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


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


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 21 reviews
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
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!
  • 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
  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.
Alternatively, you could use an ice-cream maker, which will freeze your ice cream in about 20 minutes. Simply follow the manufacturer's directions.


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


  1. says

    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?

      • laura says

        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!

  2. says

    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?

    • says

      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.

    • carsen says

      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.

  3. jeanne says

    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!!

    • says

      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.

  4. Alexys says

    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!

  5. says

    Thanks for the recommendation on the BPA-free coconut milk from 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!

  6. Susan says

    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.

  7. says

    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!

  8. Tiffany says

    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.

    • JC says

      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.


      • Karan Sims says

        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.

  9. Desiree says

    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.

  10. Karen says

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

  11. Jen says

    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!

  12. Holli Ohngren says

    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.

  13. Paula says

    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. :) Thank you for the post and I look forward to trying your other recipes!

  14. Rose Lucht says

    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 !

  15. Lorelei says

    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.

  16. Michele says

    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.

  17. Oriella says

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

    • says

      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.

  18. meeper says

    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

  19. Yoli says

    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,


    • Megan says

      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!

  20. Yoli says

    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.


  21. Judy Taylor says

    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.

  22. Autumn says

    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!

  23. Sandra says

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

  24. Yohanna says

    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 :)

  25. Debbie says

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

  26. says

    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!

  27. Kelly says

    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!

  28. Faigy says

    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.

  29. Nick says



    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!!

  30. Laura says

    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.



  31. Ruth says

    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. :) 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!

  32. Alicia says

    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. :)

  33. Raine says

    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!

  34. says

    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:)

  35. Beatriz says

    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?

  36. demi says

    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

  37. demi says

    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

  38. Mrinal says

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

    Thank you

    • Megan says

      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.

  39. Sara says

    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 :-)

  40. Shana says

    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!!!

  41. Courtney says

    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.

  42. Anne says

    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?

  43. Catherine says


    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 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!

  44. says

    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!

  45. Michael says

    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.

  46. Rachael K says

    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!

  47. Emily says

    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?

    • Megan Gilmore says

      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.

  48. says

    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 😀 Here’s link to the coconut milk I’m referring too ->

    • says

      Probably didn’t need the whole small tub of blackberries, but it’s good anyhoos. Next time I’ll use less blackberries 😉 And this is an awesome coconut ice cream base recipe to build on 😀 Thanks :-)


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