It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like this.—Stardew Valley item description for ice cream
A seed of the coconut palm. It has many culinary uses.—Stardew Valley item description for a coconut
Perfect for folks who can’t consume traditional animal dairy, it felt appropriate to use coconuts for a dairy-free ice cream since they’re available in-game. This style takes a little more effort and needs equipment, especially an ice cream machine, but the results are worth it.
Since we can’t use fat from animal products for this recipe, the basis of our ice cream comes from coconut milk and especially coconut cream.
Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Cream
These are two different products, and one can’t be substituted for the other!
Both coconut milk and cream are made from cooking water and coconut meat together, but coconut milk, which you’re probably more familiar with, has a higher water content, and coconut cream has a much higher fat content and less water. It will perform similar functions to heavy cream and full fat milk in other ice cream recipes and assist with producing proper texture. Proper coconut cream will not have any additional sweeteners in it—that is sometimes called “cream of coconut”—so be careful.
Sweeteners and Flavors for Dairy-free Ice Cream
We will be adding our own sweeteners in the form of sugar and honey. Both affect ice crystal formation, which help keep the ice cream scoop-able and prevent it from becoming a coconut popsicle. I chose honey as a liquid sweetener because I prefer the flavor and it’s available in-game. If you’re looking to make this totally vegan, maple syrup (also available in-game!), agave syrup, or golden syrup would also work.
One final note on the vanilla: I know that vanilla beans can be very expensive and sometimes hard to find. If you’re in a conundrum, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract is a fine substitute. You could even use it in addition to the vanilla bean if you want your ice cream to have a stronger flavor. I definitely suggest trying to use the vanilla bean, though, as it’s more complex and delicate in comparison to extract.
Don’t feel limited to just vanilla! Use this recipe as a launching point for other dairy-free ice creams. What other coconut ice cream flavors would you make? Let me know in a comment and consider joining my Patreon!
Makes 1 quart
1 13 oz can coconut milk
1 13 oz can coconut cream
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup honey
1 vanilla bean
- Place the coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar, and honey into a pot. Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add both the seeds and pod to the pot
- Stir together and bring to a simmer—while continuing to stir.
- Once the mixture hits a simmer, remove the vanilla pod and blend using an immersion blender or regular blender (taking necessary precautions as liquid will be hot!) for about 30 seconds. This helps emulsify the coconut fat back into the mixture.
- Pour mixture into a heat-proof bowl and then cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, if possible.
- Once sufficiently cold, churn in ice cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions for between 20-40 minutes. The ice cream should have a near soft serve consistency.
- Place into a cold freezer safe container and let the mixture set up for at least 4 hours; overnight is best.
- When ready, scoop and serve!