Coconut Lemon Ice Cream
This homemade coconut lemon ice cream is creamy, refreshing, and completely dairy-free. It's naturally sweetened with honey and makes the most delightful healthy treat on a hot day. It's simple to make and uses just six ingredients!
If you love the heavenly taste of coconut and lemon, also try our coconut lemon energy balls!
Nothing screams summer quite like a fresh cone in the sun. In this homemade ice cream recipe, we combine two of our favorite flavors (coconut and lemon) into a dreamy all-natural treat.
We use coconut milk to keep things extra creamy and dairy-free, with a generous amount of fresh lemon juice and zest to make the lemon flavor pop. Then we balance things out with a sweet touch of honey. It's a healthier guilt-free treat you can feel good about sharing with kids, too.
We use turmeric to make the ice cream a beautiful yellow color. Don't worry, as long as you add it to cold cream (not when it's hot!) then you won't taste it at all. We use the same trick in our coconut lemon energy balls.
Lemon ice cream ingredients
Here's everything you'll need to make lemon coconut ice cream at home:
- Coconut milk – a full-fat, additive-free version is important to help achieve the desired creamy consistency.
- Honey – makes it naturally sweet.
- Lemon juice + zest – a generous amount gives its distinctive bright, fresh taste.
- Sea salt – enhances all the other flavors.
- Turmeric – powdered turmeric gives it a vibrant yellow color (see notes in recipe card)
You'll also need a blender, ice cream maker, and a loaf pan for freezing.
How to make coconut lemon ice cream
You'll be happy you pulled out your ice cream maker for this recipe, friends. This coconut lemon ice cream is so delicious and simple to make, and most of the prep time is hands-off cooling and freezing time. Here's how it comes together in a few easy steps:
- Start by warming all the ingredients (except the turmeric) together in a pot on the stove until almost simmering.
- Transfer it to your blender and give it a whizz*. Careful the top doesn't pop off from the steam! You'll need to cool it completely now so place it in the fridge.
- Once it's cold, whisk in the turmeric.
- Next, churn it in your ice cream maker until it starts to look like soft-serve ice cream.
- Then, pour it into your loaf pan and place it in the freezer.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
* Pro tip: The fat in coconut milk has a bad habit of hardening and turning grainy when it freezes. By heating and blending the cream first, the ice cream stays super creamy after it's frozen. You can try this trick with other coconut milk-based ice creams, too!
How to make no-churn ice cream
If you don't have an ice cream maker, try the no-churn method. Pour the cold coconut cream mixture into a shallow baking dish and put it into your freezer. After half an hour, mix the cream around. Continue to freeze it then mix it every half an hour until it is frozen. (Use a fork to scrape the ice cream once it really starts to freeze). When the ice cream is frozen, scoop it and enjoy it right away or put a cover on it for storing in the freezer.
We use coconut milk because it's high in fat, similar to cream. Most other dairy-free milk won't work because its fat content is not high enough and will make the ice cream taste icy.
Not in this case. Fresh turmeric won't mix into the coconut cream the same way powdered turmeric does.
How to serve coconut ice cream
You'll want to take the loaf pan out of the freezer for about 5 minutes to allow it to soften, so you can scoop it.
Enjoy a generous scoop of this healthy coconut lemon ice cream in your favorite waffle cone. It's perfect for hot afternoons in the sun or as a refreshing post-dinner patio treat the whole family will love!
Or for a real treat, serve a scoop beside our lemon bars with coconut shortbread crust or top it with some lemon curd!
Healthier ice cream recipes
- Lime Coconut Ice Cream
- Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
- Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
- Coconut Cherry Ice Cream
- Dreamy Almond Chocolate Nice Cream
Coconut Lemon Ice Cream
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 2 cans additive-free coconut milk, see notes
- ¾ cup honey
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric , for color – see notes
- Add the coconut milk, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Warm the coconut milk until it is almost simmering.2 cans additive-free coconut milk, ¾ cup honey, ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, 1 pinch sea salt
- Carefully pour the warm cream into your blender. Start your blender on low speed then slowly increase the speed to high. Hold your hand over the lid to make sure that the steam from the cream doesn't pop the lid off. Blend on high for one minute then refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours.
- Once the cream is cold, whisk in the turmeric.½ teaspoon turmeric
- Churn the ice cream until it resembles soft serve.
- Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-proof container (we like to use a loaf pan) and freeze until firm.
Do you need to heat it?? Can you skip that step and go straight to a food processor or blender?
Technically, yes you can. But the ice cream will have a bit of a gritty texture. If you’re ok with that, then go for it. But if you want the ice cream to be smooth, then you need to heat it.
When I’ve made ice cream with coconut milk, it turns really icy when frozen. Is that from the separation of the coconut cream and the coconut water that I always find in the coconut milk cans? If so, should I just use the coconut cream component and not the coconut water found in the tin?
The higher the fat content of the coconut, the creamier the ice cream will be. We look for cans with a minimum of 60% coconut extract and no thickeners – like guar gum. It will needs to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving, but it’s creamy.
Very easy and smooth, creamy. Delicious
Could Almond or oat milk be used instead of coconut milk?
No unfortunately not. Both of those options are low in fat and therefore would make icy ice cream.
what size ice cream maker? I’ve had problem in the past of over filling and it goes everywhere. Thanks
We use a 2-quart ice cream maker!
Hi Kristen! Love your blog!
Question: have you tried making it with less honey? 3/4 c sounds like it’ll be really sweet.
Thanks, Melissa! I originally tested the recipe with ½ cup of honey but found that it wasn’t sweet enough. If you’re worried that it will be too sweet for your taste, add less and then taste and add more if you want it sweeter. The recipe will still work if you use less honey.