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Coconut Ice Cream Recipe – Dairy Free

Fresh, Light, Refreshing

 Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

This is another recipe inspired by our recent trip to Thailand. On a dinner outing to the Asiatique Night Market in Bangkok we grabbed a coconut ice cream and I was hooked! It was refreshing, cleansing and not at all sweet, plus it is dairy free. I am lactose intolerant so it provided me with the required inspiration to attempt to re-create it at home.

I purchased of an ice cream maker last year as a way to:

  • Make my own additive-free, natural ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbets for my children
  • Make the process as quick and easy as possible
  • Be creative with recipe ideas

The recipe below does not require an ice cream machine, it simply makes the process a little less fiddly as there is no need to constantly remove the mixture from the freezer to blend it. If you don’t have one, don’t stress.

Dairy free ice cream

This recipe is very simple, and as with the one we tasted on holidays, it is light, refreshing and tastes like it is good for you!

You will see from the ingredient listing that this ice cream contains no additives to keep it soft and smooth, it will freeze HARD. That is the one draw back of home made ice cream, and it is a pain if you get a craving after dinner and need to wait for it to defrost to eat it!  David Lebovitz provides some tips for Making Home Made Ice Cream Softer and I will experiment with a number of his suggested variations over the coming months.

I was not keen on using egg in this recipe, nor alcohol or sugar. The outcome was so light and lovely in flavour that we demolished it very quickly!  There was barely any to put into the freezer. Therefore, for this household there was no issue. I should point out that whilst I made this ice cream for me I ended up with the least amount of it after Mr Fresh and Punky and Cuddles got started on it!


  • 5 cups of coconut milk (I used tinned)
  • 1 large vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons of dark palm sugar (use regular palm sugar if you can not locate dark)


  1. Add the ingredients to a saucepan and gently bring to a low simmer
  2. Simmer for 20 minutes then remove from the heat to cool for 15 minutes
  3. Remove the vanilla bean and place the mixture into the fridge (approximately 2 hours)
  4. Once the mixture is cold add it to the ice cream machine and churn until it thickens to resemble soft commercial ice cream
  5. Spoon the ice cream into a container and place it into the freezer
  6. Remove from the freezer and serve within 2 hours, or remove one hour prior to eating to soften to serve.

I served this ice cream with freshly roasted cocoa nibs.  Good quality shaved chocolate would work equally well.

If you do not have an ice cream machine, skip step 4 and remove from the freezer and whisk, or use a fork to break up the ice crystals 3 or 4 times every couple of hours until the mixture has thickened and is the desired consistency.

Do you make your own ice cream? Does the difference in texture from commercial ice cream bother you?




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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Christina @ The Hungry Australian February 5, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Krystie – what a fantastic recipe! I’m also not so great with dairy but I love coconut milk so this is perfect for me. I have two other ice creams to make tomorrow but as soon as they are done I’m so making this! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade February 11, 2013, 7:40 pm

    This looks fabulous! I have cut dairy out of my diet recently as it seems to disagree with me so I love the look of this – it looks so creamy and refreshing 🙂

  • Nic@diningwithastud February 20, 2013, 10:21 am

    I love the flavour of homemade ice-cream 🙂 Loving that this is dairy free too – we’re trying to eat less dairy so this is perfect!

    • Kyrstie February 20, 2013, 8:55 pm

      Hi Nic,
      I am loving all things coconut since our holiday. Home made anything is superior I say! K 🙂

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