Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This ice cream is unbelievably easy to make.

It’s a good thing, too, since it doesn’t seem to last long in our freezer.

Using only a handful of ingredients, including coconut milk as the base, this chocolate ice cream is a great alternative for those of you looking for a cold and creamy treat, but would rather avoid the traditional dairy version. The result is just as decadent-tasting as the real thing, but lighter on your digestion.

You don’t even need an ice cream maker to prepare it!

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
makes 4 servings

Inspired by this recipe

Ingredients:

1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (<– this brand is BPA-free)
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup, for vegans)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. (Originally, I tried whisking them together in a bowl, but the blender was much more effective!)

Adjust the flavor to your taste, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until firm.

Note: Alternatively, you could use an ice-cream maker at this point, which will freeze your ice cream in about 20 minutes. Simply follow the manufacturer’s directions.

If your ice cream gets too firm in the freezer, allow it to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.


4.9 from 28 reviews
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Using only a handful of ingredients, including coconut milk as the base, this chocolate ice cream is a great alternative for those of you looking for a cold and creamy treat, but would rather avoid traditional dairy versions. The result is just as decadent-tasting as the real thing, but lighter on your digestion. You don't even need an ice cream maker to prepare it!
Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup, for vegans)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. (Originally, I tried whisking them together in a bowl, but the blender was much more effective!)
  2. Adjust the flavor to your taste, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until firm.
  3. If your ice cream gets too firm in the freezer, allow it to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Notes
Alternatively, you could use an ice-cream maker, which will freeze your ice cream in about 20 minutes. Simply follow the manufacturer's directions.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Have you tried coconut milk ice cream before?

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

141 thoughts on “Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

      1. Gina

        Hello, your recipe was amazing! Would low fat coconut milk work too as the full fat milk gives me a stomachache? Thank you.

        Reply
  1. Cadie

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. I love coconut milk ice cream, so now I have to try making my own! Do you think raw cacao powder would work in the recipe?

    Reply
      1. laura

        what is the difference between cocoa powder, cacao powder and raw cacao powder? Is cocoa made from the cacao bean, therefore leading to ‘cocoa’ and ‘cacao’ interchangeable? How does ‘raw’ associate with cocoa? Is all cocoa raw since the powder of cacao? Thanks!

        Reply
  2. Cadie

    Awesome! I have a half gallon carton of unsweetened coconut milk (So Delicious brand) in the fridge now…I wonder if that would work, or if it needs to be the canned variety?

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I feel like that type of coconut milk has a different consistency than the canned stuff, but let me know if you try it! I’d love to hear how it goes.

      Reply
      1. Karan Sims

        “Ice Cream” needs the fat of the canned coconut milk to taste rich. Using the lower fat coconut milk from a carton will make a frozen ice rather than cream.

        Reply
    2. carsen

      Add 4 or 5 egg yolks into the mix and your So Delicious coconut milk should work fine. I still prefer the canned coconut milk, but adding the egg yolks will allow you to still approximate the texture with the carton milk.

      Reply
  3. jeanne

    In this heat, I am so addicted to your peanut butter banana ice cream…but this will be a nice change, I’m going to make tonight!!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      Cacao is simply the raw, unprocessed version of the bean from the cacao tree, while “cocoa” is what it’s typically called after it’s been cleaned and roasted. I prefer to use the raw version in my recipes, which is why I link to the brand I use, but many people are more familiar with the term cocoa powder, and it can be used interchangeably with very little difference in flavor.

      Reply
  4. Alexys

    I also have the “So Delicious” brand Coconut milk in my fridge to use up within the next couple days, so this is a perfect! Its in the freezer now, so I will also report back to let you know how it turns out, but in the liquid state it tastes delicious enough to just drink!

    Thank you for all these amazing recipes!

    Reply
  5. Kibby

    Thanks for the recommendation on the BPA-free coconut milk from Amazon.com. I have two cans left and will look to ordering this one you mentioned. Recipe looks great! Easy and quick. I’m trying to cut back on banana consumption and this will take care of my ice cream fix. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Susan

    oh my…i made this last night and it is sooooo ood, i used agave instead of honey and made it in my ice cream maker….delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Reply
  7. Clare

    I just finished making this and wooow.. SO GOOD! I actually used coconut cream in place of milk, and made it into like a mousse that I could eat straight away, seriously delicious.. thanks so much for the recipe!

