Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (with coconut sugar)

One of our all time favorite recipes is chocolate coconut milk ice cream. Chocolate is always a favorite around here and the coconut milk makes it incredibly smooth and rich. This time I used coconut sugar to sweeten it, and it turned out wonderfully! If you haven’t heard of this sweetener before, check out my post about it here.

This recipe is dairy and cane sugar free, so it’s also great for those with allergies. But it would be wonderful made with cream instead of coconut milk as well. Other possible additions would be egg yolks (for flavor, nutrition, and richness), arrowroot powder (for texture), or vodka to prevent it from freezing solid.

However, one thing that is great about making coconut milk ice cream that doesn’t contain something like pumpkin or berries added, is that it is so creamy it doesn’t freeze into such a hard brick. Our ice cream was still fairly scoopable after a day or two in our freezer. Though it was truthfully hard to make it last that long!

By the way, I used agave in the past to sweeten this ice cream because it was the only sweetener (besides stevia) that my body didn’t have problems with. But it has been many months since I have bought agave because as soon as I was healed enough I switched over to sweeteners I was more comfortable with (such as raw honey and maple syrup). You’ve probably noticed that change in my more recent recipes. And now, of course, I am experimenting with coconut sugar!

I hope you enjoy this creamy cold treat as much as we do!

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Honey or maple syrup used in this recipe is also very good. Just use a little less then you would for the coconut sugar.

2 14 oz cans of coconut milk (not lite! I used the brand Thai Kitchen)
1/3 cup of coconut sugar, plus two tablespoons (I used the more wet, pasty type found in a jar)
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a dash of sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, and blend with an immersion blender (or you could use a regular blender or food processor, perhaps). Make according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Let ripen in the freezer for a couple of hours and enjoy.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. sarena says

    You gotta be kidding that this could last a few days!! I almost bought an ice cream maker today cuz of you but if I did I would eat the whole batch everytime!!

  2. Anita @ Whole Food Cookin' says

    Speaking of ice cream makers, what do you use? I use one I picked up at Target. It only makes a quart of ice cream, which is perfect for my small family.

  3. Anonymous says

    This sounds wonderful…we can’t wait to try it….if we were using raw honey and maple syrup would it be the same amount as the coconut sugar?
    Jessica O.

  4. Mary (Mary's Nest) says

    This looks delicious. I have made ice cream using cream but never coconut milk. I am anxious to try it! One question – when you mentioned using arrowroot powder for “texture” – how much do you add?

    Thanks so much,


  5. Kimi Harris says


    I use a cuisinart ice cream maker. It works great. :-)


    Probably a bit less for the honey (it could be to overpowering and is sweeter than sugar), and about the same for maple syrup. It’s really a matter of personal preference. :-)

    Probably about two tablespoons. :-)

  6. Esther says

    If you don’t have a ice cream maker can you just blend then freeze? I made the pumpin pie ice cream that way, it was tasty but hard as a rock. We have to let it soften on the counter for a while before enjoying. Maybe I just needed to add more vodka. Love the recipes…

  7. Kimi Harris says

    Hey Esther,

    The only problem with freezing it without the mixing motion of an ice cream maker is that you are not incorporating air into as it freezes. That will make the texture harder. However, the pumpkin ice cream is a lot harder than this recipe! That’s why I recommend that you only let it ripen in the freezer a few hours, so that it still has a nice texture (after freezing it in the ice cream maker).
    But here is a link to a post that tells you a few other options for those without ice cream makers.

    Maybe some of those ideas would help you out. :-)

  8. Katie says

    Wow!! That was so good! I’ve made this ice cream 2x already since reading this. (That would be 2x in the last 3 weeks — and it’s still cold outside!) I have made it once with chocolate and once with carob. I sweeten it with stevia only (I’m diabetic and the other sweeteners still raise the blood sugar a bit).

    My husband is an ice cream fiend and absolutely loves this, too. =o) Thank you so much for posting this.

  9. Debby says

    I am going to try your coco nut milk ice cream. I want to make it w/o chocolate. If I add shredded coconut, do I need to increase the liquid? I will be using coconut granulated sugar. Also I’m making the ice cream for 16 people, should I triple the recipe?


  10. says

    I just made this with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder and added shaved coconut, chopped almonds, and some dairy free dark chocolate bits and oh, my! It is so good I am going to have a hard time sharing it with my company tonight! Thanks for the great recipe! I have a strawberry one in the ice-cream maker now based off your raspberry coconut milk ice-cream recipe, too!

  11. Amy V. says

    Thank you for this, Kimi! Can’t wait to try it on my new ice cream maker that my husband bought me for x-mas! What is this I hear about a pumpkin ice cream recipe? I looked for it, but couldn’t find it. I’ve been eating a low-gly regime and love pumpkin! Many blessings!

