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 5 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 Grade A maple syrup or ¾ cup honey - add the sweetener a little at a time to your taste
  1. Blend coconut milk and your choice of sweetener until thoroughly combined. You can whisk it by hand or blend it in a blender. (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

This recipe was first posted by GI 365 | Get Inspired Everyday! All content is Copyright Protected - ©2013 - 2016 GI 365. All Rights Reserved.


76 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! :)

  11. sweety

    i dont have ice creame machine can i make this ice creame in vitamix? if yes than can you please guide me how?

    1. Kari

      I think you can make this in the Vitamix, I believe they have a method where you would freeze part of the ice cream base in ice cube trays, and then blend it in the Vitamix with the rest of the liquid ice cream base. Be sure to check out their cookbook for more details, I’m pretty sure there’s some tips in there about making ice cream in a Vitamix. Best of luck, and I hope this turns out for you! :)

  12. Jackie

    The cream of coconut in a can is loaded with sugar. I am excited to find these recipes and can’t wait to try them.

    1. Kari

      Just recently we started getting a coconut cream from Native Forest in our grocery stores and it doesn’t have any sugar in it – just coconut cream! It’s been really great having just the cream available now for all kinds of desserts. Hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know how it goes!

  13. Querino de-freitas

    would it be a ….good idea to put the cans of un-opened coconut milk in the fridge with the right side -up and when its chilled properly ,turn it up-side down and scoop the cream out levying the water bit for another dish…..I would be glad for your advise….Thanks Querino de-Freitas….

    1. Kari

      The recipe actually calls for the whole can of coconut milk, but if you want to substitute in some coconut cream for added richness that would be fine as well. I hope this answers your question, be sure to let me know if not! :)

    1. Kari

      There’s really no other way to achieve a smooth texture because as a mixture freezes it forms ice crystal which form larger when it’s not stirred constantly, creating that icey texture you can sometimes get. The closet possible way to get a semi-smooth texture is to freeze the mixture in the freezer and stir it every 30 minutes until it’s frozen. If you have a high powered blender, you can freeze half of the ice cream mixture in ice cube trays. Once that’s frozen solid, blend the other half of the liquid ice cream base with the frozen ice cream cubes. It will be really thick and you’ll need to use the tamper that comes with your blender to keep the mixture moving. This blender method makes a soft serve type of ice cream. Hope this helps and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! :)

  14. ANITA


    1. Kari

      I’m not sure what you mean by ‘no sugar cream’ but hopefully you will find a substitute that will work for your dietary needs. I know a lot of people try stevia or xylitol in place of sugar, the texture might be a little harder and more icy but when the ice cream is softened it should be ok! Best of luck, and let me know if you have anymore questions! :)

  15. Hayley

    Could I use agave nectar to Sweeten this ice cream? I am very excited about this recipe. I just finished making it with maple syrup and its hardening in the freezer. I can’t wait to see how it turns out :)

    1. Kari

      You can definitely use agave nectar to sweeten this ice cream, it should turn out exactly the same! I hope you enjoy the first batch! :)

    1. Kari

      Grade A maple syrup is lighter in maple flavor than Grade B (which is often referred to as pancake syrup because of it’s deep maple flavor). Any pure maple syrup will work, whichever syrup you use will just determine how much maple flavor you’ll notice in the final product, and the Grade B also has a darker color which doesn’t really effect anything other than the appearance. Hope you enjoy the ice cream! :)

  16. dibster

    Is this ice cream very coconut tasting ? Looking for a dairy free ice cream that tastes like a traditional dairy vanilla ice cream – any suggestions ?
    Thanks !

    1. Kari

      This definitely tastes like coconut ice cream! I’m not sure about how to achieve a more traditional vanilla flavor because anything non-dairy based has it’s own distinct flavor. If you’ve ever bought pints of coconut ice cream from the store and liked them, then you would probably like this recipe but it does taste like coconut!

    1. Kari

      You can definitely use coconut sugar in place of maple syrup! I’m not sure if it will dissolve into the coconut milk simply by blending, if it doesn’t you may need to melt them together on the stove top and cool the mixture down before freezing it. The only thing it should effect is the color, coconut sugar is so dark it turns everything brown but I think you’ll have a lovely shade of caramel!

    1. Kari

      So glad you enjoyed it! I’ve been working on some new flavors of coconut ice cream for the summer, so let me know if you have any favorites you’d like to see!

  17. elena

    when you say chilled do you mean i REFRIDGERATE in freezer the can or just put in the fridge overnight. thanks

    1. Kari

      It means to make sure the ice cream base is thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator before freezing it in the ice cream maker. If the ice cream base is too warm, it won’t freeze properly and it will have an icey texture. I keep both my coconut milk and my maple syrup in the refrigerator, so I can just blend them together and freeze the ice cream right away because the ingredients are already chilled! Hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions!

  18. Barbara

    Does the canned coconut milk need to have a certain amount of fat? I see different brands vary in the grams of fat and the one I tried to make the ice cream with didn’t turn out creamy, but more of a slushy consistency.

    1. Kari

      I’m not sure how much the different brands might vary, but I’ve always had good success with the Native Forest brand which seems to have a high amount of coconut cream in it!

  19. Sofi


    I want to try this recipe. I have a cusinart ice cream maker. Do I need to make an ice cream base and then add these ingredients or are these 2 simple ingredients all that I need to put in the freezer bowl?

    1. Kari

      The 2 ingredients, coconut milk and maple syrup (or honey but the maple syrup is my favorite), are blended together which creates the ice cream base. Then you freeze it in the ice cream maker according to your machine’s instructions. I sure hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! :)

  20. becky

    A little too sweet for my taste, but good! I added some toasted coconut and organic desiccated coconut. I think 3/4 cup of syrup may be enough for me. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Kari

      Thanks for writing in, I think it really helps to have everyone’s version on record to get an idea of where to start on the sweetness factor. I’ve been thinking I should make a note in the recipe to add to taste, that way anyone in the future can get it right to their taste the first time! :)

  21. Amy Moffat

    Your texture looks great! I often make my own ice cream but didn’t like using coconut milk because it was too grainy–but your tip about taking it out of the machine when it sticks to the spoon is genius. I will have to try that for my recipes! I also add some gelatin or egg yolks to my ice cream to make it creamy too:) Thanks Kari! Great post!

    1. Kari

      I also like to use the Native Forest brand of coconut milk because it seems to be the most stable. I’ve tried some other brands, and I know what you mean by the grainy texture they sometimes have.

  22. Chris

    Thanks for recipe looks awesome. When you say chill the can overnight. Do u mean allow the water to seperate?

    1. Kari

      I chill the coconut milk so that you can blend it and then pour it straight into the ice cream machine. Otherwise if the coconut milk is at room temperature, the ice cream base has to be thoroughly chilled before going into the machine. I hope you enjoy the recipe, and be sure to let me know if you have anymore questions! :)

  23. Angela

    This would be amazing with a little cardamom in it! Totally going to try it tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe!

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