This creamy coconut ice cream recipe is a vegan and dairy free dessert you can make at home, with no ice cream maker required!
You can make this coconut ice cream with just FOUR ingredients:
Sweetener of choice
A pinch of salt
In just a few easy steps, and with many different flavor options, a luxurious bowl of rich homemade coconut milk ice cream can be all yours!
For a low carb version, try this Keto Ice Cream
Above – Watch the video how to make coconut ice cream
Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream
To turn the vanilla version below into chocolate coconut milk ice cream instead, simply add one fourth cup of cocoa powder at the very beginning.
Or make Nutella coconut ice cream by stirring three to four tablespoons of chocolate hazelnut spread or this Homemade Nutella Recipe into the chocolate base.
You can use regular unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch process cocoa, raw cacao powder, or powdered hot chocolate mix for the chocolate ice cream.
Coconut Ice Cream Flavors
- Coffee Ice Cream: Use the basic coconut ice cream recipe below. Add two teaspoons of regular or decaf instant coffee to the liquid ingredients.
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream: Stir one fourth 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. Stir in small 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 one cup strawberries, stems removed, to the basic recipe before blending. Omit the extra half cup milk of choice.
- Salted Caramel Ice Cream: Swirl in homemade Coconut Caramel and add a quick sprinkle of sea salt, and shaved chocolate if desired, to the top of each serving.
How to use a can of coconut milk
Canned coconut milk is one of my favorite ingredients to use in recipes.
It is 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 Vegan Chocolate Mousse
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 healthy recipe for Banana Ice Cream
Recipe tips and tricks
Be sure to use full fat canned coconut milk for the recipe, not lite coconut milk.
And do not substitute a carton of refrigerated coconutmilk beverage, because this is not the same product and doesn’t contain enough fat to yield a creamy ice cream.
Culinary coconut milk usually comes in a can. Some popular brands of coconut milk include Thai Kitchen, Whole Foods, Goya, Chaokoh, or Native Forest.
Due to the lack of preservatives and gums, homemade ice cream is best the day it is made. This is when it will have the creamiest texture.
However, if you don’t mind a bit of an icy texture, you can technically store leftovers frozen in a covered container for up to a few weeks, thawing before eating.
For that rounded classic ice cream appearance, I like to scoop out the frozen dessert with an ice cream scoop instead of a spoon.
- 1 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup additional coconut milk, or milk of choice
- 1/3 cup sweetener of choice, such as sugar or pure maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- optional ingredients for different flavors (see flavor ideas above)
*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