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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! 

Scoops of strawberry dairy free ice cream in a round cake pan

Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Is it possible to have velvety smooth ice cream made without milk or cream?  I say yes, it is!  In fact, I have made another ice cream without dairy – my pina colada ice cream – and you would never know it is dairy free!

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.

Make no mistake, it may be hard to truly replace the luxurious richness of a dairy ice cream.  However, this strawberry ice cream will give it a run for its money!  But, should you still crave traditional ice cream, check out my fresh cherry ice cream, cherry chocolate swirl ice cream, and malted milk ball ice cream.  

Why You’ll Love This 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 Milk – 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.  
Dairy free strawberry ice cream scoops on two sugar cones

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.  
  • 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!
  • 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.
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. Cream of coconut is typically used 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
Pre scooped strawberry ice cream in a silver tin
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5 from 10 reviews

Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Yield: 4 Servings
GF
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 minutes
Freeze8 hours
Total8 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

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.
  • 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!
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RECIPE NOTES

  • 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.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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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! Click here to learn more about me!

5 from 10 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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comments & reviews

12 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream”

  1. This recipe sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! After blending all the ingredients, do you think it would work well to add the mixture to an ice cream maker to churn rather than just pour into a container to freeze?

    1. I have not used an ice cream maker, so can’t say for certain, but may be worth a try! I’d just follow instructions for the machine.

    2. 5 stars
      I churned the ice cream mix in my ice cream maker and it turned out well. Thank you for the recipe!

    3. 5 stars
      I’ve made No Churn ice cream & love the easy recipes.
      But I’ve always made it using sweetened condensed milk & whipped topping. Both come in lowfat versions, but your recipe us even healthier.
      I used frozen strawberries (fresh, I froze surplus myself) & made the ice cream directly in the container I froze it in – saved plastic tub from store bought ice cream. I also used my immersion(stick) blender & it was powerful enough to mix everything in under 3 minutes.
      Result was a delicious strawberry ice cream.
      Thanks for the recipe 😁

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 5 stars
    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

    1. Erin | Butter and Bliss

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the ice cream Gerry! Thank you for the kind feedback!

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