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How To Make Thick Coconut Yogurt and Keep a Continuous Culture Thriving

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You are going to see a lot of new recipes featuring this rich and creamy coconut yogurt.

A collage of bowls of creamy coconut yogurt with text overlay.

I just can’t seem to get enough of this tangy, thick, fermented coconut yogurt. It is full of healthy satiating fats and great gut-friendly probiotics, plus it is completely dairy free! I love my raw cow’s milk yogurt but having a second creamy fermented yogurt is a lot of fun to work into new and exciting recipes. It’s also extremely easy to keep a continuous culture going so you will always have coconut yogurt on hand.

A bowl full of rich and creamy coconut yogurt.

Making Coconut Yogurt With Capsule Probiotics

I’ve tried the capsulated probiotic method for making coconut yogurt and never had great success. The yogurt was always runny and never got the effervescence of the store-bought coconut yogurts.

So inevitably I was buying the expensive, tangy, beautiful little glass jars of sparkly cultured coconut yogurt from the health food store.

and then it hit me…

I decided to try using the store-bought coconut yogurt as a starter. I have had great success using store-bought yogurt to culture raw milk so why not coconut milk!

A close look at the thick and creamy texture of this fermented coconut yogurt.

Using and Maintaining a Strong Culture

I chose my favorite brand of coconut yogurt (the one with the greatest fermented fizz) and added 2 tablespoons to 2 cans of organic guar gum-free coconut milk. I mixed it well and let it ferment overnight on the counter with a loosely fitted lid. The next morning I stirred the cultured coconut milk until it was smooth and placed it in the refrigerator where it continued to ferment and thicken. After about 24 hours the yogurt has visible bubbles and had the pleasing effervescence that I was looking for!

I ate that jar of coconut yogurt pretty quickly over the next few days. Before I had eaten it all, I started a new batch the same way I had started the original. The next batch fermented just as well as the first and so did the next few batches after that one. I have no idea how long the continuous starter will last but if it ever fails or wanes in effectiveness I will update you on when and why (if I know).

Try These Recipes That Use Coconut Yogurt

Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Curry Soup

Two steaming bowls of super creamy Coconut Cauliflower Curry Soup. #keto #lowcarb #dairyfree #nourishing #realfood

Probiotic Coconut Mango Lassi Popsicles

A colorful plate of mango lassi popsicles.

A bowl full of rich and creamy coconut yogurt is a great source of gut friendly probiotics and healthy fats!

Thick Coconut Yogurt

Yield: 1 Quart
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Fermenting Time: 2 days
Total Time: 2 days 5 minutes

This super culture will be the mother to many batches of thick, creamy, healthy, probiotic coconut yogurt.


  • 2 cans (13.5 ounces each) organic coconut milk (guar gum free)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut yogurt (either store bought or prevous batch)


  1. Mix the coconut milk and coconut yogurt in a quart-sized jar.
  2. Add a loose-fitting lid and ferment at room temperature overnight.
  3. Stir the yogurt well and refrigerate the jar for at least 24 hours.
  4. Eat the yogurt in smoothies, with fruit, as a topping or dressing, and more.
  5. Remember to save 2 tablespoons to start your next batch!


There may be a tiny bit of separation at the bottom of the jar. This is normal and you can use the liquid portion in smoothies or just stir it back in. 

A bowl of creamy coconut yogurt with text overlay.


Monday 21st of August 2023

Wondering if you could use a high quality grass fed cow milk yogurt as the starter for coconut milk yogurt? And is the canned coconut milk with nothing added better to use or do you suggest the coconut milk in the cartons? Thanks

Butter For All

Friday 25th of August 2023

Hi Susie.

Something tells me that it might be a strange flavor combination to add cow milk yogurt to coconut milk. I don't know. I think it's worth just getting one jar of starter coconut yogurt at the grocery. Coconut cult has been working well for me. If you are wondering about the coconut milk that is supposed to be a drinking-milk replacement, I don't think that will thicken, you really want to use a culinary coconut milk like this.


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

I did it! I used 2 heaping tablespoons of Cocoyo plain for my starter and I used TJ's coconut cream instead of coconut milk (I looked at the ingredients and there is no guar gum or any thickener added). I live in Florida, it's summer, and temps are in the 90s every day here so I set it out on my covered porch to ferment. I tasted it after 8 hours and it was a little tangy. This morning I tasted it; it was much tangier but not fizzy like the Cocoyo and I noticed some air bubbles forming in the "yogurt". I think that means that I made it correctly and the Cocoyo inoculated it with living beneficial organisms. I've put it in the fridge and will try more than just a taste tomorrow morning. Oh yeah, it is fairly thick, like regular yogurt. I am super excited and pleasantly surprised. Thank you!

Butter For All

Friday 25th of August 2023

Hey Stephanie!

Woohoo, I'm so happy it worked for you! Once it's tightly capped, it may also build up some extra effervescence.


Thursday 13th of April 2023

I’m excited to try this. I’ve used Cocojune yogurt and Embē coconut milk. My house got cold last night so I’m going to leave it out for today and put it in the fridge this evening. What I’m wondering is if it should have a good fermented flavor/smell before it goes in the fridge? Since the temp in my home fluctuates so much, it would help me to know what flavor, smell, consistency I should see before I stick in the fridge to finish up. I don’t want to put it in there too soon. Thanks!

Butter For All

Tuesday 18th of April 2023

Hi Crista,

Often the coconut pulp and water will separate, and you may see trails from fermentation bubbles in the pulpy part. There will be a pleasant sour smell and a tart taste, sometimes it will even acquire effervescence! A lot of the coconut milk without gums doesn't thicken up more than a kefir like consistency. I don't mind that tho since I use it for smoothies. If I want it thicker, I don't stir it when it separates but instead skim off the pulp and drink the water. I hope it worked for you. I've never used Embe, so I hope you'll come back and tell me how it went!

Cheers! Courtney


Sunday 19th of February 2023

My yogurt never thickened. I used Trader Joe's coconut milk (no guar gum). And I used So Delicious coconut yogurt which was supposed to contain active cultures. Any ideas why it didn't work? Thanks!

Alyssa M

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

@Butter For All,

I used so delicious also and a canned milk with no gum. It did thicken for me, so not sure what happened. I do live in a warm climate si maybe thats it? And i left it outside for a bit longer than overnight, about 18 hours to be exact.

Best of luck!

Butter For All

Sunday 19th of February 2023

Hi Karen,

I would guess it was the brand of yogurt you used as a starter. Or it might have needed a little more time fermenting. Did the coconut milk get pleasantly sour? Also, it wont really thicken until after refrigeration. Even then, most coconut milk brands are so watered down now that it's more like a kefir consistency. I used to be able to get thicker coconut milk but the brand I was using is more liquid now than ever. :(


Saturday 17th of September 2022

Mine did not ferment after 48 hours. Can I use the coconut milk and try to make yogurt in my instant pot?

Butter For All

Sunday 18th of September 2022

Hi Becky!

It might need a little longer, or a little heat. If that's what you mean by IP, then yes, go for it! What did you use to start the culture?

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