Toasted Coconut Butter

toasted coconut butter

It’s about time we talked about coconut butter. I’m sorry for keeping this nutty, spreadable goodness to myself for so long. I first learned about coconut butter when I made it for my raw, vegan fudge and I’ve kept a jar of it stashed in my cupboard ever since, replenishing my supply every time I run low.

In its most basic form, coconut butter is just unsweetened coconut flakes that have been whirred together in a food processor. Toast the coconut flakes, add some macadamia nuts and a dash of sea salt, and coconut butter becomes truly magical.

how to make coconut butter

Coconut butter is good on pretty much everything, but it does something amazing on cold stuff like ice cream and yogurt: it hardens into a magic shell-like topping! Coconut oil is, by the way, the magical ingredient in shell toppings. Like coconut butter, it solidifies at temperatures below 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coconut butter really adds an extra dimension of texture and flavor to chilled berries and vanilla bean Greek yogurt, as shown above. Drizzled over chocolate ice cream? Out of this world, I’m sure.

toasted coconut

Want more uses for coconut butter? Spread it on banana bread or pumpkin bread. Use it as natural icing for chocolate cake. Try pouring it over carrot cake pancakes or banana oat pancakes or whole wheat waffles. If you’re a coconut lover like myself, double the coconut by drizzling it onto coconut pancakes, coconut waffles or banana coconut muffins.

coconut butter recipe

I’ve made coconut butter about five times by now and have a few notes to share. First of all, don’t try to make tiny batches; the coconut flakes will fly to the sides of the food processor instead of sticking together. You need at least two cups’ worth of flakes in order for the coconut butter to come together. Coconut flakes reduce by one half in the process; in other words, two cups coconut flakes will yield about one cup coconut butter. Volume is an accurate indicator, however. Eight ounces coconut flakes will produce 8 ounces coconut butter (one cup). Homemade coconut butter will never be as perfectly smooth as store-bought, but I honestly like the faintly gritty texture.

Toast some of the coconut beforehand for fantastic nutty, toasty flavor. Add macadamia nuts and the mixture will come together more quickly, with less need to stop and scrape down the sides. I suspect this is because the extra fat in the nuts helps the coconut blend. I bet you could sub any other kind of nut for the macadamia nuts, depending on the desired flavor. A dash of sea salt does a world of good.

coconut butter on yogurt

4.0 from 1 reviews
Toasted Coconut Butter
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Coconut butter is super simple to make in a food processor. You can make it with just unsweetened, raw coconut flakes and a pinch of sea salt, or toast some of the coconut and add nuts like I did for more toasty, nutty flavor. The addition of macadamia nuts also seems to help the mixture come together more quickly.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts (optional)
  • dash sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, toast 2 cups of the coconut flakes, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer the coconut to a bowl.
  2. Again in a large skillet over medium heat, toast the macadamia nuts until lightly golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Transfer the toasted nuts to the bowl.
  3. In a food processor, combine the toasted coconut, 1 cup coconut flakes, toasted macadamia nuts and a dash of sea salt. Process the mixture, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, for about ten minutes or until the mixture is blended and as smooth as possible. Transfer to an air-tight, glass container (a pint-sized mason jar is perfect for this). Let the mixture cool to room temperature (the food processor warms the butter), screw on a lid and store at room temperature.
Notes
Preparation tips: Definitely use unsweetened coconut flakes, which you can find at health food stores. Sweetened coconut flakes will likely clump up in the food processor. If you'd like to sweeten the mixture, I suspect you could mix some agave nectar into the end product.
Storage suggestions: Coconut butter (like coconut oil) will solidify at temperatures below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why you do not want to store the coconut butter in the refrigerator. My coconut butter stays liquid during the warmer months (I just stir it with a spoon before serving to incorporate the oil back into the butter), but hardens during colder months.
Make it nut free: Skimp on the macadamia nuts.
How to melt coconut butter: Try placing the jar in a saucepan of gently simmering water for a few minutes (stir often and be careful!) or placing the jar on an electric candle warmer for a bit. You should only try these methods if the coconut butter is in a heat-safe glass jar. Note that the coconut butter is liable to burn if you try to microwave it for too long. I have never had any luck microwaving coconut butter so I don't recommend it.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve made coconut butter several times and never thought to use toasted coconut – what was I thinking!? I’ve got chocolate chunk coconut ice cream in the freezer, and I’m pretty sure this coconut “shell” will take it to the next level.

  2. says

    This looks fantastic, Kate. I often use cashew cream in soups instead of heavy cream – I bet this would be fantastic in soup too. I’m thinking coconut curry soup with tons of veggies. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. says

    Love the idea of toasting the coconut first, I bet it adds a really great depth of flavour. I wonder what it would be like using it in cakes or cookies…this is really got my mind whirring! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. sweet road says

    It’s like liquid white chocolate macadamia cookies… without the white chocolate, but who needs that?

  5. says

    I just broke out my store bought jar of it this morning to spread on a toasted english muffin and said to myself for the umpteenth time how I really just need to make my own while staring at the $12.95 sticker on the top of the jar. I really don’t know why I keep procrastinating that!

  6. says

    I have no idea why I thought I couldn’t make coconut butter with toasted coconut. It only makes sense that this would be SO much better than regular coconut butter. Gotta try this! The macadamia nuts sound absolutely amazing but we’ll see if I can find some ;)

  7. Louisa says

    This looks so dreamy! I’m so in nut butter since I made your version, now it seems I must get into coconut butter too.

