Homemade Coconut Milk | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

HANDMADE: Coconut Milk

Save the leftover pulp to use in bliss balls or add to cakes and cookies. If using in baking you will need to reduce the liquid by 2-3 tablespoons to compensate for the wet coconut. The pulp can also be dried in a dehydrator or 50C oven - spread thinly on a lined tray and dry for around 4-6 hours.
Prep Time 10 minutes


You will need:

  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 bowls
  • colander
  • cheesecloth or clean tea towel


  • In a bowl measure out 2 cups desiccated coconut. Pour over 2 cups boiling water, stir and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Line a colander with cheesecloth or clean tea towel and tip in the soaked coconut. Use a wooden spoon to press out the milk then gather up the cheesecloth into a ball and squeeze out the remaining milk. Twisting and squeezing until all the milk is pressed out. Use the milk immediately in a curry or soup, or pour into a glass bottle and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Because handmade coconut milk contains no emulsifiers the creamy part will separate from the coconut water. To combine simply run the bottle under hot tap water to soften the creamy part then shake well to mix together. This is the reality of real food, which is often hidden with food additives to make it more attractive to the consumer [us!]. In the Pacific where coconut milk is made and used fresh everyday, the temperatures are higher so the creamy part does not solidify like it does in cooler climes.

I like to make everyday pantry ingredients from scratch as often as I can. Making fresh coconut milk means less waste and if I have an extra 10 minutes on my hands I like to make it myself to use in a curry or add to smoothies. It is so simple, I made this little video to show you how…

Homemade Coconut Milk | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

*Video made by my talented sister Ana Galloway.





Join the Conversation

  1. Hi there, thank you so much for your recipe. I was wondering if there is anything in particular you like to use the left over coconut pulp for? 🙂

    1. Hi Georgina, thanks for asking I was meaning to include this in the recipe. It can either be used damp in bliss balls or added to cakes and cookies. If using in baking you will need to reduce the liquid by about 2 tbsp to compensate for the wet coconut. Depends how well the coconut is squeezed out. It can also be dried in a dehydrator or 50C oven – spread on a lined tray until dry about 4-6 hours.

  2. Can’t wait to try this. I was only looking at labels on tins of coconut milk the other day, noticing a huge variety in additives and percentages of water and actual coconut product between different brands. Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. Thanks Jacqueline. I know, there are quite a few additives added for texture and emulsifying. Handmade is more natural but it will separate!

  3. Cecilia Strachan says:

    Can you use the coconut pulp to make bliss balls?

    1. Yes of-course! I was meant to include this. Just may need to reduce the liquid added by about 2 Tbsp.

  4. Here in Uruguay is very difficult to get coconut milk, this recipe will be very useful to me , thanks

  5. Hi Nicola, I have tried this method before and the result is quite thin/watery compared to the canned stuff. Any tips to make the milk creamier/thicker?

    1. Hi Floor, this recipe is for coconut milk not cream so it will be the consistency of creamy whole milk. The canned stuff often has emulsifiers and thickeners added to make it creamier. If you want to make it creamier try using 2 cups coconut with 1 OR 1 1/2 cups boiling water. It will be creamier but it won’t be thicker without adding a thickener. Guar gum or Xantham gum will thicken it somewhat naturally, try 1/2 tsp. Although some people find the vegetable gums irritate their stomach [myself included] and it is not recommended for people who are diagnosed with celiac disease as it acts in a similar way as gluten. Otherwise ground cashews are excellent for thickening but I haven’t tried this so not sure of the quantity.

      1. Thanks so much for your reply, Nicola. Will def experiment with boiling water and ground cashews!

  6. Your Coconut Milk recipe will be very useful for me. It adds flavour to breakfast cereals, Thanks Lorna

  7. Hi Nicola, I actually put the water and coconut in the blender, give it a good swirl, let it sit for about 10 min, another good swirl, and then strain it through a sieve. Beautiful and like you say great for curries, pumpkin soup etc. Cheers, Ingrid 🙂

    1. Thanks Ingrid, there are definitely more than one way to make coconut milk 🙂 Happy cooking!

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