How to Make Dairy-Free Whipped Cream with Coconut Milk
If you love the taste and natural ingredients of homemade whipped cream but are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, there is a solution, and I don't mean the nasty hydrogenated kind that comes in an aerosol easy-squeeze can. You can make delicious non-dairy whipped cream with coconut milk. It's a bit tricky, but I have spent weeks perfecting my recipe for the holidays.
The recipe is simple, but the coconut milk is a bit tricky. I've included some important tips with the recipe below:
*enough dairy-free whipped cream for one standard dessert, like a trifle or an 8 in. pie
-one 13.5 oz can of first-press coconut milk (It's really important that you get the kind that is very thick.)
-1/3 cup powdered sugar
-flavoring options: seeds of one vanilla bean, 1/4 tspn cinnamon, 1/4 C cocoa powder
This is what it should look like when you open it-nice and thick. I've heard people suggest that you chill it first or strain it, but I don't. You should also try not to shake the can around or leave it upside down. There is separated water at the bottom of the can, and you want it to stay there.
**You might occasionally wind up with a can that has mixed together completely. ALWAYS buy a back-up can. For the first time tonight, I only bought one can. Naturally it just so happened to be a dud that was all mixed together. I cussed so loud that my neighbors probably think there is domestic violence going on in my home. It would be pretty embarrassing to explain to the cops that I was merely having a temper tantrum over ruined dairy-free whipped cream.
Assuming the milk in your can is perfectly separated, take a large slitted spoon and gently scoop out the top layer. Try your best not to dip the spoon down into the liquid. I always stear clear of the liquid even if it means wasting some of the thick part. If you need enough dairy-free whipped cream for a crowd, I'd recommend using two cans.
Now this is where it can get tricky. With regular whipping cream, you mix it fast immediately. However, when making dairy-free whipped cream, it's better to start out for a few minutes on low speed and gradually increase to medium speed.
After it starts to thicken a little, add your powdered sugar then beat that in on medium until it's completely blended. Then beat on high for a few more minutes until it is fluffy enough to form a little peek when you pull a whish out of it.
It will have a slightly coconut flavor to it. DO NOT use liquid flavoring. It will cause the cream to curdle. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flavoring options listed above, like vanilla beans, cinnamon or cocoa powder. If you have success so far and have a fluffy and slightly thick texture, it will thicken considerably after chilled. Refrigerate overnight for best results. Stays fresh in the fridge for a few weeks. For texture and flavor, it's best to use within a week.
Use your dairy-free whipped cream to make lots of holiday goodies like a dairy-free trifle, mousse, whoopie pies, a variety of cream pies, and of course to garnish a pumpkin pie.
*Recipe and photos by Krisztina Williams. All rights reserved.