    Reply
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  9. Tiffany

    I’ve been making coconut milk ice cream for a while now. My husband’s favorite flavor is peanut Butter. It’s the exact same recipe as this post, however, instead of cocoa powder, I use peanut butter. Sometimes we add homemade hot fudge as well. We both agree that it’s the best ice cream we’ve ever had. Ever.

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I think if you let it thaw on the counter for 15 minutes or so, it gets creamier as it thaws. When it’s frozen solid, it is a little icier.

      Reply
    2. JC

      Hi Cadie,

      Did you use the carton of coconut milk that you were referencing above? If so, that’s why it got icy. The lower fat content is what can make vegan ice creams icy. Same goes for if you use a can of low fat coconut milk. It’s best to use the full fat versions.

      Also, someone above was asking about the ‘coconut creme’ from Trader Joes. That’s just TJ’s marketing but it’s really just plain ol’ full fat coconut milk so you’re fine.

      If you want to double up on this recipe or others, you can use one can of full fat coconut milk & one can of low fat and you’ll be fine. Or you can use soy creamer in place of the low fat coconut milk if you want less of a coconut flavor.

      Just remember, it’s all about your fat content. Also, a small amount of vodka has worked well for people as it prevents that icy texture. In any case, you may find that letting the ice cream sit out before serving (10-15 mins as stated above) is a helpful addition.

      πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. Karan Sims

        Actually, the Trader Joe Coconut cream is a full can of the cream, rather than mostly or partially cream. If you put it in the refrigerator to chill and separate, you won’t have any watery part–just cream.

        Reply
  10. Desiree

    I made this last night and I’m enjoying it as I type. A nice creamy, chocolatey treat. I think I might add chopped almonds next time.

    Reply
  11. Karen

    This is amazing, thanks! Just too good πŸ™‚ I made with liquid stevia, about 20 drops, and its lovely and sweet. Have to try not to eat it all in one go!

    Reply
  12. Jen

    Just tried this recipe and it is AMAZING! I really love your website Megan, can’t wait to try out all of the other recipes, especially cauliflower pizza crust!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      This provided us with 4 large servings– I’d probably double the recipe to serve more, since you can always enjoy any leftovers later! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Holli Ohngren

    Im such A dork! I just noticed at the top of the instructions where it says servings! I swear I looked everywhere. Don’t mind me, I’m just being blind;-) thanks a bunch! I can’t wait to make it.

    Reply
  14. Paula

    Wow! This recipe tastes amazing! I made it in my Cuisinart ice cream maker and in minutes, pure delicacy! My boyfriend and I killed it in 2 really large servings. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the post and I look forward to trying your other recipes!

    Reply
  15. Rose Lucht

    We just made this, ooh my , so DELISH!!!
    For the two extra tablespoons of cocoa I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa, and also raw honey for the sweetner,very very nice. Whipped it up in minutes in my Kitchenaide icecream maker.
    Thank you !

    Reply
  16. Lorelei

    Oh my gosh this is so tasty! I am going to a vegan dinner in a few days, and I think this will be perfect. I quadrupled it, and it is in the ice cream maker right now.

    Reply
  17. Michele

    This is very good. I did find it quite hard- not soft and creamy like ice cream. This does make great ice pops- tastes like fudge sickles.

    Reply
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  19. Oriella

    Hi, do you think this recipe will also work with Silk Coconut Milk? I couldn’t find the canned anywhere!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I don’t think Silk Coconut Milk has the same texture or fat content as canned coconut milk– you need that fat content to create a creamy, rather than icy texture. The canned version can be found in most grocery stores where you’d find Thai curry paste and spices.

      Reply
  20. meeper

    this was so good i changed it only slightly i swaped the vanilla for pepermint and added a little stevia as well was so yummy

    Reply
  21. Yoli

    Hello, I just tried making this but just with Coconut full fat milk, vanilla, honey and a little Xylitol. I also added 2 tsp or Arrowroot powder. I churned it for over an hour and it didn’t do anything. It stayed liquid the whole time. I did put the mixture in the fridge for 2 hours before putting in the frozen ice cream maker. It is in the freezer, I went to stir it after30 minutes and it was not frozen anywhere. Can you help me please??

