How To: Make Coconut Milk

April 29, 2010 by Ali

If you….

  1. Love recipes that only take about 3 minutes of total prep time…
  2. Love all things coconut
  3. Don’t love all things coconut (like me…but I love this milk!)
  4. Love milk
  5. But maybe don’t like or can’t drink regular milk for various reasons
  6. Are a Vegan
  7. Don’t like paying for overpriced coconut milk in the stores
  8. Like being able to control the type/amount of sweetener in your coconut milk
  9. Have yet to ever experience the sweet, creamy, rich goodness of coconut milk…….

Then this recipe is for you!!!!!

Truly, it’s so fast, and so simple, so cheap, and so delicious that there’s no reason NOT to try it. :) It’s full of great nutrients, and can be used a zillion ways. (I’ve included a short list below of some possible uses, both in and out of the kitchen.) So grab a bag of coconut, and give it a try! I really think you’ll love it!

How To: Make Coconut Milk

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 4-5 cups coconut milk


  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar (or 6 drops stevia)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extractSoak coconut in water for 1-2 hours (do not discard water)


Soak coconut in water for 1-2 hours (do not discard water).

In a blender (or you could do small batches in a food processor), combine coconut, water, vanilla and honey and process on highest speed.

Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer (or a strainer bag, or cheesecloth would work), discarding solids. Serve or refrigerate.

Possible Uses:

Baking: can be used as a substitute for milk in a variety of baking recipes

Beverages: coffee, tea, smoothies, milkshakes, eggnog, pina coladas, or a variety of alcoholic beverages

Cooking: used in noodle dishes, rice dishes, grain dishes, stir-fry, etc., and it is called for especially in many Thai, Indian, African and Hawaiian dishes

Skin Care: used as a moisturizing face wash, mixed into water for a bubble bath, or even used as a hair conditioner

Ali's Tip:

This also works with sweetened coconut. Just omit the extra natural sweetener (honey, agave, stevia, etc.).

Recipe adapted from Elana's Pantry

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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16 thoughts on “How To: Make Coconut Milk

  1. Rice pudding is amazing made with coconut milk and served with mango!

    - Charlotte Cline

  2. Why is the canned stuff so thick?

    - Theresa

  3. Brilliant!! I LOVE coconut anything..I’m thrilled that I can make this at home!

    - Carrie B

  4. This is great!

    Just wondering – could you use milk instead of water? Also, could you leave in the coconut when using it in baking? or would that taste weird/awful?


    - Hana

  5. Saveur I was wondering the same thing, but I would guess that since you don’t discard the water, and the recipe calls for 4 cups it should yield at least 4 cups of coconut milk (maybe more)?

    - Margaret V

  6. This is a great idea but how much coconut milk would you say this yields?

    - saveur

  7. I have also heard that it is worth a double press. THe second rendering will yield light coconut milk.

    - Lori

  8. Why not use fresh coconut ?

    - MP

    • Hi MP,

      I live in the Midwest, where fresh (good!) coconut is pretty rare. But I’m sure fresh would be even better! :)


      - ali

      • I use fresh coconuts! You can use the ones in the stores as well. Crack open and grate with a cheese grater, add 1/2 cup hot water to the shreeded coconut and squeeze. I use a cheese cloth and squeeze the milk out by twisting the cloth. You can discard the remaining coconut or keep it to make homemade shredded coconut.

        - Tina

  9. “If you….Are a Vegan…Then this recipe is for you!!!!!”

    Vegans don’t eat Honey…

    - Drew

  10. Wow I never knew it was this easy! Yum!

    - A Bowl Of Mush

  11. I never would have guessed… I can’t wait to try this!

    I am a sucker for coconut milk :D

    - Kaitlin