How Long Does Coconut Cream Last? (And How To Make It Last Longer)

Published Categorized as Coconuts
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Coconut cream is a handy ingredient and not just if you love cooking. Coconut cream can be a handy skincare product as well as having other uses.

In fact, I like to always have a can of coconut cream in my pantry and have occasionally made my own coconut cream.

Of course, once you start making your own coconut cream or when you come across an old one in the pantry, it’s natural to wonder how long does coconut cream last? What about if you have it in the refrigerator? How long can you keep coconut cream in the fridge?

I have all the answers you need here as I walk you through what coconut cream is, whether it goes bad, how long it lasts in different environments and how you can store coconut cream to keep it as long as possible.

What Is Coconut Cream?

Coconut cream is actually relatively straightforward to make. Describing how to make it is the easiest way to understand what it is.

It is made simply from coconut meat and water. There are multiple ways to process this to make coconut cream. One is to place coconut flesh and water in a blender. Blend it to a pulp and then strain out the liquid.

Put this liquid in a jar or container and let it sit. It will separate into coconut milk at the bottom and the creamier coconut cream at the top.

So coconut milk and coconut cream are made in the same way, but the cream is thicker with a higher fat content.

Of course, you don’t need to make your own coconut cream. You can buy it here.

Bought coconut cream can sometimes have other ingredients like guar gum added to thicken and stabilize it.

Coconut cream is vegan and used in many Asian dishes as well as other cuisines.

how long does coconut cream last
Yummm coconut cream

Does Coconut Cream Go Bad?

Yes, coconut cream can go bad. While it can last awhile in an unopened can, once it is opened or any fresh coconut cream should be used quickly. You can see some tips below for how to store it to help it last as long as possible.

How Can I Tell If Coconut Cream Is Bad?

Coconut cream is like any other type of food when you want to know if it has gone bad or not. My best tip is to trust your gut. You usually know when something is not right with your food.

Below, I walk you through what to check to determine if your coconut cream has gone bad. You can work it out using your sight, smell and touch. If it fails any step, throw it out.

The first step is just for canned coconut cream but the other steps are for homemade coconut cream as well.

Step 1: Examine The Can

If it’s in a can, start by examining it. Are there any bulges? Swelling? Holes? Anything unusual, toss it out.

Step 2: Examine The Coconut Cream

If you are checking an unopened can, it’s time to open it.

Is there any sign of mould or film on the surface? Is it a yellow or dark color? In any of these cases, throw it out.

It is normal for the cream to separate with the fattier parts rising to the top. This is not a sign that it is bad, and you can mix it back together.

Step 3: Sniff The Coconut Cream

This is usually the most telling step – are there any unexpected smells?

Any sour or rancid smells mean the coconut cream is off, although I would throw it out if it has any unusual smell.

Step 4: Have A Small Taste

If you still aren’t sure, have a small taste. If it tastes sour or just not right, toss it out.

How Long Does Coconut Cream Last?

So how long does coconut cream last? It depends on how you store it. I talk more about storing coconut cream below. In this section, I walk you through the coconut cream shelf life, fridge life and freezer life.

Store bought coconut cream will come with a best before date. Note that this is the date the manufacturer believes that the product may start degrading in quality. It is not the date it goes bad. This means the coconut cream is likely to still be good to use for a few weeks past this date.

This does require storing the can in a cool, dark, dry pantry. Heat, light and humidity can impact how long the coconut cream can last.

Opened or homemade coconut cream will not last long in the pantry or on a shelf. It should be stored in the refrigerator. If you won’t use your coconut cream within the timeframes listed below, consider freezing it.

The Coconut Cream Is…It Is Stored In The…It Will Last For…
Unopened CanPantryA few weeks past the expiry date
Opened CanPantryLess than a day
RefrigeratorUp to a week (ideally use in a few days)
Freezer Up to 6 months
Freshly MadePantryLess than a day
Refrigerator 3-5 days
FreezerUp to 6 months

All of these timeframes assume you are storing the coconut cream correctly as per recommendations in this article.

How Long Does Coconut Cream Last In Fridge?

In the refrigerator, coconut cream can last up to a week. This assumes the coconut cream is stored in an airtight container. Homemade coconut cream is likely to last less time than canned coconut cream.

How To Store Coconut Cream

To get the timeframes for the coconut cream shelf life listed above, you need to store your coconut cream correctly. Here are some tips to store it for the best lifespan possible.

Storing Coconut Cream In The Pantry

Only unopened cans of coconut cream should be stored in the pantry. These can last many months as long as your pantry is cool, dark and dry. Humidity and high temperatures can shorten the lifespan of canned coconut cream.

Storing Coconut Cream In The Refrigerator

Opened or fresh coconut cream should be stored in the fridge.

I recommend placing any coconut cream in an airtight glass or plastic container. It should not be stored in the tin as this can transfer the metal taste of the can to the coconut cream.

How To Freeze Coconut Cream

The best thing to do if you won’t use your coconut cream before it goes bad is to store it. This is a great way to extend its lifespan by a possible six months.

Manufacturers of coconut cream don’t tend to recommend this as they want their product at its absolute best when you consume it and freezing it can discolor it slightly and change its consistency. However, it should be fine to use still.

Coconut milk after defrosting compared with fresh - can i freeze leftover coconut milk
Coconut milk after defrosting (left) compared with fresh (right). Coconut cream will give you similar results

I recommend you freeze your coconut cream using an ice cube tray. Once it is frozen, put the cubes in a freezer container or bag, all set to use.

Frozen coconut milk cubes - can i freeze coconut milk from a tin
Frozen coconut milk cubes – coconut cream freezes in the same way

When you are ready to use the coconut cream, you can defrost it in your fridge or by placing it in the microwave. If you are cooking with the coconut cream or making a smoothie, you can place the cube(s) directly in your cooking or blender.

It can make for an interesting alternative to adding ice cubes to your smoothies.

Read more about how to store and freeze coconut cream here.

Conclusion

I hope you have found this guide to how long coconut cream lasts useful. How long it lasts depends on where and how you store it. For example, canned coconut cream which is unopened is able to last months whereas once it’s opened, its shelf life decreases dramatically.

Freezing your coconut cream can be a way to increase the lifespan again.

You can also find our guide to storing coconut milk here or read about using coconut cream on your skin here. Find all our useful coconut product guides here.

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By Cara Davis

Cara Davis is a food lover and health fanatic who likes to make life as stress free as possible - thus why she loves to eat quick and healthy!