Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream is easy to make and INSANELY delicious. It's made with only 3 ingredients (no refined sugar!) and you probably have them all in your pantry right now. What are you waiting for?

A big scoop of Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream out of an ice cream maker.

I don't mean to brag, but … Ok, I'm going to brag a little. This vanilla coconut ice cream is as good as it gets. It's super creamy and full of rich vanilla flavor and just a hint of coconut in the background. You'd never guess it is dairy free.

This is a recipe that I've been making for years. When I ran an underground restaurant, I would often serve it as part of dessert if any of the guests were vegan. After serving it one evening, a guest wrote me to say that she “was almost in tears the dessert was that good.”

Even though it's February (and a mighty strange time to be sharing an ice cream recipe) I couldn't help myself. This 40th Throw Back Thursday (#tbt) post had to be this coconut ice cream recipe.

Why you'll love this coconut ice cream

  • It is the creamiest coconut ice cream ever! By using the highest fat coconut milk (more on that in a minute) you can make absolutely luscious dairy-free ice cream.
  • It's made without any refined sugar. I adapted the recipe a little to bring it in line with the times. Instead of using white sugar, I now use coconut sugar. It makes the ice cream the most gorgeous light caramel color and gives it a richer flavor.
  • 3 little ingredients. That's right, this coconut milk ice cream is made with only 3 ingredients and the chances that you have them all in your pantry right now are high.
  • So what are you waiting for?

Looking down on a bowl of Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream with a spoon in it and some flaked coconut on top.

The trick to making the best coconut milk ice cream

Making the best coconut milk ice cream is not difficult or time-consuming, but you do need one little thing. High-fat coconut milk. This is not the place to skimp and buy a jar that has low-fat written anywhere on the label.

  • Low-fat = icy ice cream
  • High-fat = unbelievably creamy ice cream

While the recipe will technically work with any coconut milk, you'll only get to put “The Best” bragging rights in front of the title if you use high-fat coconut milk.

Look for canned coconut milk with a minimum 60% coconut extract and no additives. If you can find coconut milk with a higher percentage, use it. When I can get my hands on a can of 90% this coconut ice cream is literally out of this world delicious.

Looking down at an ice cream maker with Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream in it.

Do I need an ice cream maker to make this coconut ice cream recipe?

Nope! Although that is a picture of an ice cream maker up there. If you have one, use it. It's the easiest.

But if you don't have one, don't worry.

To make no-churn coconut milk ice cream:

  1. Pour the ice cream into a shallow pan and put it into your freezer.
  2. Every half an hour take the pan out of the freezer and use a fork to scrape and mix the ice cream. Do this at least 3-4 times.
  3. That's it!

The original picture of this Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream (2012)


If you’re interested in learning a few tricks that I did to improve my food photography, check out the posts 10 Food Photography Tips for New Food Bloggers and The 10 Best Food Photography Props to Improve Your Food Photography and The Food Photography Equipment I Use.


A spoon scooping some Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream out of a bowl.

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Looking down on a bowl of Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream with a spoon in it and some flaked coconut on top.

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

  • Author: Kristen Stevens | The Endless Meal
  • Prep Time: 50 mins (includes 30 mins to chill the ice cream)
  • Total Time: 50 mins (includes 30 mins to chill the ice cream)
  • Yield: Makes 6 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream is easy to make and INSANELY delicious. It's made with only 3 ingredients (no refined sugar!) and you probably have them all in your pantry right now. What are you waiting for?


Scale

Ingredients

  • 315-ounce cans of additive-free coconut milk (use the highest fat coconut milk you can find. The higher the fat the more creamy the ice cream. Remember that low-fat coconut milk will result in an icy texture.)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: flaked or shredded coconut, to serve (toasted, if you'd like)

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized pot and heat over medium-low heat until sugar has completely dissolved. (Do not bring to a boil)
  2. Put the pot in your fridge to cool. Once it is completely cold, process it according to your ice cream maker's directions. (See the blog post for making this without an ice cream maker.)
  3. Either serve immediately (my favorite!) or scoop the ice cream into a container and cover with a piece of parchment paper directly on the ice cream to help prevent any ice crystals from forming.
  4. Store in your freezer. Allow the ice cream to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.