Coconuts are definitely one of my most favorite items in the world. There are just so many great products with great uses that come from this fruit.
Two of the many are coconut cream and coconut butter. But what are they exactly? Are they the same? What are the differences? Can we use coconut butter and cream interchangeably?
These are great questions. You may be wondering about using these ingredients in cooking or maybe you love using coconut products in skin and hair care and are wondering if there’s a difference. I have all the answers!
Just keep reading below for this full guide to coconut cream vs butter.
Is Coconut Cream The Same As Coconut Butter?
Short answer: No. Coconut cream and coconut butter are not the same thing. They are both created solely from coconuts so they do have a lot in common though.
Coconut butter is basically the pureed meat of coconuts whereas coconut cream is what you get if you add water to the pureed meat of coconuts, mix it together, strain off the liquid and then capture the fattiest, creamiest part.
What Is Coconut Cream?
Coconut cream is simply coconut meat and water which has been created in a way that removes any solid forms of the coconut and captures the fatty, creamy leftovers.
Store bought coconut cream can also contain additives such as guar gum which is added to thicken and stabilize it.
Making your own coconut cream is quite straightforward and understanding how to do this is the best way to understand what coconut cream really is.
There are many methods to how to do this but an easy one to visualize is to place the coconut meat and water into a blender. Blend it thoroughly.
The next steps is to strain off the liquid and place it in a jar or container. If you let this sit, the coconut cream is what rises to the top. Coconut milk is the leftover part at the bottom of the jar.
Coconut cream is thicker, creamier and has a higher fat content which is what helps it flow to the top. It is a liquid.
Of course, you can also buy coconut cream here.
Coconut cream is used in many Asian dishes as well as other cuisines. You can also use it in beauty products like on your skin.
What Is Coconut Butter?
Coconut butter is basically just pureed coconut meat. This includes any coconut oil found in the meat.
It looks similar to coconut oil and is a solid at room temperature. It softens easily when heated although its melting point is higher than coconut oil. It differs to coconut oil because it contains coconut meat as well as oil.
It differs from coconut cream in that it is this pureed coconut meat, whereas coconut cream is this plus water then with the liquid filtered off again.
Coconut butter contains saturated fat as well as fiber. It also contains iron, magnesium, potassium and protein.
Difference Between Coconut Butter And Coconut Cream
The main difference between coconut butter and coconut cream is that coconut cream is denser that coconut butter.
You’ll notice that coconut cream is richer and thicker whereas coconut butter is lighter and crunchier.
Coconut Cream Vs Coconut Butter
When it comes to coconut butter vs coconut cream, there are many similarities.
The main difference between these two ingredients is that coconut cream is rich and dense while coconut butter is light and creamy.
Coconut butter still has the coconut flesh contained in it whereas coconut cream has it filtered out. This means coconut cream is smoother. All of these things have an impact on how you can use them.
Both coconut cream and coconut butter are high in saturated fat and calories. They both contain fiber, potassium and iron. So they have a lot of similarities and it becomes more about the texture and density when it comes to choosing whether to use coconut butter or coconut cream.
You can use coconut cream and coconut butter interchangeably in many recipes, but it will give slightly different results. Coconut butter is just not as smooth and is more oily than the thick, creamy coconut cream. So when you are making a recipe where this creaminess is important, I would not switch coconut cream for coconut butter.
Likewise, when you are making a recipe where you want the oily, rougher texture of coconut butter, you wouldn’t want to use coconut butter.
The other thing to take into account is that coconut butter is solid at room temperature, so if you are using coconut cream as the prime ingredient in a sauce, it may not work to replace it with coconut butter.
When it comes to skin and hair care, there are many reasons to love both coconut butter and coconut cream. They have a very similar make up so either is good.
I prefer to use coconut butter though as it’s easier to apply like a moisturizer rubbing it straight in. It also works better for things like makeup removal and lip balm.
However, if I want to make a face mask, coconut cream works better (find my coconut cream face mask recipe here).
I also find coconut cream is easier to use for hair treatments than coconut butter. But really, the choice is yours.
I hope you have found this guide to coconut cream vs coconut butter useful. While the answer to is coconut butter the same as coconut cream is definitely no, there are a lot of similarities and it can work to interchange these items in some cooking.
They also can both have benefits in skin and hair care.