The Best Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

This Homemade Coconut Ice Cream has been a staple in our house for so many years, and no one ever knows it’s dairy free! It’s super creamy, perfect with so many different baked desserts, and it’s paleo and vegan as well.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

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 restaurant.

Now I know this delectable ice cream bears no real resemblance to my childhood favorite. But, that’s okay because it’s so much better! Something about the amazingly smooth mouthfeel of this ice cream is so similar to soft serve. Now, all I need is some strawberry sauce.

My specific recipe for strawberry sauce is in the Inspired Ice Creams e-book I wrote, (see bottom of this post). But you can also make my Triple Berry Sauce from my Fruit and Yogurt Cups with just strawberries for something similar.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

This recipe is my all time most popular dessert recipe on the blog. I’ll admit I was a little shocked this is the case considering how many chocolate recipes I’ve made. (But I guess everyone likes ice cream as much as I do!)

We make this ice cream often, and I’ve received so many questions about different ways to make this. So I knew it was time for an update. I’ve included everything I’ve learned about ice cream making in the recipe + tips for achieving the creamiest texture.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

Tips for how to make Homemade Coconut Ice Cream from scratch:

  1. Keep cans of coconut milk in the fridge for quick and easy ice cream at a moments notice.
  2. Make this recipe with coconut cream in place of the coconut milk for an even richer texture.
  3. Add the sweetener to your taste! The more sweetener you add the softer and smoother the ice cream will be. But it’s also import to get the right amount of sweetness for you.

Tips for the best texture when freezing your ice cream:

I take my ice cream out when it starts sticking to a metal spoon. Using a regular spoon from your silverware drawer, quickly scoop some ice cream out from the top of the machine when it starts to look thick. If it sits up on the spoon and doesn’t slide right off, it’s done. This sounds a little weird but it really works for the best creamiest texture.

I never used to know when to take my ice cream out of the machine. There were a few times I left it in for too long which makes the ice cream airy, and it becomes icy when it’s fully frozen. 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 | Get Inspired Everyday!

How do you make Coconut Ice Cream without an ice cream machine?

  1. First blend together all the ingredients.
  2. Next freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, keeping back about 1/2 cup liquid.
  3. When the ice cream cubes are frozen, add them to the blender with your reserved, (refrigerated) 1/2 cup liquid ice cream base.
  4. Blend on low speeds using the tamper until you have a thick and creamy ice cream.
  5. Serve immediately, or freeze for a couple hours for a firmer texture.

How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker is the most frequently asked question I get, so I wanted to write down the exact method for you. This is how I used to make ice cream before I had an ice cream maker.

If you don’t have a high speed blender or food processor, you can place the mixture in the freezer. Then stir it every 30 minutes until it freezes. The texture will be icy, but that’s the only other way I know to make ice cream without a machine.

The reason this method is icy is because there’s only the stirring to break up the size of the ice crystals while they form. When you manually stir it every 30 minutes, the ice crystals form larger creating the icy texture.

Notes about blending ice cream in your blender:

  • This only works with a high powered blender, and it’s hard work even for them. If you don’t have a high powered blender, I absolutely wouldn’t attempt to blend ice cream. You can try the same method in a food processor instead – I use my Cuisinart.
  • It’s super important to monitor the blending constantly. Don’t step away for a moment because blending ice cream is hard on a blender. By monitoring and using the tamper, everything ‘should’ be fine. I have a Vitamix and it has a safety feature that turns the blender off if it starts to overheat. So that definitely gives you some peace of mind.
Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

The sky is the limit with how to use this ice cream… but I love it with warm Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake.

Also pretty much any cake/fruit crisp would work like…

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

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

And finally just one more tip:

It seems like the about the amount of sweetener varies with people liking every amount from 1/4 cup to 1 cup. My advice is to start with a small amount of sweetener, and keep adding until it tastes right to you!

If you’re looking for more dairy free ice creams, I wrote a whole book with all the favorites called Inspired Ice Creams! There’s 32 recipes + 143 variations which = 175 total frozen treats!

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Homemade Coconut Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

  • Author: Get Inspired Everyday!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Our favorite dairy free ice cream, perfect for pairing with all sorts of desserts!



