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Friday
Apr272012

How to Make Coconut Butter

 

Coconut Butter: Easy to make and a great substitute for peanut or almond butter!If you love coconut butter, raise your hand!

Coconut butter is a densely nutritious spread made from whole, raw coconut flesh and is loaded with medium-chain fatty acid-rich oil, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. I've been using it as a spread on toast, much the same as I would peanut butter or almond butter.

One of my readers and suppliers on Etsy, Claudine, and I had an email exchange recently on the best way to make coconut butter. We love brands like Artisana and Tropical Traditions, but knew there had to be a way to make it from scratch.

We tried blitzing coconut flakes in a food processor.

No go. Not smooth enough.

Then tried a mini batch in a coffee grinder.

No good. That just resulted in coconut meal.

We both have Blendtecs and considered ordering the Blendtec Twister Jar specifically designed for thick blending. But we didn't want to fork out the money. That's when we agreed that adding liquefied coconut oil to our blend could possibly be the trick.

And it was.

This stuff is unbelievably easy to make in a high-powered blender such as a Blendtec, OmniBlend or Vitamix.  You can sweeten it, add some cocoa powder, or leave it as is. This recipe yields a coconut butter that remains spreadable at room temperature.

Coconut Butter

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Tree Nut-Free (exception of coconut) | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Sweetener-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Vegan | Raw | Paleo

Makes:  2-1/4 cup
Prep Time:  4 minutes

Ingredients:

5 cups shredded COCONUT, unsweetened (not reduced fat or fat free)
1/3 cup COCONUT OIL, liquefied

Directions:

  1. Add 3 cups coconut and oil to high-powered blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as needed.
  3. Add another cup of flakes and blend until smooth.
  4. Add final cup of flakes and blend on high until super smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  5. The mixture will be runny. Pour into airtight container and transfer to fridge to firm up.
  6. Store at room temperature or in fridge.

How to Use Coconut Butter

This week I turned to my dear Lexie's Kitchen Facebook followers for ideas on how they use coconut butter. Here's what they said:

Deanna: Oh man a million things. I love coconut butter cookies (recipe here)

Suzanne: I mix it with cocoa powder and put it on coconut milk ice cream or banana soft serve. I also love it on sweet potatoes.

Maggie: I'm dreaming of a frosting that's made of coconut butter...

Rachel: Whipped with some maple syrup, vanilla, and a little extra coconut oil makes a really good frosting! I also use about a tablespoon blended into about one cup water as the "coconut milk" in my smoothies.

Deanna: I do what Rachel does, too - sub it with some warm water for coconut milk (in a pinch). I also ALWAYS make it from scratch. I've never bought it already made.

Monique: It's great to thicken up Thai curries :)

Alta: I eat it with a spoon. I've also used it in cookies (like a thin nut butter) and while making a "frosting" for cinnamon and orange-cranberry rolls. But honestly, eating it with a spoon is best.

Jenn: Brown rice krispy treats. Use the coconut butter instead of marshmallow.

Leanne: Frosting for cupcakes!

Kelly: I just mix coconut butter, cocoa and date paste together for a sweet paleo treat...not exactly a recipe but it hits the spot.

Audrey: As part of the ingredients in opera fudge (white).

And Love it Too: I have used mine in sweet potato mash, on top of shrimp (when my shellfish allergic child was away at scout camp),  and in place of butter on grain-free pancakes and waffles.

As for me, coconut butter gives these crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside maple macaroons a double dose of coconut goodness.

Thanks for all the great ideas!

How do you make and use coconut butter?

Reader Comments (41)

Ooo - instead of marshmallow in rice crispy treats? I'm going to have to try that for the kiddo.

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

Thank you for posting this!

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVicky

Awesome! I can't wait to try this. I have some unsweetened coconut waiting, and now I can try my frosting :) Have you tried using this in baking yet? I'm just wondering if the coconut oil will change anything? Thanks Lex!

April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Deanna ... I had to try it, too and it worked pretty well. I used 1/3 cup coconut butter, 1/3 cup honey, pinch of salt and some vanilla powder (if I recall) and mixed it with 2 or 3 cups of rice cereal (I think Erewhon would be best). I baked mine for about 8 minutes, but probably unnecessary ... could just chill a bit in fridge. Let me know what you come up with.

xoLexie

April 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Oh and Deanna ... check out Attune foods and search under rice krispy treats and you should come up with Alisa's version of coconut krispy treats.

April 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Vicky, you are so welcome : )

Maggie, yes I baked some rice krispie treats (see above comment) and also the macaroons I linked to in the post. The macaroons came out just like the ones I make with Artisana ... I think chilling in fridge always help set them after baking.

xoLexie

April 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Oh my goodness, Lexie, this is unbelievably fantastic! I will definitely be making my own coconut butter now. I don't know what I'll be doing with it yet other than dipping a big old spoon in it for a bite (like Alta said, I love the Artisana coconut butter that way). But I'm already thinking of awesome possibilities! Thank you!!!

xo,
Shirley

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

I LOVE homemade coconut butter (and your photo makes it look even better)! I use a VitaMix, but I actually don't even add the extra oil--still works!. There are so many great ideas here for using it--can't wait to try out the Thai curry idea (and cookies, of course). :) My own fave is something I call "Spiced Carob Coconut Bark"--basically coconut/walnut butter with carob and Chai spices. A great candy-like treat. :D

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Great post! I make it in a blender and add a little coconut milk and a little coconut oil. I use it in my raw chocolate orange truffles!

Hello! I was wondering if this would still work without a high speed blender aka a food processor or regular blender. I have (unsuccessfully) tried to make coconut butter in my food processor, using just shredded coconut, and after almost a week of blending (and zero creaminess) I gave up! I want to try again with this recipe, but am afraid that without the high speed blender it will not work. Any advice?? I really want this to work bc I live in Spain and cannot find coconut butter anywhere! Thank you so much!

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBea

iNsanely perfect! What an awesome inexpensive way to have the real deal. ThANK you! xx

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn

Robyn: So you made a batch? Woo hoo! So easy, right?! Thanks for reporting back. Love it!

Bea: In my post I mentioned the failed food processor attempt. It can sort be done, but won't come out as smooth as in a high-powered blender. Maybe someone out there has had success in the food processor and can help us out : )

xoLexie

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Genius!!! Thank you so much for this recipe!!! I live in Norway where this stuff in jars costs a small fortune. Made some this morning, and if I could fit my head in the blender, I would have licked it clean. Yay!

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally Haugen

Ha ha Sally! Love it. Thanks for reporting back : ) xoLexie

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

I made some! In a new, red, BlendTec: the coconut butter is out of this world good. The macaroons made with the coconut butter were the best, and even the picky eaters in the house loved them. To me this is like marzipan which I always crave, but never have. Except I think this coconut butter is actually better and more versatile than marzipan (almonds and sweetener), as the basic ingredient for so many things. It always tastes fresh. Love your blog, Lexie!

May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPoha

I just may be the only person on your blog to fail at coconut butter. It took some investigating and 3 batches to figure out my problem... My shaved coconut was reduced fat. I even put in TONS of coconut oil.... Still bad. I was so excited and now, not so much....I don't mean to sound like such a downer, just very discouraged...Got any advice other then keep at it?

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Hi Melanie, sorry you are having problems. I just made another batch today and it turned out great. The keys ... a high-powered blender like a blendtech, vitamix or omniblend (and amped upt to high) and unadulterated dried and shredded coconut ... not defatted (I'm not even sure how they go about defatting shredded dried coconut). I buy my coconut from our local Natural Grocer in the bagged bulk section. I hope that helps. xoLexie

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

I made this tonight and it is nice and smooth but kind of crumbly. I am not sure if I just didn't go long enough or what...I was hesitant to go any longer because the mix was steamy and I didn't want to burn out my Vitamix.

May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

Thanks for this recipe! I found you though a pin on pinterest. I was anxious to try this so I cut the recipe down and use my coffee grinder. It worked pretty well, having never tried coconut butter I thought it was pretty good. Then I couldn't find the recipe again after I got my high powered blender yesterday but remembered the basics. I wasn't sure it was going to work but I kept at it and it is so smooth. My tip is just keep blending :)

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Oh I also let my blender rest each time I scraped the butter down. I was worried about burning it out also (not that this should do that)

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Suzanne ... jumping for joy for your blender purchase. I love love love mine!!! And thanks for the report :) xoLexie

June 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

I've made "fudge" with homemade coconut cream (just coconut in the food processor, takes a long time and lots of breaks because it smokes) and I LOVE it.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

but then...I've never had the store-bought stuff, so I don't really know what I'm missing :o)

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Hi!
I was looking for a way to made a shortbread-type crust for a raw pie. I put dry coconut into my Cuisinart Food Processor, and just let it run, except for stopping it to scrape down the sides now and then so all would get blended. AT LAST, it started to look pretty oily, and it balled together, pulling away from the sides and into a dough. It took quite awhile, maybe 10 minutes. I was about to give up many times. But I just let it run (at least Cuisinarts are quiet!) and it finally made an amazing shortbread crust that held together quite well.

I can't remember now, but I might have pulsed just a bit of agave or honey into it AFTER it was a dough. Don't try to do that at first or I don't know if the coconut would ever get powdered. It has to be totally dry (food processor and blades too!) for this to work.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTirza

Next project:

I was trying to make some coconut milk because I was out of both canned and powdered. I thought, why not just like any nut milk? All I had was bakery aisle packaged coconut so I put 1 package (2 cups) of unsweetened coconut into my Vitamix along with 4 cups of very warm water and let it sit until the water was cooler, but still a bit warm. This enables the coconut cells to soften, open and hydrate, releasing the milk. I blended it until it was all milky-slushy, then put it through a nut milk bag then poured the milk through the bag again to catch any sediment and grit.

