Dark Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

We’ve been experimenting with riffs on coconut milk ice cream for a while. Why? We’ve found it a bit easier to make than standard ice cream, which typically involves heating ingredients on a stove and then waiting for them to cool. (And who wants to wait when ice cream is involved?)

The coconut milk base is also a bit lighter on the stomach — and tends to take well to being sweetened with honey, our favorite natural sweetener.

We’d tried a few mint ice cream versions with coconut milk (peppermint stick and mint chocolate chip), but hadn’t yet ventured into the land of chocolate. We were hoping that simply whisking cocoa powder into our standard coconut milk and honey mixture would do the trick.

Oh yes, it did. Please meet — a new favorite dessert. Dark chocolatey goodness. We added a hint of cinnamon for some complexity.

So, it’s naturally sweet, dairy free, gluten free, and vegan (if you’re ok with honey) – if you’re looking for something along those lines.

Healthy? Potentially.

But more importantly — delicious. (We thought so, at least!)

Looking for other delicious healthy dessert recipes?

Here are some of our favorite delicious and healthy desserts (or, healthier!):


Dark Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

1 Star (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 6


  • 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerate before using)
  • 14-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch kosher salt


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cans coconut milk and 1/2 cup honey. Whisk in 1/3 cup cocoa powder until it is fully integrated, then mix in the remaining 1/3 cup. Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt.
  2. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker (it helps if the mixture is cold before freezing; we keep cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator so they are already cold). Or, make it without the machine. Enjoy he ice cream right away for a soft serve texture, or freeze it for about 2 hours for a harder texture.



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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Hi Sonja and Alex! I have a question – why the regular and light coconut cream? Was there a reason for this, in terms of taste and texture, or did you simply want to cut some of the fat out?

    • Reply
      August 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

      We tried several variations and liked this one the best!

    • Reply
      August 16, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Hi Marnie! My stomach is a bit sensitive to high-fat foods, so I found the combination of light with regular coconut milk was a little easier for me to handle. However, you could make it with all regular coconut milk too! Good question!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 4:36 am

    This is such a brilliant idea! And I love the simplicity and more natural element of this recipe as opposed to using a milk or cream base. Looking forward to trying this over the weekend (although I’m can’t ever pass up mint chip, so that may have to come first). ;)

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    August 16, 2012 at 6:22 am

    This sounds so delicious! Love the flavour combo!

  • Reply
    Laura F
    August 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    YES! I am so excited to try this. I have really been on a roll making ice cream after purchasing a Cuisinart ice cream maker at a rummage sale for $2.50 last summer. I haven’t tried any dairy-free varieties besides sorbet, so this makes my day. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Just gorgeous. Can we come over again? :D

    • Reply
      August 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Please?! :)

  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

    This looks incredible! I’ve been a bit smitten with the chocolate coconut ice cream from Trader Joe’s and am excited to try this one at home. YUM! –Meg

    • Reply
      August 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Let us know if you tried it out! I’m dying to see if someone likes it as much as we do or if it’s just us :)

  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

    From a fellow ice cream fiend… Beautiful!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Mmmm … my favorite kind of chocolate … dark! This looks amazing. My husband and I have been making fruity ice creams & sorbets this summer with coconut milk/cream, but we haven’t ventured into chocolate yet. I will have to give this a go!

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    August 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Yum! This looks perfect :) I can’t believe I haven’t tried a chocolate coconut milk ice cream before! Must try :)

  • Reply
    August 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Love your photo! Sounds like a great recipe, I look forward to giving it a try!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve been using coconut milk a lot in smoothies lately. I’d love to try it in ice cream soon!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I’ve been making coconut milk ice cream all summer and I just can’t get enough. I, too, have found that the full fat/lite combination works best :) Not to mention, it contains considerably less fat than using two cans of full fat coconut milk – win! I haven’t tried making a version with liquid sweetener, yet. But I’m gonna have to. Your ice cream looks so delicious.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Made this over the weekend- it turned out delicious! Thanks for a perfect dairy-free ice cream that me and my dairy loving husband can both enjoy!

