How to Toast Coconut (3 Easy Ways!)

Learn how to toast coconut flakes in 3 different ways (they’re all super easy!), how to store toasted coconut, how long toasted coconut lasts, and the many different ways you can use this fun, tasty ingredient! 

toasted coconut in a white bowl

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I recently toasted a bunch of coconut for a new ice cream recipe. I’ll share that really soon because we’ve been testing it and it is awesome! Seriously, because the family inhaled it!

I realized I’ve never shared how to make toasted coconut here on Good Life Eats, so I thought I would do that before I shared the toasted coconut ice cream with you.

I love to add toasted coconut flakes to baked goods and use it as a garnish on bowls of ice cream or yogurt and granola. Do you love coconut or hate it? Fortunately, everyone in our house is of the same opinion: coconut it any form is delicious!

If you are a coconut lover and haven’t yet tried toasting coconut before, you should!  It adds a ton of flavor a depth to whatever recipe you are adding it to, and I love that it adds some nice color (thanks to the golden brown flakes!).

How to Toast Coconut

There are three super easy ways to make toasted coconut for all of your favorite recipes: on the stove, in the oven, and in the microwave. 

Each way is equally simple, in my opinion, it just depends on what your method you personally prefer.

3 white bowls of toasted coconut on white background

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How to Toast Coconut in the Oven

Oven toasted coconut works well, too! The reason I like this method the least is because I feel like it tastes the longest since you have to wait for the oven to preheat.

Feel free to use this method if you prefer it! There is no right or wrong way to make toasted coconut.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet, making sure it is an even, thin layer.
  3. Bake for 4-6 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  4. Stir the coconut and redistribute on the pan.
  5. Bake for an additional 4-6 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved (stirring ever 4 minutes so that it browns evenly).

How to Toast Coconut on the Stove

The thing I like about making toasted coconut on the stove is that you can watch it the entire time and have 100% control over the level of browns because you’ll be watching and stirring it the entire time.

toasted coconut in a cast iron pan

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  1. Add the coconut to a heavy cast iron pan.
  2. Spread it out to an even, thin layer and cook over medium-low heat.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat until desired brownness is achieved.
  4. When desired brownness is achieved, remove from heat and let cool completely.

How to Toast Coconut in the Microwave

This is a newer method for me. For the longest time, I always made my toasted coconut on the stove. That way works great, but the microwave method is the best, in my opinion.

Why? Because I think it yields the most beautiful, evenly golden brown toasted coconut of all of the different methods!

To toast coconut in the microwave, follow these simple steps:

  1. Spread 1 cup of coconut in a 9×13 glass pan.
  2. Microwave the coconut on full (100%) power for 3 – 6 minutes, in 1 minute intervals. That means 1 minute at a time.
  3. In between each minute, stir the coconut. Then, microwave for another minute.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until desired brownness is achieved. For me, I found that 5 minutes was perfect.

How to Store Toasted Coconut

If you’re toasting coconut for a recipe, you might as well make more than you need because toasted coconut is a great thing to keep on hand in your pantry.  

Once the toasted coconut has cooled completely, you can store it in several different ways. 

  1. Store it in a jar in your pantry: My favorite option for how to store toasted coconut is to transfer cooled, toasted coconut to a jar and store it in my pantry. I can easily measure out what I need for a recipe or sprinkle a handful on top of a bowl of granola.
  2. You can also store it in a bag in the pantry, but I prefer jars like these Weck Jars because I can label them with my label maker, stack them to optimize pantry space, and easily see what the contents are.
  3. Store toasted coconut in the refrigerator: you can place the bag or jar of coconut flakes in the refrigerator. This is best if you plan to use it regularly but either have a large batch that you want to last a long time.
  4. Store it in the freezer: Cool the toasted coconut, transfer to a resealable freezer safe storage bag, and stash it in the freezer. Make remove as much air as possible and be sure to label the bag with date and contents.

No matter which way you choose to store your toasted coconut, make sure that you have allowed it to completely cool before packaging it. You don’t want to introduce any moisture via condensation due to heat. This will severely shorten how long it will last.

How Long Does Toasted Coconut Last

Stored at room temperature, a batch of toasted coconut will last about 4 – 6 months.

If you’re want a batch of toasted coconut to last longer than that, you can store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. It will last up to 8 months stored this way. 

Uses for Toasted Coconut

Now that you know how to toast coconut flakes, you might be wondering what to make with toasted coconut. There are so many ways to use this fun ingredient!

overhead shot of a white bowl of toasted coconut on a white background

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  • Sprinkle on ice cream or stir in to a batch of homemade ice cream
  • Use as a garnish on all your favorite Thai dishes
  • Stir into a bowl of oatmeal
  • Add to Homemade Yogurt
  • Sprinkle in a bowl of Oatmeal
  • Use as a salad topping

Toasted Coconut Flakes Recipes

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using toasted coconut flakes. For more coconut recipes, check out all of the coconut recipes using the ingredient index!

collage of favorite toasted coconut recipes

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My favorite coconut bread recipe is this recipe for Coconut Lime Banana Bread with Lime Glaze. With coconut, lime zest and juice, and vanilla extract added to the batter, you get a banana bread that has a sweet, citrusy,  tropical flavor to it. The bread is topped with a simple lime glaze and sprinkled with plenty of toasted coconut

If you’re looking for a Coconut Curry Recipe, I love this Coconut Chicken Curry Soup RecipeThis is a fast and easy soup recipe that is full of flavored a great recipe if you are short on time. 

For Toasted Coconut Cookies, I have two options for you. Check out the recipes for Toasted Coconut “Sugar” Cookies and White Chocolate Lemon Coconut Cookies

Coconut Balls, like these Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Energy Balls will help you satisfy your chocolate cravings with a mix of protein, healthy fats, and naturally sweet dates and coconut.

For a fun take on coconut bars, these Kiwi-Lime Bars with Macadamia Nut Crust will fit the bill! They’re topped with plenty of toasted coconut flakes for extra crunch and flavor.

For a savory coconut recipe, check out this Pineapple Chicken Quinoa SaladIt combines all the best flavors and textures with crunchy nuts, sweet dried pineapple, coconut flakes, and fluffy quinoa, for a unique one dish meal.

Toasted Coconut

Toasted Coconut

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Learn how to toast coconut flakes in 3 different ways (they're all super easy!), how to store toasted coconut and how long toasted coconut lasts.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Coconut Flakes

Instructions

How to Toast Coconut on the Stove

  1. 1. Add the coconut to a heavy cast iron pan.
  2. Spread it out to an even, thin layer and cook over medium-low heat.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat until desired brownness is achieved.
  4. When desired brownness is achieved, remove from heat and let cool completely.

How to Toast Coconut in the Oven

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet, making sure it is an even, thin layer.
  3. Bake for 4-6 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  4. Stir the coconut and redistribute on the pan.
  5. Bake for an additional 4-6 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved (stirring ever 4 minutes so that it browns evenly).

How to Toast Coconut in the Microwave

  1. 1.Spread 1 cup of coconut in a 9x13 glass pan.
  2. Microwave the coconut on full (100%) power for 3 - 6 minutes, in 1 minute intervals. That means 1 minute at a time.
  3. In between each minute, stir the coconut. Then, microwave for another minute.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until desired brownness is achieved. For me, I found that 5 minutes was perfect.

Notes

How to Store Toasted Coconut

  • Store it in a jar or bag in your pantry: My favorite option for how to store toasted coconut is to transfer cooled, toasted coconut to a jar and store it in my pantry.
  • Store toasted coconut in the refrigerator: you can place the bag or jar of coconut flakes in the refrigerator. This is best if you plan to use it regularly but either have a large batch that you want to last a long time.
  • Store it in the freezer: Cool the toasted coconut, transfer to a resealable freezer safe storage bag, and stash it in the freezer. Make remove as much air as possible and be sure to label the bag with date and contents.
  • How Long Does Toasted Coconut Last

  • Stored at room temperature, a batch of toasted coconut will last about 4 - 6 months.
  • If you're want a batch of toasted coconut to last longer than that, you can store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. It will last up to 8 months stored this way. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 65 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 40mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Protein: 0g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.