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Coconut Butter – Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

Coconut Butter – What is it? Where do I buy it? Can I make my own? Is it the same thing as coconut oil? And how on earth do I use it?

Bring out the mittens? In Texas summertime, it’s considered a cold front if the temperature doesn’t reach 100 degrees. Today, therefore, we’re experiencing a cold front. It’s only going to be 99. The sweltering weather is bad for almost everything: growing plants, running outdoors, paying your air-conditioning bill… However, there’s one thing you can do really well in the heat:

Make homemade coconut butter!

It took me just 10 minutes to make an entire jar’s-worth of coconut butter yesterday. Then I spent much more time chasing the capricious light all around my little house, trying to photograph said coconut butter.

Repeatedly eating my props didn’t help. 😕

This stuff is dangerous.

I can go through a jar of homemade or Artisana coconut butter in less than a week.

My favorite way to eat it is to spread it into candy molds, freeze, and eat what I call “Coconut Melties” straight from the freezer. Or spread the coconut butter on banana bread or stir it into oatmeal… I love that too. Here is a link to all of my coconut butter recipes:

70 Healthy Coconut Butter Recipes

coconut butters
coconut homemade

coconut homemade

coconut butter

Coconut Butter & Coconut Oil FAQ

Over and over, I’m receiving the same questions regarding coconut butter and coconut oil.

While I try to answer as many of these questions as I can in the comment section, I understand why no one would want to read though the overwhelming number of comments (many of which are repeats) to see if a particular question about coconut butter has been answered. To make it easier, I’ve rounded up the most-frequently-asked coconut butter questions and am posting the answers all in one place.

Tip: Did you know that if you press “control f” you can search for a key word on any webpage? This trick has saved me a lot of time, and I wish more people knew about it!

chocolate covered katie coconut

1. Can I make my own coconut butter?

Yes! You can find the easy recipe here: How To Make Coconut Butter. 

2. Is there a difference between coconut oil and coconut butter?

There is definitely a difference between the two. Think peanut butter vs. peanut oil. One is thick and smooth, while the other is liquid at room temperature. Coconut butter includes the meat of the coconut, while coconut oil does not.

3. Can I use coconut oil whenever a recipe calls for coconut butter?

It depends on the recipe. Many recipes that call for coconut butter won’t be the same if you substitute coconut oil. Some readers say they’ve successfully made my fudge recipes with the oil instead of the butter, but I wouldn’t recommend it for best results. Coconut butter will yield a much richer texture. Same thing with the candy or peppermint bark recipes I’ve posted.

However, it is fine to use in the famous Coconut Crack Bars.

4. How do I melt hardened coconut butter?

Coconut butter is strange. Depending on the climate (temperature and humidity), it can be smooth, liquidy, rock-hard, or even crumbly. It also burns very quickly, so I’d caution against trying to microwave the jar, at least for anything longer than 15 seconds. A few options: You can stick it in a warm (not hot) oven for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F and stick the coconut butter inside immediately after turning the oven on. Take it out after five minutes–the oven will never actually get up to 350 degrees. Often, after I’ve cooked something, I’ll turn the oven off and then stick the coconut butter jar into the oven as it cools. Or you can make a water bath (I haven’t done this, but I know others have). Or, if you only need a small amount, you can take some out and place it on a candle warmer. If it’s too dry, I like to melt a little virgin coconut oil and stir it into the coconut butter to get it smooth again.

Or… just come to Texas. Winking smile

5. My attempt at homemade coconut butter never turned into butter. What did I do wrong?

Maybe nothing. I’ve never encountered problems making homemade coconut butter, and it works for many others as well… but for some reason (it might have to do with climate), a few readers aren’t able to achieve the buttery spread. For best results, be sure to use a whole bag so there’s enough to blend smoothly. Also, if it’s not getting smooth, add a little melted virgin coconut oil to the blender.

6. When making coconut butter, can I sub ____ for the shredded coconut?

I’ve only tried this with Let’s Do Organic brand unsweetened coconut shreds or unsweetened coconut shreds from the bulk aisle of the grocery store. So I don’t know if works with sweetened coconut shreds, reduced-fat coconut shreds, or fresh coconut.

7. How do you store coconut butter?

Store homemade coconut butter in a sealed container or glass jar. There is no need to refrigerate it, and the coconut butter will last for at least a few months in the pantry… that is if you don’t eat it all first! Mine lasts for about a day. Seriously, I might have an addiction…

8. Where can I buy coconut butter?

While coconut butter used to be hard to find, it’s now widely available even in regular grocery stores. Look in the natural food section of most grocery stores, or try the nut butter aisle of Whole Foods or your local health food store. You can also find it online at stores like Vitacost, Thrive Market, iHerb, Swanson, and Amazon. Brands that sell coconut butter include Artisana, Maranatha, Nutiva, Nikki’s, and Dastony.




