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Coconut Milk Ashta

This vegan / dairy-free version of the classic Middle Eastern ashta is perfect for many dessert applications.
Prep Time10 mins
Cooling Time1 hr
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British, Lebanese, Levantine, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: ashta, clotted cream, coconut cream, coconut milk, cream, dessert, eshta, pudding
Servings: 6 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • Medium saucepan


  • 1 400ml / 13.5oz tin of coconut milk, full fat
  • 2 to 3 pieces white sandwich bread, crusts removed If non-dairy / vegan is a concern, be sure to use bread without dairy added
  • Tbsp corn starch, plus enough water to form a smooth slurry
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar (Use only if serving ashta in an application without added syrup)
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water


  • Cut your bread into small cubes (½" / 12mm) making sure no crusts remain.
  • Over medium heat, warm your coconut milk and bread pieces in a saucepan until gently simmering.
  • Once simmering, add your corn starch slurry (and any sugar, if using). Cook 2-4 minutes until sufficiently thickened. (If not thick enough, you can add another ½ Tbsp of corn starch made into a slurry.)
  • Remove from heat, add rose and orange blossom water (or only one if desired). Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  • For smooth (mascarpone-like) ashta, put into your stand mixer bowl and whisk on medium high for 2 minutes or so.
  • Serve chilled, as a dessert with syrup and chopped nuts, as a topping for fruit, or in pastries.