    Thank you so much,

    Yoli

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I would try placing the mixture in the freezer for an hour, then try churning it again in the frozen bowl. Personally, I’ve never gotten my ice cream maker to thicken any non-dairy recipe, which is why I usually skip that part and stick it directly in the freezer to firm up. It will harden, but if you allow it to thaw for 20 minutes or so before serving, it becomes scoop-able. Best of luck to you!

      Reply
  22. Yoli

    Hi Megan, thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I know you must be busy trying to answer everyone!!
    I would like to try an add strawberries but I only have Frozen ones. Can I use and how would I use them? and how many? Thanks, don’t mean to be a bother.

    Yoli

    Reply
  23. Judy Taylor

    My 12 year old grandson made this ice cream today using organic maple syrup for the sweetener. Wow! Absolutely delicious and very satisfying because the cocoa powder gave it a flavor of very dark chocolate. We will definitely make it again. Thanks, Megan – your recipes are fabulous.

    Reply
  24. Autumn

    I LOVE this recipe! I have an unreal addiction to iced mochas, and that stinks when you’re trying to go paleo. I froze this recipe in ice cube trays, so I can pop a couple out, toss it in the blender with my coffee (or just in a cup of coffee if I’m in a hurry). Ta-da! Paleo mocha breakfast smoothie!

    Reply
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  26. Sandra

    Let me echo the praises of others, this is delicious. I used maple syrup for the sweetener. Tastes like a luxury ice cream!

    Reply
  27. Yohanna

    Just made a batch and the initial liquid tastes too sweet but once it froze up it was absolutely perfect! I didn’t have a whole can of coconut milk on hand so I subbed the rest (about half) with soy milk.turned out great πŸ™‚

    Reply
  28. Debbie

    I tried this recipe and substituted 1/2 Maple and 1/2 DAte syrup for the sweetener and it ROCKS! Great recipe!

    Reply
  29. Nancy P

    This ice cream is amazing! I have a Krups ice cream freezer, so mixing this in my blender, pouring it in there, and in about 15 minutes, having deliciousness to enjoy, perfect! I use King Arthur Flour’s Double Dutch Dark cocoa, too- so this is deep, dark, and healthy with all the dark chocolate benefits. Thanks so much for this recipe, and I will try more of yours, since I found your site!

    Reply
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  31. Kelly

    Just made this with my ice cream maker. I let it churn for 30 minutes at it had a wonderful soft-serve texture. I used 1/4 cup carob and 2 T raw cacao, and filled my 1/4 cup measure with part honey, agave, and maple syrup. Delicious!

    Reply
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  33. Faigy

    Hi Megan!
    I see I’m a little late in commenting on this recipe, but I just found it and tried it last night.
    I can’t eat sugar or dairy (or grain) and its been years since I ate ice cream.
    OMG! This never even made if to the freezer!! After 25 mins in the Ice cream maker, it was a firm soft serve consistency. My husband and I knocked it off straight out of the machine! My kids (I have seven, thank G-d) said it tasted better than Friendly’s ice cream!!
    Thank you for how you bring food normalcy back into the lives of people who are so restricted in what they can eat.
    Good luck with your pregnancy and enjoy your little miracle when he/she arrives.
    Faigy

    Reply
  34. Nick

    OMG I LOVE YOU MEGAN!!!

    lol!

    we have made so many of your recipes this week… unreal!! you have given us a new perspective on paleo living!! wow you are awesome!!

    Reply
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  36. Laura

    Just wanted to pop in and say this is DELICIOUS. I used Bright canned coconut milk and maple syrup. Mixed it all up, put it in the freezer to cool for 10 minutes or so (my kitchen was super hot) then put in my ice cream maker for 10-20. Added homemade dark chocolate chips, chopped cherries and ate over a banana.

    SO.GOOD.

    Thanks!!!

    Reply
  37. Ruth

    Hello, Megan! I stumbled upon this recipe one day a couple of months ago and made it every day during the heat of the summer and now make it three times a week for my “I-Love-Store-Bought-Over-Processed-And -Bad-For-Me-Foods” husband, and he Loves this! He sits down with the container and chips away at it (as it gets a little hard but he doesn’t like when I put it on the counter since I melted it all once — makes Great smoothies/milkshakes!) so it lasts a longer than the store-bought kind. πŸ™‚ We single-handedly kept the ice-cream company in business until this recipe. My budget is now do-able and hubby loves healthy ice-cream! Thank you!

