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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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56 Comments

  1. Hi Krissy i want to add chocolate chips to the recipe i was wondering if i could do that and if so how much would you recommend adding.

  2. Hi Krissy i want to put mini chocolate chips in this recipe can i do that and if so how much would you reccomend to put in.

  3. Can’t wait to try this! I wanted a recipe that uses heavy cream and coconut milk, so I’m going to give it a try! Definitely planning to add chopped pecans at the end…will come back with how it goes!

    Also, you mentioned being in the market for a new ice cream maker. I have the 4-qt nostalgia electric wooden bucket ice cream maker and I LOVE it. Don’t have to worry about the bucket being cold enough because it’s the kind where you add ice to the outside. A little messier than the freezer bucket kind (which I did used to have but it broke…). Plus I think 4 qt in one go is perfect. Wish I had the time to make smaller batches more often, but this is perfect for us 🙂

  4. I buy the Thrifty brand pineapple coconut ice cream.
    I think it is heavenly.
    I recently started making our own ice cream since we got a ice cream maker.

    This recipe sounds like a good creamy one.
    I’m looking forward to making it this week and will give a reply afterwards.
    Thank you for sha4ing your recipe,

  5. 5 stars
    This sounds awesome, I have a 6 quart freezer, you said it makes approx 1 quart. It sounds extreme to go x6 on some of the ingredients, Like the eggs and sugar etc. how would you mix for this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Darren, You have a 6 qt freezer or a 6 qt ice cream maker? I’m a small batch ice cream kinda girl, but if you have the means to make a bigger batch, I would just multiply and go!

  6. 5 stars
    OMG I just made it today, it is so delicious. I will be making some more for my friends. By the way, I’ve added a teaspoon of salt to balance out the sweetness. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  7. 5 stars
    The only coconut ice cream I’ve ever tasted is the paleo/dairy-free kind (blech!), so I was intrigued about what a custard based ice cream would taste like. I bought a box of Samoa Girl Scout cookies and kept it in my freezer to use for this recipe. Amazingly, hubby didn’t eat the cookies beforehand (what willpower!). OMG, it was everything I thought it would be. The only thing I changed was to strain out the coconut before putting the custard in the ice bath because I thought the shredded coconut would have a weird texture in the ice cream; I added a teaspoon of vanilla (because why not?), the crushed cookies and a few chocolate chips. It was awesome on a hot summer day. Thanks so much for the recipe! Hubby is a huge fan too! Next time I make it, I’ll use this recipe with mango puree. Should be awesome!