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Cream of coconut vs Coconut Cream: What’s the Difference?

Ever stood in the grocery aisle, puzzled over cream of coconut and coconut cream? We’ve all been there.

The difference is crucial, yet it slips past many. One’s for cocktails, the other’s for curries.

We learned this the hard way at a dinner party gone wrong. Imagine serving Piña Coladas with coconut cream. Spoiler: it doesn’t end well.

In this guide, we simplify it all. No more mix-ups.

What is Cream of coconut?

Cream of coconut is a luxurious delight.

It’s made from the flesh of mature coconuts and is sweet, thick, and full of flavor.

But what sets it apart is its high sugar content.

That means you can add sweetness to any drink or dessert without needing extra sweeteners.

Piña coladas are a great example of how Cream of coconut can be used.

Its velvety texture and tropical sweetness make any beverage indulgent.

And for desserts, its richness will take your creations to the next level.

What about coconut cream? It’s also made from coconuts, but there’s no added sugar.

It’s simply blended ripe coconut meat, so it’s thick and has a mild sweetness.

What is Coconut Cream?

Coconut cream is a thick, creamy liquid that can be extracted from mature coconuts.

It’s made by squeezing grated coconut meat.

This ingredient is popular in Southeast Asian and Caribbean dishes.

Its unique texture and flavor make it perfect for sweet and savory recipes.

The cream’s high fat content gives it its dense texture and smooth mouthfeel.

It’s a better choice than coconut milk, which has more water and less fat.

It’s often used to make custards, puddings, and ice creams.

Coconut cream has several health benefits.

It contains MCTs, lauric acid, and essential vitamins and minerals.

MCTs provide quick energy, and lauric acid helps boost immune function.

In conclusion, coconut cream is a versatile ingredient with lots of flavor and nutrition.

It’s a must-have in any kitchen.

Try it for exotic flavors or just for a taste of the tropics.

Differences Between Cream of coconut and Coconut Cream

Cream of coconut and coconut cream are not the same.

Choose carefully – which one you choose depends on your taste and dietary needs.

Ingredients and Preparation

When it comes to coconut ingredients, it’s easy to get confused between Cream of coconut and coconut cream.

Both offer a creamy texture and flavor but have different qualities.

Cream of coconut is sweet and made from ripe coconut meat.

It has a thick consistency and a high sugar content.

So, it’s perfect for adding sweetness and texture to drinks like piña coladas.

Coconut cream is derived from mature coconuts grated and mixed with water.

It has a smooth texture and more fat than Cream of coconut.

It’s ideal for thickening curries, soups, and desserts in Asian cuisine.

These two cannot be used interchangeably in recipes because of their distinct characteristics.

Cream of coconut’s sweetness may overpower savory dishes, while coconut cream’s higher fat content may not provide enough sweetness for beverages.

In short, Cream of coconut is great for sweetening tropical drinks.

And coconut cream is excellent for thickening savory dishes and creating silky desserts.

Knowing the differences between these two will help you make the right choices when cooking or mixing drinks.

Consistency and Texture

Cream of coconut and coconut cream are not the same.

Cream of coconut has a thicker, richer texture, perfect for desserts and cocktails.

Coconut cream is thinner and smoother – ideal for curries and soups.

Cream of coconut is the king of consistency.

Made from squeezing the meat of mature coconuts, it’s velvety smoothness adds richness to desserts.

Coconut cream has a lighter texture.

Grated coconuts are soaked and strained to make this thin, smooth liquid.

It blends nicely with savory dishes like curries, soups, and sauces.

Both Cream of coconut and coconut cream bring a tropical flavor profile to your creations.

Knowing the difference between them will ensure you choose the best ingredient for your dishes and drinks.

Flavor and Sweetness

Cream of coconut is known for its bold, tropical-tasting flavor.

It has a pleasant sweetness that’s well-balanced.

In contrast, coconut cream has a milder flavor with a hint of coconut.

Cream of coconut has a smooth, creamy texture which makes recipes richer.

Coconut Cream has a silky texture, adding a luscious touch without being heavy.

Cream of coconut is usually sweeter because of added sugar.

This makes it great for desserts and cocktails needing a hint of sweetness.

Coconut cream, however, has a more natural sweetness without sugar.

This makes it ideal for savory dishes to enhance the coconut flavor without making it too sweet.

Both Cream of coconut and Coconut Cream can be used in various cuisines worldwide.

You’ll often find them in Asian, Caribbean and Latin American dishes like curries, soups, sauces, desserts and drinks.

In conclusion, Cream of coconut and Coconut Cream both have coconut flavor.

