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Coconut Ice Cream

A creamy, dairy free coconut ice cream recipe you can make at home, no ice cream maker required!

Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

This coconut ice cream has just FOUR ingredients:

Coconut Milk

Vanilla

Sweetener

Pinch of Salt

In just a few steps, a bowl of luxurious homemade coconut ice cream—with many different flavor options!—can be all yours.

Also try this Keto Ice Cream – Reader Favorite Recipe

coconut milk ice cream

Coconut Ice Cream Flavors:

  • Coffee Ice Cream: Use the basic coconut ice cream recipe below, adding 2 tsp regular or decaf instant coffee to the liquid ingredients.
  • Peanut Butter Ice Cream: Stir 1/4 cup peanut butter into the liquid ingredients, and add some mini chocolate chips if desired.
  • Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Use the basic ice cream recipe, and stir in spoonfuls of this Chickpea Cookie Dough Dip or pieces of your favorite eggless cookie dough (or the dough from any of my healthy cookies recipes) into the ice cream after blending.
  • Strawberry Ice Cream: Add 1 cup strawberries, stems removed, to the basic recipe before blending and omit the extra 1/2 cup milk of choice.
  • Salted Caramel Ice Cream: Swirl in homemade Coconut Caramel and add a quick sprinkle of sea salt—and maybe some shaved chocolate!—to the top of each serving.

Above – Watch the video how to make coconut ice cream!

How To Use A Can Of Coconut Milk

You can make Healthy Pumpkin Pie or my Healthy Chocolate Pudding, you can use it for homemade Vegan Magic Bars, or you can even turn it into Chocolate Frosting Shots – readers especially love those!

Canned coconut milk is one of my favorite ingredients to use in recipes; it’s a fantastic substitute for heavy cream in both sweet and savory dishes such as smoothies, milkshakes, pies, puddings, soups, or curries.

Especially with statistics listing over 60-75% of the world’s population as being lactose intolerant, my guess is that in the coming years, we will start to see more and more products on the market being made with coconut milk instead of dairy.

Extra Coconut Milk? Make Coconut Whipped Cream!

coconut ice cream homemade

But can you make ice cream with coconut milk?

Yes, you absolutely can! If you have dairy allergies or are vegan, or even if you just want to  try something new and delicious, coconut milk is the perfect ingredient to make rich and creamy ice cream without any actual cream.

Many big brands–such as Haagen Dazs, So Delicious, Ben & Jerry’s, and Halo Top–are even getting on the dairy free coconut ice cream bandwagon.

However, by making your own ice cream at home, not only do you control what ingredients go in (less sugar, and no corn syrup, gums, or preservatives), you also get to choose what flavors to make! You can even make multiple flavors from the same base. Have fun experimenting!

*Side Note: If you want a lower-fat ice cream alternative that is also dairy free and vegan, check out the following recipe: Banana Ice Cream – 10 Different Flavors!

The Best Easy Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

Adapted from Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

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Coconut Ice Cream

A creamy and dairy free coconut ice cream recipe you can make at home, no ice cream maker required!
4.94/5 (68)
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 – 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup additional coconut milk OR milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup sweetener of choice, such as sugar or pure maple syrup
  • pinch stevia or 1 additional tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional ingredients for desired flavor

Instructions

  • *Be sure to use full-fat canned coconut milk, not lite or coconutmilk beverage. Sweeteners that work include pure maple syrup, regular sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agave, brown sugar, or xylitol for a sugar-free ice cream.
    Stir all ingredients (minus optional add-ins) together in a bowl. If you have an ice cream maker, simply transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions for your specific machine. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, then blend the frozen ice cubes in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix. Either eat the ice cream straight from the machine or freeze a few hours for a firmer texture. While homemade ice cream is best the day it is made, you can technically keep it frozen for up to a few weeks and thaw before eating.
    View Nutrition Facts

Notes

For a coconut-free version, try this Oat Milk Ice Cream Recipe.
 
 

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More About The Cookbook

4.94/5 (68)

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Published on May 15, 2017

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152 Comments

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      • Dee says

        Just be sure to check the fat & sugar content. I add 1/4 can of coconut cream to my 14oz. can of coconut milk for sweetness as 1 can has 22g sugar. It only has 4g fat so not sure how creamy it might be.

    • Janice Frazier says

      I checked the fat content on coconut cream vs coconut milk, because I thought the sane thing. I was surprised to find that coconut milk has a higher fat content than coconut cream.

      • Anne says

        Make sure the serving sizes are the same. Trader Joes has both types of cans and the serving size for cream is half of that for milk.

