Gluten Free Dairy Free Coconut 3-ingredient Ice Cream (No Machine!)

A proper gluten free summer means plenty of gluten free ice cream. I love to make my own ice cream at home, without the ice cream machine that I own but never … more »

Smooth & Creamy Gluten Free Dairy Free Ice Cream—No Machine!
A proper gluten free summer means plenty of gluten free ice cream. I love to make my own ice cream at home, without the ice cream machine that I own but never really use. Now, I have no problem with dairy myself. But know some of you are dairy free, and I like to make you happy so you’ll like me. So I put my nose to the grindstone and finally, at great long last, I present: Gluten Free Dairy Free Ice Cream with no machine! Plus—no mixing it every 30 minutes or something (how is that fun?). And it’s still smooth & creamy & scoop-able. BOOM!

Smooth & Creamy Gluten Free Dairy Free Ice Cream—No Machine!

Even though you only see two ingredients shown here, it says “3 ingredients” right there in the photo. There are, indeed, 3 essential ingredients. There are 2 more optional ingredients in the recipe below, but they are truly optional. Oh, and yes, it does taste faintly of coconut. It’s made almost entirely of coconut milk, made this way and that way, silly!

Smooth & Creamy Gluten Free Dairy Free Ice Cream—No Machine!

I tried this recipe 5 times and failed and failed and failed, sadly, every single time. And until you freeze the ice cream, you can’t really be sure that it’s a fail. That made this a rather time-consuming project of mine. Of course I could have just used the ice cream machine, but that is Anyway, apparently the sixth time is the charm! As soon as I mixed up the final goods that you see here, even before it was frozen, I knew. Like you know success when you’ve already failed miserably 5 separate times over the course of 3 months. I knew.

Smooth & Creamy Gluten Free Dairy Free Ice Cream—No Machine!

This is IT baby. And even though I love my dairy yes I really do, I reached for this ice cream before the dairy-full vanilla that has become my true love favorite gluten free ice cream. So dairy free or not, you’re gonna love this one. Oh, and before you ask because I know you will want to know, if you omit the gelatin, it really doesn’t scoop and it is icy as can be. Take my word for it. And my husband’s. He ate a whole lot of it. There isn’t much gelatin at all in the recipe (3 grams). Just go for it. ;)

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 15 minutes       Yield: 1 1/2 quarts ice cream

3 cans (14 ounces each) coconut milk, 2 of the 3 refrigerated for at least 24 hours*

3/4 cup (150 g) sugar

1 teaspoon (3 g) unflavored powdered gelatin

3 ounces dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

*You must use full-fat coconut milk. Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk and Whole Foods 365 brand coconut milk both work well consistently for this application.

  • In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the entire contents of the 1 room-temperature can of coconut milk and the sugar, and mix to combine well. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent it from splattering, until it is reduced at least by half and thickened (about 10 minutes). You can also cook the mixture over low heat for about 35 minutes, and stir much less frequently. This is now your sweetened condensed coconut milk. Remove from the heat and set aside to allow to cool completely.

  • Remove the remaining two cans of coconut milk carefully from the refrigerator, without shaking them at all. The solid should have separated from the liquid while it was chilling, and you don’t want to reintegrate them. Remove the lids from the cans, scoop out only the solid white coconut (discarding all of the liquid), and place it in a large bowl. With a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), whip the coconut on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy and nearly doubled in volume. Place the whipped coconut cream in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes.

  • Place the gelatin in a small bowl, and mix well with 2 tablespoons of the sweetened condensed coconut milk from the first step. Allow to sit for 5 minutes while the gelatin dissolves. The mixture will swell. Microwave on 70% power for 20 seconds to liquify the gelatin, and then add the mixture to the rest of the cooled sweetened condensed coconut milk.

  • Remove the coconut whipped cream from the refrigerator and add the sweetened condensed coconut milk mixture and optional vanilla to it. Whip once more until light and creamy, and well-combined (another 1 to 2 minutes). Fold in optional chocolate chips, and scrape the mixture into a 2 quart freezer-safe container. Cover tightly and freeze until firm (about 6 hours). Serve frozen. If it is at all difficult to scoop, allow to sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before scooping and serving.



P.S. Have you ordered your copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread yet? Join the gluten free bread revolution and support the blog that loves you!

  • Jennifer Sasse

    We are not dairy free either but sometimes, you just like some alternatives, ya know? Thank you for being so overly accommodating for all of your blog readers! That is why we love you!!!!

    • Nicole Hunn

      Thanks, Jennifer! I do know what you mean about alternatives. If nothing else, it’s a nice challenge for me! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Donia Robinson

    Oh yes, this recipe definitely makes me like you! ;) I was pining after all of those ice creams you made. I find DF ice creams (like anything) can be hit or miss. Some have so much gum in them that they taste like – wait for it – gum. And some DF ice creams I’ve made WITH a machine tasted good as “soft serve”, but got rock hard and icy in the freezer. Thanks for this recipe!