    Reply
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  40. Alicia

    Omg, this recipe came out a-mazing! My 4 years old couldn’t get enough of it. Tastes just like regular dairy ice cream but with the added benefit of being all natural. Will be making this recipe time and time again. πŸ™‚

    Reply
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  42. Raine

    Great recipe! I doubled it, added spirulina, avacado, stevia, and some raw honey. I put it in my Vitamix and then in the icecream machine! Tummy!

    Reply
  43. Jeannine

    Wow, this is awesome and just what I needed. I already love Coconut ice cream and this will be more cost effective in the long run to combat my once ice cream addiction with this nondairy frozen treat:)

    Reply
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  45. Beatriz

    I ate the 4 serving in one sitting!!!! It’s do good, but is it too bad to eat so much coconut milk in one sitting?

    Reply
    1. Crystal Monger

      I’m not a fan of Coconut Milk so I subbed sugar free Vanilla Almond Milk. Only 30 calories per cup.

      Reply
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  47. demi

    should I freeze the mik and get the cream or should I use the whole can with water?i am always confused in this part

    Reply
  48. demi

    thank you.made it before I see your reply with coconut cream and it is veeery good.hard but good!!!will do it next time with the whole can but this way is also amasing.thank you so much

    Reply
  49. Mrinal

    Can this be made with homemade coconut milk ?? And how do you make homemade coconut milk ??

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I’ve never tried making this ice cream any other way, so I can’t say for sure! The only way I can think of replicating canned coconut milk is by blending together the fresh meat and water of a young Thai coconut. That’s one of my favorite ways to make coconut milk, but you have to be comfortable hacking open the tough outer shell! Let us know if you have any success.

      Reply
  50. Sara

    Made this tonight!! Been looking for an easy BUT yummy recipe and this is totally it!! I used sugar instead of honey as I read somewhere that it stops the ice cream from getting icey as well as a 1/3 teaspoon of gelatin to help with that alsoit tastes great and the part thats frozen is not icey which I’m really pleased about!! Thanks again for a great recipe πŸ™‚

    Reply
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  55. Shana

    I tried this recipe two weeks ago and OMG was it amazing!!! It was delicious, easy to make, and a lot cheaper than the $5.00 coconut ice cream I normally buy. Thanks so much for this recipe!!!

    Reply
  56. Courtney

    I only had lowfat canned coconut milk. I first whipped some heavy cream in my blender (un-veganizing the recipe), and that seemed to give it a good consistency. I also blended in an entire avocado and about a tablespoon of cinnamon. Talk about delicious.

    Reply
  57. Anne

    I am not sure if this posted, I may not have done it correctly, so here it is again. One person posted that they used liquid stevia, about 20 drops instead of honey or maple syrup. I am new to using liquid stevia, and it’s a very strong chemical taste, even though I use very little. Does it taste that way in this recipe, or does it taste like a nice sweet?

    Reply
  58. Catherine

    Hi,

    I am on a dairy free and gluten free diet. Yesterday, as I was looking up dairy free ice cream recipes, I stumbled upon your recipe here, and oh am I glad I did!

    I made this recipe last night. I used TJ’s Reduced Fat Coconut Milk (because I didnt have a can of the full-fat version), cocoa powder, raw unfiltered local honey (which is.my new favorite craving-fixer), and vanilla extract, as your recipe called for.

    It was SO delicious!! My mom, boyfriend, and I each had a serving after waiting about 5 hours for it to freeze up. The ice cream wa sa bit icy on the top, which I attributed to my using the lower-fat coconut milk, but the flavor was ALL there.

    Next time I will be sure to use the full-fat coconut milk, and I am sure it will come out to be more of an ice “cream”.

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe!! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

    Reply
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  61. Sandi

    I didn’t really expect this to look like the photo, but it does! So fantastic. I had to substitute stevia for honey, but it was still good.

    Only bad thing, my kids like it. So now I have to share!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…SO good!

    Reply
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  63. Michael

    What is the recipe to make a gallon of this stuff? I have one of those old hand cranked ice cream freezers that make a gallon at a time.

