Soya-Who? Soy-Free Vegan Whipped Cream


True confession (of the culinary kind):

Even though I stopped baking with refined sugar almost a decade ago and never keep it in the house, there are times when I cave.  On occasion I’ll purchase a sugar-laden product, either because (a) it’s something new and fabulous and I feel I MUST try it, or (b) it’s something not normally available to vegan eaters and I want to taste-test, to see if I can conjure up a healthier version of my own.  Sometimes, it’s both.

That was the case when I bought my first–and only–can of Soyatoo a couple of months ago.  My friend PR Queen and I attended a health food fair where they were hawking selling the product tax-free (which–as those of you who’ve ever shopped in Canada will know–is, like, 85% off).  I couldn’t resist.

And so, feeling oddly like Sethi in the movie The Ten Commandments (though not at all regal, of course), I broke my own vow, and uttered the name of. . . Roses!  Soyatoo-based roses, to be precise.  And rosettes.  And swirls. And squiggles.

I had visions of light, fluffy peaks of the white stuff adorning cream pies and tarts; high, shimmering towers of it piped over fresh berries; or amorphous, cloudlike mounds of it perched atop steaming mugs of hot chocolate.  All these images whirled in my head as I forked over the cash and embraced my can of white, wondrous whipped “cream.”

The second I got home, I pulled some frozen raspberries from the freezer and hastily spooned them into a bowl so I could test out my cache. I followed the directions on the can–exactly–and pressed the button.  There was a hissing sound, a slight whoosh, and then–ah, sweet mystery of compressed edible oil product!–out came a rosette.  One.

And then, all was silent.

I shook the can.  I pressed again.  I shook again.  I placed my mouth over the nozzle as if performing some grotesque, otherworldly mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and sucked out the excess topping before trying again.

Nothing. Nada. Not even the slightest sibilance.

And so, there went my can of Soyatoo–straight in to the garbage.*

Well, there was one favorable outcome from that failed experiment: I decided then and there to create my own, much healthier,  non-dairy whipped cream.  I fully realize that there are other similar creams already posted on the Internet (thanks, Hannah, for this recipe), but my needs were very specific.  I wanted mine to (1) be soy-free; (2) avoid the waste of using only part of the can of coconut milk;  (3) contain no sugar, and (4) be simple enough that it could work without a candy thermometer or any other special equipment.

Well, I came up fairly quickly with what I considered to be a servicable product, and one that was soy-free, to boot.  I even piped it onto Nava‘s Butterscotch Mousse Pie that I wrote about a while back, and the HH and I enjoyed that batch immensely.  Here’s what it looked like:

Before posting my recipe, however, I knew I’d need to test it out numerous times to ensure it was sound and that the results were consistent. I even enlisted two others (thanks, Sally and Alice) to help out as recipe testers.

Well, sorry to say, the results weren’t stellar. While the testers’ feedback was very positive regarding taste,  they both said the cream was a bit too soft and not fluffy enough.  I found my own results to be frustratingly inconsistent, even though I thought I was following the exact recipe each time.

And then, it hit me:  I was using coconut milk, but not the identical coconut milk for each and every trial!  Once I discovered which brand worked best, I tried again–and again, and again–with (qualified)  success. It wasn’t perfect, but the outcome was similar each time.  And so, I’ve decided to post the recipe as it now stands despite the imperfections, in the hopes that some of you might try it out and report your own findings.

The cream is rich-tasting, light, and can stand in very effectively for dairy cream atop desserts (I have no idea how it would work, say, folded into a chocolate mousse, however).

Here are some important notes before you begin: :

  1. The recipe uses agar, an ingredient I’ve found to be tricky in the past.  Moreover, since I couldn’t find agar powder here in Toronto, I bought flakes and then ground them up myself in a coffee grinder.  So I can’t vouch for results if you use regular agar powder or agar flakes.
  2. After trying several brands of organic coconut milk and finally moving to conventional coconut milk, I found the only brand that seemed to work consistently was Rooster Gold Label brand (I know it’s available at all Loblaws stores, but have no idea about stores outside of Canada).  I checked labels, and the brand I used contains a whopping 22% total fat content.  I’d think that if you use a milk with a similar fat content, it should work just as well.
  3. This is a very fussy recipe.  You need to cook the mixture, blend it, cool it a bit, blend again, cool some more, then whip with electric beaters–not for the faint of heart.  That said, once it’s whipped, it will retain its shape for several days.
  4. If it doesn’t work out perfectly as a whipped topping, it is sensational to eat on its own–rich, smooth, not too sweet, and very creamy.