However, they differ in intensity and sweetness.

It’s up to you to decide which to use based on your taste and the recipe.

Either way, these coconut products will bring an exotic twist to your cooking.

Uses in Recipes and Cocktails

Cream of coconut and coconut cream are both useful ingredients.

They provide a creamy texture and tropical taste to dishes and drinks.

Cream of coconut works great in desserts like coconut cake and pudding.

It adds sweetness and velvety consistency, making them yummy treats.

It can also be used in smoothies, or as a topping for pancakes and waffles.

When it comes to cocktails, Cream of coconut is perfect for piña coladas.

Blending with pineapple juice and rum, it creates a refreshing drink.

It can also be used to make creamy cocktails like the Coconut Martini or Coconut Mojito.

Coconut cream is often used in savory recipes like curries and soups.

Its thicker consistency is great for thickening sauces and adding a luxurious creaminess.

It can also be added to marinades for grilled meats or veggie stir-fries, giving them a coconut flavor.

In conclusion, Cream of coconut and coconut cream are both versatile ingredients.

They can be used in sweet and savory recipes and cocktails.

With these ingredients, you can explore your culinary creativity and bring paradise to your kitchen.

Similarities Between Cream of coconut and Coconut Cream

Cream of coconut and coconut cream have some similarities.

Both come from coconuts and are thick and creamy. But, there are differences.

Cream of coconut is typically sweetened and used in cocktails and desserts.

It has water, coconut milk, extract, and thickeners.

Coconut cream is the top layer of refrigerated coconut milk.

It is thicker than regular coconut milk but less sweet.

Cream of coconut is often used in mixed drinks and desserts due to its sweetness and tropical flavor.

Coconut cream, being less sweet, is more versatile.

It can be used in curries, soups, sauces, and marinades for a subtle nutty flavor.

How to Use Cream of coconut and Coconut Cream in Cooking

Coconut cream and Cream of coconut may sound the same, but they have unique uses when cooking.

Coconut cream is the creamy liquid found in a can of coconut milk.

It’s great for curries, soups, and desserts. Cream of coconut is different.

It’s made with added sugar and is delicious in tropical cocktails and desserts.

Coconut cream is very versatile.

Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it perfect in savory and sweet dishes.

It can also be a dairy substitute in vegan or lactose-free recipes.

In sweet recipes, coconut cream adds a tropical twist.

It’s great as a topping or in smoothies and ice creams.

Cream of coconut has its own role.

It adds sweetness and richness to cocktails and desserts.

Its syrupy consistency blends well with rum or fruit juices.

It’s also great to drizzle over cakes or blend into frosting.

Coconut cream and Cream of coconut have different characteristics.

Coconut cream is suitable for savory and sweet recipes, while Cream of coconut is best for tropical cocktails and desserts.

Understanding the difference means more creative cooking and a burst of coconut flavor.

Where to Buy Cream of coconut and Coconut Cream?

Options abound when it comes to buying Cream of coconut and coconut cream.

Grocery stores often have them in their Asian or international food sections.

Specialty stores selling ingredients from various cuisines also carry these products.

If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, several retailers offer a wide variety of brands and packaging sizes.

You can easily order these products from the comfort of your own home.

No matter where you shop, you’re sure to find Cream of coconut and coconut cream to make your culinary creations extra special.


In the end, both coconut cream and cream of coconut have their own unique use cases.

While cream of coconut’s main purpose is mainly for drinks and flavoring, coconut cream is more versatile in terms of its uses.

To summarize, if you’re looking to add a rich coconut flavor to a dish or drink mix then go with the cream of coconut – it’s sure to deliver.

Otherwise, if you want a less sweet, thicker texture then coconut cream is the better choice for your needs.

Even though there may be subtle differences between cream of coconut and coconut cream at first glance, you now can make an informed decision about which product would be best suited for your culinary needs.

So no need to be perplexed by these two ingredients; they are easy to work with – regardless of whether you choose one over the other.

Cream of coconut vs Coconut Cream: What’s the Difference?

Distinguishing between cream of coconut and coconut cream? Look no further! Explore the precise differences between these two coconut-based ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cream of coconut
  • Coconut Cream


  • Differentiate between cream of coconut and coconut cream based on your recipe requirements.
  • Follow your recipe instructions, using the chosen coconut product as specified.
  • Incorporate it into your dish, adjusting the quantity to match your taste and the recipe’s needs.
  • Savor the distinctive flavors and creaminess of either cream of coconut or coconut cream in your culinary creation.
  • Experiment with various recipes to explore the versatility of these coconut-based ingredients.
Keyword Cream of coconut vs Coconut Cream
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