Cocoa-nut Ice Cream is a Three-Ingredient Kid-Friendly Treat


Before the school-time, holiday, and warm fall recipes posts set in, I wanted to share at least one more cool treat. This dairy-free cocoa-nut ice cream recipe is a very simple yet delicious dessert that was submitted years ago by Diana Amadeo for our Spring Fling Recipe Contest. Diana said this recipe “Couldn’t be easier!” and sent this picture of grandma and her boys making it.

Dairy-Free Cocoa-nut Ice Cream Recipe - only 3 ingredients, allergy-friendly, vegan and a good recipe for kids! #kidfriendlyrecipe #dairyfreeicecream #lighticecream #veganicecream

The Taste: Cocoa-nut Ice Cream

Diana called it Coconut Ice Cream, but we changed it to “Cocoa-nut Ice Cream” for the rich cocoa addition. It’s got more of a coconut influence than classic chocolate ice cream, but the two flavors meld beautifully together. I’d say it’s a hot cocoa meets coconut milk meets light dairy-free ice cream vibe.

This is a lighter ice cream, perhaps a little more like an ice milk. But I’ve included some creamier options below, just in case you’re craving more richness. You can make this without an ice cream maker, but for the creamiest results, an ice cream maker does wonders!

Make it Your Own: Cocoa-nut Ice Cream

You can enjoy Diana’s recipe as is. But here are some fun options you could try:

Chocolaty – Heat the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until hot, but not yet simmering. Add some dairy-free chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator before churning (about 2 hours).

Creamier – Substitute some full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream for some of the milk beverage. You’ll get about 1 2/3 cup per 14-ounce can. So you could use up to 3 cans for the richest, and most cocoa-nutty results. But I would add a little sweetener, to taste.

Less Coconutty – Vanilla compliments cocoa, and helps to offset coconut a touch. You can use a vanilla milk beverage (and it doesn’t have to be a coconut one!). Another option is to add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract or pure flavoring.

Dark Chocolate – Add more cocoa powder, to taste, for intensity.

Add-Ins – When the cocoa-nut ice cream is almost done churning, sprinkle some delicious bits through the shoot. We like mini dairy-free chocolate chips, a fudge ripple, sprinkles, or even crumbled brownie.

Dairy-Free Cocoa-nut Ice Cream Recipe - only 3 ingredients, allergy-friendly, vegan and a good recipe for kids! #kidfriendlyrecipe #dairyfreeicecream #lighticecream #veganicecream

Special Diet Notes: Cocoa-nut Ice cream

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Cocoa-nut Ice Cream
Prep time
Total time
Note that the prep time does not include churning time, which is hands off. For smaller ice cream makers you might need to half this recipe.
Serves: 2 quarts
  • 5 cups original (sweetened) coconut milk beverage (used So Delicious)
  • 1 15-ounce can cream of coconut (used Goya), chilled
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder (used Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • (See "Make It Your Own" in the post above for add-ins and options!)
  1. Put the milk beverage, cream of coconut, and cocoa powder in your blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Churn the mixture according to the manufacturer's directions on your ice cream maker (ensure that all equipment has been adequately chilled!).
  3. Eat promptly (preferably after ice cream is out of the maker), or pack it into an airtight container and freeze for hard-packed. If enjoying it from hard-packed, remove it from the freezer to soften for 15 minutes before scooping.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food 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, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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