{Dairy-Free} Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

by Alice Currah on July 18, 2010. Updated August 1, 2010

Today is National Ice Cream day and coincidentally I have an awesome ice cream recipe to share with you.  As some of you are aware of, my oldest daughter is allergic to dairy.  If she ingests anything with cows milk she will suffer a severe eczema outbreak which often results in tears and frustration.  A few months ago I purchased an ice cream maker because we wanted to make our own dairy-free ice cream just as good as “regular” kind.  We’ve made ice cream using a soy base which was good but we’ve been making A LOT of coconut milk based ice cream which is our favorite.  In fact, I like this ice cream so much, it is my new favorite, even more so than my beloved Häagen-Dazs coffee flavor.  Coconut milk is nearly as creamy as heavy cream when using it as a base.  The coconut flavor is very mild, slightly noticeable, but completely complimentary to this chocolate dessert.  Best part of this recipe is it uses only 3 ingredients: coconut milk, sugar, and cocoa powder.

Not only is this recipe dairy-free, it’s also vegan.  Creamy, chocolately, fantastic ice cream for the whole family to enjoy.  So dust off your ice cream makers from the kitchen pantry and give this recipe a go – you won’t regret it.  My new favorite ice cream inspired by Abigail.. I present to you chocolate coconut ice cream.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream Recipe


1 14oz can coconut milk *Coconut milk can often be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.  UPDATE: I made this with an organic coconut milk which WAS NOT labeled “light” but in fact it was.  It was not as creamy as when I use Chaokoh brand.  So if your ice cream is silky creamy, it may be the coconut milk you are using.

1/3 cup sugar or 1/3 cup agave syrup

2 tablespoons cocoa powder


Place all coconut milk, sugar, and cocoa powder in a blender.  Blend everything for 30 seconds and pour into your ice cream machine bowl and follow manufacturer’s directions.  Transfer to a Rubbermaid type container with lid.

Here’s the ice cream maker I bought and own. I love it!

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Jana July 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

Thanks Alica, this looks great! I plan on trying this recipe as my kids are dairy-free too! Yummy!


Jessica @ How Sweet July 19, 2010 at 2:35 am

Fabulous! I love coconut milk and coconut milk ice cream. Delicious flavor too.


Heather (Heather's Dish) July 19, 2010 at 5:29 am

oh my goodness, this sounds divine! i love the idea of coconut milk :)


Maria July 19, 2010 at 7:23 am

I want a scoop or two:)


maggy@threemanycooks July 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

I can’t believe you could make something this delicious with just 3 ingredients! And I love ANYTHING with coconut milk.


Jackie Baisa July 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

Nuh uh! Three ingredients?! That’s awesome. Definitely going to give it a try when I get back from vacation. I love that flavor combo, as well!


Lauren July 19, 2010 at 10:21 am

A made-to-measure dessert on a day I need medication-by-chocolate! If I’d known you could make ice cream with coconut milk…. I’d be buying 2 airplane seats.


Danica July 19, 2010 at 11:28 am

YUM! I just bought a new ice cream maker this month so I know this recipe is definitely going into it :)


Eliana July 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Homemade ice cream is such a great treat. This one looks amazing.


Rocky Mountain Woman July 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I am so into coconut milk, but mixing it with chocolate, well that’s just a crazy good idea!


Georgia Pellegrini July 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm

No way. This ice cream beat out Haagen Daas Coffee for the number one slot? It must be utterly delicious.


Baking is my Zen July 19, 2010 at 4:31 pm

This looks so refreshing! Nice to see those (like your daughter) that can’t eat dairy can still enjoy ice cream!

Great photos!



Su July 19, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Looks delicious! I have all the ingredients so I’m going to make it tomorrow. Thank you for the recipe. How many servings does this make?


alice July 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hi Su,
This recipe serves between 2-4 people. It makes approx. 2 1/4 cups so if you want to split it with one other person it would be a very generous portion. However, if you are serving this as part of a dessert after dinner, it could serve up to 4 people.


Sharlene July 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Vegan ice cream? I had no idea such a thing existed! This looks ridiculously delicious with the coconut milk.