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Ryan Reynolds Blondie Bars


Healthy Cookie Dough Dip - I tried this and was shocked... it really does taste exactly like real cookie dough! (Repinned over 350k times) @choccoveredkt

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

(The original version of the internet famous recipe!)



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Published on June 30, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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  1. Leanne says

    I love homemade coconut butter! I have a recipe on my site as well =)
    It’s easy to make and SO very versatile! I love, love, love it 😉

  2. Anna Banana says

    I tried it with sweetened coconut once because that’s what I happened to have. No luck, tragically! It just kind of clumped instead of getting liquidy and delicious.

      • Jen says

        I did use sweetened cause thats all i could find….it took FOREVER! Close to an hr in food processor with me stopping every 10 min or so to let food processor cool down….it did work tho…will try and find unsweetened next time!

    • Jane says

      I am so glad you posted this…I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut anywhere and happened to have some sweetened in my cupboard so tried with that and it just got clumpy and crumbly. I thought I had done it wrong or something. Now I’m all fired up about it again! I’ll have to make a trip to Whole Foods and get like 20 lbs of unsweetened coconut in bulk so I don’t have to make the trip again for awhile.

  3. Ms. Chanandler Bong :) says

    I looked everywhere for unsweetened coconut, and nobody around here has it 🙁 I tried to use sweetened, like Anna Banana, and it didn’t work either. I just decided to ask for 2 jars of it for my birthday… Hurry up July 2nd! 🙂

    • Minti says

      :DLate response, but if you go to any asian (including indian) store, you’ll be sure to find unsweetened coconut shreds. Good luck:)!

    • Kim says

      There are soooo many uses for coconut oil. My favorites include rubbing a little in my hands and then using it as a lotion, it makes my skin (especially the super dry areas like elbows and knees) super soft, or I put it in my hair once or twice a week, let it sit for a few hours. I used to have clients swear that’s how their hair got long and thick, I just know my hair feels less damaged much faster than anything I have ever used in or out of the salon. Ps sorry for the many years late response… but just ideas if it ever happens again!

    • Laurie phillips says

      i have a problem with coconut oil and milk….it gives me epigastic pain. why? Does that mean I am allergic to it. I get
      the kind at the store. O organics brand. Not sure if I need to try a different one. I have used it on myhands and faces and it does not bother me just if I eat it on my baked goods instead of butter. I know it is better for you since it has so much healthy benefit. So I only put it in my recipes not to drink or to eat plain.

  4. Naomi says

    I tried making the 3 ingredient chocolate coconut oil bars and the taste of the coconut oil was overwhelmingly oily and very bitter! Is the taste of coconut butter less bitter and oily? Bc the oil is gross….I don’t know what I’m going to do with a huge can of it :-/

    • Liz says

      It sounds like you got a really bad jar of coconut oil! Either that, or did you accidentally use refined coconut oil? The two are not the same thing. Virgin coconut oil is sweet and makes foods delicious, especially the chocolate bars!

      • Anonymous says

        Wow, it definitely sounds like you got really bad coconut oil. It should have a slight coconut taste and definitely NOT be bitter. Coconut oil is oily because it’s oil.

        • Alanna says

          I second these — the oil itself should be pretty neutral in taste. The chocolate, however, will definitely be very bitter with just oil and cocoa powder (especially unsweetened cocoa powder). Take heart, though — even if you decide you really don’t like the taste of the oil, it’s wonderful as a skin moisturizer, and I’ve even heard you can use it as a natural makeup remover!

          • Clare says

            I use my virgin coconut oil for food (it has a light coconut taste) and to remove makeup too!

    • Anonymous says

      Naomi, cook with the oil. It’s incredibly good for you plus it heats well. Try googling the great benefits of coconut oil. You’ll be surprised. Also great oil for your skin.

    • kittymamma says

      I think too, that you must have gotten refined coconut oil (like the ever present- at any store- LouAnn which I made the mistake of getting years ago the first time I tried to get it. Still kept it around for various uses 😉 but you need to get VIRGIN NON-REFINED coconut oil….it’s pricy but I watch for sales and always check both the organic/natural food isles as well as the plain old oil isle next to the EVOO usually…I’ve found a great store brand at Kroger’s in the regular section- have Virgin unrefined organic and non-organic too!! 😉 But I think Spectrum is the last brand I got a huge jar of for a better price/oz…it’s so good and so freq. used in this house that I’m willing to buy in bulk 😉 Enjoy- it’s actually the only oil I’d ever sneak a little taste of after getting it out of the measuring cup…like I would with butter ;P so can’t WAIT to try this coconut butter- thanks so much!!!

