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How to Toast Coconut Perfectly In a Pan, Oven, and Air Fryer

Transform your desserts with toasted coconut! You will be amazed at just how easy it is to toast coconut in the oven, in a pan, or even in the air fryer! In just a few short minutes you can have beautifully Toasted coconut to sprinkle on your favorite desserts from chocolate chip cookies to rich chocolate cakes, and decadent chocolate cream pies!

Toasted coconut in a small black bowl on a marble counter with toasted coconut scattered across the surface.

Have you gotten on the toasted coconut train yet? Seriously, this stuff is a game-changer in the dessert world. Not only does it look incredible with its beautiful golden brown color, but it adds a delightful nuttiness in flavor and a whole new dimension of texture. Not to mention that satisfying CRUNCH is completely irresistible!

You guys wouldn’t believe how often I see people searching for toasted coconut at the store! Here’s the thing: it’s either nowhere to be found, or it costs a small fortune for a tiny bag. But guess what? It’s so easy to make at home in just 10 minutes or less! You’ll never buy toasted coconut again! So grab a bag of shredded coconut and let’s get toasting! 

What You Need

Toasting coconut flakes may be the easiest baking basics recipe on our site. And it only requires one simple ingredient. Coconut! That’s it! Just coconut. 

Fresh shredded sweetened coconut flakes scattered in the center of a wooden leaf platter on a marble counter

You can toast pretty much ANY type of coconut you can get your hands on! Sweetened coconut flakes? You bet! Unsweetened coconut chips? Absolutely! Even those fancy, delicate coconut shavings? Yup, those too!

You can toast coconut flakes in 3 different methods, on the stove in a pan, in the oven, and even in the air fryer! 

You can toast both sweetened and unsweetened coconut flakes. Just remember, the sugar in sweetened coconut tends to brown faster than unsweetened coconut. Keep a close eye on it to avoid burning! 

How to Toast Sweetened Coconut on the Stove

Heat a non-stick pan or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. We want it nice and toasty, but not scorching.

Toss in your shredded or flaked coconut – whichever you prefer for your recipe.

Shredded coconut in a stainless steel skillet on a stovetop

Keep Stirring frequently. You want to keep the coconut flakes moving until the flakes turn a beautiful golden brown. Think sunkissed beaches, not campfire embers.

toasted coconut flakes in a stainless steel pan on a stove top

Once it’s reached toasty perfection, remove them from the heat immediately. 

How to Toast Shredded Coconut in the Oven

Preheat oven to 325°F. 

Spread your shredded or flaked coconut evenly on a baking sheet. You can even spread it out on parchment paper on a baking sheet for easier clean up. 

Bake for 5-10 minutes,  stirring with a wood spoon or kitchen spatula every now and then. We want even toasting, not a coconut tan line!

Let the coconut flakes cool completely before using them to sprinkle sunshine on your favorite treats!

How to Toast Coconut Flakes in the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 325°F

Toss your shredded or flaked coconut in the air fryer basket.

Cook for 3-5 minutes, but be sure to give the basket a shake halfway through. We want all those flakes to get evenly golden brown.

Keep a watchful eye! Coconut can burn quickly in the air fryer, so take it out when it’s perfectly toasty, not accidentally crispy.

Toasted coconut in a small black bowl on a marble counter with toasted coconut scattered across the surface.

Roasted Coconut Tip

I find the oven method gives you the most evenly toasted coconut flakes,  The downside is that it does take a little longer than on the stove in a pan. 

I prefer to toast coconut flakes in the oven when I’m dealing with a big batch. The oven lets you toast a mountain of coconut flakes all at once and ensures every single flake gets perfectly and evenly toasted.

I prefer toasting coconut in a pan when I only need less than a cup of toasted coconut flakes. The stovetop heats up fast, so it’s perfect for toasting a small amount of coconut flakes in a flash. No need to wait around for the oven to preheat – just toast and go!

The air fryer is my go-to for medium-sized coconut toasting jobs! It’s quicker than the oven and won’t heat up the whole house, but it can handle more than a small pan on the stovetop.

Overhead view of toasted coconut scattered on a marble counter with a small black bowl filled with more toasted coconut in the center

Storing Toasted Coconut

To keep that perfect crunch and flavor alive, store your toasted coconut flakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Like a tiny flavor vault! This way, they’ll stay fresh for up to a month, ready to be sprinkled on everything from baked goodies to oatmeal and yogurt.

Want to enjoy the deliciousness of toasted coconut for even longer? You can freeze it!

Just store your cooled toasted coconut in an airtight container and pop it in the freezer. It will stay fresh and flavorful for up to a year.

When you’re ready to use your frozen toasted coconut, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or at room temperature. It might lose a touch of crispness compared to freshly toasted coconut, but it will still be delicious!

