Coconut Ice Cream

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My shoulder hurts but my mouth is glad :-).

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

Whenever I think of ice cream here in Trinidad, the first flavour that comes to mind is coconut flavour. In fact, I think any frozen dessert that comes to mind would be in this flavour and then the other commercial and foreign flavours which we have been bombarded with.

Coconut ice cream, to me, reminds me of home, long time, the most. Back in the day, homemade coconut ice cream was a Sunday affair. We would get out the ice cream pail and get all the ingredients to make some ice cream in the evening. We didn’t buy coconuts because we always had a few coconut trees in the backyard and there was always a few dry coconuts lying about.

If you did not contribute to the ingredients, there was always use for you when it came to “churning” the coconut ice cream. Yes, in those days the popular ice cream pails made were the hand cranked ones with the wooden pail that had the hole at the side for the excess water to drain out. Most trinis would remember those. And sometimes we would plug the hole with some “gazette” paper after the coconut ice cream was made to keep it cold in the pail.

This coconut ice cream has certainly taken me down memory lane, especially how we used the traditional method of the hand cranked pail. