A while ago I bought a bulk-sized package of creamed coconut on Amazon. I was actually looking for coconut cream but I couldn’t find it; not realizing that several coconut products (creamed coconut, coconut cream, and cream of coconut) were named in a lawyer-like fashion with their meaning hinging on an ever-so-slight difference in word ordering, I bought a six-pack.
How different could creamed coconut really be from coconut cream?, I asked myself. I was about to find out.
Let’s just say, perhaps the only thing they have in common is that they’re made from coconut.
Here is what each coconut product is:
Coconut Milk: The liquid that comes from the grated meat of coconut. (I have a recipe for Homemade Coconut Milk here.)
Coconut Cream: The thicker, creamy portion of coconut milk that rises to the top if you put a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge. (Incidentally, the thinner part of the milk – the part that settles to the bottom – isn’t coconut water, although some people confuse it with coconut water.)
Coconut Water: Unlike coconut milk and coconut cream which come from the grated meat of coconut, coconut water is the clear liquid that’s found inside young coconuts.
Creamed Coconut: Compressed block of coconut flesh with a somewhat grainier texture than coconut cream, and pieces of coconut solids. (The only ingredient in the Let’s Do Organic brand of creamed coconut is organic coconut! Compare that with the cream of coconut ingredient list below.)
Cream of Coconut: Coconut cream with sweetener added (usually sugar), and a few other ingredients that aren’t easily pronouncable/recognizable (so I personally steer clear of this product). As an example, here’s the ingredient list from Coco Lopez’ Cream of Coconut (as seen on its Amazon page): Coconut, Sugar, Water, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Monostearate, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Alginate, Mono and Diglycerides (Emulsifiers), Citric Acid, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum.
It turns out purchasing creamed coconut was a happy accident for me, and I found that it has a large variety of uses. It can be made into homemade candy like this (or a more solid chocolate bar-type candy if not mixed with coconut milk); raw cookie dough balls or healthy truffles made with dried fruits and nuts; hot porridge (it melts on top!); homemade granola or granola bars; and soups or curries (start with just a couple tablespoons with a soup or curry – it has a lot of thickening power, especially once the dish starts to cool). This accident ingredient has now become a frequently used ingredient in my kitchen, soon to be re-stocked.
This candy is much healthier than traditional sugar-laden fudge; it subtly sweet, full of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants, and still super satisfying when a chocolate craving hits.
- 7 oz (200 g) creamed coconut
- 1 (14 oz/400 g) can full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ cup (30 g) finely chopped walnuts
- Line a large mini muffin pan with paper liners.
- Melt the creamed coconut and coconut milk together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Continue heating the coconut mixture until fully melted, then whisk in the cocoa powder until fully incorporated and turn off the heat. Stir in all remaining ingredients.
- Fill each lined mini muffin well with about 1½ tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and transfer to the fridge to chill completely.
- Once chilled, remove from the pan and store the candies in the fridge in an airtight container layered between parchment or wax paper for up to 1 month.
how delicious! i’ve seen that in stores and wondered how i’d use it. now i know ;)
This will help me get the right Coconut product the next time I shop for it as I have always been confused about this.
Thank you for describing each product for us.
ashley - baker by nature says
Oh Faith… this looks dangerously good!!! Happy Easter weekend to you guys! xx
this seals is–the coconut is one of the top five plant creations on god’s green earth. :)
it. this seals it. :0
Blond duck says
Don’t you love Amazon? I bought some apple butter from there!
[email protected] says
I was attracted by the title – healthy chocolate walnut fudge? Come again? – but learned so much more. I bet that mistake happens a lot but perhaps not all are as pleased with it. And now we are pleased too. Delicious!
This sounds good! Where can I buy creamed coconut? In a health food store or a regular grocery? If I can’t find it, is there a subsitute?
Jeannette, I purchased mine in bulk on Amazon (I got the Let’s Do Organic brand and I was really happy with it). If your regular grocery store has a health food aisle, you could look for it there; otherwise, maybe check at health food stores. Hope you find it, and I hope you like the candy if you make it!
All of the different coconut products are confusing! I use a lot of coconut milk, but I’ve never even heard of creamed coconut. Looks like I need to go shopping- that fudge looks really good!
[email protected] says
What a happy find! I never heard of creamed coconut, sounds like cream corn. And this is a great healthier version of yummy fusge, looks great and must taste amazing.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Healthy fudge?! Count me in! Beautiful photos!
Coconut products are not so familiar to me, we just have coconut powder common in Turkey. I saw coconut milk in some markets, but haven’t tried it yet. So thanks for informing about these products. This fudge sounds so yummy! Love your photos too!
[email protected], pleasure, and health says
thanks for that quick run through coconut products. There are so many products on the market- its so difficult to keep up with it. Im def. going to remember about cream of coconut. on a different note- this fudge looks so divine :)
These little treats sounds delicious Faith, I love the crunchy walnut in the creamy chocolate…like the idea of coconut cream and milk.
Have a great week :)
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
Mmm so much goodness in here!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Great explanation of the differences Faith and beautiful Fudge. I want a piece!
That is just making my mouth water….. Thanks for explaining all the differences, very enlightening. Have a good week Diane
Nutmeg Nanny says
I’m not sure how anyone is supposed to have known about all those different coconut products! So confusing! I need to send this recipe to my dad. He loves chocolate fudge (especially with walnuts!) but needs to keep his diet a little healthier. This is great for him!
oh my! That is confusing. Totally glad you ended up with it though….the end result looks so so yummy! I haven’t really ever made candy before!
Mmmhhh, divine! This fudge must taste wonderful.