Coconut whipped topping is dairy-free. It does not contain any dairy ingredients like milk, cream, butter, or cheese. Coconut whipped topping is made from coconut milk and coconut oil. This makes it a vegan and dairy-free alternative to regular whipped cream.
What is Coconut Whipped Topping?
Coconut whipped topping, also sometimes called coconut whipped cream, is a plant-based alternative to dairy-based whipped cream. It is made by whipping coconut milk and coconut oil together with sweeteners and stabilizers until light and fluffy.
The main ingredients in coconut whipped topping are:
- Coconut milk – The creamy liquid extracted from mature coconuts provides the base and coconut flavor.
- Coconut oil – Added for extra richness and coconut taste.
- Sugar or sweetener – Usually cane sugar or agave nectar to sweeten the topping.
- Stabilizers – Thickeners like cornstarch or gums help coconut whipped topping hold its shape.
- Natural flavors – Often vanilla or other extracts to enhance the flavor.
Once these ingredients are combined and whipped, the coconut fat solidifies into a light, airy texture very similar to regular dairy whipped cream. But since it contains no actual dairy ingredients, coconut whipped topping is completely dairy-free.
Why Coconut Whipped Topping is Dairy-Free
Coconut whipped topping contains no milk, cream, butter, or any other dairy derivative. Here are the reasons why it is dairy-free:
- Uses coconut milk instead of dairy milk or cream – Coconut milk provides the creamy texture without the dairy.
- Gets fat content from coconut oil, not butter – Plant-based, dairy-free coconut oil contributes the rich mouthfeel.
- Does not contain milk proteins like casein or whey – These milk-derived proteins are not present.
- Does not contain lactose – Coconut milk and oil have no lactose, the milk sugar that some people are intolerant to.
- Typically made in dairy-free facilities – Most major brands manufacture coconut whipped topping in dedicated dairy-free facilities.
Brands that specialize in dairy-free foods also rigorously test their coconut whipped toppings to ensure they remain dairy-free during production. So coconut whipped topping contains 0% dairy and is safe for people with dairy allergies, intolerances, or vegan diets.
Nutrition Facts of Coconut Whipped Topping
Since coconut whipped topping contains no dairy, its nutrition facts differ quite a bit from regular whipped cream. Here is a nutrition comparison of 2 tablespoons (30g) of dairy whipped cream versus coconut whipped topping:
|Dairy Whipped Cream
|Coconut Whipped Topping
As you can see, coconut whipped topping has a very similar calorie and fat content to dairy whipped cream. However, since it lacks dairy, coconut whipped topping contains no protein or calcium. It also contains medium-chain triglyceride fats from coconut oil instead of the saturated animal fats found in regular whipped cream.
Common Brands of Coconut Whipped Topping
Many brands now offer coconut-based whipped toppings as plant-based alternatives to dairy whipped cream. Here are some of the most popular dairy-free coconut whipped topping options:
- So Delicious CocoWhip – One of the first coconut whipped products, CocoWhip is made from a blend of coconut milk and coconut oil. It’s available in original and low-fat varieties.
- Reddi-wip Plant-Based – Reddi-wip’s dairy-free whipped topping is made with almond and coconut milk. It comes in a spray can for easy topping application.
- Truwhip – Truwhip contains coconut cream and coconut oil for a light and fluffy texture. It’s kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
- Cool Whip Free – Cool Whip offers a dairy-free version made with coconut oil and faba bean protein. It has 30 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.
- Anita’s Coconut Whipped Cream – Anita’s is made with organic coconut milk and oils. It’s gluten-free and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
All of these popular brands use coconut products to create dairy-free whipped toppings. Look for them in the refrigerated section with other dairy-free items like plant-based yogurts and non-dairy ice cream alternatives.
How to Make Your Own Coconut Whipped Topping
It’s also easy to whip up your own homemade coconut whipped topping. Here is a simple recipe to try:
- 1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Chill a mixing bowl and beaters in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Scoop out the solid cream portion into the chilled bowl, leaving behind the liquid coconut water.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the chilled beaters, beat the coconut cream on high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add in confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat again on high for 1 minute.
