whole food ~ well made

homemade coconut ice cream

Whip Up a Batch of Coconut Ice Cream

This creamy, vegan ice cream is sweetened with maple syrup with hints of vanilla and ginger and, with no special equipment required, is easy to make for all your holiday pies.

Guest Post: Just at the moment that my daughter, Cece, decided to cut down on dairy, Riya Borah from The Love of Coconut offered me this guest post on making homemade coconut ice cream. You do not need an ice cream maker to produce creamy coconut ice cream like I have. Cece and I made this together several times–using maple syrup and a hint of ginger. We think it’s a great accompaniment to holiday pies–and, of course, on its own!

Text by Riya Borah–Creamy and coconut-y, this coconut ice cream recipe hits all the right notes. Now, you may be wondering why you should bother whipping up your own batch when you could simply pop out to the store to buy a pint.

You could… but you will be missing out on a more natural and pure coconut flavor. After all, mass-produced ice cream is often filled with additives.

With this recipe, though, you use only the very best ingredients–just four or them.

Coconut Ice Cream vs. Coconut-flavored Ice Cream

It is important to differentiate between real coconut and coconut-flavored ice cream.

Coconut-flavored ice cream is regular ice cream with the addition of coconut cream or coconut flavoring. As a result, the flavor may taste artificial or overly potent.

Coconut ice cream is made entirely with coconut-based ingredients–in this recipe canned coconut milk and coconut cream. {Here’s a review of canned coconut milk brands.}

The flavor is milder but is the best option if you are a fan of the natural taste of good-quality coconut milk.

Another issue with coconut milk is finding organic fair trade brands that do not harm the environment through use of chemical inputs and communities by underpaying farmers.

A Note About the Coconut Cream

This recipe calls for coconut coconut milk and coconut cream. Coconut cream is higher in fat, which is an important component of making creamy ice cream. If you can’t find coconut cream, look for full-fat coconut milk as a substitute. Just spoon the coconut cream off the top.

Your Choice of Sweetener

With this recipe, you have two options when it comes to sweetener – you can either use maple syrup or granulated sugar. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. But in this case, maple syrup adds depth to the flavor.

Do You Need an Ice Cream Maker for this Recipe?

One of the reasons that people shy away from making ice cream at home is because they assume that they need an ice cream maker. While an ice cream maker can certainly speed up the process, it isn’t necessary at all. Instead, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Make this coconut ice cream with or without an ice cream maker for an easy home made ice cream treat–and a holiday pie topping.

Freeze & Stir

One of the most reliable avenues is the freeze-and-stir technique. Here, you put your ice cream mix in the freezer and take it out every 35 to 45 minutes and stir it vigorously with a fork or immersion blender to break up the ice crystals.

Repeat this step every 35 to 45 minutes for up to 4 hours. The more often you stir, the creamier the finished coconut ice cream.

You can serve the ice cream right away or freeze for several hours or overnight in the freezer until ready to serve. Store any leftover the ice cream well sealed for up to two weeks.

It sounds too good to be true, but with this method anyone can make delicious homemade coconut ice cream!


and become a forager

Have you tried making ice cream by hand? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Coconut-Maple Ice Cream

Adapted from the original recipe by Riya Borah at For the Love of Coconut, this creamy, vegan ice cream is sweetened with maple syrup with hints of vanilla and ginger. After testing a range of coconut milks, this combination of canned coconut milk (not from cartons) and coconut cream delivered the best-tasting coconut flavor and richness we all want from ice cream. If you do not have an ice cream maker, follow the alternative instructions and serve this on its own or as a dairy-free topping for all your holiday pies.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coconut ice cream
Prep Time 5 minutes
Freezing time 4 hours
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry


  • ice cream maker, optional


  • cup (1 13-ounce can) full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, chilled organic
  • 1/2 cup (1 5.4-ounce can) coconut cream, chilled organic fair trade
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup or granulated cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


  • Use an immersion blender or standard blender to whip the coconut milk, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ginger together.
  • Taste the mixture for sweetness and adjust to suit your taste, then blend again.

To freeze using an ice cream maker:

  • Chill the mixture for at least 1 hour. Stir well before adding it to the ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. Once the mixture is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, stop the machine and spoon it into a container with a lid.
  • Chill the ice cream until fully frozen, at least 2 hours. For best results, let the ice cream sit room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

To freeze using the stir-and-chill technique:

  • Spoon the ice cream mix into a shallow container (like a loaf pan), cover securely with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Every 35 to 45 minutes, remove the lid and stir the ice cream, scraping the sides well to combine the frozen portions with the liquid. Recover and return to the freezer.
  • Repeat until the mixture is evenly frozen, at least 4 hours. Remember that the more frequently you stir, the creamier the results. Chill the ice cream for another 2 hours. For best results, let the ice cream sit room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

This post contains affiliate links for products that I wholeheartedly endorse from my personal use in my home kitchen–for which I may receive a small commission to support this blog.

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