Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream

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This is an easy no-churn recipe for Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream.  The creamy ice cream is made with only 5 ingredients including canned coconut milk, fresh (or frozen strawberries), and honey.  Plus, a secret ingredient that makes this ice cream extra velvety and smooth! 

POST UPDATED May, 2022

Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Is it possible to have velvety smooth ice cream made without milk or cream?  I say yes, it is!  If you have read or tried any of my other recipes on the blog, you will know that I am a fan of canned coconut milk.  I use it to make Whipped Coconut Cream, Butter Free Vanilla Frosting, and a perfectly creamy Strawberry Float.

So, I figured it was about time to give dairy free ice cream a try with my beloved ingredient.  Make no mistake, it may be hard to truly replace the luxurious richness of a dairy ice cream.  However, this Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream will give it a run for its money!  

What To Expect With This Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream 

  • Robust Strawberry Flavor – Strawberry ice cream should taste like strawberries, right!?  Using fresh strawberries will give you a bright flavor, but frozen strawberries work great too!
  • Creamy – The key to this creamy dairy-free ice cream is to use only the coconut solids from the can of coconut milk.  
  • No-Churn – You do not need an ice cream maker/machine to make this strawberry ice cream!  Only a good blender.
  • Only 5 Ingredients – I don’t think it can get any easier than just 5 ingredients!  Check out the recipe for the few ingredients you need.  Hint:  I’ve already named 3 of them …
  • You Can Make It Vegan – We use honey as the sweetener in the ice cream, but you could certainly swap in maple syrup, or any sweetener of choice.
  • Secret Ingredient To Make It Creamy and Smooth – It’s not as exciting as you may think … but keep reading to find out what the secret creamy ingredient is!
Strawberry coconut milk yogurt containers on a table
Secret ingredient to smooth and creamy dairy-free ice cream!

How To Make Dairy Free Ice Cream Creamy

It may not be the most mind-blowing ingredient, but I have found that using dairy-free yogurt helps make the Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream smooth and creamy.  In the case of this recipe, I recommend using a strawberry flavored coconut yogurt.  My preference is So Delicious because I find it to be thick and creamy, whereas other brands may be a little more watery.  

The other way, and probably the most important, to make creamy dairy free ice cream:  only use the coconut solids from the can of coconut milk.  And it must be canned coconut milk, and not carton coconut milk.  

What Does DAiry Free ice Cream Taste Like

Probably the most important question to ask!  I mean, dairy free, no egg yolk base, refined sugar free (sans the yogurt), and not made in an ice cream machine – how can it possibly taste like ice cream?!  It does!  Think of your favorite strawberry smoothie … that is what this ice cream reminds me of.

  • Lighter – The coconut cream base naturally makes the ice cream lighter than its dairy counterpart.
  • Real Strawberry Flavor – Because this is a lighter ice cream, the strawberries and their flavor are the primary flavor you’ll notice.
  • Creamy – I think I’ve touched on the texture of the ice cream enough by now, but just in case – this ice cream is deliciously creamy!
  • Delicately Sweet – I like using honey in this recipe because it has more fruity and floral notes.  Additionally, the honey doesn’t overpower the strawberry flavor.
Two scoops of dairy free ice cream cone

What You Need To Make Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • Strawberries – I recommend fresh in season.  However, frozen strawberries will also work.
  • Unsweetened Canned Coconut MilkThis is my go-to brand right now.  We are only using the coconut solids from the can.  
  • Dairy-Free Strawberry Yogurt – Because we are using coconut milk, I like to use coconut milk yogurt.  SoDelicious seems to be readily available in stores.  But if there is another yogurt you like, feel free to try it!
  • Honey – To make the ice cream vegan, you can use maple syrup or regular sugar.
  • Lemon Juice – This does not add lemon flavor, but rather brightens the flavor of the strawberries.
  • Salt – Just a pinch – and I mean a pinch.  We are not making the ice cream salty.  The salt enhances the flavors, especially the sweet.

Equipment

  • High Powered Blender – A good quality blender is worth the investment.  Especially if you make smoothies or bake a lot.
  • Ice Cream Containers – These are the ice cream containers I have been using lately.  I like that they are lidded containers.  I have also included other container ideas in the Notes of the recipe. 

What Is The Best Way To Get The Can Of Coconut Milk To Solidify

If you notice your can of coconut milk sloshes around when you turn it upside down, that is a good indicator that there is a lot of liquid in the can.  If you happen to be checking the cans while at your grocery, try another can and turn upside down.  We are looking for cans that don’t slosh.

  1. Do not shake the can of coconut milk.  While testing your cans, resist the temptation to actually shake the can.  Shaking the can essentially emulsifies the liquids and solids.
  2. Put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator.  Refrigerating the can of coconut milk firms up the coconut solids and the liquids will separate to the bottom.  