    • Laurie phillips says

      what brand did you use kittymamma? Katie likes the Artisana but I have not tried that one yet. I am going to try her
      coconut homemade butter since I have tried the milk but don’t have a fancy blender like vita mix.
      Good luck with trying the recipe again.

  5. Liz says

    Thanks for such a fantastic post, Katie. And for doing the work so we don’t have to search through the comments to find answers.

    I have to admit that my only gripe with your blog is that it’s TOO popular ;). Every time I have a question about a recipe, I need to read through 43854953085 comments on the post to see if I’m asking something someone’s already asked before me!

    • Alanna says

      If you’re browsing from a desktop computer, try using Ctrl+F (control find) to search the page for a word or phrase… I do this a lot when I’m curious if someone else has tried a particular substitution or something. (Unfortunately I don’t think you can search using a mobile browser from your phone or a tablet PC.) I look at it this way: if everyone decided they didn’t feel like reading the comments before posting their own (possibly repeat) question, the list of comments gets even longer and more difficult to read! That also means more questions for Katie to try and get through, which makes it even harder for her to respond personally to any of us. I’d rather look for the answer myself (whether it’s in an existing comment or through Google) and help keep her inbox clear for the more important stuff. 🙂

  6. Chelsea says

    It DOESN’T work with reduced fat! I bought reduced fat on accident the first time I tried that, and now I have super fine reduced fat coconut powder, which I still add to things because its tasty. It makes sense, because they evaporated out the fat so there is nothing to make it smooth and buttery!

    • Amber says

      NOOO!!! I just finally made it to Whole Foods last night and bought 2 bags so I would have it. I was putting it away when I noticed I got reduced fat. I was just looking at the comments now before i went to make the butter!

      • Kitty says

        I know it’s way late to offer a solution but in case anybody else needs this, just add coconut oil to the reduced fat coconut shreds to make coconut butter. it’s probably a no brainer, but it’s much easier if someone else has said it as well. reduced fat? start your coconut butter in the blender and then add coconut oil til it becomes smooth and peanut butter textured.

        • Mattea R Martin says

          I’ve been trying off and on all day. I tried to make coconut butter in a Ninja blender and also in a Black and Decker food processor with no look.I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong.
          I literally added the unsweetened shredded coconut to the food processor and blender turned it on when it got clumpy and added some coconut oil but it never got to a butter consistency just very grainy and thick.

    • Marni says

      Yeah and fat free or reduced fat anything is never tasty or good! Just eat less of the full fat variety and you get both the fullness from the fat plus the health benefits. Healthy fat (butter, coconut, olive, walnut oils, etc) has been wrongly demonized since the late 50’s when a doctored report was realized stating that fat was the reason for heart attacks and strokes. What is actually responsible for the heart attacks and strokes are sugar in all its forms and vegetable oils! Shocking, I know but makes complete sense when you think that people have eaten butter, ghee, coconut products, olive oil, etc for millennia and the spike in cardiac events occurred only when hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils were introduced along with the introduction of high fructose corn syrup to processed foods.

  7. Naomi says

    The can does say double filtered???? I knew that was questionable but it was the only kind in the store so I grabbed it wishfully thinking it would work. I’m glad there is still hope and I can keep a look out for virgin coconut oil or try to make the butter. I don’t know what in the world anyone uses refined coconut oil for….maybe I’ll but it in my hair?? Thanks for your reply!

    • Alanna says

      See above (replied to the original before I read this one) — you can definitely use it in your hair, or on your skin!

    • Kitty says

      I use it for cooking savory dishes, because some people don’t like the sweet taste of coconut in their savory dishes.

  8. Laura says

    I was one of the ones who asked the difference between coconut butter and coconut oil awhile ago, and I was so excited to get a personal answer from you. I felt like a famous person was writing me back! You’re a super popular blogger with 40,000 facebook fans, and yet you take time to answer questions from people like me. Thank you!

  9. Laura Miller says

    It does not work with sweetened coconut, just as a reference. Or at least, it didn’t work for me. Unsweetened coconut works fine though.

  10. Anonymous says

    if you have a vitamix or other high powered blender, make your coconut butter in that instead of the food processor, it works REALLY fast 🙂

  11. Emily says

    Thank you for posting this FAQ! If I’m ever down in TX, I’m looking you up to give you a big hug and thanks for making it easier to eat healthy and lose weight (at least for me!). Also, I’m making some of your yummy cookie dough dip for book club tonight and not telling anyone what’s in it until they’ve all eaten it!!

  12. Kara @Nutritious-n-Delicious says

    Yum yum yum! I tried this a few days ago and LOVED it. I think I need to let mine blend awhile longer though because it was still a little …gritty? I am not sure it thats the right word. Haha. I just couldn’t wait to eat it! I saw one blogger wrote that she let her’s run in the food processor for about 20 minutes!! I think I’d have to do it in intervals in that case or my processor would over heat! Anybody else have this problem?

