Breaking loose with coconut ice cream

Smooth, creamy, soft coconut ice cream

I don’t know if eating homemade coconut ice cream for breakfast will impress my sister or not. When she read that Russ had headed north for a while and I was dining alone on Pureed Cauliflower with Watercress, she Facebooked, “Girl, you really know how to PAR-TAY. Personally, I’d go for something a little more decadent if I were batching it!” Nothing like a smart-mouthed younger sister to remind me she gave up following my lead decades ago. OK, hermana. Does eating homemade coconut ice cream for breakfast restore my street cred? Probably not, but boy, is it good.

After learning where to buy raw milk in town, milk from cows that graze in the nearby fields, cows who receive no antibiotics, growth hormones, shots of any kind or feed-lot feed, I have resolved to no longer consume ultra-pasturized, homogenized, chemical laden store-bought dairy products. I’m making yogurt. And ice cream. Later today, I’m going to walk over and buy a small wheel of their fresh cheese.

Coconut Ice Cream

  • 2 oz. (60 grams) dried coconut
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml.) vodka or rum (optional) or coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml.) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 (360 ml.) cups milk
  • 6 egg yolks or 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml.) agave syrup or to taste
  1. Steep coconut in vodka or rum for 24 hours to make your own coconut extract. Alcohol will prevent the ice cream from freezing hard. If  you don’t want the flavor of alcohol flavor, use vodka.
  2. Bring cream and milk to just below a simmer over medium heat, being careful not to boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in agave syrup.
  4. Temper the yolks by stirring in half a cup of hot milk mixture into beaten egg yolks. Gradually add the yolks to the hot milk and cream, whisking constantly.
  5. Return to heat and continue to cook, stirring or whisking frequently. When you can run your finger across the back of a wooden spoon, leaving a clean line, the custard is cooked. Remove from heat and continue to whisk until temperature lowers so that residual heat does not continue to cook the custard, causing it to break. If it does break and you see small curds, whisk vigorously until the custard is smooth again.
  6. Add coconut and alcohol.
  7. Chill the mixture overnight in the fridge.
  8. Freeze in an cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions.

All the ice cream recipes now say to pack the ice cream in a freezer to let it “ripen” for a few hours before serving. After going through the effort to make my own ice cream, and adding alcohol to keep it soft, why wait longer to let it harden? I’m ready to eat it as soon as it is done, and I like soft ice cream, anyway.


I can’t  compare different models, but I like my Cuisinart ice cream maker enough to recommend it if you are thinking of buying one. The canister needs to be frozen in a very cold freezer, and it does make a fair amount of noise, but it makes smooth ice cream in about 20 minutes and costs under $50.

Some recipes say that if the ice cream custard starts to break while cooking (because the temperature is too high), process it in a blender to make it smooth again. Don’t do it. The high heat of the custard will cause it to explode out of the blender, despite the lid being held on firmly, resulting in hot custard all over the kitchen and maybe on you. I speak from experience. A vigorous whisking by hand will smooth it out.

If you want a richer ice cream, use two parts cream to one part milk and use egg yolks instead of whole eggs. This recipe’s lighter version of Coconut Ice Cream has fewer calories, but is still outstanding.

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19 thoughts on “Breaking loose with coconut ice cream

  1. Anonymous

    Coconut ice cream? Sounds good! I guess I’m gonna give it a try. :) I love coconut oil . I also use it on my skin and hair. I really love this oil! Anyways, thanks for sharing this recipe! :)

  2. Oh yes, I am making this ice cream. Your instructions are great. I wonder how it would taste with a scoop of ginger ice cream along with it? :D Sounds like a perfect breakfast to me!

    My sister, and mother is using coconut oil even my dad is getting into using coconut oil! I like the stability of it, and it keep so well and can handle heat for cooking. It’s so nice to learn more about coconut here. Thanks Kathleen.

    1. This is fun — having a coconut conversation with you tonight. One of my favorite food subjects. :) It would be dynamite with a scoop of ginger ice cream! What a combination! You’re like me — ice cream for breakfast!

  3. Pingback: Coconut Muffins « Cooking in Mexico

  4. Karly Kothmann

    Hey Kathy-

    Can’t wait to try this as this was my favorite part of visiting you guys in Mexico!!!! I also still make your fish dish you taught me :)

    1. Hi Karly,

      Glad you visited! I hope you make the ice cream. It is awesome! I have not made that fish recipe in years, though I recently remembered it and thought it would be a good one for the blog. I’ll have to do it soon. Love and best wishes to your family.

  5. This sounds so easy and deeeeeeeeeelish! I want to thank you for all the wonderful, clear photos that take us thru the process step by step. I’ll Bet Hong Kong market in Houston has the coconut juice. They have lots of canned coconut products.

    1. Seriouscougar, thank you for your kind words. Coconut products are becoming more and more common in stores now. And that’s a good thing, since coconut is such a healthy food.
      P.S. Cute nom de plume

  6. A rich coconut ice cream sounds heavenly! I’ve been churning out the ice cream at home like crazy lately, so what’s another batch in the great scheme of things… ;)

  7. Vicki in GA

    It is perfectly okay to eat ice cream in the morning in Mexico – afterall, it is hot so early in the day along the coast! Actually, eating real ice cream any time of the day sounds good to me.

  8. Lorin Johnson

    There are several small distilleries these days that do indeed pride themselves in the finest ingredients, including organic, but I’ve never seen them in Mexico.

  9. I know this isn’t the correct product to use for ice cream, but since it is coconut related and I’m kind of breaking loose with coconut here too…….I wanted to bring up that your blog makes me aware new products that I would otherwise miss. For example, last week I picked up two tall cans of 100% natural, unsweetened, no preservatives, young coconut juice – one just juice and one with added pulp. It is marketed as an isotonic beverage (I’m thinking hot weather) and I would have tried one by now but it has been raining and with highs in the 40s here ever since I bought the stuff. So I’m saving it for when it hits 80 later this week. I imagine you drink that right out of your young coconuts that fall in your yard…….or can purchase it inexpensively there. Here is was about $1.25 for a 17.5 ounce can.

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