What is Sweetened & Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut?

unsweetened desiccated coconut

Coconut often graces our taste buds with its exotic flavor and versatility. Among the many coconut-based products, sweetened and unsweetened desiccated coconut are two variations that add distinct flavors and textures to a wide array of dishes. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into what sweetened and unsweetened desiccated coconut are, their uses, nutritional differences, and how you can incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

What is Desiccated Coconut?

Before we differentiate between sweetened and unsweetened desiccated coconut, it’s crucial to understand what desiccated coconut is.

Desiccated coconut is coconut meat that has been grated, dried, and finely shredded into small, uniform pieces. It’s a versatile ingredient commonly used in baking, cooking, and garnishing.

Related Article: 10 Health Desiccated Coconut Benefits For Your Body

The Difference Between Sweetened And Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

When it comes to using desiccated coconut, you’ll often encounter two primary options: sweetened desiccated coconut and unsweetened desiccated coconut. While they may seem similar at first glance, these two varieties differ significantly in taste, texture, and culinary applications.

The primary difference between sweetened coconut and unsweetened coconut lies in the presence of sugar. For understanding it better, here’s the difference between sweetened and unsweetened desiccated coconut:

A. Sweetened Desiccated Coconut

Sweetened desiccated coconut is a type of desiccated coconut that has undergone a process in which it is mixed or coated with sugar to enhance its natural sweetness. 

Here’s what you can learn about sweetened desiccated coconut:


Sweetened desiccated coconut contains shredded or flaked coconut meat that has been mixed with added sugar or sugar syrup.


It has a noticeably sweet taste due to the added sugar, making it a dessert-friendly ingredient.


Sweetened coconut often has a slightly sticky or moist texture because of the sugar content.


It is commonly used as a topping for cakes, pastries, desserts, and confections, where the sweetness enhances the overall flavor.

1. Pros of Sweetened Desiccated Coconut

  • Adds a delightful sweetness to recipes.
  • Enhances the overall flavor of desserts.
  • Convenient and readily available in stores.

2. Cons of Sweetened Desiccated Coconut

  • Contains added sugar, making it less suitable for certain dietary preferences.
  • May not be suitable for savory dishes due to its sweetness.

B. Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

Unsweetened desiccated coconut refers to desiccated coconut that is purely natural, with no added sugar. It consists of coconut meat that has been shredded or flaked without any sweetening agents, preserving the genuine, unaltered flavor of the coconut.

Here’s the detail information what you can learn about unsweetened desiccated coconut:


Unsweetened coconut consists of pure, dried coconut meat without any added sugars.


It retains the natural, nutty flavor of coconut without the sweetness of added sugar.


Unsweetened coconut typically has a drier and finer texture compared to sweetened coconut.


It is a versatile ingredient used in both savory and sweet dishes, including curries, stews, granola, energy bars, and various baked goods. Its neutral flavor makes it suitable for a wide range of recipes.

1. Pros of Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

  • Retains the authentic coconut flavor without added sweetness.
  • Versatile for both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Suitable for various dietary preferences.

2. Cons of Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

  • May not provide the desired sweetness in dessert recipes.
  • Can be drier and less appealing if not used correctly.

Related Article: 7 Desiccated Coconut Recipes for a Keto Diet Menu

Snippet Banner Desiccated Coconut

Desiccated Coconut

  • Desiccated Coconut is a versatile ingredient and ideal for fillers, toppings, and ingredients, especially in baking biscuits, snack bars, cakes, cookies, and many more.
  • Our Desiccated Coconut has a sweet aroma of coconut and mild characteristics of coconut without being rancid.

Can I Substitute Sweetened Coconut For Unsweetened Coconut?

Yes, you can substitute sweetened coconut for unsweetened coconut in recipes, but it’s important to consider the impact on the overall flavor and sweetness of your dish. Sweetened coconut contains added sugar, so if you use it as a replacement for unsweetened coconut, your recipe may turn out sweeter than intended.

To make the substitution, you can reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe slightly to account for the added sweetness of the sweetened coconut. This adjustment will help balance the flavors. Keep in mind that the texture of sweetened coconut may also be slightly different due to the added sugar.

Interested To Consume Sweetened And Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut?

Sweetened and unsweetened desiccated coconut each bring their unique qualities to the table. The choice between them largely depends on your culinary preferences and dietary considerations. Regardless of your choice, both varieties open the door to a world of delicious recipes that celebrate the tropical goodness of coconut.

If you are looking for a reliable exporter of top-quality coconut products from Indonesia, you can contact Sari Coconut. They offer a wide range of coconut products, all with the finest quality including desiccated coconut. 

With Sari Coconut as your partner, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with working with a reliable and professional supplier. Learn it here on how to buy coconut products from Indonesia!


  1. Is desiccated coconut the same as shredded coconut?

No, desiccated coconut is finely grated and dried, while shredded coconut is coarser and retains more moisture.

  1. Can I substitute sweetened desiccated coconut for unsweetened in a recipe?

Yes, you can, but be mindful of the recipe’s sugar content and adjust accordingly.

  1. What are some popular recipes that use desiccated coconut?

Popular recipes include coconut macaroons, coconut curry, coconut shrimp, and coconut granola.

  1. How should I store desiccated coconut?

Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to maintain freshness and prevent moisture absorption.

  1. Are there any health benefits to consuming desiccated coconut?

Yes, desiccated coconut is a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and essential minerals, which can support overall health when consumed in moderation.

  1. Should I get sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes?

Whether you should get sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes depends on your specific culinary needs and preferences. If you like sweets, then you should choose sweetened coconut flakes.

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