How many oz is a standard can of coconut milk?

Coconut milk has become an increasingly popular ingredient in recent years, used in both sweet and savory dishes. Its rich, creamy texture makes it a great dairy substitute in recipes. Coconut milk comes in a few different formats – cartons, cans, and tetra packs. Canned coconut milk is very common and useful to keep on hand in the pantry. But how much coconut milk is actually in a standard size can? Let’s take a closer look at coconut milk cans and how many ounces they typically contain.

What is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk comes from the flesh of mature brown coconuts. To make coconut milk, the coconut meat is grated and soaked in hot water to extract the flavorful liquid. The soaked coconut is then strained to remove any solids. The resulting milk has a smooth, creamy consistency.

Coconut milk contains about 94% water and 5% fat. The fat content is much higher than other plant-based milks like almond or oat milk. This gives coconut milk its rich texture that mimics the creaminess of dairy milk. The fat in coconut milk comes from the coconut meat and is saturated fat.

Coconut milk has a sweet, nutty flavor that works well in both sweet and savory dishes. Its rich body makes it a popular choice for curries, stews, soups, oatmeal, smoothies, coffee creamer, and more. Full-fat coconut milk can be used in place of heavy cream in recipes.

Canned vs. Carton Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is available in a few forms. The main types are:

– Cans – Coconut milk is widely available in cans. Canned coconut milk has typically been cooked and contains stabilizing gums and emulsifiers to prevent separation. Shaking the can before opening will reincorporate everything.

– Cartons – Shelf-stable coconut milk is also sold in cartons, similar to milk and non-dairy milk cartons. This type of coconut milk contains fewer additives but still provides long shelf life.

– Tetra Packs – Coconut milk in aseptic tetra packs can be found in the international aisle of grocery stores. This type of coconut milk has minimal processing and no stabilizers. It should be refrigerated after opening.

Canned coconut milk is very convenient to stock in the pantry. It has a shelf life of about 18 months unopened. Canned coconut milk is already mixed and ready to pour straight into recipes. The canned format also allows for Small Tall nutrition labels more coconut milk per can compared to cardboard cartons.

Standard Can Sizes

Coconut milk cans are available in a few standard sizes:

– 5.4 ounce – The smallest cans are typically 5.4 oz (160 ml). This size contains about 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

– 13.5 ounce – The most common coconut milk can size is 13.5 oz (400 ml). This is considered a standard can and contains around 1 1/4 cups of coconut milk.

– 15 ounce – Some brands sell 15 oz (450 ml) cans, which provide 1 1/3 cups of coconut milk.

– 27 ounce – Large cans of coconut milk hold 27 oz (800 ml), or 3 1/4 cups. These are great for preparing large batches of curry or soup.

So a standard 13.5 oz can of coconut milk contains around 1 1/4 cups or 10 fluid ounces. The 13.5 oz size is the most popular size and available from nearly all brands.

Nutrition Information

The nutrition facts can vary slightly between brands, but here are the approximate nutrition facts for a 13.5 oz can of regular coconut milk:

Nutrition Facts Amount Per Serving
Calories 445
Total Fat 43g
Saturated Fat 41g
Sodium 70mg
Total Carbohydrates 5g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 3g
Protein 2g

As you can see, canned coconut milk is high in saturated fat and calories since it contains concentrated coconut flesh. But it provides few carbohydrates and no fiber or added sugars.

The total fat and saturated fat content is mainly from the coconut itself. Coconut milk is dairy and lactose-free, making it a good option for vegans and those with dairy intolerance.

Light vs Full Fat

Coconut milk comes in both regular and light varieties. Full fat coconut milk contains all the creamy coconut extract with nothing removed. This has about 43g total fat per serving.

Light coconut milk is diluted with water to reduce the fat and calorie content by about 50%. Light coconut milk contains 20-23g fat per serving. It has a thinner, less rich texture.

Light coconut milk works well for recipes where you want the flavor but not the heavy creaminess of full fat coconut milk. But for many uses, like curries, the full fat coconut milk is best.

Canned Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Cream

In addition to regular coconut milk, you can also find canned coconut cream. Coconut cream contains more coconut extract than coconut milk, making it extra thick and rich.

Coconut cream has about 55-60% fat content, whereas coconut milk is about 18-25% fat. The increased fat and lower water content gives coconut cream a thicker, spoon-coating consistency.

