Today I’m sharing a complete guide on how to toast coconut. I’d be willing to bet you’ve read a recipe that lists “toasted coconut” as an ingredient. If this is you, one of the first things you’ll think is, “How do you toast coconut?!” Luckily, it’s very simple! And there are multiple ways one can go about successfully toasting coconut. 

A wooden spoon holding toasted coconut.

Methods used to toast coconut

The 3 methods I’ll touch base on today are:

  1. Toasting coconut in the oven 
  2. Toasting coconut in the microwave
  3. Toasting coconut on the stove (in a skillet)

I definitely have a favorite method. And we’re going to discuss it first!

But before we jump into that, lets go over why you’d want to toast coconut in the first place.

Why toast shredded coconut?

When you toast shredded coconut it adds a crispier texture and brings out a slightly nuttier flavor in the coconut. I personally love the crunchy texture of toasted coconut.

Toasted coconut can be used in pastry creams for a pie filling, such as coconut cream pie. Toasted coconut is delicious atop cupcakes or in between cake layers and it adds a lot of texture and flavor to German Chocolate cake.

A plate with toasted coconut and a spoon cradling some of the coconut.

How to Toast Coconut in the Oven

This is my favorite method. Personally I feel like it toasts the coconut more evenly and produces a better color.

Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

Spread 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut in an even layer. You can use more or less coconut if you’d like.

A baking sheet with shredded coconut on it, prior to baking and toasting the coconut.

Place in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, open the oven door and *carefully, as in don’t burn yourself* gently stir the coconut. Continue baking for an additional 2-4 minutes or until it reaches your desired crispiness. I bake mine a total of 13 minutes or so.

All ovens are different so keep an eye on it! Yours might take only 7 minutes or it could take 15. Generally speaking toasting coconut in the oven will take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Remove from oven and allow the coconut to cool before using or eating.

Pro tip: After the first 5-7  minutes, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. The oven is a great method to use for larger coconut quantities.

A wooden spoon on a with toasted coconut on it.

How to Toast Coconut in the microwave

On a microwave safe plate place 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each 15 second phase. Continue microwaving until you reach your desired toastiness.

Pro tip: the microwave method is best when you need only a small amount of toasted coconut. However, I wouldn’t advise doing less than 1/2 cup of shredded coconut in the microwave. From past experience.. it tends to burn easier because there’s less of it! So if you only do 1/4 cup of even 1/3 cup, maybe try microwaving on a reduced power.

A white plate with toasted coconut made in the microwave.

This coconut was toasted in the microwave.

How to Toast Coconut in a skillet (Stovetop method)

Place the coconut in a skillet over medium low heat. Stir the coconut Frequently until toasty and crisp.

This method is nice if you’re more of a hands on type person. The coconut doesn’t leave your site. But each method works great so do what suits you.

A skillet with toasted coconut in it.

One thing to remember when toasting coconut is that you can toast it to your liking. For a subtle nutty flavor toast until lightly golden brown. On the flip side you can also toast it until it’s a deeper brown for a crunchier and deeper nutty flavor.

Just be careful not to burn the coconut.

Storing Toasted Coconut

Store in a ziplock bag. When properly stored toasted coconut will last up to 1 month.

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Toasted Coconut

Toasted coconut really amps up the flavor and texture of regular sweetened (or unsweetened) coconut. A few minutes in the oven, microwave, or on the stove will bring out a whole new flavor and crispiness that will leave you wanting more.
prep time 2 mins
cook time 13 mins
total time 15 mins
servings: 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

INSTRUCTIONS

How to toast coconut in the oven

  • Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. 
  • Spread the 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut into an even layer. *
  • Place in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, open the oven door and *carefully, as in don’t burn yourself* gently stir the coconut. Continue baking for an additional 2-4 minutes or until it reaches your desired crispiness. I bake mine a total of 13 minutes. All ovens are different so keep an eye on it! Yours might take 8 minutes or it could take 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and allow the coconut to cool before using or eating. 

How to toast coconut in the microwave

  • On a microwave safe plate place 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each 15 second phase to ensure no burning. Continue microwaving until you reach your desired toastiness level.

How to Toast coconut on the stove (in a skillet)

  • Place the coconut in a skillet over medium low heat. Stir the coconut Frequently until toasty and crisp. 

RECIPE NOTES

Toasting in the oven:
*You can use more or less coconut if you’d like, but 2 cups is a good starting point. The oven tends to toast the coconut very evenly so this tends to be my preferred method.
Note, the coconut will brown quickly. After the first 6-7 Minutes, keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. 
The oven is a great method to use for larger coconut quantities.
 
Toasting in the Microwave:
The microwave method is best when you need only a small amount of toasted coconut. 
Toasting on the Stove:
This method is nice if you’re more of a hands on type person. The coconut doesn’t leave your site. But each method works great so do what suits you.
Storing Toasted Coconut:
Store in a ziplock bag. When properly stored toasted coconut will last up to 1 month.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
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