This vegan coconut ice cream uses the same base recipe as my vegan mint chocolate ice cream. Just coconut milk, coconut cream, a little maple syrup, and the add-ins – in this case, toasted coconut flakes and dark chocolate. It is smooth, creamy, just sweet enough, and so simply to make.
It’s inspired by an ice cream I had at Chaeban in Winnipeg, easily the best non-dairy ice cream I’ve ever bought. Usually any store bought ones are just pure sugar and I hate them, so homemade is great for keeping it from being too sweet. The one from Chaeban was pretty much perfect but it had gums added (because it’s being sold in containers) and definitely wasn’t cheap. I also don’t live in Winnipeg so there’s that to consider.
There’s no cooking involved here, so you can have dessert ready in just a few minutes! The base is just mixed together and poured right in to the machine, no need for cooking or chilling. Don’t have an ice cream maker? See below for tips of turning this into popsicles instead.
If you’re looking for something a little more chocolate-heavy, try this chocolate coconut milk ice cream instead.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Full-fat coconut milk: there should be at least 65% coconut listed in the ingredients. Lower fat milk will result in a harder ice cream.
- Coconut cream: don’t mistake coconut cream (which is just canned coconut milk, which a higher fat to water ratio) with creamed coconut, which comes in a box. The boxed stuff will result in a grainy, greasy ice cream.
- Vanilla: you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder for the extract, but the alcohol in the extract helps to make the ice cream smooth and creamy.
If you can’t get coconut cream, just use the cream scooped from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk. It’s the same thing. If your coconut milk/cream is a bit lumpy, blend it with an immersion or standing blender before adding it to your ice cream maker – the churning won’t remove lumps in the milk, you’ll just end up with lumpy ice cream.
Sometimes dark chocolate can get a bit waxy-feeling when it’s frozen, but there are a couple of ways around this. One is to use raw chocolate instead, as it freezes a bit softer. The other is to melt the chocolate, then pour it into the ice cream maker in a very slow stream while it’s churning to get a stracciatella style ice cream.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make it into popsicles by stirring the add-ins into the base and pouring it into popsicle moulds. You may end up with some sinking of the coconut and chocolate, but it’s usually not too bad. Alternatively, freeze the base recipe in an ice cube tray, blend in a high speed blender, and then mix in the add-ins.
- Freeze the base: make sure your ice cream maker is properly frozen and ready to go before beginning. If it isn’t you can always refrigerate the coconut milk base mixture overnight while the ice cream maker freezes.
- Freeze briefly: you can serve the ice cream immediately after churning, but it will melt very quickly. I usually freeze it for at least half an hour before scooping and serving.
- Don’t over-churn: when finished, the ice cream should look like soft serve. If you mix too long, it will be hard and kind of crumbly.
More Frozen Treats
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Chocolate Chunk Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
- 400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk
- 200 ml canned coconut cream
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*
- Tiny pinch sea salt
- 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- 50 grams toasted coconut flakes
- Whisk together the coconut milk, cream, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk, 200 ml canned coconut cream, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*, Tiny pinch sea salt
- Pour the coconut mixture into your ice cream maker and churn until frozen, adding the chocolate and coconut when the ice cream is almost set and frozen to mix it evenly throughout.100 grams dark chocolate, chopped, 50 grams toasted coconut flakes
- Serve immediately, or freeze in a sealed container for up to one month. Thaw for about 10 minutes before serving if frozen solid.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in August 2018. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe as of August 2020.