    Reply
  64. Rachael K

    I made this on the 4th of July for my mom and my daughter, who are lactose intolerant, while the rest of the family had homemade strawberry ice cream made with dairy ingredients. I used full fat cream of coconut and followed the recipe exactly. After blending everything together I tasted it. And then tasted it again. And again. And, well, you get the picture. Most of the mixture made it to the ice cream maker and it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had! I’ll be making this again and again!

    Reply
  65. Emily

    My ice-cream turned crunchy not creamy. Any ideas on how to make sure its creamy like regular ice-cream and not crunchy like tiny ice chips?

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      Did you use full-fat coconut milk? The more fat in the milk, the creamier it will be! Also, if you let the ice cream sit on the counter for 10 minutes before serving, it should be more scoopable.

      Reply
      1. Maddie

        Hi Megan , I have just been put on a gluten dairy and sugar free diet for medical reasons and happened to stumble upon your chocolate ice cream recipe while surfing the net . I am really excited to try it. Which is the best brand of coconut milk to use for this recipe?

        Reply
  66. Janice Marie Foote

    I was using heavy whipping cream + dutched equal exchange cocoa powder 100 + maple syrup ’cause all the full fat canned coconut milks had guar gum in them. But today I found Organic Natural Value Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk BPA Free that’s only coconut milk with no guar gum or any other additive preservative etc. in it. So now I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. Also I’m going to do a blackberry version too πŸ˜€ Here’s link to the coconut milk I’m referring too ->
    http://www.naturalvalue.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/NaturalValue-OrganicCoconutMilk.pdf

    Reply
    1. Janice Marie Foote

      Probably didn’t need the whole small tub of blackberries, but it’s good anyhoos. Next time I’ll use less blackberries πŸ˜‰ And this is an awesome coconut ice cream base recipe to build on πŸ˜€ Thanks πŸ™‚

      Reply
    2. jody

      Just an FYI, although the canned coconut milk link you posted looks ideal, not all of us live in the U.S. I’m Canadian and this company doesn’t sell that coconut milk here in Canada. It is available on amazon.ca for Canadians but the price is over $200 for 12 cans!!

      Reply
  67. Emma

    Hi
    My partner and I are on the paleo diet and this recipe is just perfect!! It’s an awesome way to keep down the cravings for the sugary stuff. Thank you!

    Reply
  68. Gayle

    I have been making coconut milk ice cream for a few years. I use agave but must try honey. It is always a versatile base for any flavour. A few of my favourites are fresh raspberries with Limoncello and purΓ©ed strawberries with stewed rhubarb swirled in. I make a bourbon manhattan ice cream which is amazing!

    Reply
  69. Debbie

    This is amazing! It’s a million times better than the expensive store bought coconut ice cream and ridiculously easy! It really tastes like rich creamy regular ice cream.I haven’t had ice cream in over a year.I’m so happy now.

    Thank you so much for sharing this😊

    Reply
  70. Courtney Ramirez

    I tried this last night for the first time. It is absolutely amazing! I had to wait until this morning to taste it and I was shocked at how great it turned out. It’s soft just like ice cream. I was worried that when I tried to scoop it would be hard as a rock but not this ice cream, it scoops out just like the kind you buy from the store. Thank you so much for this healthy alternative!

    Reply
  71. Dee

    The taste was AbFab, like a fudgecicle. My first time making ice cream. It did get rock hard. Left it out for 30 minutes, but had to nuke it for 30 seconds at 30%. Makes me wonder what commercial ice cream making companies put in theirs that keeps it soft? Scary thought. I’ll take homemade, thank you very much! My husband told me to pour mix into the ice pop molds I have. Brilliant!

    Reply
  72. Cristina

    Hi from Brazil!
    I am trying to do this receipe, but I dont’t know exactly how much of coconut milk I should add.
    Anyone could give me a hand and convert it to the exact amount in liters, please!?

    Reply
  73. Anne

    Hi I am searching for a chocolate ice milk recipe, as it will be low fat. Your recipe sounds great, as well as easy. But it will be more “points” then premium ice cream on my Weight Watchers plan. Do you have any suggestions to make this into an “ice milk”?
    Thanks.

    Reply

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