The tropics are calling with this no-churn Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream! Experience the flavors of coconut, pineapple, and fresh lime with this homemade ice cream recipe that is extra creamy, and dairy-free.
Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream (Dairy-Free Small Batch)
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 swapping canned coconut milk for dairy milk. Now I’m a believer.
I wanted to create a dairy-free ice cream recipe that was still creamy and smooth, and not icy. There is a fine line when swapping out dairy milk and cream for non-dairy alternatives. There can be a lot of water in some of the substitutions – something I wanted to avoid. Because too much water = icy ice cream.
My solution: unsweetened canned coconut milk.
A couple things on the canned coconut milk:
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk – at least overnight. This causes the coconut solids and liquid to separate.
- Only use the coconut solids from the can – the remaining liquid can be used for smoothies.
The coconut cream solids are what gives the ice cream its creamy texture. In addition to another ingredient …
Ingredients In No-Churn, Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Now that we know the base of this Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream is coconut cream solids from a can, there is one more creamy ingredient.
- Unsweetened canned coconut milk
- Yogurt. Vanilla Coconut Milk Yogurt to be exact. And we are not using a lot, otherwise, this ice cream would taste like frozen yogurt. There is just enough in the ice cream to help with the smooth and creamy texture. And the vanilla flavor does not interfere with the other ingredients.
- Pineapple – I used canned pineapple, but by all means, fresh pineapple would be delicious.
- Lime – Both the zest and juice of fresh lime. And for this ingredient, I do recommend fresh.
- Honey – I chose honey as the sweetener because the fruity and floral notes pair well with the other flavors. However, make the ice cream vegan by swapping maple syrup for the honey.
- Salt – Salt in recipes helps amplify the other flavors.
Another ingredient option is shredded coconut. It can be added to the ice cream mix or sprinkled on top before freezing. Depending on how you want the texture of the ice cream.
What Does Dairy-Free Ice Cream Taste Like
Now that we know what is in the pina colada ice cream, what does it taste like? Does it taste like a pina colada? Add a little rum and you will feel like you’re lying on a tropical beach!
The pineapple is the star of the show in this ice cream. The flavor is intense, but not over-powering. The coconut cream balances the fruit and the lime is like the exclamation point – it really drives home the pina colada flavor.
The texture of the ice cream is what you expect ice cream to be – creamy. Coconut cream combined with yogurt provides enough of a cream base to make the ice cream smooth, and not icy.
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.
Creamy Pina Colada Ice Cream (Dairy-Free Small Batch)
- 1 can unsweetened canned coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
- 1 single serving coconut milk vanilla yogurt (I use So Delicious 5.3 ounce )
- 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 unsweetned 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). It 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.
- 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!
- 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 hardly any coconut solids in the can, try another can.
- 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 pineapple.
- The ice cream freezes well and will need a few minutes on the counter to soften slightly.
- Make the ice cream vegan by replacing the honey with maple syrup.
- Use more or less honey, based on how sweet you want the ice cream. Keep in mind, the yogurt has sugar in it too.