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How to Toast Coconut (3 Ways)

An in-depth tutorial on how to toast coconut flakes three different ways -- In the microwave, on the stovetop, and in the oven. You decide which way is best for you!

how to toast coconut flakes on the stovetop, in the microwave, and in the oven

How to toast coconut flakes

There are a few recipes on my blog that call for toasted coconut. White chocolate chips with coconut being the most popular one but I also use it for the nest on top of my chocolate Easter cake!

I love the nutty aroma of toasted coconut and favor the crispness that's added to the flakes. You should know by now, I'm all about texture when it comes to any type of food.

There are actually several different ways to go about toasting coconut and each method will yield you entirely different results. My absolute favorite is to use the oven but I'll let you decide which one is best for you.


How do you toast coconut?

On the stovetop

Put 2 cups of coconut in a medium-sized pan and heat it over medium-low heat for 3-6 minutes. Be sure to stir continuously as it's heating to promote even browning.

toasted coconut in a white fry pan

This is my least preferred way to toast coconut. The coconut didn't brown evenly despite my constant stirring. Some of the coconut flakes were almost burnt while others were barely toasted.

stovetop toasted coconut in a white bowl

In the microwave

Put 2 cups of coconut in a medium-sized glass dish that's microwave safe. I used a 6-cup pyrex storage container. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute.

toasted coconut in a glass dish

This was the fastest way to toast coconut and yielded more even browning than the stovetop method. However, the coconut didn't crispen. It remained soft and slightly chewy.

microwave toasted coconut in a white bowl

In the oven

Spread 2-cups of coconut in an even layer over a large baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Stop to stir every two minutes.

toasted coconut on a baking sheet

This is my favorite way to toast coconut! It only takes a few minutes longer but look at how even that browning is. Every single piece of coconut is toasty and crisp.

oven toasted coconut in a white bowl

Tips for toasting coconut flakes

  • Unsweetened coconut flakes take less time to toast and sweetened flaked coconut takes more time to toast. Watch the coconut closely as it's toasting and remove from the heat source as soon as it turns light golden brown.
  • Be sure to stir the coconut often as it's toasting to promote even browning.

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microwave toasted coconut in a white bowl

How to Toast Coconut (3 Ways)

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

An in-depth tutorial on how to toast coconut flakes three different ways — In the microwave, on the stovetop, and in the oven. You decide which way is best for you!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes, SEE NOTE 1

Instructions

Stovetop directions

  1. Place the coconut in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 3-6 minutes, stirring continuously until most of the coconut is golden brown. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Microwave directions

  1. Spread the coconut in the bottom of a large microwave-safe glass container. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute until the coconut begins to brown. Remove from dish and cool completely.

Oven directions

  1. Spread the coconut in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until the coconut begins to brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a dish to cool completely.

Notes

  1. You can use sweetened flaked coconut also. It may take a few minutes longer for it to toast, so keep a close eye on it and remove it as soon as it begins to brown.
  2. Don't leave the coconut in the hot dish it was toasted in. The residual heat will continue to toast it. Transfer it out of the hot dish into another container to allow it to cool.
  3. Store toasted coconut in a ziptop bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 12gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Nicole Kohler

Sunday 30th of August 2020

Can I use fresh coconut meat that Ive shredded?

Jen Sobjack

Monday 31st of August 2020

I've never toasted fresh coconut meat but I imagine it's fine to do using the oven method.

Dex

Friday 13th of March 2020

I tried the microwave method with sweetened coconut flakes. The texture actually came out nice and crispy! It only took it 2 minutes with stirring every 30 seconds.

James Robert plunkett

Sunday 8th of March 2020

So easy toasting in the oven. Perfection for my pina colada bread.

Laurie

Tuesday 24th of December 2019

I didn’t see anything on how to store the cooled toasted coconut flakes nor did I see how long they can be kept. Did I miss it and if so where is the information listed. And if it’s not listed, does anyone know the answers & if so, can you please respond so myself & others can know. Thank You

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 26th of December 2019

Store the toasted coconut in a ziptop bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Amanda Blackmore

Saturday 31st of August 2019

Thanks very much for your tips. I agree that toasted in the oven gives the best result - my organic coconut flakes were perfectly toasted after 5 minutes!

Jen Sobjack

Monday 2nd of September 2019

Yes! Toasting coconut in the oven is my favorite way.

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