Making Coconut Milk Yogurt With A Thermophilic (Heated) Yogurt Culture

Homemade Yogurt

Making Coconut Milk Yogurt With A Thermophilic (Heated) Yogurt Culture

Incubation Period 7 hours
Course Breakfast


  • 4 Cups Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Tapioca Starch Gelatin may be substituted. Use 1/2 Tablespoon of Gelatin for every 3 Tablespoons of Tapioca Starch

Yogurt Starter (Use only 1)

  • 1/8 Teaspoon Direct-Set yogurt starter such as Traditional-flavored, Mild-flavored, or Vegan
  • 3 Tablespoon Heirloom-style yogurt starter such as Greek or Bulgarian,
  • 3 Tablespoon Yogurt containing live active cultures These can be found at most grocery stores. Try to use an unflavored variety


  • Heat the coconut milk to approximately 115°F, then remove from heat.
  • Measure out about 1/3 of the coconut milk, and mix in the thickening agent of your choice. Then mix in the rest of the milk.
  • Once the milk has cooled 110°F, add the yogurt starter and mix well to combine.
  • Incubate the mixture at 108° to 112°F for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Yogurt will not thicken until after refrigeration.


You can double the recipe to 2 quarts (4 cans), and double the amount of thickener. If using a direct-set starter culture use only one packet. If using dairy yogurt as a starter, use 6 tablespoons.
Coconut milk generally takes a few hours longer to culture than yogurt made with dairy milk. If a more sour yogurt is desired, culture for a longer period. While a yogurt maker is generally the easiest way to culture thermophilic varieties of yogurt if you do not own a yogurt maker, here are a few alternative ways to keep the yogurt at the right temperature:
▪ Wrap the jar in a dishtowel and put it in an insulated cooler with the cover on.
▪ Make an insulated incubator out of a small crockpot by lining it with foam. Put the jar of yogurt inside, put a piece of foam on top, and put the lid on.
▪ Turn on the light in an electric oven, then wrap the yogurt in a dishtowel and put it inside the oven.
▪ Set the yogurt inside a food dehydrator that has the trays taken out, and that is set for no higher than 110°F.
You can test the temperature of each of these methods ahead of time by heating some water to 110°F and holding the jar of water for the required number of hours using the method of choice. Test the water temperature periodically to ensure that the incubation method will hold the warmth properly.