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How to Toast Coconut

Learning how to toast coconut is like learning how to give coconut a special makeover. It transforms those soft, sweet shreds into a glorious golden treasure that adds an extra layer of flavor and crunch to your treats. Imagine biting into a cookie or a slice of cake with a delightful hint of warm, toasty coconut—it’s like a burst of sunshine in every bite! Whether you’re a fan of cookies, cakes, or even ice cream, toasted coconut is here to take your desserts to a whole new level of yumminess.

huge bowl of toasted coconut with a grey and white striped napkin

Now, let me tell you a little secret—making toasted coconut is as easy as pie. You only need one ingredient, some patience, and a hot oven.

Trust me, it’s a simple yet magical process that will enhance the flavors of all your favorite desserts.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • It’s Easy: It takes very little time or effort to make this recipe. In just 10 minutes, you’ll have golden-toasted coconut ready to enjoy!
  • Toasted Coconut is Delicious: You may never have made toasted coconut, but you’ll be glad you know how to make it, and you’ll start to use it all the time.
toasted coconut spilled out of jar and on a wooden spoon

What can I use toasted coconut for?

Toasted coconut can be used in a variety of delicious ways. Here are ten ideas to get you started:

  • Sprinkle it on top of cakes, cupcakes, or pies
  • Mix it into cookie dough
  • Stir it into your pancake batter
  • Use it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt
  • Incorporate it into granola or trail mix
  • Add it to smoothies or milkshakes
  • Use it as a garnish for puddings or custards
  • Mix it into homemade energy bars
  • Add it to protein balls
  • Use it as a filling for homemade chocolates or truffles
  • Sprinkle it over salads or roasted vegetables
  • Add it to your morning oatmeal or cereal
overhead shot of toasted coconut in a class jar on a marble background


Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies
Coconut Pound Cake

What kind of coconut can I use to make toasted coconut?

To make toasted coconut, you can use any shredded coconut you want. But… I really prefer sweetened shredded coconut. Look for the one specifically labeled as sweetened, as it adds a touch of sweetness to the final result. Unsweetened shredded coconut can also be used if you prefer a less sweet version.

Tips for Making the Recipe Perfectly:

  • Spread the shredded coconut evenly on the baking sheet so it toasts evenly.
  • Keep a close eye on the coconut while it’s in the oven to prevent it from burning.
  • Stir the coconut every minute or so during the toasting process to ensure even browning.
  • Allow the toasted coconut to cool completely before using or storing it. Otherwise, it can get a bit wet and soggy.
a mound of how to toast coconut in a white bowl

Recipe Variations:

You can easily add a touch of flavor that will complement your recipe. Here are a couple of ideas:

Toasted Coconut with Cinnamon: Add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to the shredded coconut before toasting for a warm and aromatic flavor.

Toasted Coconut with Lime Zest: Grate the zest of a fresh lime over the shredded coconut before toasting for a fruity and tangy twist. You can also do this with an orange.

toasted coconut spilled out of a jar and onto a table

How to Store Leftovers

In the fridge: Transfer any leftover toasted coconut to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

In the freezer: If you want to extend the shelf life, you can freeze toasted coconut in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.

Can I make toasted coconut ahead?

Yes, absolutely! You can make toasted coconut ahead of time and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it. This way, you’ll have it on hand whenever you need a sprinkle for your breakfast, dinner, or dessert!

over head shot of fresh toasted coconut


Can I use unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened?

Absolutely! You can use unsweetened shredded coconut if you prefer a less sweet taste in your toasted coconut.

Can I toast coconut in a toaster oven?

Yes, you can use a toaster oven to toast coconut. Just make sure to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly, as toaster ovens may vary.

Can I use freshly grated coconut to make toasted coconut?

Freshly grated coconut can be used to make toasted coconut. However, keep in mind that the moisture content may affect the toasting time, so adjust accordingly.

Can I add spices or flavorings to the coconut before toasting?

Yes! Feel free to add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or even a dash of vanilla extract to the shredded coconut before toasting to infuse additional flavors.

Can I toast coconut flakes instead of shredded coconut?

Yes, you can toast coconut flakes using the same method. The toasting time may vary slightly, so keep a close eye on them.

Dessert recipes you’ll love to sprinkle toasted coconut on:

Instant Pot Chocolate Cheesecake
Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes
Instant Pot Bananas Foster Cheesecake
Mini Pecan Tarts

Yield: 4 Cups

How to Toast Coconut

How to Toast Coconut

Toasted Coconut isn’t easy to find in the store, but it pairs well with so many desserts or even breakfast!

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes


  • 4 Cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Spread the coconut evenly on a clean, dry baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 4 minutes before using a spatula to flip and move the coconut.
  4. Every minute or so after that, stir the coconut, until you have baked it for a total of 10 minutes, or until it has reached a nice golden color.
  5. Immediately remove the coconut off the baking sheet and into a plastic bowl to cool.


●It’s imperative that you watch the coconut closely once it reaches the 5-minute cooking mark. Especially on the edges, it will cook fast and burn just as fast. I left it for a minute too long and it had to be thrown in the trash. Learn from my mistake and babysit the crap out of that coconut.
●You can use any type of coconut you like. It works well with unsweetened coconut and flakes as well.
●The perfect toasted coconut, in my opinion, has a tricolor. This means that your coconut will have three varying shades. I find this looks gorgeous on desserts or anything else I’m using it on.
●It’s ok if your coconut isn’t perfectly flat or one layer. Some of the coconut will overlap and bunch up a bit. That’s ok, just keep adjusting it and it will cook.
●Want to ensure the coconut stays closer to one shade of color? Make the layers thinner and watch it very closely starting at the 1 minute mark for cooking.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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