Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

“You’re vegan? Don’t you miss ice cream?”

A common question every vegan faces.

My brain does, but my body doesn’t!

I must admit, I have crumbled about two or three times in the past two years of being a vegan. I gave in to my cravings and bought myself some ice cream, thinking that I was doing myself a favour. Those two or three times after I ate that ice cream, my body rebelled. I lost my appetite. My insides felt like a laundry machine on a speed-wash cycle. I felt like throwing up. Once, I actually did have to throw up.

In the words of Taylor Swift, Dairy and I are Never Ever EVER Getting Back Together.

In those two years of me making those (literally) toxic mistakes, I’ve also been trying to figure out how to make my own dairy-free ice cream. I bought myself an ice cream machine, which churns the mixture in a chilled environment for 45 minutes. Time and time again, all I was left with after 45 minutes was a thin sludge. What was I doing wrong?

I looked up how others were creating their own ice cream at home. I switched up my ingredients, ditched the machine, and threw in a small cooking step in the process.

Twenty four hours later, I rejoiced.

I made myself the ice cream I’ve always dreamed of:



Free from dairy and gluten.

Relatively easy to make with minimal ingredients.

Only requires a blender and doesn’t need an ice cream churning machine.

Cheaper than store-bought processed ice cream.

And tasty AF.

The long trial-and-error affair behind this recipe makes me so elated that I can finally share something I’m proud of.

A note on one of the ingredients: Vanilla Paste has a thick, syrupy consistency and features real vanilla bean seeds, the same black flecks visible in premium vanilla ice cream. Vanilla essence, though cheap and more easily available, is artificially made. Vanilla paste provides a kind of middle option between essence and pricey real vanilla pods, whilst still lending the genuine taste of vanilla to your final product. Vanilla paste is available at most bakery stores. Otherwise, using vanilla essence in the same proportion should do the trick as well.

This ice cream has a prominent coconut flavour. If you would like to play around with other flavours, I would recommend trying out cocoa powder, chocolate chips, food-grade peppermint oil, green tea powder, strawberry puree or tropical fruits like passionfruit or mango. But keep the vanilla flavour in there, which will enhance the flavour you are adding.

Have you seen anything more beautiful?

Sweet Baby Jesus.

This ice cream has brightened my entire world. My husband says it’s one of the best ice creams he’s ever had. And now it could quite possibly be yours too.

You are welcome.

So. Very. Welcome.

No-Churn Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)

December 1, 2017
: 6-8
: 24 hr
: 12 min
: Easy-Moderate

A rich, rewarding ice cream that, although needs some patience for it to freeze, doesn't require a churning machine. Makes 1.5 litres. Perfect to accompany with fresh fruits, cakes, pies and hot desserts, and to make Affogato with!


  • 1 liter coconut cream (from carton)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla paste / vanilla essense
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of raw cashews soaked overnight in water
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Step 1 Take out 2/3 cup of coconut cream from the 1 liter of coconut cream.
  • Step 2 Put into a small cooking pot with the brown sugar, arrowroot powder and salt.
  • Step 3 Heat up on low to medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid clumps and burning. The mixture should start bubbling and thicken in consistency. You should be aim for a glue-like, goopy texture..
  • Step 4 Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Step 5 Drain cashews and put in a blender with water. Blend until it becomes a rough paste.
  • Step 6 Keeping the blender on, very slowly pour in the remaining coconut cream.
  • Step 7 Turn off the blender and put the blender lid on.
  • Step 8 Get ready to add in your cooked mixture. Turn on the blender, remove the lid and slowly pour the cooked mixture down the center of the vortex (the ‘hole’ that is created from the force of the blending).
  • Step 9 Turn off the blender when you see that your ice cream mixture has been evenly blended.
  • Step 10 Pour out into a plastic container and leave in the freezer for 12 HOURS.
  • Step 11 After 12 hours, remove from the freezer and give the mixture a thorough stir with a spoon, until the new icy consistency evens out. This breaks apart the ice crystals that have been forming, and helps to create a smoother ice cream.
  • Step 12 Put back in the freezer and wait for at least another 12 hours to re-freeze and be ready to eat.

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6 thoughts on “Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)”

  • I need to make this! This recipe looks totally doable. I’ve tried making coconut ice cream by hand-whisking the cream… it was yummy but tiring because I don’t own a mixer I’ve only made it once… banana ice cream is awesome too.
    by the way, are there other starches that I can substitute arrowroot powder for? also, would it be possible to use other sweeteners like date syrup?

    • Hello Aisha! Ah yes, 2 ingredient banana and peanut butter ice cream is incredible! For the starch, you can replace the arrowroot with cornstarch… just make sure it gets stirred into the mixture evenly before heating. A liquid sweetener like date syrup might affect the texture of the final product so I think it might be best to use a powdered sweetener like molasses sugar or jaggery powder (gula merah), or even perhaps mashed dates! All the best!

    • Hello Christine! Coconut cream and coconut milk in Malaysia, I find, is used interchangeably for most ‘santan’ products found in a carton. The thickest brand of coconut cream in a carton is Kara brand, and I always turn to this brand to make great creamy ice cream. Coconut cream in a can, is a totally different ball game. If you don’t shake the can, the cream is found at the top of the can, whilst the coconut water is at the bottom. It’s perfect for whipping cream, but I think there are other recipes online on how to use canned coconut cream for ice cream. Hope this helps!

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