Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Make Dairy-Free Whipped Cream and Beat Breast Cancer by Cleo Coyle (Vegan Recipe)

I must thank a follower of this blog for inspiring today's post: Nancy Prior Phillips...

Nancy is an enthusiastic reader in general and a booster of mysteries in particular. Over the past year, she's been an incredible inspiration to me (and many others) in her fight against breast cancer. 

Nancy bravely posted on facebook throughout her chemo treatments while showing off a variety of nifty-looking wigs. She's kept her spirits up through radiation and recovery, and we all think she's amazing. (You can friend Nancy on facebook by clicking this link, and I'm sure she won't mind my saying so!)

Nancy also recently developed an allergy to milk products, more specifically casein, and she's quickly learning about clever solutions. When she told me about this one, which is also a vegan solution for dairy-free whipped cream, I tried it and loved it.

Although I don't have a dairy allergy, my late mother, Rose, who fought colon cancer, developed an intolerance to lactose late in life, and I probably will, too. If she were still with me, I'd be tickled to whip this up for her. Since I can't do that, I'll whip it up for you (with thanks to Nancy) and you can bet that we both sincerely hope you will...

Eat with (everlasting) joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

How to Make
Dairy-Free (Vegan)
Whipped Cream 

To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save,
or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle, lover of fluffy,
sweet stuff, is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries

The Haunted Bookshop
Recipe adapted by Cleo Coyle 
Courtesy of Nancy Prior Phillips

This dairy-free whipped cream, made with coconut milk, is absolutely delicious. It's a fun recipe to execute and fairly easy. There are a few tricks to getting it right, and I'll share them with you below. My first tip...

When you make this whipped coconut milk, you'll notice it has a slightly different consistency than dairy cream; it's a little looser. Not to worry. Frankly, it's great served as is, right after you whip it, but you can also get a firmer texture by placing it in the fridge for about an hour after it's whipped--which means it also stores very well. So you can whip it and eat it, OR pop it in the fridge to firm it up even more. And you can store any leftovers in the fridge, too, so you can continue to...eat with (dairy-free) joy! ~ Cleo


1 Can Coconut Milk - Do not use "lite" coconut milk;
   yes, lite is great for cooking, but it won't work in this recipe.
   You will need regular, 
full-fat coconut milk.

1-2 Tablespoons powdered (confectioners') sugar      
      (or the equivalent in artificial sweetener)

(Optional): 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1 - Chill it, baby: Place the can of coconut milk (not lite, just regular coconut milk) in the fridge for at least 48-hours. Although some recipes say “overnight,” that never works for me and my fridge; the cream does not harden enough for me in less than 2 days, so I simply store a few cans in the back of my refrigerator (the coldest part). That way, there will always be one ready when I want one.

Step 2 - Bottoms up: Take the can out of the refrigerator and gently turn it over. Now open the top (which was previously the bottom) and you will see a translucent liquid at the top of the can. Pour this out—you’ll get about ½ cup. (Save it for my Caramelized Banana recipe, which you'll find at the end of this one.)

Step 3 – Whip it good: Inside the can, you will see the hardened coconut cream. Spoon it out into a cold bowl (pre-chill the bowl about 15 minutes in the fridge or freezer). To the bowl, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (or artificial sweetener). Although I don’t add additional flavor, this is the time to add ½ teaspoon of vanilla, for example, or cocoa or cinnamon, if you like. 

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until it’s frothy. (I also pre-chill the beaters in the freezer, about 10 minutes.)

If you find the cream is a bit loose for your taste, no worries, simply place it in the fridge for an hour or so and it will firm up beautifully. Serve as you would dairy whipped cream and store leftovers in the fridge.

And now a little
Bonus Recipe

Caramelized Bananas
in Coconut Cream

This is what I do with the clear coconut liquid (about 1/2 cup) that separates from the hardened coconut cream. I pour it from the can into a plastic container and keep in the fridge until I'm ready to use it in this recipe.

To Make the Caramelized Bananas: Pour the clear coconut liquid into a skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar. Warm and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add sliced bananas to the pan (3 to 4 medium bananas); the slices should be flat and in one layer. 

As you cook the mixture, the bananas will soak up the sweetened coconut liquid and caramelize. Be sure to turn the slices gently during cooking, so both sides have contact with the pan's hot bottom. Serve at once by placing the warm bananas in a bowl or glass and dolloping the whipped coconut cream on top. The whipped cream will melt down, giving you Caramelized Bananas in Coconut Cream that is out of this world and (for vegans and diary-free eaters...) a dessert that tastes like ice cream!

Eat with (dairy free) joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

A Brew to a Kill

Last year's
hardcover bestseller
is now a  bestseller
in paperback!

To learn more,
click here. 

"A foodie's delight...
And a satisfyingly
rich mystery."