Tips For Making Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

  • Refrigerate the can of unsweetened coconut milk overnight – the coconut solids and liquid separate better when refrigerated.  
  • Do not use carton coconut milk – it has too much water and will probably make the ice cream icy.
  • Use fresh strawberries – If they are in season.  I like to use fresh because of the bright and fresh flavor.  However, frozen strawberries will work just fine!
  • I recommend strawberry coconut milk yogurt – but by all means, switch up the flavors as you like.  Vanilla would be good in this ice cream as well!
  • Make the ice cream vegan by swapping the honey with maple syrup  – Or any other sweetener of choice.  You will just have to taste test to get the ice cream to the level of sweetness you prefer.
  • A little lemon juice and salt – both of these are flavor enhancers.  They help make the fruit vibrant and fresh.
  • Use a good blender – I recently invested in one, and it has been a game-changer.  Otherwise, you may run the risk of the ingredients not blending well.  Or, you could be left with chunks of strawberries (which I suppose is not that bad!)
  • Let the ice cream sit at room temperature before serving – The ice cream freezes well and it will need to sit for a few minutes before easily scoop’able.
  • Serve in a bowl or a cone – The strawberry ice cream scoops like dairy ice cream, so why not enjoy it in your favorite cone!
Pre scooped strawberry ice cream in a silver tin

Common questions for making dairy free strawberry ice cream

Can I double (or triple) this recipe to make a larger batch of ice cream?

Absolutely!

Will carton coconut milk work?

No, it will not. Carton coconut milk has more water added to it. Which would result in an icy ice cream.

I see cans of coconut cream. Will that work too?

They sure will! Cans of coconut cream are similar to cans of coconut milk, with the difference being there may be more coconut solids. However, they may be harder to find in your grocery.

What about Cream of Coconut? Will that work?

No, Cream of Coconut will not work. This product has more water, extra ingredients, and a lot of sugar. This is the cream of coconut you would use to make a pina colada.

Can I use frozen strawberries?

You certainly can!

Will a zero-sugar alternative work instead of the honey?

It should work fine. Sweeten to taste (i.e. taste test and add more if you want the ice cream sweeter).

Is the yogurt necessary, or can I skip it?

You can skip the yogurt, but I recommend trying it for the extra level of creaminess.

My ice cream is really frozen solid. Did I do something wrong?

Nope. This dairy free ice cream freezes very well. You will want to set it on your counter for a few minutes to let it soften before serving.

I don’t have an ice cream container. What else can I use?

Cake pans, casserole dishes, loaf pans, or any other freezer-proof container will work. I recommend covering the top of the ice cream with plastic wrap if using one of these. This will help insulate the ice cream and keep ice crystals from forming.

Close up of scoops of dairy free strawberry ice cream in a cake pan

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Pre scooped strawberry ice cream in a silver tin
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5 from 3 reviews

Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Yield: 4 Servings
This is an easy no-churn recipe for Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream.  The creamy ice cream is made with only 5 ingredients including canned coconut milk, fresh (or frozen strawberries), and honey.  Plus, a secret ingredient that makes this ice cream extra velvety and smooth! 
Prep10 mins
Freeze8 hrs
Total8 hrs 10 mins

Equipment

  • 6-Inch Cake Pan, 9×5 Loaf Pan, or Ice Cream Container

Ingredients

  • 1 can unsweetened canned coconut milk, full fat - refrigerated overnight
  • 1 single serving coconut milk strawberry yogurt - I use So Delicious 5.3 ounce
  • 2 cups fresh, or frozen strawberries
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey - sweeten to taste
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • 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, half liquid, 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.
  • Blend the ice cream – 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 a freezer proof container, cover, and freeze – overnight is best. See Notes for container suggestions.
  • 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!

Notes

  • Serving Size – This is a smaller batch recipe and will yield about 4 servings.  The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
  • Canned Coconut Milk – We are using canned coconut milk, and not carton coconut milk.  The coconut solids from the can are what makes this ice cream creamy.  If there are no solids (or hardly any) in the can, try another can.  
  • Blender – I recommend a good (high-power) blender or food processor to mix the ice cream to a smooth and creamy consistency, without having to add extra liquid.  It may take longer to mix in a small blender, and you may need to add additional coconut milk or water to mix the frozen strawberries.
  • Consistency – The ice cream freezes well and will need a few minutes on the counter to soften slightly when ready to serve.
  • Vegan Option – Make the ice cream vegan by replacing the honey with maple syrup.
  • Sweeten to Taste – Use more or less honey, based on how sweet you want the ice cream.  Keep in mind, the yogurt has sugar in it too.

Ice Cream Container Suggestions

  • If you don’t have an ice cream container, you can use the following:  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.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich
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6 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream”

  1. Usually I’m pressed for time. My best friend passed away 4 years ago and I inherited her now 77 y.o. mom lol who is lactose intolerant. I buy her Lactaid vanilla because that’s all that’s available or that her system can tolerate and she really wants strawberry. Taking HUGE shortcuts on busy days and using ready made ice cream and SoDelicious Yogurt, how much should I use of the ice cream?

    1. Hi Michelle – I would start with at least 2 cups of ice cream if you are using the single serving (5.3 ounce) SoDelicious yogurt. If you wanted even more strawberry flavor, you could add a handful of fresh or frozen strawberries as well, and blend it all together!

  2. I want to make this for a Type 2 diabetic. How do the carbs and sugars work out? Can Stevia replace the sugar?

    1. Erin | Butter and Bliss

      Hi Beth – I have used the following calculator for nutritional details – https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076 – For the sweetener replacement, I have never used Stevia, but think that would work. You would just need to add as much/little to suit your taste. For other recipe modifications for specific dietary requirements, you may want to check with your Doctor. Thanks!

  3. I have just finished making my first batch of your
    Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream; I don’t think it will be my last. It was so easy to make and if it tastes as good frozen as it did out of the food processor bowl, we have a winner!! I made my own Strawberry Coconut Yoghurt so I’m hoping it works.
    Thanks for a great recipe. Next up, Strawberry Whipped Coconut Cream.
    Cheers Gerry

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