Uses For Toasted Coconut

Toasted coconut is like the magic sprinkle of the dessert world! It adds a whole new level of flavor and crunch to anything you put it on. Sweet or savory, it doesn’t matter – this stuff is crazy versatile!

Close up view of the top of a coconut cream pie with toasted coconut flakes sprinkled on the top

Some of our favorite ways to use toasted coconut include:

  • Yogurt Parfait Power-Up: Plain yogurt can get a bit boring, right? Liven it up with a layer of toasted coconut for a delightful crunch
  • Trail Mix Makeover: Give your classic trail mix a grown-up twist. Add toasted coconut to add a fun nutty crunch and a touch of sweetness.
  • Ice Cream Sundae: Ditch the boring sprinkles and add a generous handful of toasted coconut to your next ice cream sundae. The warm coconut flavor against the cold ice cream is a match made in heaven!
  • Fruity Crisp Crunch: Elevate your favorite fruit crisp by topping it with a streusel made with toasted coconut, oats, and brown sugar. It’ll add a whole new layer of flavor and texture that’ll have everyone asking for seconds.
  • Pie Crust Perfection: Give your pie crust a fancy upgrade by pressing some toasted coconut into the dough before baking. It adds a beautiful golden color and a hint of sweetness that pairs perfectly with any filling.
  • Smoothie Bowl Crunch: sprinkle a handful of freshly toasted coconut flakes on your smoothie bowl for added texture
  • Coconut Pancakes: mix freshly toasted coconut flakes into your pancake batter for a nutty immersive tropical breakfast experience. 
  • Cake Elevation: turn any regular cake into a coconut cake by including coconut in the batter, or in the filling layer and top with toasted coconut flakes on top.  
  • Cookie Dough Dream: Level up your cookie dough game! sprinkle in some toasted coconut before baking for a burst of flavor and a textural surprise in every bite. 
  • Perfect Dessert Topping: sprinkle toasted coconut on the top of your favorite desserts from cakes, and cupcakes to pies and ice cream to have a beautiful garnish and delicious crunch in every bite. 

These are just a few ideas to get you started! The possibilities are endless when it comes to toasted coconut. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see where your creativity takes you. 

Overhead view of toasted coconut scattered on a marble counter with a small black bowl filled with more toasted coconut in the center

No matter which method you choose, either in a pan, in the oven, or in the air fryer, toasted coconut adds a delightful nuttiness and a satisfying crunch that elevates everything from cookies and cakes to yogurt parfaits and trail mix.

So get creative! Experiment with toasted coconut in your favorite recipes and share your delicious creations with us! Post it on our Facebook page or Tag us on Instagram!  

Don’t forget to leave a 5-star recipe rating on the recipe card below if you loved learning how to toast coconut at home! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Yield: 2 cups

How To Toast Coconut

Toasted coconut in a small black bowl on a marble counter with toasted coconut scattered across the surface.

Want to unlock a whole new level of flavor and texture in your desserts? Toasting your own coconut is surprisingly easy and can be done using your stovetop, oven, or even an air fryer!

The stovetop method is perfect for small batches and takes just minutes. The oven gives you the most evenly toasted coconut, ideal for larger quantities. And the air fryer is a super fast option, perfect for a quick sprinkle of toasty goodness.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded Coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Instructions

How to Toast Sweetened Coconut on the Stove

Grab a stainless steel skillet or non-stick pan and set it over medium heat. We want it nice and toasty, but not scorching.

Toss in your shredded or flaked coconut – whichever you prefer for your recipe.

Stir frequently. Keep the coconut flakes moving until the flakes turn a beautiful golden brown. Think sunkissed beaches, not campfire embers.

Once it's reached toasty perfection, remove them from the heat immediately. 

How to Toast Shredded Coconut in the Oven

Heat your oven to 325°F. 

Spread your shredded or flaked coconut evenly on a baking sheet.

Bake for 5-10 minutes,  stirring with a wood spoon or kitchen spatula every now and then. We want even toasting, not a coconut tan line!

Let the coconut flakes cool completely before using them to sprinkle sunshine on your favorite treats!

How to Toast Coconut Flakes in the Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 325°F

Toss your shredded or flaked coconut in the air fryer basket.

Cook for 3-5 minutes, but be sure to give the basket a shake halfway through. We want all those flakes to get evenly golden brown.

Keep a watchful eye! Coconut can burn quickly in the air fryer, so take it out when it's perfectly toasty, not accidentally crispy.

Notes

Storing Toasted Coconut

To keep that perfect crunch and flavor alive, store your toasted coconut flakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Like a tiny flavor vault! This way, they'll stay fresh for up to a month, ready to be sprinkled on everything from baked goodies to oatmeal and yogurt.

Freezer: 

Store cooled, toasted coconut in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before using.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 8gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although Busy Creating Memories attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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