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Dairy Free Ice Cream by The Spunky Coconut

dairy free ice cream recipe

Kelly Broznya’s dairy-free coffee ice cream is one of my all time favorite treats. Photo by Kelly Broznya.

I’m hooked on Kelly Broznya’s perfect new summer cookbook Dairy Free Ice Cream. Since obtaining a copy last week, I’ve been working my way through this dairy free tome, and I’ve already made eight recipes.

I’m mighty happy with the gluten-free, dairy-free frozen desserts that I’ve tasted from this book. Thus far, the healthy ice cream flavors I’ve indulged in have included : Pistachio, Coffee (which I made as Espresso), Chocolate (sweetened with dates), Butter Pecan, Mint Chip, Strawberry, Chocolate Hazelnut and Egg Nog.

I’m sure you have lots of questions, so let’s get right to ‘em:

  • Q: Can I make ice cream without an ice cream maker?
  • A: Yes, you can. Here’s a tutorial from David Lebovitz to teach you how.


  • Q: I don’t want to spend a fortune on an ice cream maker, can I buy one at a reasonable price?
  • A: My friend Alexa bought one recently at a second hand store for $6.


  • Q: How do I store the ice cream?
  • A: Since there are at least six teenagers at my house at all times, leftovers are non-existent.


  • Q: Do I have to use guar gum as a thickener in Kelly’s recipes?
  • A: No, I don’t use gums and all of the recipes that I tried were delicious.


  • Q: Are any of the recipes nut-free?
  • A: Yes, many of the recipes are nut free if you use hemp milk, rather than cashew milk.

I love that the recipes in Dairy Free Ice Cream are:

  • delicious
  • easy
  • healthy

Well, those are generally the top three criteria for the food I eat –tastiness, ease of preparation, and nutritionally dense. If those factors are important to you too, then this just might be your favorite cookbook for the summer of 2012.

Oh, and one last thing. Did I mention the variety of fascinating recipes contained in this book? Everything from classics such as Rocky Road, to exotic flavors like Rooibos Tea Ice Cream.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Have you figured out how to make a dairy free version?

posted on July 4, 2012, 40 comments

  1. Kate@ eatrecyclerepeat @ eatrecyclerepeat.com

    my favorite is sweet potato ice cream! It is very popular here in Japan, so I am working on a dairy-free version right now. I think I’m going to buy Kelly’s book for some inspiration and how-tos

  2. June

    I have been on an ice cream making binge since purchasing a new ice cream maker. As I read your post I was anticipating seeing one of your favorite ice cream recipes at the the end. Do you plan to post any ice cream recipes you have perfected?

    I enjoy your recipes…they are simple and delicious! Your Cinnamon Apple Muffins are my favorite…very moist with a slightly crunchy top that is wonderful…don’t know if it is the arrowroot powder that creates the crunch, but my family loves these muffins.


  3. Frieda Wadler

    Where can I find the recipe?

  4. shari

    hmmm sounds yummmy but did you forget the recipe?

  5. Cheryl

    She didn’t “forget” the recipe…the idea is to get you to buy the $20.00 book.

  6. Colleen

    $20 is a mere pittance to pay for a book of such high quality, which we know it is because she recommended it! Being able to eat ice cream that I can truly enjoy is a rare treat for me – lactose intolerant, gluten free girl that I am. So the fact that I “get to” know beforehand that all the recipes are “tried and true” by someone of her caliber is very valuable information on its own – sans recipe!!

  7. Lisa B.

    I recently purchased a 1.5 qt Cuisinart frozen dessert maker at Costco. With the coupon they had, I believe it was about $24.

  8. charlotte

    thank you for the great recommendation!!!

  9. Sandy Gillett

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kelly’s Dairy Free Ice Cream cookbook!

  10. Annie in Indy

    Great to buy the book BUT…..it’s July 4th and after seeing the Dairy Free Ice Cream tease…I so much want to make it TODAY.
    Sure I will buy the book…but it’s too late for today.

    How about just giving us the Dairy Free recipe – Pleaseeeee

    • Jessie P.

      We’ve used the vegan vanilla ice cream recipe, as well as the other vanilla recipe on elana’s site and both have been wonderful! They’re under the frozen treats section of the dessert tab! many other recipes, too!