    • Stella says

      Yeah, mine always stays a bit gritty. I kinda lose patience after ~10min., plus I don’t want to overheat my blender, that’s def. why. The longer you blend, the smoother it gets. I still like it with a little grit 😉

      • olga Alvarez says

        thank for letting me find my answer to the butter being grainy keep doing all the recipes love them, Olga

  13. Basil says

    Oh, hah, that totally made my day! I live in Texas, too. And I TOTALLY get what you mean about the cold front. Good idea, I should go make some coconut butter now, since it’s soooo cold outside 😉

    • Laura Miller says

      That was my other problem the last time I tried to make it, other than using sweetened coconut. It was impossible to clean and had a really weird texture. Especially because I added some milk to try to get it to blend. XD

      • KittyF says

        Don’t add milk. that binds it up and makes it harder to both make and store. Add coconut oil. Nut butters are Powders suspended in oil. add oil if you w

        Coconut shreds are dried. nut butters are not liquids even though the oils act like liquids oils are not liquids. they are warm solids. so nut butters will bind up if liquids like milk are added. they absorb the liquids into the dry powdery solids and swell.

  14. Erin says

    I live in Georgia… it was over 110 yesterday 🙁

    but this means that my coconut butter was nice and soft. haha.

    Coconut butter is so delicious 😀 sometimes it’s hard to control myself around it. I’ve said before that if I were to die tomorrow, one of my biggest regrets would be never getting to eat a jar of coconut butter in one sitting… haha. I’ve always restrained myself because I know that I wouldn’t be able to move afterwards 😛

  15. Sami says

    Hey Katie, do you know if the butter can go bad? I don’t put mine in the fridge ’cause it said on the jar to leave it at room temp, but I’m worried about it spoiling…

    • KittyF says

      According to Tropical Traditions who says His wife is Filipino , the people of the Philippines dry their coconut meat to preserve it and coconut butter is made from DRIED coconut meat. it is more shelf stable than peanut butter since coconut oil is higher in saturated oils that are more stable in higher temperatures. peanut butter might only last 3 or 4 years on the shelf, the coconut butter should last 5 or more.

  16. Jordan says

    Hey, I live in Hurst and I walked out this morning to 90 degrees and it felt breezy and cool to me! Hahaha 🙂

    • Erika says

      I have made it in a magic bullet, but it does take quite a bit longer and a short cup full of coconut only equals a large baby food jar sized batch of coconut butter.

      • vicki says

        Erika… that sounds like a perfect portion! I have a jar of coconut butter, but now I know why my jar is hard and crumbly and not smooth and spreadable like I’ve seen in pics. THANKS KATIE! I’m going to try the magic bullet method to see if a I get a better consistency w/homemade butter.

        • Jody says

          I actually just made Coconut Butter for the first time, using the Magic Bullet. I didn’t find that it even took the full 3 minutes to make. Actually mine turned out a bit runny, not thick.. Is that normal ? And if not, will it thicken up in time ?

  17. Erica @ Cult of Kale says

    This is great infromation! I always thought they were the same! My coconut oil is solid at room at room temperature though, and I can only get it liquidy if I melt it. Is it just mislabeled?

      • Alanna says

        Yep, that’s totally normal — it melts somewhere around 78 degrees, but below that temp it looks a lot like the butter! It’s often less uniform in texture from solidifying unevenly, though (at least mine is). It only takes 20-30 seconds to melt a full jar in the microwave with the lid off. Hope that helps!

  18. Robyn says

    Great info….So I tried the control F just to check it out…now all the letter f’son your page are highlighted…how do I get rid of that??

  19. Taylor says

    Katie, thank you SO much for this! If you Google ‘difference between coconut butter and coconut oil’ you get no decent results! Finally, all my questions answered! =D

  20. Anonymous says

    I want to do this right away! I can’t afford t buy real coconut butter so this is great for those who are penny-pinching.

  21. Moni Meals says

    This is so helpful Katie! you’re the best thanks,for all the tips. I hope it cools down for you soon. 🙂

  22. NessyS says

    Um, this might seem really stooopid but when Katie says “Shredded, unsweetened coconut” does this mean what we call here (Australia) “dessicated coconut” (which is dried and in fine shreds – generally unsweetened) or is it raw, shredded coconut (a product that doesn’t exist here)? Should I buy a coconut and get to it with a grater (or what you guys call a “shredder”) ? Talk about lost in translation! I don’t know what you guys have in the states – and coconut butter and oil is (I’m guessing) just as expensive here as it is in the USA – ’cause it’s mighty pricey! xxx

    • katy says

      Not stupid at all, different countries have different names for things! “Desiccated unsweetened coconut” should work for making coconut butter, I believe it’s the same thing as our “shredded unsweetened coconut”. 🙂

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