Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

This ice cream…, it’s silky smooth and so delicious. It reminds me of childhood days getting strawberry sundaes with soft serve at a certain popular chain. Now, I know that this delectable ice cream bears no real resemblance in flavor to my childhood reminicence. But, that’s okay because it’s so much better! There is something about the amazingly smooth mouthfeel of this ice cream that is so similar to soft serve. Now, all I need is strawberry sauce.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

You don’t need me to tell you about texture, the above picture tells you everything you need to know.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

These days, I like to have several cans of coconut milk in the fridge for impromptu Coconut Whipped Cream and this Coconut Ice Cream. You see, by having the coconut milk chilled you can blend the ice cream base and pour it directly into the ice cream machine. That way there is no waiting for the base to chill before freezing.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

Just one note about freezing your ice cream: I take my ice cream out when it starts sticking to the spoon. This sounds a little weird but it really works for good creamy texture. When the ice cream is starting to look more frozen than liquid, simply dip a spoon into the top of the ice cream maker; if the ice cream immediately runs off, it’s not ready yet – if it sticks to the spoon, you’re ready to go! I never used to know when to take my ice cream out of the machine. There were a few times that I left it in for too long and the ice cream was too airy and became icy when frozen hard. All in all, even if your ice cream turns out extra fluffy, nobody is going to care because it’s still totally awesome!

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

The ice cream in the photo above was made with Grade A maple syrup, and it turned out really white just like soft serve. The second batch I made with dark clover honey and it came out with a beautiful buttermilk color (photo below).

Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

Now, there are many many applications for this ice cream but…

Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake and Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

this and

Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake and Coconut Ice Cream | GI 365

this comes to mind. I love the silky texture of this ice cream melting into a warm Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake. Now that I have a basic recipe down for ice cream, let the flavors begin!

As a bonus, making your own homemade coconut ice cream is about half the price it is here in our grocery stores. In Kalispell, a pint of coconut ice cream can run between $5-$6. In Calgary, a pint of our favorite coconut ice cream was almost $10!!!

4.0 from 3 reviews
Coconut Ice Cream
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 quart
  • 2 cans (403 ml each or 13.66 oz each) coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1 cup honey or Grade A maple syrup
  1. Blend coconut milk and your choice of sweetener until combined. (If your coconut milk isn't chilled, chill the ice cream mixture until thoroughly cold before freezing.)
  2. Freeze according to instructions for your ice cream maker, this should take 20-30 minutes.
For a Vegan version use maple syrup

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38 Comments on “Homemade Coconut Ice Cream”

    1. Kari

      You can use coconut milk from the carton but your ice cream won’t be as smooth. The canned coconut milk is richer and gives the ice cream a better texture.

    1. Kari

      Yes, but I would still use some coconut milk because it is already rich. I like your idea to use the cream though – I think I need to try it that way!

      1. Carolyn

        Hi, I added one third cup of Baileys Irish Cream sothat it wouldn’t set as hard. Put the ice cream onto blueberries for a dinner party – everyone loved it!

  1. Susan

    What size ice cream maker do you use? We tried a 2 can recipe in our 1 1/2 qt and I’m wondering if it was too much for that machine.

  2. Mavis

    I made this Coconut Ice Cream to fill mini fillo cups as “dessert hors’douvres,” (and then topped them with a dab of lo sugar homemade jam).

    OMG!!!! My 4th of July guests kept wanting more!
    Even my carnivorous meat and potatoes guy loved this. In fact my 82 year old guests loved it and they never vary from what’s familiar!!!

    I even made a little mistake that turned out great.
    I chilled the 2 cans of coconut cream and 1 cup of pure maple syrup… separately. This was my mistake. Should have premixed the ingredients, and then chilled.
    But, anyway, I whisked the ingredients to break up all the cold coconut fat lumps to bits and to combine with the maple syrup.
    Mixing in my ice cream maker (KitchenAide ice cream attachment) took about 20 minutes to soft serve, and then I added about 3/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut.

    Remember all those little coconut fat bits? Everyone thought they were tiny coconut chips, so I didn’t fess up to my error because they all loved it like this. It added a chip-like-melt-in-your-mouth texture.
    Now, 4 days later I took my box of coconut ice cream out of the freezer where it was very hard. I left it on the counter for a few minutes, and was then able to serve it. Still delishus!!

    Thank you so much for this recipe. This is actually an Atkins friendly recipe in Phase 4, with approximately 10 net carbs in a 1/2 cup serving, made as I made it.

  3. katie

    Hi, recipe sounds so easy. I followed your directions butfor some reason, it themilknever thickened. I had it in the chilled ice cream maker for over 20 minutes and it was still liquid.what should i have done differently?

    1. Kari

      A couple of things come to mind:
      1. Make sure your coconut milk is the canned variety because it’s much thicker than the kind from the carton.
      2. It’s absolutely essential that the ice cream base is thoroughly chilled before you put it in the ice cream machine. (Also, my ice cream freezer bowl takes a full 24 hours in the freezer to be completely frozen for ice cream making).

    1. Kari

      The texture might not be as good – First, mix together the coconut milk and sweetener and then whip the coconut milk in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Transfer to a container and freeze, stirring every 30 minutes or so until the ice cream freezes. Whipping the coconut milk adds air to the mixture so that it won’t be as icy. Let me know how it goes!

