Desserts Ice Creams & Sorbets

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

March 28, 2011

I’m really enjoying making ice cream at home. So much so, that I’ve gone a bit crazy and my freezer is stocked! I’m prepared for warm weather, whenever it wants to get to Nashville and stay for a while. But I would eat ice cream in a snowstorm, especially if it’s Toasted Coconut Ice Cream. I was thinking this would be more like vanilla with a hint of coconut from the flakes. I was completely wrong! The intense coconut flavor comes from steeping toasted coconut, and there are no coconut flakes. Smooth, creamy, and completely amazing.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

So, how’s it taste?

This ice cream is sinful. I couldn’t believe how much coconut flavor came through and it’s without those annoying bits of coconut. It’s intense, refreshing, and oh so tropical. I felt like I needed one of those tiny drink umbrellas and a pair of boat shoes. It’s hard to resist devouring the entire quart, but I have plans for this one. Wait until you see how I swirl this ice cream with another flavor and turn it into a decadent sundae. Stay tuned!

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream


1 cup dried shredded coconut, preferable unsweetened (I used sweetened with great results)
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise (I substituted vanilla bean paste)
5 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 tsp. rum (I used dark rum)


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring it frequently so it toasts evenly. Remove it from the oven when it's nice and fragrant and golden brown.

2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt and add the toasted coconut. Use a paring knife and scrape all the vanilla seeds into the warm milk, then add the pod as well. (If you want to substitute vanilla bean paste, use 1 tsp. here). Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

3. Rewarm 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 halves (rinse and reserve them for another use), and discard the coconut.

4. Pour the remaining 1 cup 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.

5. 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 over an ice bath until cool.

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

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  • Lannae March 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    What kind of ice cream maker do you have? Next spring 2012, I will be hosting an slow food, local organic, sustainable charity dinner and I was thinking of making ice cream for dessert since we have really great organic free range dairy’s Hatcher’s and JD’s so close by. I have only 1 year to practice, and I don’t have a real ice cream machine. I only have a 1 cup ice cream maker, and that isn’t going to get me far for a dinner for 12.

    Also, at Silly Goose, we had a coconut lime “ice cream” made with coconut milk and is completely vegan. The texture and flavor was so good. Have you tried to make coconut ice cream substituting part or all of the milk for coconut milk?

    • Leah March 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

      I have a 1-quart Cuisinart and I love it! It came with two bowls so making two batches is a breeze. I’ve really started putting it to work in the past few months. I’ve made a lot of Philadelphia-style vanilla, but now I’m getting into other flavors and mix-ins. Aside from sorbets, I haven’t tried making any substituting the milk.

  • So, How's It Taste? » Pineapple Sorbet April 5, 2011 at 9:50 am

    […] the Toasted Coconut Ice Cream? I swirled this Pineapple Sorbet into it and felt like I was instantly on the beach! It was […]

  • The Hungry Mum July 21, 2014 at 5:23 am

    oh WOW! I love coconut & I can almost taste this delish ice cream.