      • michelle LaFayette says

        Coconut cream is pure fat. check portion size. I prefer using coconut cream. I make my own coconut milk. I’ll pay extra for some recipes and get the cream.

          • sarah dutler says

            Get the „ old coconuts“ the ones you see in the market all dehusked with brown hard shell. Do nut buy the green whole coconut. Break the coconut shell carefully to obtain the very firm to hard coconut „ flesh“. Make sure you get large pieces for grating. Grate in a Food processor until fine. Do not add water! Remove into a muslim cloth ( use a baby drool cloth, that will work) or a very fine sieve And squeeze the milk out. You can get a milk drink from the second squeezing by adding half cup of water to the grated coconut and squeeze into another container. Do not use this as it will be too diluted. You can use the second squeezing for cooking or drink. Put a pinch of salt if desired.

    • Tessah Webb says

      I made the mistake of following the directions a bit to literally. The cuisinart ice cream maker suggests est using all ingredients chilled so I had put the coconut cream in the fridge for a couple hours. Oops! It had such big hard chunks they never softened and became a smooth consistency. additionally, if you choose to add strawberries, cut them up small first as they will also lodge in the ice cream maker preventing churning. Flavor was great, texture was a real fail.

    • Nicole Bradham says

      Yes, I think so. CocoGoodsCo Coconut Cream is the best and creamiest in the industry from what I’ve found.

      • Sara W says

        Thays because you dont have Ayam Brand pure coconut cream. Its.insanely.perfect

        Sadly I’m in the UK now and ita importation is too expensive and I’ve.not found a local brand compsrable

    • yukon25 says

      I used this as a base for german chocolate ice cream in my ice cream maker. Followed the above ingredients but used a whole can of full fat coconut milk, boxed coconut milk in place of regular milk, omitted the salt, added 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 1/4 cup pecan pieces. Very yummy!

    • Carol Keith says

      Since I couldn’t see the replies, I’m going to ask this question again. Sorry to be repetitious, but what happens when you use coconut cream instead of coconut milk? Thanks.

    • Melissa says

      I tried coconut cream and it DID NOT work. The coconut cream froze into gritty chunks and the texture was chunky. Had to toss the whole thing. Would suggest using only coconut milk and blending all ingredients in a high-power blender to smooth out before freezing.

      • Jason Sanford says

        Hi, it should be just as smooth with coconut cream since that’s all coconut milk is – coconut cream + coconut water. What type of blender did you use? The ice cubes will freeze hard but then are blended smooth in a high speed blender.

  1. Emily says

    This looks insanely delicious! My husband is a coconut addict and will love this! I want to try the coffee flavor ASAP 🙂
    xo,
    Em

  2. Caitlin says

    This sounds incredible! I just tired coconut milk for the first time recently and am in love with it! This reminds me of banana ice cream but with more flavor choices. I can’t wait to try it!

    Caitlin
    wandererandwolf.com

      • Jason Sanford says

        I thought it was more plain with a slight coconut flavor. If you want more coconut flavor, you can look for coconut extract at most grocery stores, but just use a little because it’s strong. If you don’t want any coconut flavor, then add a little peppermint extract or peanut butter or coffee or something like that to mask any slight coconut taste.

  3. jordan @ dancing for donuts says

    i can’t even believe how easy and simple this recipe is, but SO genius!!!! coconut milk is one of my new favorite pantry staples so i cannot wait to make this! love that there are flavor options too – thank you for sharing, this one’s a game changer 🙂

  4. Pongodhall says

    Five? I would like a saucer of each in front of me right now and I would just try each and just drift off into my happiness of ice cream world!
    Ps coconut can sitting y kettle at this very minute ?

  5. Ashley Diana says

    I never think to make my own ice cream but this looks so easy and healhty I’ll definitely give this a go! Perfect for hot days this summer! Great idea adding other ingredients into it! Recipes like this that are sweet and tasty always catch my eye! Thanks x

  6. SONIA says

    Just made the Coconut Ice Cream and added peanut butter. Poured it into my popsicle molds, it made 6 total. Will come back and let you know how it turned out.

  7. Mira says

    I just made this coconut ice cream with honey and it turned out being super delicious . This is the most awesome and yummy ice cream ever <3

    • Cindy says

      I would love to know too! I think I’ll give it a try but freeze the 1 1/2cups of coconut milk then add to the Vitamix with the other 1/2 cup of milk. The reason being is that most of the recipes I see for the ice cream include ice or something frozen. Hence, another option would be to add all those ingredients into the Vitamix with some frozen fruit (strawberry, etc.) Honestly, at this point it just seems easier to mix up all the ingredients…freeze and then pop it into the Vitamix.