    • Reply
      August 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      Wonderful – so glad to hear it was a success! We can’t stop making it :)

  • Reply
    Cookie and Kate
    August 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Woah, no heating? This sounds too good to be true. I’ll have to test it out soon. ;)

  • Reply
    September 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I tried this recipe and it was a hit in our house. Even my toddler son who doesn’t usually like ice-cream loves this. For an extra treat we served sprinkled with dark chocolate chips

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I’m sorry to say that this didn’t turn out well for me :(. Did you guys use Dutch-processed cocoa powder to make the flavor more prominent, or a certain mild type of coconut milk? Ours tasted hugely of coconut and barely of chocolate! I was disappointed with the results, but you seem to love it so I was wondering if I did something differently by just using regular cocoa powder. Thanks!
    P.S. Love your spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches! They are great!

    • Reply
      February 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      I am so sorry to hear this didn’t work out! We’ve made it several times and it has been delicious each time. We just used 2/3 cup regular cocoa powder and 1/2 cup honey, along with normal coconut milk (1 can full fat and one light.) It’s hard to know what might have been the issue here…perhaps try it again? (Though I’d hate for you to not like it the second time!) If you live anywhere close to Indianapolis, we’ll make you a batch!! :)

  • Reply
    Katie Zoppo
    April 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I like the taste but there are little chunks of coconut in it, I only have one type of coconut milk available here in Spain and I have never used it before but when I opened the can there was a chunk of the coconut oil/meat in it and I don’t know if this is normal, should I have only used the liquid part? Also I had to freeze it while stirring because I don’t have an ice cream maker!

    • Reply
      April 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Typically there should not be coconut meat within the coconut milk – funny! Having small chunks of coconut in it shouldn’t hurt anything — and actually sounds kind of good :) Did it work out for you?

  • Reply
    Katie Zoppo
    April 18, 2013 at 6:39 am

    i took it out and blended it some more with my hand blender. now when i eat it it kind of feels like there are chunks of chocolate, so it’s not so bad :)

    • Reply
      April 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Can’t go wrong with chunks of chocolate! Glad it worked out :)

  • Reply
    July 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Love your recipe! I’ve made it twice in the past month :) Love how simple and easy it is to make!

    • Reply
      July 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks for letting us know! So glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    Vicki - the Free From Fairy
    February 26, 2014 at 9:46 am

    WOW! This looks amazing! So glad that I found your site and in particular this recipe. I have just started down the route of making my own dairyfree, glutenfree icecreams so it was a pleasure to find your recipe! Thanks for sharing it. Keep up the great work on your lovely website too.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I know this is an old post but I just wanna thank you for this recipe. I just got an ice cream machine so I could make coconut milk based ice cream which is so expensive in the store. Made this a couple hours ago and with homemade coconut milk and it was really delicious and I provides me with a good base recipe to expiriment with.
    I was low on honey and feeling kind of cheap so I substituted some sugar. Did about a 70/30 honey/sugar split. Even still, the honey really added to the texture of the ice cream. Love that it’s a healthy sweetener too. Unfortunately it adds to the cost. Gonna try coconut sugar at some point. Cheaper, but a healthy choice as well.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 4:20 am

    This is the first time ever I have made icecream. I found your recipe on Pinterest, not too complicated. So happy with it. Tastes chocolatey. It is wonderful. I love it. Now I can indulge and enjoy on occasions. Thank you for sharing this recipe

  • Reply
    January 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Please could you tell me what I could replace the honey with? I eat LCHF and honey is a definate no no for me.
    Appreciate your time.


    • Reply
      January 20, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Is maple syrup an option for your diet? What sweeteners work for you?

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    LOVE dark chocolate, and can’t believe it’s that easy to make ice cream. Does it taste anything like a Mounds chocolate bar? Used to love that candy bar, until they started adding way to much garbage to almost all sweets.

    Readers, is dutch process cocoa worth the added expense?

  • Reply
    August 23, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Looks delicious!

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