Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

Let me preface this post by saying I’m not a huge ice cream fan. Besides the whole dairy thing, I really only like cold treats when it’s steamy hot out. So once or twice a summer, I crave a trip to the ice cream shop. And even then, my taste buds usually gravitate towards sorbet with sprinkles on top. But when the people at CSN stores offered me a giveaway from their store, I immediately decided I wanted an ice cream maker. I always thought ice cream makers were one of those random kitchen appliances you put on your wedding registry and never actually use, and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Funk has been loving the new fro-yo place in our neighborhood, and I figured it’d be more fun and healthier to have a DIY version at home. And, on those days I DO crave creamy ice cream, I’d rather have a dairy-free version.

Temps this weekend in Boston were unusually warm, so it was a perfect time to break open the ice cream machine. I had to start earlier in the week by freezing the bowl, and come Friday it was ready to go. Most of the recipes I found for ice cream machines called for heavy cream and whole milk, but I wanted to go dairy and soy free, and almond milk seemed too watery to whip up a batch of creamy ice cream. So, I went with reduced fat coconut milk and hoped for the best. I did some research on coconut ice cream online and most people advised to use the full fat coconut milk (which Trader Joe’s doesn’t even have) to get the ice cream nice and creamy, but I found the reduced fat version worked perfectly.


  • 3 cups reduced fat coconut milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

That is it. No stabilizers. No heavy cream. I whisked together the mixture and set it in the fridge for an hour before pouring it into the frozen ice cream machine. I turned it on and watched in amazement (serious, jaw-dropping amazement) as my liquid turned into the most beautiful bowl of creamy ice cream. I even topped mine off with a few bits of dark chocolate.

Funk and I took our first bite. Woah. This is better than ice cream. This is heavenly, roll-your-eyes-back, pure, creamy perfection. We couldn’t get enough! Well, we could. It was very rich and creamy. Funk said, “This is one of the best things…EVER.” A few days later I asked if he really meant that. Really the best ever?! I asked if it was even up there with the Red Sox winning the world series and he said yes. It was that good. Three days later we’re still talking about our amazing dessert, and we have plenty leftover to eat it for weeks to come. I have a feeling I’ll now be one of those people who can eat ice cream long after summer has ended, if it’s going to be this delicious coconut creation. If you’re wondering, it doesn’t actually taste like coconut. It has the faintest hint, but it tastes just like pure vanilla ice cream, so it’ll go well with any mix-ins. We’ve already started talking about what other flavors we want to make (next on the list is cookies and cream!). I never thought I’d say this, but if you’re an ice cream fan, get this machine. Sorry Ben and Jerry. Sorry Haagen-Dazs, JP Licks and Breyer’s. You don’t hold a candle to our homemade coconut ice cream.


  1. Posted September 28, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    omg you are too cute!!! that looks delicious!!! and so easy. and if funk says it’s as good as the red sox sweeping the series, well I’m speechless! digging out my icecream maker, stat.

  2. Posted September 28, 2010 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for posting your recipe Janel! It looks delicious!

  3. Posted September 28, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Love it! I made a mint chocolate chip coconut ice cream a while ago that had avocado in it. I think I still have some in the freezer! http://blackcatkitchen.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/vegan-mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream/

  4. Posted September 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I have an ice cream maker and i LOVE using it! I remember being just as amazed as you the first time I made a batch. The best part is just like cooking anything else at home, YOU choose what goes in there.

  5. Posted September 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Those are some pretty impressive accolades 🙂 Looks delicious!

  6. Posted October 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I whipped this up in no time last night – when you listed the ingredients I wasn’t sure if you heated them on the stove or not (to melt the sugar) but I did – very gently and only for a few minutes them I put it in the freezer to cool it faster – put it in my ice cream machine and it was done in no time. Hands down the EASIETS and most delicious homemade ice cream I’ve ever made – who knew such simple and minimal ingredients could make such an amazing treat?!

