Categorized |Desserts

A Vintage Trinbagonian Coconut Ice Cream Recipe.

coconut icecream trinidad recipe“Can you take that into the garage, it’s getting loud?” Are you freaking kidding me? As a kid the sound of the hand crank (and later on the electric one) ice cream pail (maker) was music to our ears. Sunday afternoons especially when we had family visiting, meant home made coconut ice cream (or sour sop, barbadine… any fruit that was in season). As kids we would circle that ice cream pail like hawks ready to pounce on it’s prey. The key was listening closely to the hum of the ice cream maker, since it got to a sort of dragging pace/sound when the ice cream was firm inside – it was then time to attack.

This day we had friends over for dinner and since I’ve been receiving tons of messages for a coconut ice cream recipe and the fact that our guests love ice cream, I thought it was time for me to dust off the ice cream maker we purchased a couple summers ago. Reluctantly I took the maker into the garage, since the sound of the churning was supposedly disturbing them… forget that this was helping me relive one of the most cherished childhood memories :(

You’ll Need…

4 tablespoon custard powder
4 cups of coconut milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 can condensed milk (sweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

recipe for cococnut ice cream

* I need to mention a few things about the ingredients I listed above.

Coconut milk – the traditional way is to get a couple dried coconuts, husk, grate, add water and squeeze out the milk from the pulp. But to save on time and sourcing “good” dried coconut was hard for me, so I opted for the milk in the can.

Heavy cream – to keep this a bit healthy I used 1/2 and 1/2 which is a cream with a lower fat content. But you’re free to use heavy cream or you can also substitute Carnation milk for the cream.

* If you’re using an ice cream maker that’s not one of the new ones (where you have to freeze the inserts before using) you’ll be required to have ice and some salt for the freezing process.

This is a very simple recipe, but you do need a couple hours of prep time to ensure that the cream mixture cools down in the fridge and you also have to factor in time for the ice cream maker.

Start by making a custard. In a deep pan/pot whisk together (over low heat) 1 cup of the coconut milk, the sugar, custard powder and heavy cream. Keep whisking as this can easily start to stick to the bottom of the pan and go lumpy. The goal is to get  a thick consistency and can take between 5-9 minutes. You’ll notice that it will be thick enough to start remaining on the sides of the pan (see pics below).

how to make trinidad style coconut icecream

jamaican coconut icecream recipe

making coconut ice cream

Turn off the stove and add all the other ingredients to the pot. Whisk like you’ve never whisked before (or use an electric mixer). It’s important that you break down any lumps that may form and to incorporate everything. Then place in the fridge to cool down for at least an hour.

how to make coconut icecream

After it cools, place in your ice cream maker and freeze according to it’s instructions. As I mentioned, we have one of the electric ones that churn away with the  aid of a small motor at the top. I placed the mixture in the ice cream container, attach the hood and then fill the side with ice. I had to purchase ice cubes so they could easily fit without having to break up further. After I packed the side with ice, I poured salt all over the ice and then turned on the machine. Now don’t ask me why I put the salt on the ice, it’s just something I saw my dad would do. Supposedly it’s to keep the ice/water at a constant temperature.Remember to keep adding ice and salt to the sides as necessary.

recipe for coconut icecream

making ice cream

coconut icecream recipe

Normally I’d have pics showing what I mean by placing the ice, salt etc.. but I started making mango margaritas and I kinda forgot about taking pics.. . I do apologize. I’ll sahre the recipe for that treat soon.

Our machine took about 30 minutes to fully firm the ice cream and as I touched on above… the machine will start dragging when the ice cream is fully done. If you like soft serve textured ice cream you can enjoy the ice cream right now. However I like to empty the ice cream into freezer containers and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to really firm out. This also allows me to keep small batches for when I next feel like a refreshing dessert – like today!

trini coconut icecream recipe

trinidad ice cream recipe

coconut ice cream

* Tip – If you like pieces of coconut in your ice cream, a quick fix is to purchase some shredded coconut from the grocers and add as a topping. To enhance the flavour of the shredded coconut, toast it on the stove for a couple minutes. I supposed you could also add it to the mixture before freezing… so it’s infused into the ice cream. The choice is yours, as I like my coconut ice cream naked! The pic with the sprinkles above, was for our daughter.

Please leave me your comments below as I’d love for this post go viral on the internet, so others can enjoy this wonderful ice cream. And don’t forget to join us on Facebook – click on the image below to get started.

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56 Responses to “A Vintage Trinbagonian Coconut Ice Cream Recipe.”

  1. Dee says:

    How much ice creme does this recipe make?

  2. Keren says:

    How would the measurements change if I want to make 3 gallons/12 quarts of this recipe?? My housemates and I have an event and wanted to make ice-cream for at least 100 people. :)
    A better way to word that would be how much of everything do I need per 4 quarts which is the size of our ice-cream churner?


  3. Lueann says:

    thank u so much, I appreciate

  4. lisa says:

    Hi Chris, Love your recipes. Can i use this recipe as a base for peanut ice cream ? Do i need to insert or remove anything? Thanks.

  5. Sandy says:

    Hi Chris, am glad you had this recipe posted. Will certainly try it on my own. As kids we too would help our mom turn the cream maker in the garage and couldn’t wait for it to finish. I know my grands would love this. Warm regards.

  6. Mork says:

    Great recipe Chris. Loved the fact that it didnt need eggs. It came out just as smooth and creamy as ones that use eggs.

  7. Richard Ramlogan says:

    Thanks Chris for this recipe,I wanted to try this for a long time, hasn’t had a good coconut ice cream since I left Trinidad.

  8. michelle says:

    First time ever I made ice cream and tried your coconut ice cream recipe …it was the BEST! Everyone is still complimenting so thank you. Keep up the good work of giving us these wonderful recipes

  9. Judith McIntosh says:

    Hi Chris,
    This brings back childhood memories. My mum made it with the real coconut. It was our chore to grate(ouch!)but it was so worth it.
    Give me soursop too, any day. There was always a competition between mums, who made the best.

  10. R. Calderon says:

    Chris, I followed your recipe, switching up half the canned coconut milk for a whole coconut, and man, it was to die for. Even my grand-mother loved it, which was like winning a grammy to me! Thank you so much! You’re awesome!

  11. Jan Reyes says:

    Finally! Thank you Chris – you have no idea how long I have been trying to get this old time recipe. I remember going by my Uncle when we were kids and having home made coconut ice cream. I have one of the old time ice cream makers, like yours to use with the ice and salt. I remember being told that the salt was to help prevent the ice from melting too fast. I will be enjoying my coconut ice cream very soon – I am also going to try barbadine and soursop right after.

  12. When i make coconut ice cream i alway add a hole ripe sorsoup to my mixture and flavour that comes out is to die for. When you visit in November i might just bring you some but gave it a try and also you our Trini essence is the best …

  13. Angela says:

    Thanks Chris,

    Yesterday I bought a Cherry Coconut ice-cream cone on Independence Square checking out your site I saw your coconut ice cream and had to try it I did adding some chopped cherries Yummy , for the tummy

  14. Chris, this is excellent coconut ice cream. Your the Man!

  15. Vilorn says:

    My mom always made this cocunut icecream and I remember her using carnation evaporated milk. She also made sour sop ice cream, not really a favorite of mine. Will definitely try this recipe for my husband and son.


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