  8. Jennifer Strattard says

    I doubled the basic recipe and added a can of pumpkin along with some Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Came out like a creamy frozen pumpkin pie. Two thumbs up!

  9. Jess says

    Hi Katie, I am trying this recipe with my new ice cream maker and it is turning out really icy and grainy and not at all creamy like your beautiful photo. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I really want to perfect this recipe because the flavour was amazing! Do you know if it turns out better without the ice cream maker and maybe coconut milk doesn’t turn out the best in them, I’m new to using one so I’m just experimenting!

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hmm that’s so weird. What brand of coconut milk are you using? Is it the full fat kind? There are a lot of recipes online for coconut milk based ice creams so it definitely should be creamy. Maybe it was a bad can of milk? Sometimes that happens where the can of coconut milk is mostly water.

  10. Vani says

    Katie,
    Very healthy ice cream and a must try one.
    I do not prefer to use canned milk.
    Is it enough to make a thick paste of fresh coconut using blender to replace canned coconut milk ?

  11. amanda says

    I love doing this and working it with really tropical flavours. I do one where i blend a mango into a puree and use palm sugar and a squeeze of lime. It can freeze more grainy so use an ice cream maker tho!

  12. maya says

    I have an ice cream maker but I believe the right name for it should be “semi freddo maker” because the result is a cold cream but not really ice cream. I use honey as sweetener and make it with mango puree or with cocoa and choco chips. Yummy!

  13. Crystal says

    Question..I’ve attempted making ice cream in my ice cream maker using canned coconut milk in the past but as soon as it gets cold it gets a gritty texture. The photo of yours looks SO smooth and yummy! Any suggestions?

  14. Anika B Enger says

    I seriously cannot stop making this! But, I usually add some cocoa powder to it, yum! Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Katrina says

    This is really good!. I wanted a recipe that was non-dairy. I wasn’t really shooting for vegan. I just don’t do well with dairy. This tastes amazing. I just used regular sugar. You could take this basic recipe and make just about any flavor with it! It doesn’t taste over the top coconut like I would have thought. I will never buy ice cream again after this, because I can finally eat ice cream without getting an immediate belly ache!

  16. jenny says

    I tried to make the coconut ice cream but found it was icy and difficult to remove from my ice cream maker. I did add skimmed milk as it suggested any milk would be ok. I love coconut and it is my ambition to get this perfect! I didn’t put the coconut milk in the fridge do you think this might make a difference?

  17. Ashley says

    I added maple syrup, pumpkin spice, and an avacado for an extra creamy touch.
    Turned out great! Excellent versatile recipe. BRAVO

    • Danielle says

      A typical can is 13.5 oz, just over 1.5 cups (12 oz). I just use a whole can and don’t worry about the extra 1.5 oz. Or you could lessen the additional ½ cup of milk by 1.5 oz to be more precise. Lastly, just take 1.5 oz of the watery part of refrigerated coconut milk and discard (or drink it!).

  18. Lisa says

    My husband and I are so delighted to have found this basic recipe for coconut milk ice cream! It is delicious and doesn’t make us feel like we were cheated out of the real thing. Thank you so much!

  19. Allison says

    Hi there, I know your notes recommend not to use lite coconut milk but that’s the only one I can find in our neighbourhood grocery store. What will happen if I use lite? Will it still work? Thanks!

    • Danielle says

      You could try adding cream instead of the ½ cup of milk to compensate. That might help. Also, adding 1-2 Tbsp of vodka helps keep it soft and not icy. (I hate alcohol, but you can’t taste the small amount per serving in ice cream). Lastly, 1/8th to ¼ tsp of xanthan gum helps with creaminess and softness.

  20. Savannah says

    Wow!! My husband just confirmed this is better than So Delicious!! He actually prefers less of the coconut flavor, and we agree that this is creamier and tastes less like coconut!! Thank you!

  21. Dawn says

    Hi there, when using coconut sugar and other granulated sorts, is heating required to melt the sandy texture? It didn’t mention that in the directions. ?
    Thank you so much!
    Love your recipes, thank you from a gf/df/soy free chick ?

  22. Maija says

    I’m thinking about trying to make it without any of the sweeteners. I hope they are not needed for thickening or setting… I’m thinking they are not, since you’ve given alternatives to sugar.

