What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like? (FULL ANALYSIS!)

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The coconut is called the tree of life because of the wide range of uses of its byproducts. (*

That’s why it makes sense that coconut milk is also one of the most versatile ingredients out there. 

It’s commonly used in different savory dishes—soups and curries. 

That’s not all. You might even find it in certain baked goods and dessert recipes.

And now, it has a brand new use that has taken the food industry by storm. You can add coconut milk to your coffee, tea, and other drinks!

If you haven’t tried it yet, you might wonder, what does coconut milk taste like?

Does coconut milk have a strong coconut flavor? Won’t it affect the taste of your drinks and dishes? 

Surprise: Coconut milk doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor. Instead, it has a mild nutty flavor with well-balanced saltiness and sweetness.  

But of course, it would depend on the type of coconut milk you use. So if you want to know if you should add coconut milk to your kitchen arsenal, keep on reading!

image of coconut milk cup

What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like?

Surprise: coconut milk doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor as you’d expect. Instead, it gives off a subtle nutty flavor with a slight hint of sweetness and saltiness. 

On its own, the milk also has floral and fruity notes. However, when added to toasted dishes, the milk produces vanilla and woody flowers which you can’t find in other milk alternatives. 

On the other hand, the texture of coconut milk varies depending on its type. For example, thick coconut milk is rich and creamy and has a stronger nutty taste than thin coconut milk, which is watery and has a milder flavor.  

Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is produced by pureeing shredded coconut flesh with water. The process creates a milky-white liquid, a versatile ingredient used in cooking, baking, and mixing beverages. 

Coconut Milk Vs. Coconut Cream

While coconut milk and coconut cream have a lot of similarities, these are two different ingredients.

Both coconut milk and coconut cream are made from coconut flesh and water. However, they differ in their fat content. 

Coconut cream has a higher fat content (19-22%) than coconut milk (9-15%). (*) Because of this, coconut cream has a thicker consistency.

You can use these ingredients interchangeably for recipes like soups and curries. However, coconut cream is the ingredient of choice in beverages, cocktails, and baked goods. 

Is Coconut Milk Healthy?

Coconut milk can be both good and bad. However, due to its fat and calorie content, it’s best used in moderation—1 to 2 times weekly. 

On the other hand, its high-fat content makes it a suitable milk alternative for keto dieters. In addition, since it’s not technically milk, it doesn’t contain lactose, making it an excellent option for people allergic to cow’s milk. 

Coconut Milk Nutrition 

To help you determine if coconut milk will fit your diet, here’s the nutritional content of a cup of unsweetened coconut milk:

  • Calories: 45 Kcal
  • Fat: 4g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sodium: 180 mg 
  • Calcium: 41 mg

Coconut Milk Health Benefits

Due to its nutritional content, coconut milk may offer the following health benefits:

  • Reduced risk of stroke and heart diseases (*)
  • Lowers risk of cancer due to its antioxidant content (*)
  • Has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which support the immune system 

How to Use Coconut Milk in Cooking?

There are plenty of ways to incorporate coconut milk in the kitchen. You can use coconut milk to: 


It’s a great milk alternative for making coffees and teas creamier and richer. You can also use it to add a creamy twist to smoothies, cocktails, and mocktails.


You can use coconut milk to add creaminess and a nutty taste to a wide range of desserts, including:

  • Custard-based treats (coconut cream pie and flan)
  • Frozen desserts (ice creams), 
  • And a few baked goods (cupcakes and pies).

Dips, Marinades, and Sauces

Aside from making sauces and dips extra rich and creamy, coconut milk is also added to marinades to make meaty dishes more flavorful and tender.

Soups and Curries

This is probably the most common and popular use of coconut milk. Coconut milk adds depth and a creamy and nourishing twist to soup broths. 

On the other hand, it creates the perfect rich base for curry spices to make a comforting and fragrant curry stew. 

Fun Fact: We recommend the canned version when choosing between coconut milk in a can or carton for cooking. Canned coconut milk generally contains fewer additives, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients than coconut milk in a carton. 

However, coconut milk in a carton is the best option for drinks and beverages as it has a thinner texture and milder flavor. 

But of course, you can always make your own coconut milk which is the safest and healthiest option. (*)

Learn more: The Difference Between Canned and Carton Coconut Milk!

Frequently Asked Questions

So, What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like?

In short: Coconut milk tastes nutty with subtle sweetness and slight saltiness. 

Because of its refreshing flavor and creamy texture has become an essential ingredient in most recipes like curries, soups, dips, sauces, marinades, and even baked goods.

And since it doesn’t contain lactose, it’s also a great milk alternative for people allergic to cow’s milk. Its almost-neutral flavor makes it a great addition to coffees, teas, smoothies, and other drinks. 

Up Next: Does Coconut Milk Go Bad? How Can You Tell For Sure?

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