  12. Chrissy says

    I keep making this over and over, and my hubby keeps telling me “you could market this stuff” – as if I came up with it. :) I’ve tried omitting the vanilla and putting in a few drops of peppermint extract and find it especially delish. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!!

  13. Nia says

    Try addig 1 teasp of guar gum to this recipe as it makes it lovely and creamier. I had this recipe too and I put coconut in it also and do a mango one …divine.

  14. Carolyn says

    How much vodka would you recommend so that it doesn’t freeze solid as a brick?

    It looks and sounds delicious and I can’t wait try it! Thanks for your help.

  15. Debbie says

    This was okay with some tweaking. I think it had *way* too much cocoa powder; the chocolate flavor was overwhelming, and I didn’t even use 2/3 cup–more like 1/2 cup. This should be considered a double-chocolate ice cream, for sure. It could be that organic cocoa power is more powerful and concentrated than something like Hershey’s, but I don’t remember that being the case (I recall Hershey’s being just as dark).

    I also had to add more coconut sugar than was called for, plus I drizzled in about a tablespoon of local honey. Still, the chocolate flavor is too much. I have been making chocolate ice cream in my Donvier (which I *love*) with whole milk, half and half, and chocolate milk (all organic) and I guess I got used to a nice mild chocolate flavor. This was like being hit in the head with a bag of cacao beans—lol.

    I only used one can of coconut milk (organic, full fat TK) for this recipe; the rest was one cup organic half and half and probably about 3/4 c whole milk (I like to add organic black cherries and walnuts to my chocolate ice cream, too). It was enough coconut milk (with the added guar gum) to make it creamy like the ice cream I make with the chocolate milk (which contains carageenan). A good base recipe, but if I make it again I’ll definitely cut the amount of cocoa powder in half to 1/3 cup. I’ll continue using just one can of milk, too, since it’s more expensive than organic milk (which already costs quite a bit).

    In my experience, even when adding something like corn syrup (non-GMO, preferably), guar gum or carageenan (via the milks), or alcohol, homemade ice cream is still going to freeze into a brick after several hours in the freezer–and if you have kids, then adding alcohol isn’t an option. The only solution I’ve found (besides using more additives than I want to use) is to portion the batch into single-serve glass bowls (with tight lids) right after churning it and getting out what you want for the night. The next day you just set one of the bowls in the fridge for an hour or on the counter for 1/2 hour before you want to eat it. It’s a good lesson in will-power–hehe…

  16. JANE says

    O M G !! LOVE IT!! THANK YOU for this post. You’re briliant for figuring this recipe out. This is the best and easiest ice cream directions for a dairy and sugar sensitive diet. Ihaven’t been able to eat ice cream in a long time. Now i can have it every day: ))) I used Tupelo honey as the sweetner and it came out perfect! Consisitancy just like the real thing. Taste great! My husband thought it was even better than the good old fashioned stuff. I set the mixture in the freezer for an hour than transfered it into our manual ice cream maker. It took 15 minues of churning then done! The longer I left the scoopable mix in the freezer the more it became just like ICE CREAM! The honey must have kept it from getting rock hard mkeing for a perfect consistancy. Tupelo honey is one of the only honeys that breaks down slowly in your system much like eating a piece of fruit. It is more gentel for a sugar sensitive person. ENJOY!! The recipe really works!!! I’m making more today : )))) Yumm.
    (I could see that one doesn’t really need an ice cream maker,,,after just having the mixture in a bowl for an hour in the freezer it looked half way close to the real deal. I’m sure with more time turning the freeze mixture by hand as directed it would have come out just as delish.) Thank you!!!! You’re briliant for figuring this recipe out.

  17. Sumeet says

    Hi… Im unable to source coconut sugar… Can you please recommend a substitute for the same in this recipe..? Im really eager to try this. Also, I dont have an ice cream maker.. yet! So.. Im going to follow ur advice on how to make it without one..

  18. Dawn says

    I love this! I made it yesterday. I added 2 tsp of peppermint extract. It came out so creamy and wonderful! I can now make my own ice cream at home. YEAH!!!! Now to try the vanilla and go from there. Thank you so much!

  19. Gabi says

    I only used 1/3 cocoa powder because mine is very dark and strong and it is delicious! I can not eat dairy and coconut milk is my favourite substitution, I love being able to eat ice cream again and it is so simple, no cooking, no thickening, thank you so much for these recipes!

  20. Lizzie says

    Do you chill your mixture before you put it in the ice-cream maker? Mine didn’t seem to freeze well even though I had the freezer bowl in for 24hrs. I was worried about the coconut milk separating if I chilled it first.

  21. Ani says

    Sounds so great! I REALLY recommend Native Harvest Brand Organic Original Coconut Milk over Thai Brand. It makes a huge difference. It might be difficult to find but ask for it. Now to get a Bullet Blender since I can do a Brevelle juicer/blender combo or Vitamix right now.

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