2 cans (403 ml each or 13.66 oz each) coconut milk, refrigerated

1/21 cup Grade A amber maple syrup, start with a small amount and keep adding to your taste

pinch of sea salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract


Blend the coconut milk, your choice of sweetener, pinch of salt to taste, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

If your coconut milk isn’t chilled, chill the mixture for 2 hours in the refrigerator before placing it in the ice cream machine.

Freeze according to instructions for your ice cream maker, this should take 20-30 minutes. When the mixture begins to look thick and frosty, (you’ll be able to see lines the dasher will make as the ice cream maker turns) spoon out a little and if it sits up on the spoon instead of slipping right off, it’s done.

The ice cream will be the texture of soft serve when it’s done. You can transfer to a container suitable for the freezer, and freeze and additional 4 hours for a firmer texture. A wooden spoon is the best tool I’ve found for removing the ice cream from the container, spatulas are too flexible and won’t clean out the container well.


The nutrition facts are calculated with 3/4 cup pure maple syrup.

  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Method: Blending/Freezing
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Coconut Ice Cream, Paleo Coconut Ice Cream, Dairy Free Ice Cream, Easy Coconut Ice Cream

146 Comments on “The Best Homemade Coconut Ice Cream”

    1. Kari

      I’m not sure as I’ve never seen either brand here, but they should work if they’re a full fat canned coconut milk. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know how it goes, or if you have anymore questions!

  1. Kari

    So I am loving this thread and the possibilities. I need to not use sweeteners So might i use stevia and if so how much ? powder or liquid?

    1. Kari

      You can definitely use stevia, but the texture won’t be quite as smooth without the maple syrup. I would just add either the liquid or powder to your taste.

  2. Kari

    Hi Kari I,m wondering of lite coconut milk will work as well. I want a low-fat ice cream. I never made ice cream before!! Thanks Linda

    1. Kari

      I wouldn’t use lite coconut milk because it will produce an icy textured ice cream. I haven’t run the calorie count on this ice cream, but coconut milk is already less calories than a traditional ice cream made with heavy cream.

    2. Kari

      Linda you do not want low fat. There have never been any studies that show that a low fat diet works. This is a great way to get additional good fats. Please do your research. I am going to try this with Monk Fruit .

  3. Kari

    Hi Kari,
    I’m impressed that you are still answering people on a post from 2015! Someone asked if it can work to use coconut milk from a carton and you wrote back that is will not be as smooth. I’m in rural Spain and we do have the cartons but have not seen the cans. I’m wondering if there is another source of fat that could work to make the coconut milk from the carton richer like the full fat canned version. Maybe heat it up with some coconut oil? Or even with cow’s milk butter? (I’m allergic to the casein in cow’s milk but butter or ghee are fat, not protein, so I tolerate them.) I may try a couple of combinations but I’m not much of an experimenter with food so I thought you might have a better idea of what would work best and how to mix them. Thank you!

    1. Kari

      Thank you, I always do my best to answer comments! 🙂 I’m not sure what the consistency of cartoned coconut milk is in Spain, (maybe it’s rich enough) I just know it’s a little more watery here. You could try adding some coconut oil or butter, but you would need to make more of a pudding to emulsify the oil with the coconut milk. If you do decided to try that, you could try 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with the maple syrup, then add the coconut milk and fat of choice, and cook whisking constantly until it comes to a boil, (like a pudding). Then fully chill it in the refrigerator before placing it into the ice cream machine. A simpler fix would be to just add some nut butter to your ice cream base just like it’s written. It will obviously taste like whatever nut butter you use, but it does make a wonderfully rich texture. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know how it goes, or if you have anymore questions! 🙂

  4. Kari

    Hi Kari. I’d like for it to have less of a coconut flavour. Can I use 1 can of coconut cream and substitute the other can of coconut milk for almond milk?

    1. Kari

      You can sub in almond milk for part of the coconut milk, but the ice cream will be more icy in texture because almond milk doesn’t have enough fat in it for ice cream purposes. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!

  5. Kari

    Looking to purchase an ice cream maker any suggestion on the best model? I make my own homemade coconut milk so thought making ice cream out of it would be a great treat. thank you.

    1. Kari

      I have the Cuisinart 2-quart ice cream maker and I really love it! It seems to be the perfect size to do any recipe. I’ve had a 1 1/2 quart before and it was too small for some ice cream recipes, so I’d definitely go with the bigger 2 quart because it’s big enough for every recipe I’ve tried, and it still works for smaller batches. I hope this helps, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! 🙂

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