Dust off that ice cream maker and get ready for summer with our homemade toasted coconut ice cream. This fabulous vegan ice cream is so simple to make and packed full of rich, natural coconut flavor. Perfect for summer barbecues with friends or a pack of wild kids running around the yard — take your pick.
A little vodka makes perfect ice cream
My initial batch of coconut ice cream froze solid as a rock. It was completely unscoop-able. No one wants ice cream in that state, especially when you have a full box of cones just waiting for you.
After some extensive internet searching, the best solution I could find was to add just a tablespoon of vodka to the mix. It’s my new favorite kitchen tip — it keeps the ice cream light and fluffy for the perfect scoop. Bonus points: you’re all ready to mix up a vodka tonic while you wait for your ice cream to churn.
Before you get nervous about sourcing a new ingredient, know that the monkfruit in this recipe is completely optional. You can easily substitute regular sugar in its place. I prefer to dial back the sugar when I can, but in instances like these, where sugar is in a starring role, I use monkfruit sweetener as a substitute.
Monkfruit is an all natural, sugar-free sweetener with zero calories and zero glycemic index. I’m always a little weary of sugar substitutes — preferring less of the real deal to using an artificial substitute — but monkfruit is completely natural! It came highly recommended by a brilliant vegan dietitian I visited last year. If you’re concerned about sugar in the slightest, you should give it a try.
After some shopping around, I’ve found Lakanto to be my preferred brand. You can read more about monkfruit on the Lankanto website
Toasting the coconut
More often than not, I am disappointed when I dive into coconut ice cream. It doesn’t taste like coconut. It tastes, like sunscreen. To get the deep, rich coconut flavor that legitimately tastes like coconut, we lightly toasted the coconut on the stovetop. Coconut goes from toasty to burnt quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it!
Ice Cream Makers
Most of us make a few brilliant and satisfying batches of fresh ice cream a year. And for those purposes, a simple ice cream maker is more than sufficient. If you’re looking to set up shop, then I recommend investing in something more substantial. Until then, we love the basic Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker. You can find the original model that we have in our kitchen for less than $50 or you can step it up and pay a little more for this year’s model.
So many flavors compliment coconut, you can try adding any of these to the mix about 5 minutes before it’s done churning:
- chocolate chips
- fresh strawberries
- diced mango
- diced pineapple
- fresh blueberries
- chopped pecans
- lime zest
- orange zest
- If you haven’t already, be sure to chill your insulated bowl for the ice cream maker overnight.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast unsweetened coconut until golden brown, keeping a close eye to avoid burning. Transfer to a bowl to cool while you make your ice cream base.
- In a blender, add the coconut milk, coconut cream, monkfruit, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and vodka. Blend for several minutes until well incorporated and slightly fluffy. If you have a Vitamix, this will be less than 2 minutes, but if you have a regular blender, give it closer to 3–4 minutes. You want the monkfruit (or sugar) to be dissolved.
- Transfer mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Add the toasted coconut a few minutes before the churn is complete. I have a basic Cuisinart ice cream maker and I let my ice cream churn for about 15-20 minutes in total. The ice cream will still be quite soft to the scoop.
- Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container. Anything from Tupperware to loaf pans will do. If you do go with a loaf pan, but sure to cover your ice cream with parchment or plastic wrap. Let chill over night for perfectly scoop-able ice cream.
- Serving Size: ½ cup
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 6.2 g
- Sodium: 309 mg
- Fat: 24 g
- Saturated Fat: 14.9 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.2 g
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: ice cream