I’d love to hear from those of you brave (foolhardy?) enough to try it out, and see if we can’t refine and perfect the recipe!

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  1. Yum!! This looks delicious. I avoid processed soy foods so I would gladly try this. =)

  2. ok, that just looks unbelievably, insanely decadent and tempting! lovely pictures too.

  3. I’m definitely going to try this! That’s just about the coolest thing ever, Ricki. Thanks!

  4. How awesome that you figured it out! I’ll have to try your version next time. 🙂

    And by the way, when I make the standard coconut cream that uses only part of the can, I use the remaining liquid in place of soymilk in baked goods- No waste!

  5. You couldn’t get the soyatoo “cream” out of the can?? That’s too bad! My family loves it (no trouble with the can).

    However, your soy-free whipped “cream” looks FAR superior than the Soyatoo product – yum!

  6. Oh. My. Goodness. I haven’t had whipped cream in over a year due to my dairy intolerance and I stay away from soy because it upsets my stomach. This is a Godsend!!!

    I am most definately making this. Ricki, I hope you wore your cape when you made this, because you are my hero 😉

    Such beautiful photos, too. Has anyone ever approached you about creating a cookbook?

  7. amazing! amazing! amazing. i want it all!

    you are so talented!

    I have never tried soya cream – i now have many reasons to!

  8. scratch that! why be lazy! bring on the coconut~!

  9. Courtney says:

    You are a kitchen goddess! Seriously! It looks so lovely in your photos…I just may have to try it…


  10. Coconut whipped cream???? Wow, that just blows regular dairy whipped cream right off the map!

  11. I wasted TWO cans of soyatoo because of the same problem! Such a waste of money! I hope I have the patience to try your recipe. I’m soyfree too, so coconut milk seems like the perfect option. Your toppings look fantastic!

  12. When I look at cream I often think I wouldn’t mind being vegan (which is quite different from my thoughts on cheese) so I admire your efforts in finding the perfect cream recipe but I don’t think I could be bothered – but then I really have never excelled at presentation and your photos really do look lovely with the cream rosettes and swirls!

  13. Romina,
    Glad you’re feeling brave enough to give this a go! Let me know how it works out.

    Thanks so much! Yes, very decadent. . . and, unfortunately, pretty easy to keep eating! 😉

    I was hoping the agave would make this Deb-friendly! Let me know how you like it if you do give it a try.

    Well, it’s a bit more complicated (!) than the other version, but I do like the fact that it’s almost entirely the coconut cream here. . . and what a great idea for the extra coconut milk–hadn’t thought of that!! I will give that other cream a try next time I have a special dessert to bake.

    Guess I just wasn’t lucky with that can! Maybe I’ll try again if I get the inclination. But glad you like the sound of this one!

    Aww, thanks so much! I am SO glad this will let you try something creamy after such a long break! As to the cookbook, well, let’s just say I’ve done some ‘approaching’ myself, but so far, nope, those legions of publishers just haven’t called!

    Happy Herbivore,
    Thanks. Unfortunately, I also wanted it all–and ended up eating it all, too (with the HH, that is)! And I think I’ve officially decided that I must try that soya cream again, too. 🙂

    Thanks so much! If you’re feeling adventurous and do try it, let me know how you like it!

    Well, I haven’t had regular dairy whipped cream in ages, but I have to admit that, if memory serves, I liked this one better!

    Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who got a bum can! This recipe does take some patience, which is why I’d save it for special occasions. But it is yummy!

    Thanks–yes, I’d say this is really for those who either can’t or won’t use the other options (either canned, soy, with sugar, etc.) Glad you liked the photos! 🙂

    • Hi, Ricki!

      It looks gorgeous! But coconut milk is so high in saturated fat that I just can’t get into it! And, in my opinion, MimiCreme is too sweet and kind of gooey. I usually use the Almond Creme Whipped Topping in my new book (recipe on my blog recently, too), but have you ever tried the Soyatoo Whippable Topping? It’s in an asceptic carton and you can whip it yourself.
      Image of box:

      Here’s another review with a photo:
      (I don’t think it had a “distinctly soy flavor”, as she said, though (she didn’t mean it in a bad way, though).

