Coconut Milk Yoghurt
Making your own coconut yoghurt is simple and cost effective. You can choose how probiotic you want your yoghurt to be by extending the fermentation length time and by what culture source you use. We recommend you select a starter culture with a good selection of beneficial probiotic strains. You can even use kefir grains to make kefir instead of yoghurt with this recipe. GAPS Diet Australia have a good selection in their shop, however if you have a good strong multi strain probiotic of your own, you may also use that for your starter.
Servings Prep Time
1Litre 30minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
1Litre 30minutes
Cook Time
Mixture Ingredients
  • 1Litre Full fat coconut milk(see our coconut milk recipe) Avoid BPA cans & petra-paks containing added water
  • Yoghurt starter cultureOPTIONS • Dairy free cultured yoghurt starter powder (measure as per product instructions) OR • Two Dairy free probiotic capsules per litre of milk OR • 1/3 cup of coconut yoghurt as a starter per litre of milk • Kefir
  • 1-2Tbs Raw honeyGenerally not required for incubation depending on milk source. See notes below
  • 2Tbs organic gelatin powderOptional: depending on viscosity preference
Optional ingredients for sweetening
  • 1-2Tsp Raw honeyOptional: To be added after fermentation & refrigeration to taste
  1. Sterilize all equipment in hot water (80˚C) for 1 minute. If you are sterilizing glass jars, do not drop them in boiling water over 80 ˚C or you may risk cracking or breaking them. You may risk contamination with bad bacteria if all the equipment is not first sterilized.
  2. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to 80 degrees C, then remove from heat. Do not boil the milk over 90 degrees Celsius; this will spoil the flavour. Your coconut milk must reach 80-90 degrees Celsius or you risk contamination with bad bacteria. Raw coconut milk can be made without heating, however this needs to be done with fresh naturally retrieved coconut milk that is less likely to be contaminated.
  3. In some cases you may need to add honey. Honey is not usually added to coconut milk because it does contain it’s own sweetness to feed the culture during the fermentation process, however some milk sources may require it so you may need to experiment with this in whether to add the honey or not. Sweetness provides food for the bacterial culture and your yogurt will often not ferment well without it if it is not sweet enough on it’s own.
  4. Cover and cool the milk until it reaches a temperature between 38-45 degrees Celsius. Do not add the starter culture until it has cooled down or it will kill the good bacterial culture you are about to introduce.
  5. Pour aproximately1/2 cup of cooled coconut milk from your mixture into a sterilized glass, and mix in your starter culture or probiotic. Stir well until all is dissolved.
  6. Return the stirred ½ cup mixture to the existing cooled milk and mix well with a whisk or spoon.
  7. Pour cultured milk into your sterile yogurt maker jars, or any sterile glass or enamel containers that work for you and place the jar in the yoghurt maker.
  8. Set the timer for the desired incubation period and ferment the yoghurt for 7 – 9 hours at a temperature range between 38˚C and 45˚C. The Wholesome ‘me’ yoghurt maker will ferment up to 36 hours if you wish to ferment longer and produce a strong probiotic and very tart yoghurt flavour.
  9. When the fermentation is complete, transfer the yoghurt to the fridge to set for 6 hours before consuming. Refrigeration for this time allows the yoghurt to set.
  10. If your yogurt separates after chilling (which is common), either stir it briskly with a spoon, or whip it with a stick blender.
  11. If you wish to have thicker yoghurt strain the yoghurt and drip all the liquid whey out of your yogurt using a cheesecloth. Drip the yoghurt whey for 6 – 12 hours through a cheesecloth. The whey is probiotic and can be used to add to soups (when cooled before eating) for added probiotic nourishment.
  12. Add honey or fruit to taste.
Recipe Notes


Your yoghurt should smell and taste sour like yogurt. If you notice a bad odor, mold, or hints of grey or pink on the surface, we suggest that it has been contaminated with bad bacteria overgrowth and advise to throw it out and try again. This can be caused by a number of things:

  • The equipment was not thoroughly sterilized
  • The milk source was contaminated (was it canned or other?)
  • The milk source in a tetra-pak contained too much water and very little fat
  • The starter culture died from temps too high or too low
  • The starter culture is not right for the type of milk used the starter culture did not have enough natural sugar content to feed of in the milk source
  • The starter culture is out of date or not active
  • The correct amount of starter wasn’t used
  • Other foreign “bad” bacteria colonized the batch.

Unlike nut milks, most coconut milk sources do not require added honey during the incubation period to feed the fermentation process as the coconut milk usually has it’s own sweetness.  However, we can’t control what milk source you choose to use so adding honey during the preparation before the incubation period will be something you may need to experiment with on your own.

Coconut yogurt produces a thinner and runnier yoghurt viscosity compared to cow’s full cream milk yogurt, but there are two ways to thicken it: Add a dissolved thickener like natural gelatin to your milk before fermentation, OR after fermentation, strain the yoghurt and drip all the liquid whey out of your yogurt using a cheesecloth.

Once fully cooled, your yogurt may separate again, with some of the coconut oil hardening on top and a clear or cloudy liquid on the bottom. This happens especially with homemade coconut milk which hasn’t been homogenized and emulsified with factory machinery. This is usually not a problem, as long as everything else smells and tastes right. Just mix well with a spoon or stick blender, and enjoy.

Some new tetra-paks of coconut milk are not appropriate for making yogurt because they are mostly water and very little fat. Choose a high-fat natural coconut milk or cream made for cooking.

Use the same ingredients to make kefir by switching the dairy starter or probiotics with kefir grains and follow the kefir recipe instructions.  This is best made in one large container though (not individual jars).