Refrigerate canned coconut milk for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Once the coconut milk has chilled overnight and you are ready to make the whipped cream, place a large mixing bowl into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill.
After the bowl has chilled, remove the cans of coconut milk from the fridge (do not shake them). Scoop out the thick coconut cream from the top and place it in the bowl, leaving behind the liquid.
Whip the coconut cream for one minute, then add in the vanilla and powdered sugar* (SKIP vanilla and powdered sugar if you are using this as a base for cheesecake). Scrape the sides of the bowl until the powdered sugar and vanilla are fully incorporated.
Whip the cream on medium high until stiff peaks form and the consistency is similar to that of whipped cream. This could take around 5 minutes.
VANILLA EXTRACT & ICING SUGAR: If you are making this whipped cream as the base for dairy free ice cream or cheesecake, omit the vanilla and icing sugar unless the original recipe calls for it. Otherwise, it could make the recipe too sweet.