How To Toast Coconut

If you're a fan of coconut, then you're typically all in. Coconut has such a distinct aroma and flavor that either you're head over heels in love, or for the haters, you'd rather eat anything else. For those diehard fans, shredded coconut on its own is still as delicious as can be, but there's something even better about a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

Toasted coconut adds a delightful crunch and a slightly caramelized flavor to any dish, whether you're sprinkling it on top of a fruit and yogurt parfait or a smoothie bowl or you're decking out a coconut cake.

You can certainly purchase toasted coconut at the store, but with how easy it is to toast it on your own at home, we don't know why you would. Plus, some store-bought options have additives in the mix. To toast your own coconut at home, you'll only need shredded coconut and a saucepan, and you'll have beautifully rich toasted coconut in a matter of minutes.

What type of coconut should you use for toasted coconut?

To get started on toasting your own coconut, first select your preference of coconut. You'll want to start with shredded coconut, but you can choose to either use sweetened shredded coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut.

Sweetened coconut is typically a bit softer, with more moisture, allowing for better browning. Unsweetened coconut is already somewhat brittle, so it won't take as long to toast. It all comes down to flavor preference.

Pour shredded coconut into a saucepan

You can toast any amount of coconut you want, but it helps to do a larger batch so you always have it on hand. Start by measuring out two cups of shredded unsweetened coconut and pour it into an un-greased saucepan. Turn the stovetop on to low to medium heat.

Stir the coconut on medium heat

Once you've poured the coconut into the saucepan, it's all about stirring continuously. You'll want the heat from the pan to evenly distribute amongst the shredded coconut. Stir the coconut continuously to allow it to heat up and begin toasting.

Once browned, remove the coconut from heat

As you continue stirring, you'll notice the edges of the shredded coconut pieces start to brown. In total, toasting the coconut should take ten to 12 minutes until the majority of your coconut is browned and slightly crisp. Remove the coconut from heat immediately once browned.

Can you toast coconut in the oven?

Utilizing the stovetop method is certainly the simplest when it comes to toasting coconut, but there are other options. If you'd prefer to toast your coconut in the oven, you can. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour two cups of coconut onto a baking sheet to create an even layer, and then put it in the heated oven. You'll want to check the coconut often and stir it around on the pan. Once your shredded coconut has started to brown and crisp, it's ready. This should take about ten minutes, depending on your oven.

While this is a simple method, we find that it's much easier to keep an eye on your toasted coconut on the stovetop, rather than having to open the oven multiple times. Coconut toasts incredibly quickly, meaning it only takes a few extra minutes for it to go from nicely toasted to burnt. Using the stovetop method will help to better avoid burning your coconut.

What can you use toasted coconut for?

Toasted coconut adds such a delicious flavor to a huge variety of foods. You can use toasted coconut as a simple garnish or mix-in for a dish of yogurt or top a smoothie bowl with it. It's also a delicious topping for coconut rice or even a salad. Using toasted coconut to add a splash of color, texture, and flavor to a dessert such as a coconut cake, coconut cupcakes, or a coconut cream pie are all great delicious options as well. The possibilities are endless!

How To Toast Coconut
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Toasted coconut adds a delightful crunch to any dish, whether you're sprinkling it on top of a parfait or you're decking out a coconut cake.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of toasted coconut
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • Pan or Dutch oven
  • Sheet pan
  1. Measure 2 cups of shredded sweetened coconut into a saucepan.
  2. Turn the heat on the stovetop to low to medium heat.
  3. Stir the coconut continuously in the saucepan until it begins to brown. Once the majority of the pieces of coconut are toasted and lightly brown, remove the coconut immediately from the heat.
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