How to Toast Coconut
Today I’m sharing a complete guide on how to toast coconut flakes. 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.
Why This Recipe Works
- 3 easy methods for toasting coconut. This recipe/guide will go over three different ways to toast coconut — all simple methods: Toasting coconut in the oven; Toasting coconut in the microwave; Toasting coconut on the stove (in a skillet).
- Toasted coconut flavor. Knowing how to toast coconut can really help when making recipes that call for toasted coconut. It adds a bunch more flavor and texture than if you hadn’t toasted coconut.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut: You can use unsweetened coconut flakes or sweetened coconut flakes. I typically use sweetened coconut for recipes, so that’s what I’m using for toasting.
How to Toast Coconut in the Oven
The oven method is my favorite way. Personally I feel like it’s the easiest way because I feel like it produces the best toasted coconut — with an even toast and a better color — and you don’t have to watch it constantly like the stove top method.
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Spread coconut in an even layer. Spread 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut in an even layer. You can use more or less coconut if you’d like.
- Bake the coconut. Place in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, open the oven door and gently stir the coconut, being careful not to burn yourself! 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. Remove from oven and allow the coconut to cool before using or eating.
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.
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.
How to Toast Coconut in the Microwave
Toasting coconut in the microwave is a great way to do things quickly, but you’ll have to toast smaller amounts.
- Place coconut on a plate and 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.
How to Toast Coconut on the Stove Top
The stovetop method is easy and produces a similar result as the oven, but you need to constantly babysit it.
- Toast coconut in a large skillet on medium heat. Place the coconut in a dry 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.
Pro tip: Do this ahead of time so you aren’t rushed. You need to constantly watch the coconut if you are toasting it on the stove.
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. Keep a close watch on the coconut for best results. And extra minute could be the difference in cook time between perfect and burned.
Toasted coconut really adds a depth of 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.
Add it to yogurt parfaits, granola, smoothie bowls, etc. It’s also perfect for a homemade coconut cream pie recipe!
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
Toast coconut ahead of time and store it in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature. When properly stored toasted coconut will last up to 1 month.
Freezing toasted coconut can extend its shelf life. Freeze any leftover toasted coconut in a freezer-safe bag.
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 cream 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.
You can toast coconut in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven. See my steps above!
Yes you can. I just used sweetened coconut because I prefer it.
How to Toast Coconut
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
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.