  23. PATTI HOMIER says

    Hi KATIE……i AM GOING TO MAKE THE COCONUT ICE CREAM TOMORROW….ABOUT TWO MONTHS AGO, WAS DIAGNOSED
    WITH CANDIDA YEAST INFECTION….ON THE FIRST PHASE OF 4, JUST EATING FRESH VEGGIES AND REALLY HAVE TO READ ALL LABELS TO MAKE SURE NO YEAST OR SUGAR IS IN THE INGREDIENTS…..YOUR ICE CREAM RECIPES ARE THE
    PERFECT ANSWER TO A LITTLE DESSERT…..MOSTLY HAVE TO USE COCONUT AND ALMOND FLOURS, BUT THE COCONUT IS A FANTASTIC YEAST KILLER……AND YOU ARE RIGHT THE COCONUT MILK OR CREAMS DO NOT HAVE MUCH OF A FLAVOR……i LOVE OUR WEBSITE, SO MANY GOOD IDEAS AND HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING A LONG TIME FOR THE GLUTEN
    FREE DIET ALSO…….SO WILL WATCHING FOR MORE OF YOUR GREAT RECIPES…….oATTI

  24. Jennifer Talbert says

    This looks awesome and thanks for sharing!! I was wondering, if my coconut cream does not have guar gum in it, is that ok?

    Thanks!
    Jennifer

  25. Tony says

    A little confused as to why 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, then 1/2 cup coconut milk are listed separately? Can’t we just add the 2 cups all at once?

    • Jason Sanford says

      The second 1/2 cup can be replaced with another milk. If using all coconut milk, then yes add all together 🙂

  26. jenny says

    I tried this recipe but the ingredients just went all icy and got all stuck around my ice cream maker. Why do you think this happened? I am really sad because coconut ice cream is my favourite. I have tried a variety of canned coconut milks also. I don’t want to add extra cream as trying to keep it healthy. I have a cuisine art ice cream maker. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Also once the ingredients had melted I tried it and it tasted like paint stripper even though it was full fat milk.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Sounds like maybe a bad can of coconut milk? Is that a possibility? It’s the only thing I can think of because I’ve never had that experience with this recipe!

  27. Bee says

    Best vegan ice cream I’ve ever made. The peanut butter flavour is out of this world.
    Just made a mango flavour, based on the strawberry one and it turned out beautiful. Thank you so much!

  28. Holly Couch says

    Oh my goodness. I just made this for the first time (I did the plain vanilla, since that’s the ice cream I’ve been craving but recently realized I’m lactose intolerant) and it is amazing. So simple and so delicious!

  29. Sherry says

    Maybe different types of coconut milk have different percentages of fat. I used Trader Joe’s full fat coconut milk, put it in my ice cream maker, and got a very icy ice cream. It was not smooth or ice cream-like. I’m wondering if the fat content is lower than other brands. Next time, I will definitely use coconut cream to achieve a better consistency.

    • Jason Sanford says

      Not only do different brands differ, but often it can even differ using different cans of the same brand! It’s very frustrating that cans can differ so much and some have so much more water than others. But yes, coconut cream works!

  30. Tim says

    I have found that vegan ice cream tends to freeze very hard. DO you recommend a gelatin or some other type of starch to help make it creamy and softer?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hi! Because of the lack of preservatives and unhealthy, hard-to-digest gums, homemade ice cream is best the day it’s made. If you still want a creamy texture, I’d recommend re-blending. Hope that helps!
      Jason

  31. Allison says

    I’m from the islands and coconut ice cream was an every weekend treat for my family. A note on canned coconut cream or milk. Read the ingredients carefully as you don’t want any extra additives in your homemade ice cream. If you’re looking for a bit of an arm workout. I say buy a whole coconut from the grocery crack it open discard the water inside scoop the meat (the white insides) out grate on the finest side of a grater add two cup of boiling water to the grated coconut and let it sit til cool. Then strain and voila fresh creamy coconut milk. Or for a shortcut cut meat into small pieces add warm water and blend well in a blender on high Results not as rich as the old fashioned way but at least it’s fresh

  32. Andrew says

    Where I live 12 month old coconuts are infinitely easier to come by than some imported canned product , How many ml/volume of freshly pressed coconut cream should I substitute? I’m sorry to be a pain asking, I’m just used of working with %es so all this cups and spoons seems a bit arbitrary and harder for me to get my head into scaling recipes this way.

  33. Megan O'Rourke says

    I thought this sounded great so I just made some using organic maple syrup as the sweetener. If you want that white coconut color, don’t do what I did! The base tastes good and I can’t wait to taste the finished ice cream. Next time I’ll use Xylitol. The vanilla also gives it an off-White color, just FYI.

  34. yvonne barnes says

    I have made this for some time for a friend who is lactose intolerant, and it is really good. We all eat it now. Just love it.