      It’s MUCH better than the canned stuff (the can is too unreliable and wasteful) and, unlike the canned version, it will actually stay whipped for long enough to ice a cake with it! It’s harder to find, though, but carries it, and also Vegan Essentials (it’s on backorder just now)– they ship to Canada at a reasonable fee.

      • Thanks, Bryanna! Unfortunately I can’t have anything with sugar in it, and I don’t eat products like Soyatoo because they are usually too processed for my digestive system. But your topping does look great to me! 😀

  14. It’s just amazing to me what we’re (Veggies) capable of in the kitchen now. Who would have thought that standard dairy items like whipped cream would be available to vegans (in a non-processed from a can kind of way)? I swear this lifestyle gets more and more freeing all the time!

  15. hi ricki
    when i tested this, i used coconut cream – should i have used coconut milk? oops… it did work pretty well even so. and it sure tasted good!
    best wishes

  16. I am blown (or should I say whipped? :-)) away!! Your cream is absolutely gorgeous! Far, far more tempting and beautiful than any store-bought product… I am in awe!

  17. How awesome is that!! I just found your site from vegan eating for one. Love you site. I had the same thing happen to me with soyatoo. I emailed the company and they told me this happens because it is a product of England and there processing and storage is different in the USA. They did send me a coupon for a free bottle and directions on how to “prime” it before using it. After all that, the family was not keen on the taste anyway. I am going to try your version for sure. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. I have never seen the brand of coconut milk you used, but I will keep an eye on the lable and make sure mine has 22% fat content.

  18. I just bought the SOYATOO SOY WHIP in a carton.
    You have to whip it yourself for about 10 minutes or until light and fluffy.
    It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it sure came in handy this morning.
    I refrigerated the leftovers in a container and it was still perfectly fluffy when I used it again 10 hours later.
    I admire you for making your own.
    That’s pretty awesome.

  19. just wondering what made the cream in the second picture (the one with the tart) firmer? did you chill it again?

  20. Monika K,
    I have to agree–I feel my cooking and baking, and even my eating habits, have become much more creative since I focused on a vegan diet!

    Hi Alice,
    Well, that explains it! I’d guess the coconut cream version would be much heavier. Yes, the recipe calls for coconut milk. Glad you liked it anyway!

    Astra Libris,
    Thanks so much!

    Thanks for your comment, and welcome to the blog! That’s so interesting about the Soyatoo and processing. All these comments people have left are making me think I might try it again. And thanks for wanting to give this version a try. . .as I said, it’s a bit of work, but I loved the result. And I think other coconut milks would work, but the final product might just be a little softer. Let me know what you think if you try it!

    Vegan Tickles,
    Thanks so much for your comment–and welcome! You make quite a good case for the Soyatoo, too–sounds much easier than mine, for sure!

    Welcome to the blog! Thanks for your comment. The softer version was made with a different coconut milk, if I remember correctly. I found that, once it was whipped, refrigeration didn’t really change the texture much. Even after a night in the fridge, it held the exact same shape (whether soft or firmer) the following morning.

  21. veganhomemade says:

    That’s a seriously impressive inovation. Congrats on success!

  22. I don’t have electric beater, so I’ll probably never make this recipe, but I have to tell you it is amazing! such a good work! congratulations!

  23. Wow, I’m impressed! Good for you for avoiding soy.

  24. Gosh, I thought I had already commented! Probably I did something cute like comment and forget to press “send”. But I have to say, these look like your improvising etc worked out–everything looks intensely decadent, and extremely delicious!!

  25. I had EXACTLY the same experience with Soyatoo…TWICE! I will never buy it again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  26. Veganhomemade,
    Thanks for your comment! And glad you like the cream!

    Alice (in Veganland),
    Thanks so much. I was really hoping I could somehow create something very easy to make and not requiring any special tools, etc. . . but it just wouldn’t cooperate. Maybe next time round. . .

    Thanks! Even though I do eat soy products, sometimes I feel as if it gets to be a bit too much, and everything contains soy. . . this is a nice alternative.

    You were here in spirit, so thanks! 🙂 And yes, it is pretty decadent-tasting. . .I’m going to reserve it for special occasions (also because it takes so darn long to make!!).

    Well, that does make me feel a little better about my own Soyatoo experience, but sorry you had to lose out, too! Glad you like the recipe, though 🙂 .

  27. Your story (funny), pictures (delicious), recipe instructions (fabulous)…great blog!!!

  28. Kristen’s Raw,
    Thanks so much for your comment, and for visiting my blog! It’s much appreciated. And thanks for your kind words. Glad you liked the recipe!

