Toasted Coconut

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Making homemade toasted coconut is easy as can be! Learn how to toast coconut on the stove top in a skillet or in the oven with delicious results.

There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly toasted coconut flakes. Sprinkle them on Coconut Cake or Coconut Banana Bread for that perfect finishing touch!

Toasted coconut in a small jar with ice cream in background.

Why make Toasted Coconut

Plain shredded coconut is delicious. But toasting coconut takes it to a whole ‘nother level!

  • Nutty flavor. Toasting your coconut brings out the natural nuttiness of coconut. It adds a complex dimension to all your baked goods.
  • Delicate crunch. The crisp edges add lovely texture to homemade cakes, cookies and candy.
  • No preservatives. Store bought toasted coconut has all kinds of additives to keep it fresh. When you make your own, you get nothing but the pure toasty coconut flavor!
  • Works with unsweetened or sweetened coconut.
Toasted coconut in a skillet with wooden spoon.

How to Toast Coconut in a Skillet

Toasting coconut on the stove top is the quickest method. And the easiest to watch, so you don’t have burnt coconut.

Use a large skillet that can fit all the shredded coconut in a single layer. Turn the stove onto medium-low heat. Stir frequently as the coconut toasts.

Continue toasting for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the coconut is lightly browned and fragrant.

Let the toasted coconut cool completely on parchment paper before using.

Toasted coconut on baking sheet.

How to Toast Coconut in the Oven

Preheat the oven. While it warms up, lay the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Distribute the coconut flakes in an even layer.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Give the flakes a stir at the half way point and keep stirring frequently to prevent burning.

When the coconut is lightly browned, remove from the oven. Transfer the coconut to sheet a parchment paper and allow to cool completely.

Shredded and flaked coconut in bowls for comnparison.

Tips and Tricks

  • Keep close watch. Coconut toasts very quickly. It only takes a few seconds for it to go from “toasted” to burnt.
  • Sweetened coconut cooks faster. Sugar speeds up the toasting process. If you’re using unsweetened flakes, you may need a bit more toasting time.
  • Storing. Leftover toasted coconut can be stored in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.
  • Do not refrigerate. Chilling the toasted coconut will make it soggy.
  • Use a large enough pan. The coconut should fit in an even layer without much overlap. This helps it toast evenly and crisp up a bit.
Toasted coconut in a bowl and on a spoon.

Recipe FAQs

How do you use toasted coconut?

Toasted coconut is fabulous in all kinds of desserts and pastries. Sprinkle it on yogurt or garnish for a fruit salad. We’ve also been known to enjoy it on our oatmeal and ice cream.

How long does toasted coconut keep?

Stored properly, your homemade toasted coconut stays good for about a month.

Do you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?

I have made this recipe with both. Unsweetened coconut (obviously) will have a less sweet flavor profile and is less easy to burn.

Toasted coconut sprinkled on vanilla ice cream sundaes.

Serving Suggestions

How will you enjoy your homemade freshly Toasted Coconut?

There are so many ways to enjoy toasted coconut. Serve on a yogurt parfait, or sprinkle on our delicious fruit salsa.

Don’t forget to add it on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream!

Two bowls of coconut, one is toasted.

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Toasted Coconut Recipe

5 from 5 votes
By: Aimee
Making homemade toasted coconut is easy as can be! Learn how to toast coconut on the stove top in a skillet or in the oven with delicious results.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 1 cup


  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
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For the Skillet

  • Add shredded coconut to a skillet and toast over medium low heat, until golden brown and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes.) 
  • Make sure that the skillet is large enough that the coconut can be spread out in an even layer.  Stir frequently to prevent the coconut from burning.
  • Transfer the toasted coconut to a piece of parchment paper and cool completely before using.


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spread the shredded coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, making sure not to overlap.
  • Bake for 6-8 mins stirring frequently to prevent burning (about halfway through and then more frequently as the coconuts gets closer to the end of baking time.)
  • Keep a close eye on it for the last couple of minutes. It can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.
  • Transfer the toasted coconut to a piece of parchment paper and cool completely before using.


  • Skillet Cooking: coconut around the edges of the pan started to toast first. Coconut began to sizzle slightly when the process first started (about 2 mins into cooking time).
  • Unsweetened Coconut will work for this as well. The sweetened coconut will toast faster and is easy to overcook. Sugar speeds up the toasting process.
  • Storage. Store toasted coconut in an air tight container, in a cool dry place for up to a month. No refrigeration – the coconut will get soggy and chewy. 
  • Uses: Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Top of oatmeal, Ice Cream, Snacks, Popcorn topper


Serving: 2Tbsp, Calories: 48kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 30mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g
Course: Basics
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on April 15, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. I’ve tried both methods, and I like the oven method slightly better, but they both yield toasted coconut that is so yummy I have a hard time not eating it by the handful! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This is so handy because I always want to toast coconut to put on top of my strawberries! I find it at the perfect sweetness and crunch!

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