Homemade Coconut Extract is easy to make and naturally adds a sweet tropical coconut flavor to all your favorite recipes.
How do you make homemade extract to flavor things?
Have you ever made your own vanilla extract? Or coconut extract?
I’ve made vanilla extract and coconut extract, and both are very easy and fun!
Making vanilla extract It is pretty basic. Toss a vanilla bean in some alcohol (normally vodka) and then let it sit for a while.
The flavors from the vanilla bean dissolve into the alcohol and then you can easily add them to all your favorite recipes.
I’ve also made vanilla extract with bourbon, which is great in gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and really everything. It has a great smoky flavor!
How do you make coconut extract?
Making homemade coconut extract is just as easy as making vanilla extract!
You only need 2 ingredients. Some alcohol and some coconut.
Several things can have a great effect on the flavor of your coconut extract. The coconut you use, the alcohol you use, and how long you let the coconut steep in the alcohol to infuse it and extract the flavors.
Combine the two in a jar or other airtight container, and leave it in a cool dark place. I put mine in my cupboard and gave it a good shake every day or so.
While the prep for this homemade coconut extract is super easy, it can take some time for your extract to reach the strength that you want.
I let my homemade coconut extract do it’s thing for about a week and a half before I strained it. Just let it sit until you love the flavor! (I now let my coconut extract for 4-6 weeks for an even better flavor!)
what kind of coconut should you use to make coconut extract?
I used some fresh shredded coconut that I had in the freezer hen I first made coconut extract.
I guess then it was frozen shredded coconut?
Anyways I had it on hand so I used it. I have had a hard time using it up because it still has the brown “skin” on it. Whenever I add it to smoothies or something it adds a funky texture.
BUT I thought this homemade coconut extract was the perfect way to use some of it up.
The kind of coconut you use to make your coconut extract ill determine ho your coconut extract tastes.
I’ve made coconut extract ith both fresh coconut and toasted coconut. And they both tasted a bit different!
Fresh coconut has a great, potent coconut flavor. It works great for making coconut extract.
Go ahead and use dried shredded coconut instead of fresh or frozen coconut. The alcohol will extract the flavors just the same.
I prefer using toasted coconut, becasue toasting the coconut adds more flavor to your extract. For very best results, toast your fresh coconut!
If I’m not using fresh toasted coconut, I like to use toasted unsweetened coconut. I feel like I can get more flavor from unsweetened coconut vs sweetened coconut.
How do you toast coconut?
To toast coconut, spread it in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes.
Keep a close eye on it, so you don’t burn your coconut.
Check it every 2 minutes, and once it starts to turn golden, stir every minute or two.
Once your coconut is toasted, remove it from the oven and let cool.
This method will work on dried coconut and fresh coconut, however fresh coconut will take much longer to toast.
what kind of alcohol do you use to make coconut extract?
Your coconut extract will have the flavors of the alcohol you use, and ill add that flavor to your extract.
You also ant to use a high proof alcohol, because it is the alcohol that extracts the flavor. Use 80 proof or higher.
80 proof alcohol has 40% alcohol (100 proof is 50% alcohol) by volume.
Plain vodka does not have any flavor, and is always good for making extracts. If you use plain vodka, you will have only the pure flavors that your vodka extracts from the coconut.
I really like using white rum to make coconut extract. The rum has a bit more depth than vodka, and really compliments the coconut.
Do not use a flavored rum, like a spiced rum or a coconut rum to make your extract. You’ll have too many other flavors competing with your toasted coconut.
Before you ask, all distilled alchohol is gluten-free UNLESS it has flavorings or any gluten-free ingredients added to it.
This means all vodka is gluten-free, regardless of hat grains are used to create it. Bourbon and whiskey are also usually gluten-free.
Unflavored rums are gluten-free too, and are made from fermented sugar not heat, rye, or barley.
I used rum because it just seemed right to use a tropical alcohol with the coconut. You could use vodka, or really any distilled spirit to extract the flavors from your coconut. (Read more about Gluten-Free spirits and alcohol on GF Jules.)
How long do you let coconut extract infuse?
The longer you let your coconut extract infuse before straining, the stronger the flavor will be.
I originally only let my coconut extract infuse for a week and a half, and then I had to use more coconut extract to get the desired flavor.
Now I let my coconut extract infuse for 4-6 weeks or longer.
If you can’t wait a month for your coconut extract, like if you are dying to make my coconut poke cake, I recommend removing and straining just enough coconut extract to use in your recipe, and then let the rest continue to steep.
- shredded coconut (fresh or dried) (I used 3/4 - 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup Rum or other distilled alcohol (enough to cover the coconut)
- Place the shredded coconut in a jar or other airtight container.
- Pour enough rum over the coconut to cover it. I ended up using about equal parts.
- Place in a cool, dark area and let sit for several days to 2 weeks, giving your jar a good shake about once a day.
- Once your extract has reached your desired level of coconutty-ness, drain the extract from the shredded coconut and store it in an airtight jar in the fridge.
I felt that the flavors in my homemade extract made with fresh coconut were not as concentrated as commercial extract, so I used extra in recipes when baking. But that is just my personal preference.
When I've made homemade coconut extract with dried coconut that I've toasted, it has had a stronger flavor.
To toast your dried coconut, place it in an even layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a 400 °f oven stirring at 5 minutes and every 2 minutes thereafter until it i golden brown. Let cool, and then use as directed in t he recipe.
I used a white rum with 35% alcohol content. You can use vodka instead, if you prefer
Nutrition InformationYield 36 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 19Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 5mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 0g
All nutrition info is a guestimate and will vary depending on the ingredients you use.