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It's true: Coconut can be a divisive ingredient. Some people love it, while others avoid the stuff no matter what it's in. But if you go cuckoo for coconut, you're in the right place. Because although it is delicious in savory dishes like Coconut Shrimp and Coconut Curry, its distinct flavor and chewy deliciousness truly shine in sweet treats. That's why we've rounded up the best coconut desserts for all you coconut lovers out there.
If you think about it, coconut is a very versatile ingredient. You can use coconut milk, cream, and water to infuse flavor and create dairy-free recipes. You can toast coconut to maximize the nuttiness. Thanks to its chewiness, it can also serve as a supportive ingredient, bringing more texture than flavor to a dessert. (Even coconut haters enjoy these kinds of recipes, too!)
Of course, we included the classic coconut dessert recipes like coconut cake and coconut cream pie, so you can truly enjoy the full flavor. And since it pairs so well with so many other ingredients (see, we told you it was versatile!), you'll find plenty of chocolate dessert recipes, lemon dessert recipes, and pineapple recipes. So get ready to crack open a can, a bag, or a fresh one if you're daring, because you're about to go cuckoo for these coconut desserts!
If you haven't tried this retro dish, you're missing out! Is it a side dish? Is it a brunch food? Is it a dessert? We think it's everything, with its mix of oranges, pineapples, cherries, marshmallows, and coconut. Plus, you can't feel bad about having seconds when it's called a "salad," right?
Get the Ambrosia Salad recipe.
Coconut Layer Cake
Ree's super popular cake recipe gets a double boost of coconut flavor thanks to extract in the cake and frosting, plus lots of shredded coconut on the outside. Bonus: Coconut makes the prettiest and easiest decoration, so you don't have to fuss!
Get Ree's Coconut Layer Cake recipe.
The ultimate way to trick a coconut hater is to hide it in an amazing cookie like this! They'll taste the chocolate, pecans, oats, and cinnamon before they'll ever wonder where the chewiness comes in.
Get the Cowboy Cookies recipe.
Lemon Coconut Pudding Cups
Refreshing and creamy, these individual desserts are a great way to try your hand at making pudding from scratch. The filling only needs to boil for a minute! The real work is waiting patiently for it to set.
Get the Lemon Coconut Pudding Cups recipe.
Piña Colada Cake
Just as the song says, if you like piña coladas... then you'll definitely love this cake. Okay, we know those aren't the lyrics, but they should be! A pineapple cake gets even moister with a soak of rum, coconut, and lime and then gets finished off with a creamy coconut topping. Hello, taste of the tropics!
Get the Piña Colada Cake recipe.
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Another vintage treat are these no-bake cookies! Flavors of chocolate, oats, peanut butter, and coconut come together for an addictively chewy cookie that only takes five minutes on the stove to make.
Coconut Whipped Cream
A great dairy-free alternative to regular whipped cream, coconut whipped cream is just as airy and delicious. All you need to make it is refrigerated full-fat coconut milk! For extra coconut flavor, you can add extract or keep it simple as is on any dessert.
Get the Coconut Whipped Cream recipe.
Here's another classic, nostalgic treat that just wouldn't be the same without coconut... or chocolate, graham crackers, nuts, butter, and sweetened condensed milk. Is your inner child drooling yet? Ours is, too!
Get the 7-Layer Cookies recipe.
Chocolate-Dipped Cherry Macaroons
The flavors of chocolate and cherry give these classic coconut cookies a fun and colorful twist. Maraschino cherries add even extra chew, so if that's the kind of texture you like, you'll absolutely adore these!
Italian Cream Cupcakes
Simple buttermilk cake gets the wow factor thanks to the frosting. Cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, coconut, pecans―these flavors really make an ordinary dessert extraordinary in just a few simple steps.
Get Ree's Italian Cream Cupcakes recipe.
Dairy-Free Almond Joy Ice Cream
A joyous recipe for dairy-free fans (and heck, all ice cream fans) is this frozen take on the classic candy bar. It has triple the coconut thanks to coconut milk, coconut cream, and shredded coconut. Add in cocoa and slivered almonds, and you've got yourself a winner!
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