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Toasted Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

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Toasted Coconut Ice Cream (marbled with mango sorbet)

I'll admit that my favorite selection from the shiny white Good Humor jalopy that cruised our neighborhood was simply called Toasted Coconut: vanilla ice cream on a stick, coated with lots of sugary-sweet coconut.

On the last fateful day that I'd ever see the Good Humor man, the bully next door decided to spray him with water from a hose as he slowly circled our block. Being blackballed by the Good Humor man made that the worst summer of my life. I don't know what happened to the neighborhood bully, but now that I'm an adult I can have Toasted Coconut Ice Cream where I want. And I do. The picture of this particular ice cream is marbled with mango sorbet.

This recipe is courtesy of the book, "The Perfect Scoop."


  • 1 cup (70 grams) dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
  • 1 cup (250 milliliters) whole milk
  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar
  • Big pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon rum


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/175 degrees Celsius. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes, stirring it frequently so it toasts evenly. Remove it from the oven when it’s nice and fragrant and golden brown.

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup (250 milliliters) of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt and add the toasted coconut. Use a paring knife, scrape all the vanilla seeds into the warm milk, and then add the pod as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Re-warm the coconut-infused mixture. Set a mesh strainer over another medium saucepan and strain the coconut-infused liquid through the strainer into the saucepan. Press down on the coconut very firmly with a flexible rubber spatula to extract as much of the flavor from it as possible. Remove the vanilla bean pieces (rinse and reserve them for another use), and discard the coconut.

Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the vanilla or rum and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream is loaded with coconut, chocolate, and almonds. Completely amazing!

The question I get asked the most is where I get the inspiration for my recipes. My response: everywhere.

Life, travel, cookbooks, cooking shows, etcetera, and so on. My passion for food knows no limits.

I used to go in to elaborate detail when someone would ask me about a specific recipe. Well, that was until I started recognizing the signs of boredom after the first few minutes of chatting someone's ear off about how this chipotle beer mac and cheese came to be.

The poor saps are probably sorry they ever asked.

I believe it was my brother who finally found the courage to tell me the truth. He said, "Jennie, we don't care how you got to the end result, as long as the dish tastes good."

Ever since my brother’s statement, I keep my responses short and simple whenever someone asks about one of my recipes.

The inspiration for this toasted coconut ice cream with almonds and dark chocolate came from a local dairy and ice cream shop I visited while I was in Chicago. They had an endless list of ice cream flavors, but there was no resisting the lure of toasted coconut.

After the first bite, I knew I would go home and replicate the recipe immediately, and I did. My version is definitely a winner--maybe even a notch or two better than the joint in Chicago.

What makes this recipe so good is the addition of coconut in three different forms: coconut milk, coconut extract, and toasted coconut flakes. It's triple the in-your-face coconut flavor.

If you've never made homemade ice cream before, I'm hear to tell you it's super easy and definitely worth the effort. Honestly, most of the effort involves practicing patience.

It takes a whole lot of effort waiting for the custard to chill and freeze, when all you really want to do is get to scoopin'! If you love all things coconut, try this piña colada fool recipe.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Add a little toasted coconut…and it makes this coconut dessert delicious!

Adapting This Recipe to Your Preference

I’m going to help you make some toasted coconut to go into your ice cream.

It creates a bit of texture to your ice cream.

Make this ice cream according to your tastes.

You can churn the toasted coconut right into the ice cream.

Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the ice cream as you are serving it.

Leave out the coconut flakes altogether!

Serving Tip

Drizzle with chocolate or pineapple sauce!

Did someone say: “Pina Colada”? Pineapple sauce with this ice cream tastes just like pina colada.

Related recipes

This silky toasted coconut ice cream is made with real dairy and two forms of coconut. Mix in dark chocolate and sprinkle almonds for the best homemade coconut ice cream!

  • Author: Indi Hampton
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1 x
  • Category: Ice cream
  • Method: Churned
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut chips
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • chopped toasted almonds, for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, add half the sugar and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. Combine milk, cream, remaining sugar, coconut chips, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just begins simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and whisk about 1 cup of hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Repeat with 1 more cup of hot milk, whisking vigorously. Return this custard to the saucepan and gently heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Don’t let it boil.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl stir in vanilla. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. While custard chills, toast shredded coconut. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coconut in an even layer. Toast, stirring every few minutes, until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes (watch closely). Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  5. When ready to freeze mixture, strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard soaked coconut chips (see note). Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. When it reaches a soft serve consistency, add 1/4 cup toasted coconut and dark chocolate and churn until well mixed. Serve as is, with extra toasted coconut and almonds on the side, or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until needed.


Note: you can slowly bake the strained coconut chips or use them in a variety of baked goods. See blog post for ideas.

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

This homemade coconut ice cream recipe is a little more involved than some of our other coconut ice cream recipes – but it makes a delicious ice cream.

This ice cream flavor offers a smooth, sweet hint of summer. It’s sure to be a favorite.

This coconut ice cream recipe was submitted to us and it is fabulous.

Where Do I Find Vanilla Beans?

Vanilla beans – I love the smell and the flavor, but how do I find the beans?

If you’re looking for vanilla beans in the grocery store, the best place to look is the spice aisle/baking aisle.

Vanilla beans can come in a bottle or a package and they’re usually with or close by other spices.

Stores like Walmart, Safeway, Publix, and Whole Foods should carry them.

Health Food stores are another great place to check for vanilla beans.

If you can’t find vanilla beans in a local store, you can also order them on Amazon.

They are a remarkably fun little plant to work with.

Serving Tip

This recipe calls for toasted coconut…looks delicious, smells, delicious, and tastes delicious!

You can stir the toasted coconut into the ice cream as it processes or for a variation, you can leave it out and sprinkle it on top of your ice cream when you serve it.

Coconut Ice Cream

Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Add coconut and salt. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand until cool, about 2 hours. Prepare an ice water bath.

Return milk mixture to stove. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a simmer. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Gradually whisk half the milk mixture into egg yolk mixture. Pour back into pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes. Set a clean bowl in prepared ice water bath. Pour custard through a fine sieve into the bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Let chill, stirring occasionally. Mixture can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions, churning until the ice cream is soft but holds its shape when machine is turned off. Transfer to a loaf pan. Sprinkle with sweetened coconut. Eat soft from the machine, or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Soften at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Related Video

Mmm. This is a delightful combination!

My mother has been making this for as long as I can remember - Maybe 35 years or better and although this was very good, I prefer her version with coffee ice cream.

I made this recipe this last weekend and absolutely adored it. Thought the flavor combination was fabulous and look forward to making them again soon. Great presentation and looks much more complicated than it is. They were a hit .

This is a refreshing dessert for adults. Served after a small dinner gathering or after a night out to the movies with friends, it is the perfect nightcap. Very well suited for the summer months. Easy to make.

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Toasted Coconut Ice Cream Recipe - Recipes

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream

1 1/4 cups (150 g) sweetened coconut, plus extra for optional garnish

4 tablespoons cream of coconut (like Coco Lopez)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sized saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream, and 3/4 cup (90 g) of the coconut. cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Set aside for 20 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing against the coconut. Return the milk mixture to the pan and place over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup (125 ml) cream in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon at low simmer, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream of coconut. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, toast the remaining 1/2 cup (60 g) coconut, plus up to 1/4 cup (30 g) extra for garnish (if using), in a small, dry frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Right before freezing the ice cream add the Coconut Rum to the custard mixture if desired. Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When it is the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Churn or stir until just mixed. Transfer to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. If desired, garnish each serving with toasted coconut.

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