I put the milk into the fridge, and when it chilled it had separated, leaving a solid disc of pure coconut fat on top, and the milk below. I took the disc of coconut butter put it in a separate container. It melted instantly on my tongue, and was not gritty.

However, I noticed that it tended to get rancid if not used within about 3 days. (The milk itself got a little "off" too after 3 days. You collect a fair bit of the fat if you are making the milk often to use in smoothies, iced coffee, soups, baking, etc., so I keep it in the fridge for short term use - or the freezer if I'm not going to use it all right away.

Warning - From the Voice of Experience! ... Don’t do this!
The next time I did it, I refrigerated the coconut and water before blending it because I didn't have time to strain it right then. I thought it would still be fine ... not! The cold mixture right from the fridge caused the fat from the coconut to just stick to the sides of the blender, and I had to go digging for it in the bottom of my Vitamix. You know how that is!! Not only that, but the slushy pulp didn't release the fat that was in it either, so I finally put the whole thing in a pot on the element above my oven to let it warm. THEN it squeezed out! So let it remain a little warm before blending it!!

BTW: you don't have to use a super-blender for this. As long as the water is warm, it softens the coconut and any blender can beat it around enough to release the milk. Then all you do is strain it.

Hope this didn't seem too complicated. I just like to try to explain things well. It is really so fast.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTirza

Tirza ... thanks for your tips and ideas. : ) xoLexie

July 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Nikki ... sounds delish!!! Thanks for sharing. xoLexie

July 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

I'm tryineg to make the butter but have fresh coconut so how does that work since its not dried and I am using a Ninja....seems like I have been blending for a bit but Im afraid its not working cuz I didn't use dried? Please help cuz I really want some butter cuz I have also started a new diet without hydrogenated fats and oils...and is the Ninja with an 1100 watt/amp sufficient enough to use since it has the two and three blades...should I use the bowl with the 2 blades or the pitcher with the 3 blades?

July 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Renee, I can't say if the ninja will work ... I do not have one ... so you just have to give a go. sorry there. And yes, you must use shredded DRIED coconut. Fresh will not work. xoLexie

July 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Lexie! I cannot thank you enough for this! I used this coconut butter in Kelly's mini boulder donuts! YUMMMMMM!!! thank you so much! I can't really afford a lot of specialty ingredients, so this helped me make my own! thank you! I love all the suggestions for using it!

Hooray for coconut butter! I came up with a fun recipe, for chocolate coconut butter candies - all raw ingredients. Check it out!

http://www.shortgirllongisland.com/2012/08/coconut-butter-chocolate-candy.html

Michele
short girl, long island

August 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Brilliant! I've tried my own coconut butter versions, but never thought to add oil. I will definitely try this!

August 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSonnet

I have a Vitamix and mine never got smooth. It just started smoking(?) and was really grainy...

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMallory

Mallory, I'm 99% sure it's not smoke (if it were the motor, you'd likely smell it burning). Actually it's very likely little particles of oil ... fine oil mist. Mine does the same (blendtec). Is your coconut older? Should be crunchy/crisp and fresh (shredded/dried). I watched this video last night and your damper tool (is that what it's called) may help. If Vitamix can make peanut butter, there is not reason why it shouldn't handle coconut butter. Especially with the addition of the oil as a liquid to aid in blending. It needs to blend for a while. You should notice it breaking down and becoming more runny and oily. If you want to, add a little more oil. xoLexie

http://blenderdude.com/videos/blendtec-vs-vitamix-peanut-butter-test/

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Oh and Mallory, just add a bit at a time like the recipe directs. Adding it all at one time does not work well. :)

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Hi, I can't wait to make this, but do you think the Magic Bullet would work as a "high powered blender"? It's pretty strong but has anyone used one?

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAfton

This a great video on Youtube how to crack a Coconut. By far this is best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2UyVEm4Osg

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

So I followed the directions exactly. I'm blending & blending away & NOTHING is happening except my Vitamix is getting crazy hot. I'm reading through the comments to see if anyone else had trouble. Hmm, nope, just me. Then I picked up my bag of Let's Do Organic shredded coconut & notice that it says "40% less fat" on it! It was "low fat" coconut!!! What?!? Who does that? And how did I manage to buy it? Well, after the mystery was solved I just dumped in tons of coconut oil & managed to salvage it. But yeesh... So just a word to other readers, if it's not working check out your bag of coconut. Or maybe only I would make that mistake;-)

_________________________

Thanks for the investigative report Laura :) xoLexie

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura W

Lexie, thank you soooo much!!!! I used my Vitamix and followed step by step and it turned out just like you said. It was SO YUMMY!!!! I put it on my sweet potato...so good!! I also for a snack/treat - Mixed some cacao powder, almond butter & coconut butter & dipped my apple in it...YUM!!! I have to find my recipes that called for it now lol

April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I use it to make
My granola mix

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Hi Karen, that sounds divine! Do you use it in place of oil? Do tell :) xoLexie

February 18, 2014 | Registered CommenterLexie

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