Ever wondered how to toast coconut? Making it yourself is the easiest thing to do!
Toasted coconut is one of my favorite ingredients to add to baked goods. Although I love me some coconut straight from the bag, toasted coconut is definitely my favorite.
Did you know that coconuts made their own way around the world? Of course, traders brought them with them on travels 2,000 years ago, but because it can float, it’s also thought that the coconut spread itself throughout the subtropics.
I know that’s a little more history than I regularly delve into, but coconuts are pretty fascinating. And tasty. Plenty tasty.
I find that coconut is one of those ingredients that most people either love or hate. I definitely fall into the love category.
Toasting coconut is a lot like toasting nuts in the sense that it really adds depth and brings out a lovely nuttiness that adds great flavor and texture to whatever recipe you add it to.
Sure, you can buy toasted coconut in most baking aisles, but it usually has extra preservatives to keep it fresh. I’d much rather toast my own, especially since it’s SO easy!
From these caramel coconut chocolate chip cookies and chocolate coconut zucchini bread to key lime coconut cheesecake, coconut is one of my favorite flavors to bake with, especially during the spring and summer months.
I also love it layered in with Greek yogurt, and fresh berries for a delicious breakfast parfait.
The coconut world is your oyster, and all it takes is a few minutes to toast it up. Let’s get to work!
How To Toast Coconut
There are a few techniques for toasting coconut. You can use the stove top, the oven, and even the microwave. Personally, I am a big fan of the stove top method.
I find I have a little more control, since I’m able to keep a constant eye on the coconut, plus frequent stirring allows for a more evenly toasted finished product, but the oven and microwave definitely do the trick too!
How do you toast coconut in the microwave?
Like I mentioned, you can actually toast coconut in the microwave and as you can imagine, it’s super quick.
Start by spreading about ½ cup of shredded coconut on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave the coconut in 30 second increments; stirring each time. Continue cooking and stirring in 30 second increments until the coconut reaches the desired level of toastiness.
Can you sweeten unsweetened coconut?
If you have unsweetened shredded coconut and would like to sweeten it up in a pinch, you can place a pound of unsweetened shredded coconut in a zip top bag with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
Give the bag a good shake and you’re good to go! I wouldn’t toast coconut after you’ve added sugar – the sugar might burn, and you’d end up with a wasted ingredient.
How to Toast Coconut
- shredded, shaved or flaked coconut
Stove Top Method
- Place desired amount of coconut in a large skillet.
- Cook over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the flakes are mostly golden brown.
- If the coconut is sweetened it tends to brown faster so, it will take less time.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake in preheated oven. The flakes will toast very quickly and won’t take more than 5-10 minutes.
- After a few minutes stir the coconut to help ensure even color. Remember, sweetened flakes will take less time because sugar speeds the toasting process.
- Start by spreading about ½ cup of shredded coconut on a microwave-safe plate.
- Microwave the coconut in 30 second increments; stirring each time. Continue cooking and stirring in 30 second increments until the coconut reaches the desired level of toastiness.
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This post on How To Toast Coconut originally appeared on My Baking Addiction in September of 2012. The text and images have been updated.