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Coconut Ice Cream, made the old fashioned way with toasted coconut, heavy cream, coconut cream & coconut milk, is rich, creamy, and perfectly sweet.

This recipe teaches you how to make homemade ice cream the classic way with an egg yolk based custard. The result is the most delicious coconut ice cream you’ve ever had!

coconut ice cream in white cup
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Why this recipe is so good:

Homemade old fashioned Coconut Ice Cream is GOOD. It is easy to make and is truly a wonderful dessert recipe.

  • This is a real traditional ice cream recipe that uses egg yolks, sugar, and heavy cream.
  • The addition of sweetened shredded coconut, coconut milk, and coconut cream really enhance the real coconut flavor.
  • This recipe takes time to cook, chill, and process in an ice cream maker, but I promise the end result is worth it!

Ingredients needed:

  • egg yolks
  • granulated sugar
  • sweetened shredded coconut
  • half and half
  • heavy cream
  • light coconut milk
  • coconut cream

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Start by whisking the egg yolks and the sugar until very well blended and light in color. These will get set aside.
  2. Next you will toast some sweetened coconut in a sauce pan on the stove. The half and half, heavy cream, coconut cream, and coconut milk get added to the shredded coconut and as it heats, the coconut flavor really gets infused. This mixture gets heated just to the point of scalding and then is removed from the heat. 
  3. Use the hot cream to temper the egg mixture, whisking in small amounts at a time to raise the temperature, until all of it can be combined.
  4. Chill the hot custard mixture over an ice bath before refrigerating it. ice cream base chilling over ice bath
  5. After the custard is chilled over the ice bath, refrigerate until it has completely chilled. At that point you can transfer to an Ice cream maker to process.

The final result is a super creamy, coconut flavored, perfectly sweetened ice cream that your entire family will love.

Cooking tips:

  • When toasting the coconut, take extra care to stir constantly to prevent burning. It can go from golden brown to burnt quickly, so never leave it unattended.
  • I used a mixture of half and half with heavy cream as well as light coconut milk with coconut cream. I found this to be the perfect combination and balance for a rich and creamy ice cream without it being too heavy. You can modify the proportions depending on your preferences and the recipe will still work.
  • After scalding the cream, you can strain the shredded coconut out prior to mixing with the egg yolk mixture if you prefer, but if you love the taste and texture it adds, leave them in!
  • Take extra care to properly temper the egg by whisking in small amounts of the hot liquid at a time, whisking constantly. This will prevent the eggs from cooking. If you accidentally do cook the eggs, you can filter out any solid pieces through a fine mesh strainer.
  • To prevent ice crystals, a tablespoon of vodka or coconut flavored rum can be added to the mixture prior to freezing.
  • Homemade ice creams need a good 10-15 minutes to sit on the counter after freezing to soften before serving. Trust me on this one. Its worth the wait.
scooping homemade coconut ice cream out of dish

Love coconut flavored desserts? Me too! Here are some of my favorites:

recipe for homemade Coconut Ice Creamwith toasted coconut

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Coconut Ice Cream

Prep30 minutes
Cook30 minutes
cool and freeze time4 hours
Total1 hour
Servings 6
This delicious and creamy Coconut Ice Cream is made the old fashioned way with toasted coconut and both heavy cream as well as coconut cream & coconut milk.

Ingredients 

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut loosely packed
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup light coconut milk canned
  • 14 ounce can coconut cream
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Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  • Add the coconut to a medium sized heavy saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir the coconut until it begins to brown, about 7 minutes, but do not allow to burn. Add the half and half, heavy cream, coconut milk, and coconut cream and bring to a simmer. You want to scald the mixture without it coming to a boil. Just before it starts to boil, turn the heat off.
  • Slowly pour the hot coconut milk mixture into the yolk mixture, starting with a small amout at first, whisking constantly. Once you’ve added enough to warm the egg mixture, add a little more, always whisking, until everything has been combined and well mixed. Then pour the mixture back into the pan.
  • Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring slowly and continuously, until the custard thickens. You know its done if you can wipe your finger across a coated spatula and it leaves a trail. This takes about 5 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil.
  • Pour the custard into a clean bowl and place over an ice bath to cool while occasionally stirring to mix the hot with the cool. Refrigerate the custard until cold, at least 1 hour.
    ice cream base chilling over ice bath
  • Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure your container has been frozen at least over night prior to starting. I have a Cuisinart and had to make the ice cream in two batches, one right after the other, and the mixing process took about 30-45 minutes per batch. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Makes about 1 quart.
    This delicious and creamy Coconut Ice Cream is made the old fashioned way with toasted coconut and both heavy cream as well as coconut cream & coconut milk.

