How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt ~ since it’s one of the world’s healthiest foods, I think it’s worth the effort to make it yourself. This yogurt is creamy, full of flavor, and dairy free.

I’ve made homemade yogurt for years and I’ve posted about it on a couple of occasions.

But I always thought yogurt had to be made with dairy products. I just assumed that there was something inherent in animal products that allowed the yogurt cultures to thrive. But I guess not. You can culture coconut milk the same way. It’s naturally a little thinner, so it requires some sort of added thickener, but you will get the most incredibly creamy delicious coconut yogurt, you won’t believe it. The texture is even creamier than regular yogurt and it combines the natural sweetness and flavor of the coconut with the tang from the live cultures.

Why make homemade coconut milk yogurt?

Sometimes the impetus for making something from scratch is financial. Sometimes it springs from a health concern, and sometimes it just seems like a fun project. But for me the most persuasive reason to make something from scratch that is already available commercially, is if you can achieve a really superior flavor. This project checks all those boxes.

This yogurt went smoothly from beginning to end, and I made it almost exactly as I would make milk yogurt. The only difference is that I add a little powdered gelatin to encourage thickening, and instead of a milk based yogurt starter, I used coconut milk yogurt as the starter. Even with the added gelatin this coconut yogurt will tend to be a little thinner than regular yogurt. You can drain it through cheesecloth after it’s fermented, which I do anyway with homemade yogurt because I like the thick Greek style.

Homemade coconut yogurt beats store bought by a mile!

But it was only when I dipped my little tasting spoon into the finished batch that the bells went off. The taste was velvety smooth and pure coconut. It had none of the cloying sweetness or gelatinous texture of the commercial brand. It was way, way better than the commercial brand.

If you’re even thinking of trying this, I’m going to urge you to just plow ahead and do it. It’s really a treat. We had it for breakfast with bananas, honey and wheat germ, but it would be so good with granola, or in a smoothie. I am really looking forward to using it alongside a hot curry.

If you don’t have a yogurt maker:

First off, I highly recommend getting a yogurt maker, they are inexpensive and so easy to use. I am really happy with this one, but there are many on the market. The key is to find one that allows you to make a large batch, all in one container. It’s more versatile, and easy to clean.
Otherwise there are several options to help you keep your yogurt at the constant temperature (110F) it needs to ferment. Some methods are too elaborate to bother with; here are the ones I recommend:

  • If your oven has a 60 watt or higher bulb in it, you may be able to store your yogurt in the oven (no heat) with the light on. Wrap it with a towel. You can experiment with different wattage bulbs to get your desired temperature.
  • An electric heating pad or small electric throw blanket wrapped around the yogurt and set on low to medium will do the trick. If you use a heating pad, cover the whole thing with a towel.
  • Whatever method you choose, do not disturb your yogurt while it’s fermenting.

You can keep your yogurt in one jar, or several individual jars, just be sure they are clean.

Do you have any experience with coconut yogurt? I would like to try almond milk yogurt, too!

Print
3.5 from 28 votes

How to make Homemade Coconut Milk Yogurt

Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 3 13.5 oz cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
  • 1 6 oz container coconut milk yogurt

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan to 180F. This will be hot, but not boiling.
  • Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and whisk in.
  • Let the milk cool to 110F. This is important--- the temperature has to be warm enough to allow the cultures to grow, but if it is too hot they will be killed off.
  • Whisk in the container of coconut milk yogurt.
  • Pour your milk into a yogurt maker and let incubate for 10-12 hours. I leave mine overnight.
  • Refrigerate the yogurt until ready to use. If you want thicker yogurt, lay two layers of cheese cloth over a colander, and set that over a large bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth and let drain for an hour or so.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

 

 

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104 Comments

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  • Reply
    Daria
    June 14, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I have made this and my only issue is the little gelatin lumps despite my thorough mixing. Whenever I have used gelatin in the past, it’s instructed to mix it into a small portion then into the rest of batch of whatever you’re making. Any idea why I got l lumps? I may just try the small batch mixing method first :/

  • Reply
    kira
    February 2, 2016 at 10:22 am

    What brand is you yogurt maker? and where did you get it? I tried looking again to see if you typed it somewhere but i did not see it, so sorry if you have to repeat yourself! Also, this is all so new to me. Do I saw in the pic you used the cloth do I do that before or after the yogurt maker?

  • Reply
    Emma
    August 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    i love the sound of this cant wait to try! We are vegan so I’ll try use the agar agar powder. Have you ever attempted to make soy yoghurt before or have any tips on how to get started? My baby loves yoghurt and I’d rather have one that I’ve made with less sugar!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 3, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I haven’t tried soy yogurt Emma, that might have to be my next experiment!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 10, 2015 at 5:59 am

      Soy yogurt is really easy! If you look up any homemade dairy yogurt recipe, just swap soy milk for regular milk! You don’t even need a thickener!

