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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

Basic Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Dairy Free Desserts with 16 Comments

This fantastic ice cream recipe was adapted from How Cooking Works by blogger “Needleroozer

Yield: 1.5 quarts


  • 4 cups coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise, and scraped* (optional)


Stir the coconut milk and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the salt and vanilla and freeze in an electric or hand operated ice cream freezer.

*throw all of your scraped beans into a jar, and fill it with sugar. Vanilla sugar is wonderful to bake/cook with.


  • For more of a coconut flavor, lessen the vanilla or leave out the bean, and add some coconut.
  • For orange sherbet, instead of vanilla, add 1 TBSP of orangel oil, and some orange zest. If you make a batch of this, and a batch of vanilla, you have the makings for a Creamsickle! THe kids love this combo.
  • You could also use lemon oil and zest, throw in berries, etc.


About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. BrianneAugust 9, 2012 at 4:26 pmReply

    I tried this with vanilla almond milk and it worked wonderfully!! So excited to be able to eat ice cream again (:

    • Alisa FlemingAugust 9, 2012 at 4:39 pmReplyAuthor

      Fantastic! I’m so glad you enjoyed it Brianne, and thanks for sharing that almond milk worked well too!

  2. KaseyAugust 22, 2012 at 10:15 pmReply

    Can you use this with Coconut cream? I was just wondering if it would be any creamier before I go to the store :) This recipe sounds great!! BTW~ Agree with the Vanilla sugar, it’s great to have in the house

    • Alisa FlemingAugust 23, 2012 at 8:08 pmReplyAuthor

      You can definitely use coconut cream! It will be a little more coconutty, but rich!

  3. TraceyJanuary 14, 2013 at 12:55 pmReply

    I made this last night with both coconut cream and milk and diced mango pieces. WOW! So yummy! It is rich but that’s good, I would eat the whole thing in one sitting if it wasn’t!

  4. TraceyJanuary 14, 2013 at 1:00 pmReply

    Oops forgot to mention that I replaced the 3/4 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of agave syrup. Delicious.

  5. PepoApril 9, 2013 at 12:45 amReply

    I didn’t know, it was this simple!
    So, with this recipe, can I add anything like fruit chunks or syrup?

  6. Pam HensleyApril 9, 2013 at 10:08 amReply

    This looks so easy. Do you think it would work with a sugar subsitute like Swerve. It measures and tastes like regular sugar.

    • Alisa FlemingApril 10, 2013 at 7:15 amReplyAuthor

      If you like the taste of Swerve, then it should work fine.

  7. EmilieJuly 10, 2013 at 6:23 pmReply

    Do the cans of coconut milk need to be refrigerated then separated like when making coconut cream whipped cream?

    • Alisa FlemingJuly 11, 2013 at 3:42 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Emilie, Nope, you are just using the whole can here – dump it all in!

      • EmilieJuly 11, 2013 at 4:50 pmReply

        Thanks Alisa! I bought a couple cans today for the weekend!

  8. AriaJune 29, 2014 at 5:54 amReply

    Can I use Almond Fresh instead of coconut milk? looks great! I have not eaten ice cream for ages because of the dairy allergies!

    • Alisa FlemingJune 29, 2014 at 3:19 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Aria, using Almond Fresh would make an ice milk, not an ice cream. Full-fat coconut milk is very rich and close to heavy dairy cream in consistency.

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