  4. Lily

    This is great! It came out well. i think I will reduce the honey next time because it was a little too sweet for my taste and the honey flavor dominated the coconut. I added some shredded coconut as well. Delish!

    1. Kari

      I’ve started reducing the honey to 3/4 cup, so I think I’ll put an update in the recipe! I love Grade A maple syrup in this recipe because it doesn’t have a predominant flavor.

  5. Paula


    I made this yesterday using my thermomix. It tastes beautiful but is not creamy in texture and more like a sorbet than creamy like yours is. I beat it all together first, then froze it and then beat again and froze again but it still came out icy. What can I do to fix this for future recipes? I also added dessicated coconut and roasted almond flakes. As I said, tasted beautiful just not a creamy texture.

    1. Kari

      I’m not sure if a thermomix will create the same creamy texture as an ice cream maker. Also, did you use coconut milk out of the can? It’s much creamier than the carton variety and is the key to making this ice cream rich and creamy. Let me know if have anymore questions that I might be able to help you with!

  6. Michelle

    We’ve been researching and testing various ice cream makers. I would like to have a 2-qt maker that has the option of purchasing 1 or 2 extra canisters (so I can always have one in the freezer). I would really appreciate anyone w/experience making various types of dairy-free ice creams/sorbet/frozen desserts –using a ice cream maker (portable, electric, old fashioned crank, etc.)

    1. Kari

      We have the 2-qt ice cream maker from Cuisinart and I love it! Some day I would like to get an extra canister too, but so far it’s been ok if I get the freezer bowl back in the freezer right away after I make ice cream.

    1. Kari

      It does taste like coconut, but I don’t find it overly strong. Vanilla extract makes for a tasty ice cream but it’s not a pure vanilla flavor like a regular dairy ice cream. Also, try using honey instead of the Grade A maple syrup because it’s a stronger flavor!

  7. Chris

    In the ingredients you said ‘2 cans of coconut milk’. What size cans? I can buy 400ml cans, and 225ml cans….

    1. Kari

      I use the 400ml size cans, I’ve never seen smaller ones so I didn’t think to put that in the recipe but I’ll make a note!

  8. laurie

    Just tried this using about 3/4 cup pure maple syrup and it was the perfect sweetness! It is the first time I’ve used my new cuisanart ice cream maker and it was delicious!!! I’m now wondering if it would turn out if I used light coconut milk for a lower-fat version. Any thoughts?

    1. Kari

      A light coconut milk wouldn’t have the same creaminess and would probably get icy when it’s completely frozen. It might be okay if you eat it right out of the ice cream maker, but my experience with lower fat ice creams is that they’re never as good!

    1. Kari

      I’m not sure it would be thick enough, and the success of ice cream depends on the right amount of fat content. My best suggestion would be to make the homemade coconut milk with twice the amount of coconut flakes to make a thicker milk. Just guessing on this, but I hope it works out for you!

  9. Carol

    Hi Kari, This is definitely simple to make. I have it working now, and it is almost done. I have tested it, and I have to say that the (and I am searching for a word here) greasiness? of the coconut milk is kind of off-putting. Maybe it is the brand I used? I used Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk, and had them in the fridge. I almost wonder if using 1 can of coconut milk, and one cup of heavy cream would be better?
    Having said that, I did use sugar-free maple syrup as I am a diabetic. Maybe that changed something?
    I do appreciate the simplicity of the recipe though!

    1. Kari

      I’ve found over time that I prefer the Native Forest brand of coconut milk, (as an added bonus it’s BPA free)! I’ve never had any issues with greasiness and we’ve made this recipe a lot – I’m not sure what might have wen wrong for you – the sugar free maple syrup might have had something to do with it but I wouldn’t think so. You may have just gotten a weird batch of coconut milk – try it again with the Native Forest, or write me again with more info about your ice cream maker and maybe I could help! Let me know how it goes!

    1. Kari

      It should work if you freeze part of the ice cream base in ice cubes trays and blend it with some of the liquid base, (the Vitamix method from their book will give you a few more detailed tips if that’s the blender you have). If you try it this way, the texture will be best right out of the blender or frozen for a few more hours. It will likely have an icier texture after it’s been frozen solid. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it! :)

    1. Kari

      Cream of coconut is quite a bit thicker, so I’m not sure if it would work. As long as it’s the kind of coconut cream that comes in a can, you can probably substitute it for a richer ice cream, just be sure you don’t use the dehydrated kind that comes in a box – even reconstituted it’s not the right texture. Hope this works out for you, and be sure to let me know how it goes! :)

  10. Emma

    This sounds delicious and so easy but 1 cup of maple syrup sounds like a lot would you say it was very sweet with 1 cup Im wondering if I could half the amount? Also have you tried making it with one can of coconut milk and 1 carton of heavy cream, Im wondering if it would still be as good?

    1. Kari

      You could definitely try half the amount of maple syrup! Just taste it after blending the mixture together and see if it’s sweet enough for your taste. I think substituting a carton of heavy cream for some of the coconut milk would be good both texture and flavor wise, but it would have slightly less coconut flavor. Hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know how it goes! :)

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