    Oh, and might suggest you do not discard the coconut water! (Hello, shoestring!) It’s still got some good nutrition going for it. You could freeze it into ice cubes and put it in a smoothie, or use it in a recipe that wasn’t picky about its liquid. Personally, it goes in my smoothie!

    • Nicole Hunn

      Oh I don’t actually discard the coconut water. I use it rice, in smoothies, in all sorts of things. Just trying to keep the directions simple, Donia. :) And I really think you’re going to love this DF ice cream!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Donia Robinson

        I should have known better than to think you would discard it. ;)

  • Cass

    Holy buckets…you are amazing!! I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

    • Nicole Hunn

      Thanks, Cass!

  • nini2033a

    looks great, no problem with the gelatin here,,,, but do you think it would work with stevia instead of sugar? got a diabetic in the family….
    Or does the sugar do something specific like thickening that the stevia would not accomplish?

    • Nicole Hunn

      Hi nini, I’m afraid it would be very ice without the sugar. Sugar does not freeze, so it helps keep the ice cream from becoming icy. I don’t think that Stevia will do the same, although I confess I don’t know for sure. Sorry!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Autumn

    Wow! The world needs you. I need you! Thank you.

    • Nicole Hunn

      Aw, shucks, Autumn. Thank you for the kind words! And you’re very welcome. I need you right back. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anna

    Any chance I could use Agar Agar instead of gelatin?I love that it is dairy free but can I make it fully vegan?

    • Nicole Hunn

      I don’t have much experience with agar agar, Anna. Feel free to experiment!

  • Karen

    Just wanted to let you know we’ve tried the vanilla ice cream (very good, a tad sweet) and today I made the chocolate, with the following modifications:

    I didn’t want to have to store 4 oz of leftover condensed milk, so I used the whole can.

    I bought unsweetened chocolate rather than semisweet, since I planned to use the entire can of milk, and when I got home I realized one box is 4 oz, not 5, but it worked well. I think it turned out even better than the vanilla–less sweet because of the chocolate and cocoa!

    Next I’m going to try to figure out how to make a coffee version; I adore coffee ice cream!

  • Cori

    I love you. Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn

      Love you, too, Cori! ;)
      xoxo Nicole
      P.S. You’re welcome.

  • Sam

    Okay I’m stuck. I have been trying to get coconut milk to separate for a week now–I tried a few weeks ago thinking your semi-freddo might be great with coconut whipped cream–but after 24 hours the coconut milk hadn’t separated. So when I saw your FB feed about this upcoming recipe last weekend, I put cans of coconut milk in the fridge in anticipation. But it’s been four days and the can hasn’t separated? Does putting it in the freezer work? How can I get it to separate?

    • Nicole Hunn

      Hi, Sam! So frustrating, right? It’s probably the brand of coconut milk that you are buying (assuming it is, in fact, full fat canned coconut milk). That’s why I mentioned the brands that I like in the recipe (Whole Foods 365 brand and Thai Kitchen brand), since they always separate (or they always have, for me). Don’t put it in the freezer! Just try another brand.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Donia Robinson

        I find Native Forest almost always works. Frankly, it even separates at room temperature a lot of times!

  • Crystal

    Have a few GFDF kids here doing the happy dance! Thank you!

  • Mare Masterson

    Nicole, Oh my God I was just telling a friend on Friday whose honey is lactose intolerant that I wanted to figure out how to make my own coconut milk ice cream because I absolutely love it, and here’s your post only a few days later! Are you clairvoyant? You truly are a gift to us!

  • Veronica Marth

    I found cans of coconut cream at Walmart. How many ounces of cream do you get from each can of coconut milk?
    By the way, your recipes have given me the confidence to bake again. For about two years after my husband found out he had celiac disease most of my recipes failed. I have been baking with your recipes for over six months now and am even modifying some of the recipes I grew up with to make them gluten and dairy free. Thank you for your cookbooks and blog.

  • Richard A Schmitt

    Amazing! I should have mentioned in on your other 3-Ingredient Ice Cream Recipe that I converted that recipe by using the Coconut Milks! Came out perfect, just didn’t use the Gelatin and use 2 cans for the Sweetened Condensed Milks and 1 for Heavy Whipping Cream. Going to try your version for sure now!

  • Catherine in Portsmouth, NH

    Nicole, We haven recently gone dairy-free at my house and I am very, very excited about this recipe. My spouse came home from Trader Joe’s with 9 oz. cans of “coconut cream” (“Ayam” brand; ingredients: 100% coconut kernel extract). I’m hoping that perhaps there’s just less in the way of liquid in these, and so will be able to use them, but that leaves me with the same question as Veronica, below, to wit: do you happen to know how many ounces of the cream you end up using?

    See that? You go the extra mile and create this astounding recipe, and then you get asked for more, more, more help!
    Gratefully reading you all these years, and still baking 4 loaves of that yummy Tom’s bread per week because I don’t feel like bothering with separating eggs all the time,

  • Pingback: Stumbling Over Chaos :: The week in which I recommend that you eat before linkitying()

  • Pingback: Easy Gluten Free Dairy Free Ice Cream: Rocky Road (No Machine!)()

This recipe was brought to you by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring:
Scroll to top of page