  29. Wow, look at all these comments! Ricki, you’ve gotten insanely popular!

    I love looking at the results of your whipped coconut cream experiment. I’m going to have to try the recipe out again soon.

  30. kimberlysnyder says:

    This looks delicious!

    I think it is great to put non-soy recipes out there. Soy can be so processes and have so many estrogens and protein-blockers.

    I really prefer almond milk though. Is that okay to use instead of the rice milk?

  31. jentifred says:

    Oh yay!

    My son has a milk allergy and I have a soy allergy, which makes life difficult around here. But I am SO going to try this!

  32. Wow, what a great recipe,thanks!!! I also had a disappointment with Soyatoo whipped cream, just like you described.

  33. This looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. I am in the US and can’t find the brand of coconut milk you use. can you give me a bit more info in it so i can find something comparable?


  34. Dror h says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Tried it last night and it turned out great. Only difference I used Alpro cooking soy milk (one without salt/sugar added) instead of rice milk which I didn’t have at home.
    Taste really good, and the cream come out real firm. Will definitely make this again.

  35. MacNabb says:

    This topping is absolutely delicious– smooth, creamy, and just the right sweetness. The only hitch as far as I’m concerned is the raw cornstarch taste. I’m curious why the recipe calls for that second addition of *raw* cornstarch. I’ve always had the same problem with frostings made with powdered sugar– which has a small amount of cornstarch in it to prevent caking– I can taste the raw cornstarch.

    Whole Foods regular Organic Coconut Milk worked perfectly.

    I might try this recipe using Mimicreme instead of coconut milk, since I have some coconut haters in my gang.

  36. I must try this, it looks too good to be dairy free AND soy free! I’ve tried to make similar whipped creams with coconut milk, but never had have turned out like yours, wow! It is beautiful. I can’t eat corn; what do you think the best substitute for the cornstarch would be – arrowroot, tapioca, or kudzu?

  37. On the website, there is a detailed description of how to treat the can so it works. It’s all about not over-cooling it and shaking the cream down to the nozzle. They recommend taking it out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving or not putting it in the fridge when it’s new and using it straight from the store (kinda tough to time that one just right!) They have both soy and rice now. My kids like the soy one, but I want to try the rice one next to see of there is a less earthy taste to it. Our last can did act a little silly, but we haven’t had a problem with any other purchases! LOVE your coconut milk idea – wish I had more time to cook!

  38. Wow! I made this at Christmas at my mom’s house so I could eat something rich and decadent along with everyone else.

    It tasted beautiful. I had to sub arrowroot because I’m not supposed to eat cornstarch, but I think it worked fine. I almost stopped whipping it early on, just to pour over pie as a more liquid cream. But I carried on, and it was worth it. Everyone agreed that it was a nice sub for whipped cream, especially with the coconut flavor.

    Mine was a tiny bit grainy, and didn’t look quite as perfect as your photos, but we *did* get a little impatient and did the final whipping before it was stone cold.


  39. WOW. I love the flavor of Dreena Burton’s celestial cream (with soy), but am too lazy to figure out how to get a firm texture. This looks AWESOME: flavor sounds divine, plus the structure that I’d like for topping pies and shakes. Thanks!

  40. Hey Ricki

    I love your recipes. I even tweeted to the ellen show for you!! You must get on the show. Anyway I tried this cream. Its not coming out firm at all!! I left it in the fridge for 24 hours too. It was a firm gel but as soon as I started blending it, it completely liquefied. I am trying to make whipped topping for a banana split sundae. I followed the recipe exactly?! Any tips or tricks here??

  41. I use organic coconut milk as whipped cream, all by itself, but for company or a special treat this sounds yummy and worth the extra work. I do feel important to mention that Agave Nector has some negetive news and encourage all to do some research.

  42. Sorry, I should have provided the info I found, however, there is much more on this subject.

    • Hi Janay,
      Thanks for the info and link. Actually, Rami Nagel has been discredited since he first wrote that article almost 5 years ago. However, I know there is still controversy swirling around agave. After reading a lot on both sides of the issue, I am comfortable using agave nectar that is organic and minimally processed, similar to the agave that’s been used for hundreds of years. Like any natural sweetener, I wouldn’t use it in excess; I wouldn’t be drinking maple syrup by the cupful, either. 😉

      For some balance, you might like to check out these two posts.