  8. Lisa says

    Will Coconut oil go rancid of you leave it out? I thought so, so I have been keeping it in the fridge, and just nuking it briefly before I used it (as the oil for popping popcorn, for example, or to mix in with chocolate chips to make a chocolate sauce that hardens immediately on ice cream or when strawberries are dipped into it.)

    I’d appreciate your opinion; it would save a little time if I could keep it on the shelf, instead of in the refrigerator. Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Lisa, that’s a great question. I’m sure it could go rancid over time, but that said, I have always left my coconut butter and coconut oil at room temperature and neither have ever gone bad. If you can store it in a cool, dark place and consume it within, say, four months, I think you’d be just fine. I’m not entirely sure on that but I think mine has lasted at least that long!

  9. says

    Ever since you turned me onto your coconut muffins, I keep unsweetened shredded coconut on hand at all times. I had no idea that simply oureeing it would make such a magical concoction! Yum.

  10. Kat,lover of Coconut says

    What if you do not have a food processor? Any alternatives to that?
    Btw – words cannot explain how overjoyed I was to receive this in my email. Holy yum.

    • says

      Hey Kat, you might be able to make coconut butter in a high-powered blender. I haven’t tried it, though. Hope you can find a way to make some, I know you’d love it!

  11. says

    I live under a rock-I just discovered your blog and it’s so beautiful recipes, photos and writing.

    Coconut buter – a must make since I love coconut and I’m sure it will make a great base for so many things.

  12. Angela says

    Hi, I’m in the UK and I wondered if anyone knows where shredded coconut is the same as dessicate coconut?

    From the pictures it looks similar.

    Thanks
    Angela

  13. says

    How did I not know about this? It is genius: looks so perfect for pancakes and many other uses I’ll discover, I’m sure. Can’t wait to make it!

  14. laura says

    I am making it with fresh coconut and toasted almonds. I toasted the coconut and am blending but it isn’t getting “buttery”. Any thoughts? How long does the blending take? Thanks~

    • says

      I’m sorry, Laura, I was out of internet service when you commented. Did the coconut butter get buttery for you eventually? It may be that your almonds have a lower fat percentage than my macadamia nuts. When I’ve used only coconut flakes, it has taken ten to maybe fifteen minutes for it to really come together.

      • Laura says

        No, it never came together. I will try it again with flakes instead of a fresh coconut. Thanks for the reply.

        • says

          Ok, I am certain it will work with coconut flakes. I missed the part of your first comment when you mentioned that you were using fresh coconut—I suspect there is way too much moisture in fresh coconut for it to turn into butter.

  15. says

    I love your work! I saw you on Houzz, I have a tiny kitchen too. We call it a “one-butt” kitchen and with four children it gets cramped four times as quick. Just wanted to drop a line and let you know you are truly an artist with those photos, and such simple and elegant dishes. I envy the peace, but love the chaos!

    Blessings!

    p.s. Where would us whole-foodies be without our food processor?

  16. says

    I will try this soon. We have macadamia nuts growing here so I can get them as fresh as it gets :-)
    And I like coconut…. I am starting to discover all those nut butters (tried the pecan nut butter yesterday). So far I only knew about peanut butter- but I don’t like it.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      I am jealous that you have access to fresh macadamia nuts, Rahel! I have only recently realized how much better fresh nuts are. I hope you’ll give the coconut butter a try, I love it. I got bored and made sunflower seed butter yesterday but I’m not crazy about it. Maybe I’ll try cashew butter next!

  17. says

    Toasting the coconut would make this so delicious! I put a link to your recipe on my blog- where I posted how to use coconut butter and honey to make a dairy-free, table-sugar-free sweetened condensed milk.

    I am going to have to try coconut butter on lots more things- and to make it with macadamias!

    Thanks!

  18. Mariam says

    I bought a big bag of unsweetened coconut with the intention of making coconut butter, but as I was about to throw it into the blender I thought I’d toast if for flavaa! I added some rice malt syrup in thenendnand it’s delicious, even though I’m not the biggest coconut fan!
    I’ve tried making a small batch previously and it failed so now I won’t shy away from making huge batches. I wanna try Choc coconut next time!

    • says

      Your coconut butter sounds great, Mariam! Glad it worked out well for you this time. I have no doubt that chocolate coconut butter would be amazing.

  19. SophieE says

    Just made this (used my spice grinder). It’s delicious but doesn’t taste very different to regular coconut butter to me which is weird because I think the toasted flakes taste different to the untoasted flakes.

    • says

      Hmm, that is interesting. I think the toasted coconut butter has a more complex flavor than non-toasted. Nonetheless, hope you’re enjoying your results!

  20. M says

    Hi Kate,

    This was good, but I used whole macadamia nuts and I think the nutty flavor didn’t come through as much because they didn’t get as good a toasting as macadamia nut pieces like the ones in your photos. I would try this again with chopped nuts, otherwise the final product (as I made it, anyway) was not as flavorful as raw coconut butter, which I like a lot.

    • says

      M, I’m sorry the nuttiness didn’t come through in your coconut butter. I’m sure you’re right about the nut pieces. You might also like toasted coconut butter without the macadamias.

  21. Julia says

    This was SO good! I had made plain raw coconut butter once before which was delicious, but I was really excited to try your recipe with toasted coconut. I love that the macadamias made it a little more liquid-y and buttery. I ran out of the finely shredded coconut so about a third of it was the big (unsweetened) flakes and it worked just fine!

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