  11. My favorite is purple yam ice cream—really GOOD!

  12. Cate

    I’d like to know where the cute blue dish came from! :-)

  13. Thank you Elana!

    And thanks to all of you who left nice comments! Here is one of my recipes on Elana’s site: http://www.elanaspantry.com/sunbutter-ice-cream/ And here are sixteen more ice cream recipes on mine: http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/search/label/Ice%20Cream

    Love, Kelly

  14. I love to experiment with different ingredients when making ice cream. Usually I replace dairy products with coconut milk. Since I do my experiments with 5 ingredients or less, I once did quite interesting pumpkin pie ice cream: 1 can (13.5 oz) organic coconut milk (I usually use Native Forest since the can is BPA free), 1 can (15 oz) 100% organic pumpkin, 60 drops vanilla stevia and 1 1/2 tablespoons organic cinnamon. I just mixed everything together and poured the mixture in the ice cream maker. Really delicious and rich ice cream, nice change to usual pumpkin pie!

    Otherwise I think my favorite flavor is good old chocolate. Elana’s Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is absolutely delicious (I’ve used powdered erythritol instead of coconut palm sugar)! There I got the inspiration to use coconut milk for replacing dairy products.

  15. Not an ice cream, but black fresh fig sorbet is a real hit for me. Cook down the figs with a little water coconut palm sugar or agave nectar add lemon zest of one lemon and juice of one lemon and cool.
    add 1 to 1,5 cups of water and puree in blender and pop in the ice cream maker.
    Enjoy and its a beautiful pink color

  16. Elana, why the dairy free? Milk and dairy is some of the best protein you can have? Why not just do ice cream from real dairy and natural ingredients? I Find that even people that are sensitive to dairy can handle small amounts of ice cream. Over time, when there system heals… ice cream and dairy are handled well.

    • Colleen

      Ugh, not me. As I get older I handle dairy less and less well. I’d rather get my protien from almonds and almond milk. It is 50% more nutritious than cows milk anyway! :)

    • Noel

      I appreciate the variety and alternatives. There are tons of great recipes for dairy based ice cream out there. Not so many for easy, delicious and healthy non-dairy.

  17. Noel

    Okay — I’m convinced — It’s time for some homemade ice cream!
    My kids have been making berry smoothies like crazy in the Vitamix. They use very little liquid in order to make them “sorbet”. Now time to branch out and make it ice cream. Thanks for sharing your opinions and observations about Kelly’s ice cream book. I enjoy her first book very much — and your 2 books.

  18. Wow, great picture of ice cream. But what about your teeth after eating them? :)) the chocolate looks greater, yummy.

  19. LynnW

    Thanks for exploring this, Elana! I quit eating dairy because it gave me migraines; the link is so direct and migraines such h___ that I never even want to “cheat.” I also avoid cane sugar and eat very little gluten because I feel so much better when I don’t eat those things. So, your website is a great resource for me, thank you!

    I haven’t tried making diary-free ice cream in years, because when I just made substitutions to milk recipes, the ice cream came out more like ice rock.

    I am looking forward to trying the sunbutter ice cream and will very likely buy Kelly’s book. Thank you both!

  20. Ruth

    Which “Spunky Coconut” cookbook has yogurt recipes?

  21. Victoria

    One part cashews to three parts frozen fruit, in the Vitamix. Try blueberries with a little lemon zest. I don’t even use a sweetener. Always a treat and a hit.

  22. Anna

    I invested in an ice-cream maker when I realized I would never be able to eat ice-cream again if I didn’t make it myself. It was not expensive and does the job. (Storage space is not an issue either.) I would recommend it if you like to eat ice-cream regularly and/or have kids who like it. There is nothing better than preparing it yourself and avoiding all the additives and unknown ingredients in commercial ice-cream. Although I suppose you could also spring for organic ice-cream…

    Although I don’t need to avoid dairy, I have had great results replacing the milk part of recipes with full-fat coconut milk.

  23. I love pistachio ice cream but have yet to try it in a dairy free version. I made vegan strawberry ice cream recently using coconut milk but had a problem with it getting too frozen/icy after leaving it in the freezer overnight. Any ideas how to fix this??

  24. Amy

    My favourite is just frozen bananas blended in a vitamix or other blender. It makes incredible soft-serve, and I’ve made basically every flavour to great success. So easy, fast, and it’s hard to feel guilty when the only ingredient is a banana!

  25. I’ve tried to make a custard based ice cream with coconut milk, but it came out rock solid. What keeps your dairy-free ice cream soft and scoopable, Elana? I’m thinking use of some sort of sugar is crucial to this.

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top