      • Kim from May 20th asked what could be subed for the cornstarch – is there something? I am brand new to all of this!
        Thanks, Lisa

        • Lisa, I think I answered Kim via email. I’ve tried arrowroot and it didn’t work too well. . . doesn’t hold a shape the same way. You could try tapioca starch and see what happens. . . but I can’t guarantee that, either. For this recipe, cornstarch really does seem to be necessary–sorry!

  43. I don’t think you realize how brilliant you are! This is fantastic, and probably more delish than the dairy version.

  44. I was unsure whether using a blender such as BlendTec or Vita Mixer would work for this recipe? I don’t have an immersion blender or a regular blender any longer… but I would love to try this. What are your thoughts on converting the recipe – I’m thinking it would have to be two blending sessions with careful attention.

    • Tammy, it would probably work with a high-powered blender, but yes, you’d have to be very careful about the blending. And maybe strain the results into a bowl before chilling? Do let me know how it turns out if you give it a try! 🙂

  45. giorgia says:

    hi,i tried your recipe,but when i whipped the cream it became a little grainy as if it was coconut flour, and not so fluffy.
    when i mixed it with the immersion blender it was smoother.what do you think i did wrong?:)

    • Hi Giorgia,
      It sounds like the way you mixed it is the opposite to what is included in the directions here–you were supposed to use the immersion blender before the mixer (see steps 5 and 6). It needs to be perfectly smooth before you whip it. Hope that helps! 🙂

  46. Hi, MRS Ricky, I am despertly searching for a good recipe to replace the cream. I saw your recipe, it looks so good and tasty , but i cannot understand when i have to put the coconut milk..if you can help me i’ll be so glad for your help..

    Happy Easter…

    with respect


    • Hi Paula,

      Step 2 tells you to stir “everything except” some of the cornstarch into the rice milk–that’s when you add the coconut milk. 🙂 Hope that helps. (And note–this is whipped cream, not the kind of cream you’d pour into coffee).

  47. Another brilliant recipe! I cannot wait to give this a try.xo

  48. nükhet kuzuoğlu says:

    did you use coconut milk, where? please send me your answer to my mail.

  49. hmm It looks yummy. Just taken printout. I will try this out tonight. I wish, i will get best taste.


  50. Thanks for the recipe. Plan to try it tonight. I would like to point out, however, that the can of coconut milk you are using does not have a 22% fat content. It has a 93% fat content. The 22% to which you refer is the % Daily Value, also known as the Recommended Daily Allowance.

    • Hi Cara,
      Thanks for this. While coconut milk is a high-fat food, it couldn’t be 93% fat or it would be almost solid. The coconut milk I use today (Thai Kitchen) lists 16% of the daily value of fat per serving. Since I posted that recipe several years ago, the labels have changed (at least they have here). I’m referring to “thick” coconut milk with a 20-22% fat content, as it’s listed here. Hope that makes more sense! 🙂

  51. When did you put in the coconut milk?

  52. Cacn i use homemade almond and coconut milk

    • Hi Mimi, Unfortunately, coconut milk in a can tends to be thicker and contain more coconut cream at the top than homemade. This recipe is actually quite fussy in any case–there’s a much simpler one in my book Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you could try it–then come back and let me know how it worked out! 🙂

  53. I just made this recipe , it is amazing.but the can of coconut milk is quite expensive so next time i will use the homemade one

  54. Adam Capps says:

    It sounds like the inconsistency in this recipe (based on brand of coconut milk) is due to varying water content in the coconut milk. I’ve made much simpler recipes which call for you to separate the cream from the water in the can by refrigerating and only add the cream. They don’t turn out as beautifully as yours though!

    Have you thought about controlling for water content by using this method and adding a bit more rice milk if it needs more liquid? I’ll never find your Golden Rooster brand here in California, so I thought I would ask. Any thoughts?

  55. I used to go crazy with the spray can of Soyatoo not coming out of the can! But then I figured out the trick. It doesn’t come out when it’s super cold. Let it sit out for a bit, then shake well — you’ll be able to hear/feel it moving around in there — and then it works beautifully.

    You’ll notice you don’t hear (or feel) it moving around when you shake it if it’s cold. Hope this helps!

    And thanks for this beautiful recipe, Ricki 🙂 xo!

    • Thanks so much, Sassy! I’ll give that a try if I ever use Soyatoo again (unlikely at this point since I haven’t had sugar at all since 2009!!). 😉


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