Learning how to toast coconut is exceedingly simple, and only takes a few minutes. Toasted coconut can take your dishes to the next level!
Confession. When I planned out my content calendar, I was not planning to teach you all how to toast coconut today, or tomorrow, or at all really. The truth is, I had planned to create a different dish, but went to the store and absentmindedly bought the wrong main ingredient. Whoopsie! So, I improvised with what I had on hand: coconut flakes!
Toasted coconut can be ordered on Amazon (affiliate link), however, it is rather difficult to find in many supermarkets. The truth is, it is so easy to make yourself, there isn't really a reason for you to buy it. It is simply shredded, shaved, or flaked pieces of coconut cooked until light brown and crispy.
The other benefit of toasting your own coconut is you get to decide how toasted it becomes. Some people like all of the shreds crispy and brown, others like a mixture. Me personally, I prefer to have most of the shreds nicely toasted while leaving some white for a mixture of texture.
How to Toast Coconut
You can use any type of coconut for toasting: sweetened or unsweetened, shredded, shaved, or flaked. They will all toast up nicely in an oven, stovetop skillet, or microwave.
How to Toast Coconut in Oven
Toasting coconut in the oven is the most time-consuming method, and possibly my least favorite, but it works well, particularly for large batches. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and toast for 10 minutes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (affiliate link). You will want to stir the flakes as they bake about halfway through cooking, and again with a couple of minutes remaining. When toasting coconut in the oven it is important to keep an eye on them to ensure they don't overcook.
How to Toast Coconut in Skillet
Using a skillet to toast coconut is my favorite method. It is quick, easy, and you have a lot of control. Set a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add your coconut. Stir frequently for even toasting and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of doneness.
How to Toast Coconut in Microwave
I don't use my microwave much for cooking, but it is another quick and easy method you can utilize. Spread a thin layer of coconut on a glass plate and cook for 30 seconds at a time on high heat, stirring after each cooking session, and repeat until they reach your desired toastiness.
How to Store Toasted Coconut
Toasted coconut does not need to be refrigerated. Simply store it in an air-tight container and it should stay fresh for a few weeks. Alternatively, toasted coconut can be stored in the freezer for an even longer shelf-life.
Uses for Toasted Coconut
Toasted coconut is great in sweets and desserts, such as topping my banana pudding cheesecake, or using as an ingredient in granola bars. They can also be used in savory dishes as a topping for my coconut milk rice, or chicken coconut curry.
How to Toast Coconut
- 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes (shredded, shaved, or flaked)
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add coconut. Spread into a thin layer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even cooking. Coconut is done when it turns light brown.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread coconut on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through and again with a couple of minutes left to bake.
- Keep your eye on the coconut while baking to prevent overcooking.
- Spread coconut on a large glass plate and place in the microwave for 30 seconds on high heat. Stir the coconut and continue to cook 30 seconds at a time until the coconut is light brown and crispy.