~ Kirkus Reviews

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.


  1. An irresistible double-header! Thank you, Cleo - and thank YOU, Nancy, for your ideas, your cheer, your inspiration, and your example. You really are amazing!

    And speaking of doubles, Cleo, you already know I think YOU are amazing! Your sparkling personality and your many skills make recipes much more than just recipes - they are fun, incredibly tempting, and I always learn a few things from them. And was that Jack Shepard I heard in Step 1??

    1. Laine - You are so incredibly kind, thank you for those very generous words, and you know I could not agree more about Nancy (who stopped by in the comments below, so I'll say more to her directly)!

      In the meantime, I'm sending love right back to you for your own supportive good cheer. You're a light that shines brightly, Laine, and that's so clear.

      BTW - The ghost in my haunted bookshop (Jack Shepard, hard-boiled PI) is indeed “alive and well” (so to speak!) in Step 1 "Chill it, baby!"

      If YOU happen to feel a chill this week, no worries, it's just my ghost PI, Jack, bussing your cheek. He thinks you’re aces, too.

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. What a team: the amazing Nancy and the amazing Cleo! And what a recipe. I will be trying this the SECOND the 48 hours is over. It just shows how you can work your way around obstacles. Thank you both so much!

    With love and admiration!


    1. LOL on the "second" the 48 hours is over! It is likely my own cheap refrigerator that refuses to chill the dang coconut milk enough to harden the cream overnight, but you never know...better to leave the can in for that extra day and make sure.

      If it comes out too soon, you'll know it right away because the liquid will not be completely clear and there will be too much of it--and the cream beneath will be mushy instead of hard as in my photos--and I mean really hard. It should be a bit of an effort scooping the cream out. If it's not, the cream didn't hardened enough and it's back to the fridge!

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  3. I am humbled by this shout-out from you, dear Cleo. Truly humbled...Not to diminish the travails of breast cancer and its various treatments but I wouldn't have been able to face it, do it or post about it without my supporters; my family and my friends. Having an outlet on Facebook made the days stuck at home with low immunity due to chemo or fatigue from radiation I always knew my Facebook friends would be there with an encouraging word and endless amounts of love. Thank you, Cleo for brinnging my goofy face to breast cancer...there are way too many faces of this disease, way too many. Remember that love always wins.

    This whipped cream is wonderful and is truly one of my favorite "substitutes"! Cleo, you made it even better by going the extra yard to perfect it.

    Thank you, my friend, so very very much!


    p.s. my hair is growing back!!!

    1. Nanc - You have been in my thoughts and prayers since your diagnosis and you have had my admiration ever since. Now that you are coming to the end of your treatment, I know others will be inspired by your spirit, bravery, generosity, and incredible good humor.

      You are an example to us all in the adversities that we face in our own lives, and I hope anyone who IS going through anything like this will Friend you on Facebook and find your posts as inspiring as I have.

      Please keep in touch and keep us all informed on how you're doing. In the meantime, we'll keep YOU in our good thoughts and daily prayers.

      You are my GI Jane!

      XOXO Love always,
      ~ Cleo (Yer Pal Al)
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. Nanc has increased her cheering section by a lot today!
    Keep up the great work and know we are all with you!!!

    And, as always, the magical Cleo has put her tasty and artistically photographed touch to it.
    Well, done, you two.

    1. Libby - It's always a great pleasure to see you in our Kitchen. Thank you so much for the shout-out to Nanc. She is truly an inspiration. And thank you kindly for your continual support of our Mystery Lovers' Kitchen community. The crime-writing cooks here all appreciate it, including me!

      May you cook with love
      and eat with joy!
      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. WOW, Cleo, what a lovely tribute to Nanc! And yes, she's an inspiration. Humor, color, playfulness will take a person a long way through an illness and give the courage to fight! Congrats, Nanc!!

    What a fun recipe, too. Sorry you can't share with your mom, Rose. I know she's with you in spirit.


    Daryl / Avery

    1. Daryl/Avery - Thank you for the sweet words about my mom, Rose. She would have so enjoyed this blog and all of our books, too.

      Nanc is the best, isn't she? She's such a great booster of mysteries, too, and is so supportive of our blog. It was fun to give her the shout-out today. She's also a wonderful cook (as is her son, Connor) and I'm sure I'll share more recipes from "Chez Phillips," as Nanc calls it, in the near future. Until then, may we all...

      Nom with joy. :)

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. All the best to you, Nancy. I admire your courage. May you soon be cancer free!

    Cleo, your caramelized bananas are simply mouth-watering. What a special treat!


    1. Thanks, Krista! Nanc is an inspiration, and you're right about those Caramelized Bananas in Coconut Cream, they taste as good as they look. (They're out of this world.) I hope you enjoy them and...

      Have a great weekend!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter