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How to Make Coconut Yogurt

Coconut Yogurt

Are you lactose intolerant? Do you wish you could enjoy yogurt? Do you miss ice cream and cream? Are you constantly adapting recipes to include non dairy substitutes?

If you enjoy the flavor of coconut, give this a try. Coconut yogurt makes a great substitute for ice cream and cream. It is also a much nicer flavor and texture than the soy yogurt I have previously purchased.

For more than a year I have been making (dairy) yogurt from scratch for the kids and Mr Fresh.  It is not difficult to make, and this coconut, dairy free version is based on the same process.  You will need a thermometer and an esky (cooler/chilly bin). 

If case you are wondering, I know that the following things do NOT work when trying to make coconut yogurt:

  • Coconut milk
  • Low fat coconut cream
  • Coconut cream without the Tapioca Flour
  • Too much Tapioca flour

I tried numerous (unsuccessful) variations of this coconut yogurt prior to seeing a conversation stream on Facebook via Home Made Produce from a Thermomix fan who used Tapioca Flour to thicken the yogurt.  That conversation set me on a new path of experimenting until I ended up with the recipe below. 

The Tapioca Flour had no noticeable taste that I could detect but it does give the yogurt a slightly grainy texture. I do not find it to be an unpleasant texture. Overall, i found the slight graininess to be an ok trade off for the lovely creamy coconut flavor. It may be reduced by cutting the quantity of Tapioca Flour – but I like a thick yoghurt.

Tapioca Flour is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. It is a gluten-free thickening agent.  When you source this ingredient seek one without preservatives or additives. It can be sourced online easily, or via some organic stores and delis.

How to Make Coconut Yogurt
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Coconut yogurt. An easy recipe to make at home. Lactose and dairy-free made from coconut cream.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 800 ml
  • 800 ml Coconut Cream (organic)
  • 25 grams Tapioca Flour
  • 45 grams coconut yogurt - or organic yogurt (if suitable) as a starter
  1. To a deep saucepan, such as a stock pot, add the coconut cream and Tapioca Flour
  2. Heat slowly over low heat until the liquid reaches 150 degrees (about 15-20 minutes)
  3. Stir the liquid as it heats
  4. Steralise jars in the oven as per these instructions while heating the coconut cream
  5. Once the liquids approaches 150 degrees it will start to thicken
  6. Continue to stir and wait until it moves off 150 degrees towards 160 degrees
  7. Heat another pot filled with 3 liters of water to 120 degrees
  8. Half fill the sink with cold water
  9. Once the coconut cream moves off 150 degrees and has thickened to the point that it sticks to the back of a wooden spoon remove it from the heat and put the pot into the sink of cold water. use the thermomenter to determine when the temperature has cooled to 120 degrees
  10. Once the liquid is at 120 degrees, add the yogurt starter and stir briskly or whisk to distribute well
  11. Take the water that is heating in the other pot (to 120 degrees) and pour it into an esky. Place the lid back on the esky to maintain the temperature.
  12. Pot the coconut cream mixture into warm steralised jars
  13. Put the jars into the esky that is filled with the warm water and replace the lid
  14. Leave the jars to sit undisturbed in the esky overnight - approximately 19 hours
  15. Remove the jars from the esky and add them to the fridge for a few hours prior to eating
  16. Once a jar is open use within a couple of days
  17. Sealed jars will last a couple of weeks.
Equipment required: Thermometer, esky, jars
I have specified organic coconut cream in the recipe as I have used that with each batch I have made (ensure it is not low fat)
Once you have made a batch you can save a small amount of the yogurt to act as the started for your next batch. To get started - purchase a coconut yogurt with active cultures from a deli or health store.
The ingredients seem to heat slowly and once 150 degrees is reached they will hold the temperature for some time. It is during this time that the mixture starts to thicken.
Use care when moving the jars to the esky after filling as they will be HOT! I use oven gloves.
*Note - the cook and preparation time do not take into account the time that the yogurt is in the esky or the time to sit in the fridge.
The recipe can be easily multiplied to make more than 800 ml. This will impact the time taken for the desired temperatures to be reached.

You can find my regular (dairy) home made yogurt recipe here.

It is much cheaper than buying it in the store and contains no additives….The two main reasons that I make it myself.

Ideas to enjoy this recipe:

  • Add your choice of fresh fruit or syrups prior to serving
  • Use it in baking – eg: muffins and cakes
  • Use as an alternative to ice cream or cream
  • Add to smoothies
  • Add a dollop to serve pumpkin soup, or chilli-based dishes such as my Slow Cooker Chilli Beef

Have you tried making a dairy free yogurt at home? Have you used a thickening agent different to tapioca flour with good results?

What was it? Please tell me in the comments below. 





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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Catherine Bedson August 13, 2013, 10:19 am

    This yoghurt looks fabulous Kyrstie, so good for people with allergies.

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