Notes

Cooking tips:
  • When toasting the coconut, take extra care to stir constantly to prevent burning. It can go from golden brown to burnt quickly, so never leave it unattended.
  • I used a mixture of half and half with heavy cream as well as light coconut milk with coconut cream. I found this to be the perfect combination and balance for a rich and creamy ice cream without it being too heavy. You can modify the proportions depending on your preferences and the recipe will still work.
  • After scalding the cream, you can strain the shredded coconut out prior to mixing with the egg yolk mixture if you prefer, but if you love the taste and texture it adds, leave them in!
  • Take extra care to properly temper the egg by whisking in small amounts of the hot liquid at a time, whisking constantly. This will prevent the eggs from cooking. If you accidentally do cook the eggs, you can filter out any solid pieces through a fine mesh strainer.
  • To prevent ice crystals, a tablespoon of vodka or coconut flavored rum can be added to the mixture prior to freezing.
  • Homemade ice creams need a good 10-15 minutes to sit on the counter after freezing to soften before serving. Trust me on this one. Its worth the wait.

Nutrition

Calories: 668kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 54g, Saturated Fat: 41g, Cholesterol: 264mg, Sodium: 113mg, Potassium: 367mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 985IU, Vitamin C: 2.5mg, Calcium: 101mg, Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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4.95 from 38 votes (26 ratings without comment)

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56 Comments

  1. Added some rough chopped toasted almonds and mini dark chocolate chips!!! OMG it was almond joy heaven!!! Made this for my daughter’s birthday and it was a hit. Making it again for sister’s gathering this week! Nice twist if you like almond joy!

    1. P.S. – I did substitute a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk for the coconut cream, decreased fhd sugar to 1/2 cup and added a little coconut extract.
      Ann

  2. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe just made it, so yummy 🙂 subbed half and half with full fat milk, and made my own swetened coconut from regular shredded conconut, still delicious. Stayed really good consistensy too while eating, didn’t melt to a puddle 🙂

  3. Way too sweet. Cloyingly. Way more fat than any ice cream needs to be a success. So much fat that the texture and mouthfeel were both off.
    I’ve made lots of ice cream with coconut being a favorite-thought I’d try this one. I fear most of it will go down the kitchen drain!

    1. I agree with you’re completely! This recipe sounded awesome and I really wanted it to work (as would anyone investing time and ingredients into making something), but the recipe just falls short. I wrote a review as well but it wasn’t approved or published.

      1. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you guys (and I’m not sure I saw your review come through, Aline). Hopefully you enjoy some of the other recipes on my site!

  4. In Australia & the UK I think we just refer to it as pouring/cooking cream. The stuff you can’t whip no matter how hard you try.

  5. 5 stars
    I’m making this right now! I’m going to add caramel and nuts afternoon goes in the ice cream maker…im so excited!

  6. Hello,
    Could you please tell me if I need a ice maker or ice “cream” maker for this recipe? are they one in the same or is there a difference?
    Thank you!

  7. In your ingredients you list by itself ‘one cups half and half ‘ but you don’t say what exactly…please explain

    1. Should have said one cup, not cups. Half and half is something you can buy in the store (we put it in coffee). Thicker than milk, not as thick as heavy cream. Krissy

  8. Hi!
    I just googled coconut ice-cream and found your recipe. I will try it in the next few days. One question. What is half and half? I can only assume you mean fat reduced milk (?).
    You recipes look fabulous. I can’t wait to try them.

    Veronica, Tasmania, Australia

    1. Hi Veronica! Half and half is what we use for cream in our coffee. It is basically in between full fat milk and heavy cream. Hope that helps! -Krissy

    2. For all the people asking..
      This is how to make half and half in Australia.
      Mix 1/2 cup whole milk + 1/2 cup light cream.
      Mix 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream.
      Mix 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.

      I’ve been looking for a good coconut ice cream recipe.. can’t wait to try this!

      1. Oh I should mention, it’s 3 different ways to make “half and half”, depending on what you have at home.