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The tropics are calling with this no-churn and dairy free creamy pina colada ice cream! Experience the flavors of coconut, pineapple, and fresh lime in this homemade ice cream – that does not require an ice cream maker! The creamy coconut cream base combines with all the fresh flavors for a perfect summertime ice cream.
Dairy-Free Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream
When you think of ice cream, do you think of dairy-free? Me either. At first. Then I made a few test ice cream recipes, like my super popular dairy free strawberry ice cream where we swap canned coconut milk for dairy milk. Now I’m a believer.
And with summer in full swing, there is nothing more refreshing than the combination of lime, coconut, and pineapple. Beach chair anyone?!
Why You’ll Want To Make This Tropical Ice Cream
- Creamy & Smooth – Some dairy free ice cream’s can get icy. Not this one! The coconut cream in the can of coconut milk ensures a velvety finish.
- A Secret Creamy Ingredient – Yes, there is a sneaky ingredient in the ice cream to give it a velvety finish. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out!
- Flavorful – This ice cream has a delicate balance of all the flavors so that what you expect to taste – pina colada – shines through! Without the booze, of course. 🙂
- Easy – Everything gets blended until smooth (think smoothie), then frozen. No ice cream maker to worry about! Just like the cherry ice cream, chocolate cherry swirl ice cream, and the malted milk ball ice cream!
What You Need To Make The Dairy Free Pina Colada Ice Cream
- Canned Coconut Milk – Make sure it is unsweetened. Sweetened coconut milk is actually what they use to make boozy pina coladas! You can also use a can of unsweetened coconut cream.
- Dairy-Free Yogurt – The yogurt adds more creaminess to the ice cream. My go-to is So Delicious coconut milk yogurt. You can pick vanilla, key lime, or even coconut flavor.
- Pineapple – Canned, fresh, or frozen pineapple will work. I opt for frozen to get the ice cream started our a little creamy and cold. Plus, frozen is always in season!
- Lime – We use the fresh lime juice and zest.
- Honey – For a little extra sweetness. The floral and fruity notes of honey are a wonderful pairing to the bright flavors. You can certainly use any sweetener you like, or omit it.
- Salt – Salt is wonderful to balance and enhance flavors.
- Blender – A good smoothie blender works great!
- Ice Cream Containers – I think a proper ice cream container is a worthy investment. But if you are looking to make this ice cream asap, you can use a 6-inch cake pan or loaf pan.
What’s The Difference? Canned Coconut Milk, Canned Coconut Cream, and Cream of Coconut
This is my personal experience and insight on the difference between these three, and I cannot stress enough that all of this may vary brand to brand.
- Canned Coconut Milk – A can of coconut milk will have more water. Of course, that will depend on the brand. I mostly use the brand from Target. And most of the time, the can is actually nearly full of cream.
- Canned Coconut Cream – A can of coconut cream will have less water. Plus, it will be more expensive. I personally have found minimal difference between a can of coconut milk and coconut cream. And because of the price difference, I always use coconut milk.
- Cream of Coconut – Cream of coconut is sweetened – a lot. It is (actually) what you would use to make pina colada drinks.
Tips For Making Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream
- Use a good blender – I have the first-hand experience of trying to use a low-power blender. Let the blender do all of the heavy lifting to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.
- Canned coconut milk – not carton coconut milk – Canned coconut milk has coconut cream solids, where the coconut water has been separated from it. Carton coconut milk has water added, and will likely make the ice cream icy.
- Refrigerate the canned coconut milk overnight – I actually have several cans I just keep in the fridge. The cans last a long time, and I always have a can handy when needed.
- Use fresh lime – Because we want lime zest, but also because bottled lime juice just doesn’t taste the same.
- Let the ice cream defrost slightly – The ice cream freezes well and will need a few minutes to soften.
- Make a Tropical Sundae Explosion – There’s nothing better than pina colada ice cream with more pina colada ingredients to make a sundae! Some pineapple chunks, shredded coconut, crushed ice cream cone. And of course, whipped cream.
FAQ’S: How To Make Dairy Free Pina Colada Ice Cream
Yes! All the ingredients can easily be doubled.
Yes, just make sure to drain off any extra pineapple juice.
You do not. The ice cream will still be delicious without it.
You can! I would add the fruit chunks after you blend the ice cream and before you freeze it.
You sure can. Add your favorite spirit when you are blending it. The ice cream will be even more creamy and smooth with alcohol.
Yes, the ice cream does set firm. I recommend letting it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving so it softens up a bit.
I would say about 1 to 2 months. Beyond that, and it may start to form the dreaded ice crystals.
Dairy-Free Pina Colada Ice Cream
- 13.5 ounces unsweetened canned coconut milk, full fat (1 can refrigerated overnight)
- 5.3 ounces coconut milk yogurt (I use So Delicious vanilla, key lime, or coconut flavor)
- 2 cups frozen pineapple
- zest of 1 lime
- juice from 1/2 the lime
- 2 tablespoons honey (sweeten to taste)
- pinch salt
- Refrigerate the can of unsweetened coconut milk the night before – Refrigerating the canned coconut milk will cause the coconut solids and liquids to separate in the can. We are using the coconut solids from the can. Note – If your can of coconut milk is mostly solid, use the whole can. If it half solid, use 3/4 of the whole can (all solids, some liquid). If the solids are less than half, add another can to get more solids. If there are no solids, try another can.
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. This may take about 3 minutes.
- Pour the ice cream mix into the ice cream container and freeze overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften. Serve on an ice cream cone or in a bowl and Enjoy!
- Coconut Milk – Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. This will separate the coconut solids and liquid. Do not use carton coconut milk. If there are hardly any coconut solids in the can, try another can.
- Sweetener – Use any sweetener of choice, or omit all together. To make the ice cream vegan, use maple syrup.
- Defrost Slightly – The ice cream freezes well and will need a few minutes on the counter to soften slightly.
- Yogurt – I recommend vanilla, key lime, or coconut flavor dairy-free yogurt.
- Ice Cream Container – If you don’t have an ice cream container, you can use a loaf pan, small cake pan, small casserole dish, or heavy Tupperware. For everything but the Tupperware, I would recommend covering with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to keep the ice cream cold.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!