It can be hard to find dairy-free replacements for whipped cream and frosting, but coconut whipped cream does the trick! I've been making this for a few years now, so it's not a new or original idea, but a recipe I thought worth sharing. It works great for so many things. I love it as a simple frosting, with fresh fruit, in my Banana Pudding Pie, or to top a dairy-free hot chocolate.
The most important step in making coconut whipped cream is choosing the right coconut milk/cream. Some stores are starting to carry full cans of straight cream. I've found cans at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Native Forest also has one available right here on Amazon. If you do use a full can of coconut cream, you'll need to double the amount of sweetener and vanilla that I listed below.
If you're using a can of coconut milk, I've had good success using Whole Foods, Native Forest, Thai Kitchen, and Natural Value. The trick to using a can of coconut milk for this recipe is to refrigerate the can overnight and DO NOT SHAKE IT. If you don't refrigerate the can, you won't give the cream an opportunity to separate from the water. If there is any water in your cream, it won't whip up properly and will just fall flat.
Making coconut whipped cream is fairly simple, but to be honest the results can come out different every time you make it. I've heard this countless times from others who have made it as well. You can do everything right and still have your whipped cream occasionally flop. The results really do vary based on brand and even the individual can of coconut milk that you have. In our house a failed, flat whipped cream is still tasty and not wasted. But, if I'm making this for a special occasion I always have a backup can in the fridge.
Powdered sugar is my sweetener of choice in this recipe, but you can also experiment with granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup, or powdered Stevia for a Keto option.
Dairy - Free Coconut Whipped Cream (vegan)
makes about 1.5 cups of whipped cream
One 15 oz can of full-fat coconut milk
1 - 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (to taste. will depend on how sweet your coconut milk is)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Refrigerate your can of coconut milk overnight, or for a minimum of 6 hours. It needs to be well chilled. I like to also refrigerate my mixing bowl and whisk attachment for about 15 minutes before I make this.
Take your can out of the refrigerator, being very careful not to shake it, turn it, or slosh the water around. Take off the top of the can, and carefully scoop the solidified cream out, being careful not to scoop up any of the water at the bottom of the can. You can save the water to use in other recipes.
Add the cream to your chilled bowl and whip it with your whisk attachment on medium speed for 2 -5 minutes. The cream should get light and fluffy with soft peaks. 4 minutes is usually my sweet spot, but it varies depending on the can you have. Add in your sugar and vanilla, and whip until combined. Taste for your desired level of sweetness.
I like to use this immediately, but it will keep in the fridge for a few days. If it hardens again after refrigeration, you can give it another whip.