  7. Janel
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m so glad you loved it as much as we did! I actually didn’t even boil the sugar – so that’d save you a step next time too! Do you have any fun ice cream recipes to share? I’m thinking of doing some sort of pumpkin cinnamon next time…

  8. Posted January 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this!! I’m on a dairy free, soy free diet and have been craving ice cream in the worst way. I already have the same ice cream maker you do, now this week I can pick up some coconut milk & I’ll be good to go!

  9. Janel
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    You’re so welcome! It is really delicious – let me know how you like it! And it doesn’t taste a thing like coconut – its just like vanilla ice cream so you can add in any toppings you’d like. Enjoy!

  10. Posted July 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow fabulous – I’m and so glad I’m not the only one who stores kitchen devices under tables. My crockpot in addition to ice cream maker are under a side kitchen table, and everybody looks at me funny if they see that. And I’m fairly certain I’d hug that isle too. Love at first sight. Azalee Cavanah

  11. Janel
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Haha, why stop at the kitchen cabinets when it comes to storing gadgets! That’s where the food goes, anyway 😉

  12. Corinne
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I whipped this up in no time!! I did alter it a little to make it actual coconut ice cream though. I only used 1 and about 3/4 cup coconut milk then I filled the rest of the cup that was only about 3/4 full of the milk with cream of coconut, i then cut the rest of the recipe to 2/3 of the original and right before I put it into the ice cream maker, I added just about 2 cups or so of sweetened shredded coconut. The results are fanominal in my and my family’s opinion. Thank you so much for the recepie!!

  13. Janel
    Posted June 21, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Your coconut ice cream inspired me to want to make coconut popsicles tonight!

  14. Paul Phillipson
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Janel- I googled “coconut ice-cream” last week and stumbled across your recipe. I had the ingredients on hand and followed your recipe verbatim. It completely brought the house down (8 person dinner party Saturday night). I did baked bananas from epicurious… see link:


    I cut some banana bread my wife made into spears and toasted them in the oven, layering a few pieces over the bananas after they were done and plated. Then I drizzled some melted Soma (Toronto boutique store) dark chocolate over the top, sprinkled with toasted pecans pieces, then a small scoop of the coconut ice cream. Wicked. Thank you!

  15. Janel
    Posted June 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comment Paul! I don’t know if it was my ice cream recipe or the amazing baked bananas you paired with it. Holy cow! No wonder it tasted so good! Now I’m absolutely day dreaming about your dessert. Thanks so much for letting me know you made my recipe, and I’m thriled you (and the others) enjoyed it.

7 Trackbacks

  1. […] over 200 online stores (that a lotta shopping, guys) selling everything from dining room chairs to ice cream makers (my new favorite kitchen toy – thanks […]

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    […] to believe I haven’t used my amazing ice cream maker more than the one time I used it to make this heavenly coconut milk ice cream. It’s so easy! I usually can’t be bothered with ice […]

  3. By Love My Silk and the winner! on April 19, 2011 at 4:35 am

    […] to believe I haven’t used my amazing ice cream maker more than the one time I used it to make this heavenly coconut milk ice cream. It’s so easy! I usually can’t be bothered with ice […]

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  6. […] Let me rewind. Funk and I recently went to Georgia where we had a blast making s’mores during a lightning storm blackout over the grill. They were THE perfect summer treat. But the fun couldn’t stay in Georgia! I wanted s’more s’mores and have been itching to try a new ice cream flavor. Fortunately I already had graham crackers and dark chocolate chips in the house, and Funk ran out to get me some mini marshmallows. I also used my tried and true standard vegan ice cream base. […]

  7. […] ingredient: pickle juice) and I whipped up two easy batches of ice cream. I started with my basic coconut milk vanilla base for each batch. For one flavor, I took a bag of dark chocolate covered pretzels, crushed them, and […]

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