While coconut milk works well as a milk substitute, coconut cream has a texture more like dairy whipping cream. It can be used as a vegan substitute for whipped topping or thickened cream.

Coconut cream is great for making decadent desserts, sauces, soups, and curries that need some extra indulgence. A 13.5 oz can of coconut cream holds around 1 cup.

Separation in the Can

Canned coconut milk often separates in the can, with a thick cream layer at the top and thinner watery milk at the bottom. This is completely natural and normal.

The thick cream layer is mostly coconut fat. Before using the coconut milk, simply shake the can well to re-emulsify the layers. The coconut solids and liquid will blend back together into creamy milk.

Pouring out just the thick layer will give you very thick coconut cream. Mixing everything together provides lighter coconut milk.

If your recipe calls for “skimmed” coconut milk, you can scoop out the thick cream layer and just use the thinner liquid. But usually recipes want everything mixed together.

How to Measure Coconut Milk from a Can

Canned coconut milk can be measured a few ways in recipes:

– By volume – Use measuring cups to scoop out the desired amount of coconut milk. Make sure to shake the can first.

– By ounces – You can measure coconut milk directly from the can using the fluid ounce markings on the side.

– By tablespoons or cups – Some recipes call for coconut milk in tablespoons or cups. Scoop this out with proper measuring spoons or cups.

– By fat percentage – Certain recipes depend on the right ratio of fat to liquid in coconut milk. In this case, you would skim cream or add water to adjust fat percentage.

When only part of a can is used, transfer the unused portion to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4-5 days. Give it a good stir before each use.

Tips for Using Canned Coconut Milk

Canned coconut milk makes cooking and baking easier. Here are some tips for using it:

– Shake the can well before opening to distribute the fat and liquid layers. The milk should look smooth and creamy, not watery.

– For thicker milk, scoop the solid cream layer off the top and add it back in. For thinner milk, add a bit of water.

– If the coconut milk smells rancid or spoiled, throw it out. Unopened it lasts about 18 months. Opened, it’s good 4-5 days in the fridge.

– Substitute light coconut milk in recipes if you want less fat and calories. But full fat milk works best for creamy sauces and curries.

– Look for BPA-free cans to avoid this harmful chemical. Certain brands also offer organic coconut milk options.

– Mix into hot liquid a bit at a time to prevent curdling and greasiness in soups or oatmeal.

– Rinse canned coconut milk well before recycling metal cans. The leftover fat can otherwise ruin recycling equipment.

Coconut Milk Recipes

Canned coconut milk can make both sweet and savory dishes extra creamy and delicious. Try using it in recipes like:

– Curries – Add richness to any type of curry from Thai green to Indian styles. It balances out spicy heat.

– Soups – Creamy tomato soup, butternut squash, or other vegetable soups shine with coconut milk.

– Oatmeal – For creaminess without dairy, mix a few tablespoons into your morning oats.

– Smoothies – Blend with fruit for a tropical flavored, creamy treat.

– Coffee – Add a splash to your morning coffee for a sweet coconut latte.

– Chia pudding – Combine chia seeds and coconut milk for a decadent no-bake dessert.

– Whipped cream – Chill cans of coconut cream to whip up dairy-free topping.

– Ice cream – Blend frozen coconut milk in an ice cream maker or freezer for healthy summertime treats.

– Sauces – Make coconut milk gravy, creamy pasta sauce, or stir into pan sauces.

With so many uses, canned coconut milk is a versatile pantry item to have on hand. The standard 13.5 ounce can provides 1 1/4 cups of coconut milk, perfect for small batches of recipes. Shake cans before opening, then pour out only what you need. Refrigerate opened coconut milk up to a week. Enjoy the luxurious creaminess in both sweet and savory dishes.


To summarize, a standard can of coconut milk contains 13.5 fluid ounces, which equates to approximately 1 1/4 cups. Coconut milk is made from grated coconut meat soaked in hot water and then strained for a rich, creamy milk. Canned coconut milk provides a convenient format, long shelf life, and easy pouring and measuring. Just be sure to shake cans before opening, as the coconut solids and liquid separate while sitting on the shelf. Whether using coconut milk in curries, baked goods, smoothies, or coffee, the 13.5 ounce can size works well for many recipes. Now that you know about how many ounces come in a standard coconut milk can, you can stock up with confidence and enjoy incorporating this versatile ingredient into your cooking.

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