  • Reply
    Christine
    July 29, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Wondering if sitting yogurt outside in texas heat would be ok to culture?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 29, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      If it is well covered, and the temperature is right, it would probably work.

  • Reply
    Chelsie
    May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    You make coconut milk yogurt with…coconut milk yogurt…?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      You need a bit of the yogurt to act as a starter, for the bacteria to thrive, Chelsie. All yogurts rely on this. Once you make a batch you can usually use some of the previous batch as your starter for the next.

  • Reply
    Lona Buggs
    February 6, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Hello, I never made yogurt but now that I know I can make a dairy free version I want to. My question is the container of coconut yogurt , is that the store stuff in the refrigerated section that is made to be ready to eat? Or is that special cultures just for adding to coconut milk? I have see the store version of coconut milk yogurt and I can’t have it because of the thickeners that is in the ingredients are not agreeable with me. So it would be great if I could make my own but not if I have to use the very product I’m avoiding to do it. Let me know. Hoping for good news. ????

  • Reply
    cami
    February 3, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Hi I was wondering if you can add your own pro biotic powder to this recipe? In all the other homemade yogurt recipes I’ve always seen to add it. Thank you

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2015 at 8:17 am

      I don’t see why not Cami! I’ve never used it, though, let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Dear Sue,
    I am Jewish, diabetic, and lactose-intolerant, and the So Delicious yogurt and ice cream have been godsends. I especially love the Greek-style vanilla So Delicious with a little apricot jam or blueberries mixed in. I love cooking and baking, and making my own coconut milk yogurt sounds so exciting–I love eating something delicious and finding or figuring out how to remake it myself. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to put up this recipe! My only two questions (at least for this post) are:
    1) Are all yogurt makers the same; that is, do I need to look for a specific brand or kind of maker? Also, where would I find one? A “Sur la Table” branch, or a Williams-Sonoma catalogue, or where?
    2) I’m going to do research about the kosher-ness of unflavored gelatin, but if it’s treyf (not kosher)–or even if it is and I need a just-in-case starter–would tapioca flour work as a starter?
    Again, thank you for putting up the recipe, and thank you for taking the time to read this post.
    Sincerely,
    Anna

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 12, 2014 at 7:55 am

      This is the yogurt maker I use and love, Anna: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/shop, I have it listed in the SHOP section on the blog (in the top menu) I’m not sure whether Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table carry yogurt makers, but I got mine on Amazon, and that’s the link I gave you. I believe you can also buy Kosher gelatin there, too. Good luck with this, I hope you get set up to make it, and let me know how it turns out—

      • Reply
        Carol
        August 2, 2017 at 9:37 am

        Great Lakes has kosher gelatin. The green label is bovine and kosher. Do not get the salmon (orange colored) canister as it is from pork. Many health food stores carry it and you can also get it in bulk through the manufacturer.

        • Reply
          Sue
          August 2, 2017 at 10:12 am

          Thanks Carol!

  • Reply
    alyssa
    November 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    This looked so good, but when I replaced the gelatin with agar powder, it was much too firm. 🙁 I used my yogurt maker and followed the rest of the recipe exactly. Any guidance on the appropriate amount of agar to use? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      Not sure, Alyssa. Why don’t you try half the amount to start, and see how that goes?

    • Reply
      JayX
      January 5, 2015 at 7:20 am

      hi Alyssa. Did you try again? I used agar flakes (3tbspn per litre) and it came out way too thick for me too – so I just dumped it all into my blender and it wame out looking perfect – just the same consistency as the yoghurt in the photos on this page! I’m trying 1 tbspn this time to see if I can omit having to wash up the blender!

      • Reply
        Sue
        January 5, 2015 at 7:35 am

        Lots of great info coming out in the comments, thank JayX!

  • Reply
    heatherm
    October 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I will try this. I tried another coconut yogurt recipe and it was a huge failure, but I did cheap out on the coconut milk. my husband is vegan and sometimes wants yogurt, but the commercially available soy or coconut yogurts are disgusting and full of additives he will not eat. I have been making my own milk yogurt for over a year and wish I had started years ago. I use the oven method-jars in the oven with a tea cozy or towels wrapped around them, always works. What I do is sterilize the jars, bowl, whisk, measuring spoons and spoon for 1/2 hour while I heat up the milk at 200 degrees F. Then when I cool the milk I take all the sterilized stuff out and reduce the oven to 100 degrees. I make the yogurt, pour into the cooled jars, turn off the oven, cover the jars up with a towel or tea cozy and leave the light on. I do this in the evening before bed, so by the time I get up in the morning it has had many many many hours to ferment etc.. In fact, the jars are always warm, open them up and the yogurt is very warm. I put them in the fridge and eat later or next day. I’ve never strained to make greek style which I do love.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 1, 2013 at 8:22 am

      I wish my oven could be set to 100 degrees, the lowest mine will go is 140. Good luck with this yogurt, the machine really makes it easy, but it looks like you’ve got the process down, so it should work. Let me know…

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