Bonnie July 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I tried this last night with my brand new ice cream machine. It was so good! I didn’t want to get my blender out too, so I just whisked the ingredients together and it worked just fine. Thanks so much for the recipe!


alice July 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Whisking works great too. I like to use the blender because I just want to make sure everything is well combined but certainly can use some elbow grease too. Glad you liked it.. isn’t it good?


Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen July 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I love the simplicity of this recipe and it looks creamy and delicious! We just stocked up on coconut milk for this very purpose!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction July 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I’ve been making a lot of custard based ice creams lately, but they can be a lot of work! I love this… I will definitely be giving it a try soon! I’m dreaming up all sorts of ice cream flavors with a coconut milk base now, too… Yum!


Cookin' Canuck July 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

I have recently fallen in love with coconut milk-based ice creams, but I have yet to try a chocolate version. This photos is so pretty!


Betty July 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

This looks so easy and delicious- I’m not vegan or dairy free, but several of my friends are. This will be perfect! Thanks for sharing :)


kitchen table July 24, 2010 at 3:04 am

I have been searching for different ice cream flavors for an hour now. I have found four delicious flavors and I think this is going to be the fifth. That looks so chocolaty. It is perfect for my collection.


tina117 July 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm

This looks very delicious!! thanks for posting thisss!!


Leigh Anne July 27, 2010 at 9:05 pm

my daughter is also highly allergic to dairy. thank you so much for this recipe! i would not have thought to use coconut milk. my efforts with soy ice creams have left me feeling like she would miss out on really great ice cream :/ i cant wait to try this!!!!


The Food Hunter July 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I love coconut milk….can’t wait to try this.


Unja Park August 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

This is wonderful! I just made it this weekend and it was so easy. I tried whisking it first, but resorted to the blender, which was much better in the long run. It’s a delicious alternative to the heaviness of cream, etc. Thank you, Alice!


Susan August 5, 2010 at 7:40 am

I love coconut, chocolate and ice cream. I cannot wait to try.

I love your website. I found it while visiting The Pioneer Woman. You are also one of my favorites!


Irina] September 12, 2010 at 12:26 am

I just made this and had to resist the urge not to eat the mix before getting it into the ice cream maker. I just got a 2 quart Cuisinart (is that what I see in your pictures?) and this is the first ice cream I’ve ever made, so thank you! :)
It gets really hard in the freezer, but I leave it out on the counter before scooping, and it’s worked well. I think next time, I’ll do one can of regular coconut milk and one can of lite, just so I don’t feel so guilty about the calories. It’s soooo creamy, though!


Jen October 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Kate and I made this — it was delicious!


Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer October 23, 2010 at 12:25 am

Oh funny I just made this earlier tonight. Before finding your blog. Very rich and creamy ice cream, new favorite is to use full fat organic coconut milk. I plan on making a coconut milk blueberry vanilla tomorrow night since the cocolate is already gone! (3 kids…) I added 1 tsp homemade peppermint extract to mine too, it was so rich and smooth and creamy. I also just whisked mine up real good in a bowl before adding. Plus that coconut milk fat actually boosts metabalism…woohoo, more ice cream please!


Kate Moore January 4, 2011 at 12:18 am

I found this looking for ice cream recipes that didn’t need cream, since I was craving and we were out. WOW! It froze up beautifully and tasted fantastic! The texture is so much like dairy, it was unbelievable. We added shredded sweetened coconut to ours for texture. Thanks so much for the recipe!


LaughingRain February 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

This looks so good. Do you have directions for making it in a home freezer as I do not have an ice cream freezer. I may need to sneak and buy one.


Charlotte March 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm

OMG…This is so good! I had leftover coconut cream from making something else and don’t know what to do with it. I have been going dairy-free on and off and the timing could not have been more perfect. I made this tonight using a good quality hot chocolate mix (Allegro) since I was out of cocoa powder. I added equal parts water and coconut cream to thin it out and make 14 ounces. I have not even frozen it yet and it already tasted so good. The Agave nectar rounded out the flavor. I need more coconut milk recipes…
Thank you Alice!


