thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us . I m looking forward to hear more homemade ingredients from you Chef.

  42. Andrea Angulo on said:

    i cant believe how easy you made it! such simple ingredients and a wonderful result!!

  43. Katerina Kyriazis on said:

    It is awesome that you blogged about homemade coconut milk. I have never loved any coconut milk I bought from the store. Now it is not a problem because I can make my own and it seems so easy from looking at the recipe.

  44. Thank you chef for this no nonsense recipe for coconut milk. I’ve read many recipes (using hot water and a blender) that is only good for a few days. Now I can enjoy my favorite Vietnamese desserts again. Thank you.

  45. beverly on said:

    I love this! While I like the idea of using it for pie and coffee creamer, I think it would also be fantastic for making greek yogurt. Thanks for another creative tip!

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