  35. Kathryn Davidson says

    I have made many things with full fat coconut milk, including the whipped cream that the family loves! But, this recipe makes ice cream as hard as brick. Even leaving it out on the counter for half an hour didn’t crack this nut. And you don’t drain any of the coconut water from the canned milk That’s probably why.

    • Jason Sanford says

      It’s hard as a brick after freezing because of the lack of preservatives, that’s all. If you look at any commercial ice cream made with coconut milk (or even ice creams made without coconut milk), they will all have preservatives or things like guar gum, xanthan gum, etc. to stay soft. This ice cream is more natural and therefore is best as soon as you eat it. Or if you want it the same creaminess as when you first make it, you can re-blend the partially thawed brick into ice cream again.
      Jason

  36. Belinda Jolie says

    Hi Sis, my name is Belinda Coconut ice recipe is very interesting and useful for me. I will try to make it at home. Thank you for the information.

  37. Wendy says

    This is such a great simple recipe! I just made the simple coconut recipe and mixed it in my thermomix then transferred it to silicone cupcake moulds. I then blitzed it in the thermomix again when it was frozen! Absolutely delicious! I then put the remaining pieces in a zip bag and they are ready to blitz for our next dessert! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe we have been on the Keto diet for about 9 weeks and both lost over 10kg! We have both been craving ice cream! Thanks again!!

  38. Angela says

    Your recipe was on point!!! Thank you so much!!! My 3yr old loved it.I used ice cream maker and just 1/3 of honey.Its perfect!!!

  39. Ruby Miller says

    Oh my i have some sorting to do…I put 2 cups coconut milk into my blitzer…(Food processor) with erythritol and vanilla stevia…it came out all lumpy hahaha…i just ignored it put it inti ice cream silicon moulds then into the freezer, blitzed it and it as fantastic, put the rest in the freezer and now i have just taken it out and its solid, on the counter turning into liquid…It tastes ood though…haha…I will try again and not blitz it at the 1st off…just mix in the jug then pour into silicone and freeze…got it..thanks anyhow..massive new fan…..Ruby….x

  40. Harvey says

    While this recipe is delicious, there are little globs of fat (coconut oil) in the ice cream.
    What did I do wrong?

    • Danee says

      Depending on how hard the coconut oil is coming out of the can, I will heat it and mix it. It works for soups and all sorts of recipes. I have found it helps with the consistency.

  41. Afaf says

    Hi! I’m wondering if using ‘Ayam Brand’ coconut milk in a carton instead of a can is alright? 🙂 Thank you so much!

  42. Brigitte Davies says

    I made some coconut milk ice cream today. lOVED IT! Although, I used Lite coconut milk and some regular milk too. The texture came out very good. I may have added some other ingredients like cinnamon, some honey, and pumpkin seeds.(organic) Then to make sure it stayed together, I added a tablespoon of pb.

    Loved every bit of it.

    Gave it to my mom and she ate most of it.

  43. Yvette says

    Tasted good but disapointed it wasnt creamy like ice cream. Very iced hard from tub that i had to let it sit at room temp to be able to scoop. My first time trying to make coconut ice cream I think I’ll keep looking for different recipe.

    • CCK Media Team says

      Hi, it sounds like you maybe froze it too long? Homemade ice cream is best right out of the blender/machine or only frozen for a half hour or so once made. This is because of the lack of gums, stabilizers, or preservatives in storebought ice cream.

  44. Joanna says

    I have a question. Do you pour whole content of the coconut milk can or just the top (white part, not liquid) of the can after freezing it in the fridge overnight?

  45. Susan Chmura says

    When do you put in the add ins, like coffee grounds?

    When using the blender after frozen in ice cubes?

    Thanks so much, this recipe looks delicious…………

    • CCK Media Team says

      For coffee, either works! For chocolate chips, after blending unless you want them blended too… which sounds good too. So really, any time 🙂

  46. Carrie says

    I love coconut ice cream and recently bought a home ice cream maker. This recipe is fantastic!!! It is an instant favorite and I will be making this all the time (it’s so simple)!

  47. Lola says

    Thank you, Katie, for this recipe!! I have lots of food allergies and have had trouble finding coconut ice cream in the stores with ingredients I can tolerate. I just made my second batch and it is delicious! I’m so pleased to be making it without an ice cream maker, avoiding another appliance to store.

  48. Jasmine says

    This icecream is amazing!!! I used an icecream bowl attachment for my mixer which worked perfectly. I can’t wait to make it again and try with different flavour combinations!

  49. Danielle says

    Hi. I was wondering if this ice cream would be keto if made with allulose instead of sugar/maple syrup/etc.? It’s such a great recipe, but too many carbs as written. Thanks!

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