- Use immediately as a whipped topping, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
This easy homemade coconut whipped cream recipe takes just 5 minutes of active prep time. Chilling the coconut milk helps separate the creamy solids from the liquid for whipping up a perfect fluffy texture. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to taste or add different extracts and spices for flavor variations.
How to Use Coconut Whipped Topping
Coconut whipped topping can be used in all the same ways as regular dairy whipped cream. Some delicious ways to use coconut whipped cream include:
- Topping for cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, or other desserts
- Frosting for cakes and cupcakes
- Filling between cake layers
- Topping for pies, cobblers, crisps, and fruit desserts
- Fold into fruit for coconut whipped cream fruit salad
- Dollop on oatmeal, chia pudding, yogurt, or ice cream
- Use as a garnish for hot cocoa, milkshakes, and smoothies
- Sipable topping for cold brew coffee, milk tea drinks, etc
- Swirl on pancakes, waffles, crepes, and other breakfast foods
Coconut whipped topping adds a light sweet fluffy texture and tropical coconut flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Its neutral flavor pairs well with fruits, chocolate, caramel, nuts, spices, and more.
Should Coconut Whipped Topping be Refrigerated?
Yes, coconut whipped topping should always be refrigerated. The coconut cream and oil solidify when chilled, which creates the whipped texture. At room temperature, coconut whipped topping will melt back into a liquid state.
To maintain the light and airy texture, store coconut whipped topping:
- In an airtight container in the refrigerator
- At 40°F or less
- For up to 7-10 days after opening
Coconut whipped cream can also be frozen for longer storage. It may need to be re-whipped after thawing to restore the fluffy consistency. But it will still be smooth and creamy when melted.
For convenience, many brands offer coconut whipped topping in shelf-stable spray cans. But these will still need to be refrigerated after opening. Check each product for specific storage instructions.
Possible Issues with Coconut Whipped Topping
Coconut whipped topping is generally well-tolerated, even among those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. But here are a few potential issues to be aware of:
- Coconut allergies – People with coconut allergies should avoid coconut whipped topping due to potential anaphylactic reactions.
- Added sugars – Coconut whipped creams often contain added sugars or sweeteners, which should be accounted for by people with diabetes or those avoiding added sugars.
- Fat content – While the fats in coconut are generally healthier, coconut whipped topping is still high in saturated fat.
- Preservatives or stabilizers – Some brands may use preservatives, gums, or starches as stabilizing agents, which certain people may wish to avoid.
As long as coconut whipped topping fits within an individual’s dietary needs and restrictions, it can be enjoyed as a tasty dairy-free topping option. But anyone with coconut allergies or who strictly manages sugars, fats, or food additives may need to exercise caution or avoid it.
Is Coconut Whipped Topping Healthier Than Dairy Whipped Cream?
Coconut whipped topping and dairy whipped cream share some similarities in their nutrition profiles – they are both high in calories and saturated fat. However, coconut whipped topping may have some advantages:
- Has MCTs from coconut oil – These medium-chain triglycerides are more easily used as energy by the body.
- Lactose-free – Dairy can cause digestive issues for those with lactose intolerance.
- No dairy allergens – Coconut whip won’t trigger dairy allergies.
- Plant-based – May fit better into vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian eating patterns.
- Potentially fewer additives – Many coconut whips have shorter ingredients lists than ultra-processed dairy whipped cream.
That being said, those with coconut allergies may react to coconut whipped topping. And coconut products still raise health concerns around saturated fat intake.
For most people, coconut whipped topping would be a somewhat healthier choice compared to regular whipped cream. But as with any food, moderation is key – both can be enjoyed occasionally as part of an overall balanced diet.
Coconut whipped topping provides a creamy, dairy-free alternative to traditional whipped cream. It is made from a base of coconut milk and coconut oil whipped into an airy fluff. Since coconut whipped topping contains no milk, cream, butter, or other dairy ingredients, it is completely dairy-free and safe for people with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Major brands like So Delicious, Truwhip, and Reddi-wip offer convenient coconut whipped products, or you can easily make your own at home. Coconut whipped cream can be used to top or fill cakes, fruit desserts, coffee drinks, and more for a tropical twist. Just be sure to keep it refrigerated to maintain the light whipped texture. Used occasionally in moderation, coconut whipped topping can be an enjoyable non-dairy topping option.