Have you ever wondered how to make coconut butter at home? Creamy, rich, coconutty… It’s easier than you may think and the entire process takes less than a minute.
There are so many coconut-centric products on the market these days – coconut butter (coconut manna), creamed coconut, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut water… it can be easy to confuse these for one another. So, first let’s look at what sets all these products apart.
- Coconut butter, also known as coconut manna, is pureed dried coconut meat. Since it’s the entire meat of coconut that is pureed, coconut butter has the same nutritional profile as whole coconut – 83% fat, 14% carbohydrates – mainly fiber, and 3% protein. The consistency varies depending on temperature – it’s solid up to 72°F/22°C and begins to melt at 76°F/24°C.
- Creamed coconut is almost identical to coconut butter, but thicker and denser. It’s usually ground up into a semi-solid white paste and then formed into a solid white block. Creamed coconut is interchangeable with coconut butter.
- Coconut oil is the oil that has been extracted from coconut meat. It is an isolated fat and as such, it is 100% fat. The consistency of coconut oil changes with temperature – it’s solid up to 74°F/23°C and begins to melt at 78°F/25.5°C.
- Coconut cream and coconut milk are both made the same way – by simmering coconut meat in water and then straining out the coconut solids. The resulting liquid separates into thick, semi-solid coconut cream and thin coconut milk. Coconut cream should contain at least 20% fat while coconut milk contains 17% and less. There are actually two types of coconut milk – canned coconut milk (with a higher fat content) and beverage coconut milk in a carton (with a considerably lower fat content).
- Coconut water is the inner liquid of young coconuts. It’s a clear fluid and doesn’t contain any of the fat found in coconut meat.
In this post I am going to focus only on coconut butter, specifically how to make it at home.
Tips for Making Coconut Butter
The only ingredient you’ll need to make coconut butter is dried coconut. That’s it!
- Coconut: look for dried unsweetened coconut. Dried coconut is available in many different forms – flaked, shredded, and desiccated are the most common. The main difference between them is shape. Flaked coconut comes in wide, flat pieces; shredded coconut comes in thin strands; desiccated coconut is finely ground. All these forms of coconut contain the same amount of fat, which is why they work equally well for this recipe. Desiccated coconut might be the driest out of the three, but the moisture content doesn’t really affect the consistency of the final coconut butter. I have made this recipe with flaked, shredded, as well as desiccated coconut and noticed very little difference.
Note: coconut flour will not here because it’s processed differently than the other forms of dried coconut. Coconut flour is actually a byproduct of making coconut cream and coconut milk. The strained out coconut solids are dried, ground into flour, and then defatted. Because of the defatting, coconut flour will never turn into a creamy consistency.
How to Make Coconut Butter
Making coconut butter at home is as easy as adding dried coconut into a high-speed blender and blending for about a minute. I use my Vitamix and the entire process from start to finish takes 50 seconds.
- Blend. Add the desiccated coconut into a Vitamix blender and blend on high until creamy, for about 1 minute. The coconut will go from ground to pasty to creamy. Use the tamper to push the coconut down into the blade as you’re blending. The finished coconut butter will be creamy but slightly grainy. This is completely normal and characteristic of store-bought coconut manna as well. Coconut butter is liquid straight of the blender due to the friction of the blade, but it begins to turn solid as it cools.
If you don’t own a high-speed blender, you can use a food processor. However, the process is less efficient and can take up to 20 minutes. You will also have to stop the food processor from time to time to scrape down the sides.
How to Serve Coconut Butter
Honestly, coconut butter – just like any nut butter – is amazing straight out of the jar. I frequently eat it with just a spoon and have to force myself not to eat the entire jar. You can also blend it into smoothies, stir it into oatmeal, drizzle it over pancakes, use it as a dip for fruit, or stuff it into dates.
There are also myriad of desserts that call for coconut butter – fudge, ice cream, icing…
If you’d like to switch things up, you can mix coconut butter with any nut butter you like (or blend desiccated coconut with any nuts of your choice). Coconut almond butter is one of my favorite combinations. Another option is to stir in cocoa powder or melted chocolate. Just make sure you don’t add any water-based liquid ingredients, such as maple syrup or honey, as they can cause the coconut butter to seize.
How to Store Coconut Butter
- Storing at room temperature: transfer the coconut butter into an airtight container and store it at room temperature for 1 month. Unlike nut butters, coconut butter does not turn rancid.
- Refrigerating: transfer the coconut butter into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
- Freezing: transfer the coconut butter into an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months.
More Nut Butter Recipes
If there is one staple I recommend making at home, it’s nut butters. You’ll enjoy better flavor and often lower cost, if you make your own butters from freshly purchased nuts, including coconut. Peanut butter, almond butter, and hazelnut butter are the obvious starting points.
- Almond butter: making almond butter at home is just as quick and easy as making any other nut butter in a Vitamix blender. The final result is smooth, creamy, and absolutely delicious homemade almond butter.
- Hazelnut butter: coming soon!
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
- 4 cups desiccated coconut *
- Blend. Add the desiccated coconut into a Vitamix blender and blend on high until creamy, for about 1 minute. The coconut will go from ground to pasty to creamy. Use the tamper to push the coconut down into the blade as you’re blending. The finished coconut butter will be creamy but slightly grainy. This is completely normal and characteristic of store-bought coconut butter as well.
- Store. Leftover coconut butter keeps well in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 month, For longer term storage, refrigerate for up to 3 months or freeze for up to 6 months.
*Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.