B April 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

This was so delicious! Thank you thank you :) Any recommendations for other mixins besides cocoa? Would frozen strawberries or pureed mango work the same way?


Christine April 17, 2011 at 12:50 am

I just made this and it is so good! And, it couldn’t be any easier to make.


Cindy Robinson May 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I made this last week because I had all 3 ingredients, and wanted to use up some coconut milk I bought (do I really need an excuse to make ice cream ?). I added an 1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper just for giggles (and Cinco de Mayo). It turned out great. I belive it’s growing on me each time I try it. I love how it’s different from milk/cream ice cream in that there’s a fresh clean almost “slushy” taste to it. Thanks for sharing!


Debbie T. July 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Alice (or anyone else who has made this) – I have a bunch of cans of Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk. It’s very creamy and the only ingredients are coconut milk and water, no guar gum, etc. Would it work i this recipe? Thanks so much!


alice July 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Hi Debbie,
When I’ve made this in the past using “light” coconut milk, the end result was more icy in texture compared to a velvety ice cream texture. You could try using the TJ light version but I’m guessing it won’t be as creamy but still probably really good.


Allyn July 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I love coconut milk ice cream! My fiance is allergic to dairy, and had never had any sort of homemade ice cream as a result. I made a batch secretly with the first strawberries from our CSA, and he nearly cried with joy. It was soooo good!


Kristin July 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Awesome recipe! My family (allergic to dairy) thanks you! We added vanilla and a little rum to bring out the flavors.


Mindy Lu August 5, 2011 at 3:29 am

Just found out I am allergic to dairy a few days ago (respiratory stuff)…super devastated since I’m a daily-cheese-and-ice-cream gal. I just made this recipe (and ate half of it in one go) and am realizing that dairy-free probably isn’t as bad as I thought. Thanks for this one – I needed it! :)


Adam August 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Wow! Made many types of vegan milk free ice creams and I must say this is the BEST and easiest recipes out there! Love it!!! Made a double batch today, looking forward to making more!


Michelle August 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I tried this today and I don’t know what happened but the fat in the coconut milk separated from the rest, so even after blending I had lumps of fat swimming in the mixture. I used regular coconut milk that only contained coconut and water. Any suggestions?


Kelley January 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I made this tonight and sprinkled toasted shredded coconut on top. It was SO EASY and really really good, too!


alice February 2, 2012 at 2:46 am

Kelly, I belive Oreo cookies are dairy free too. Try crushing some next time and adding it as a topping. Unbelievable!


brett March 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Compared to fresh coconut milk, the canned stuff tastes like an old shoe. It is well worth the effort to crack a coconut and process your own coconut cream.


Georgette July 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Found this recipe pretty sweet. Maybe I’ll try half coconut milk half almond with arrowroot powder as a thickener.

Thanks for the starter!


Jackie August 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

This is such simple and fantastic recipe. I’ve tried it once myself and I can’t wait to serve it to my lactose intolerant boyfriend! The coconut goes well with the chocolate and isn’t overpowering for those who are weary of coconut. :)


Dairy Free Ice Cream September 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I’ve written a lot of recipes for dairy free ice cream and a lot of them use coconut milk (it’s a great substitute). I’m excited to try it with chocolate though! Great recipe, and great instructions, thanks for sharing.


Natalia April 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

Do you mean 14oz of coconut milk or 114oz? How much is that in grams?


Mel November 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm

14 oz can of milk, definitely!


Mel November 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm

I was wondering if anyone has made this WITHOUT an ice cream maker?
I have popsicle molds I was thinking I could use, but am concerned that the ingredients will separate before and during the freezing process.
Has anyone tried this?



Mel November 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Well, I answered my own question … mostly because I was too impatient to wait for anyone else to answer it!
I used popsicle molds and I also simply put the mixture into freezable glass containers. Both worked great! I can eat the popsicles right away, but for the ice cream poured in glass containers, I have to let them melt a little before eating.
Based on the pictures, the ice cream machine version looks a little creamier than mine, but mine is still GREAT!
I was buying the Bliss Bars for $1.50 a bar, but I can make this for less than 1/2 the cost! Yay! Thank you so much for this recipe!


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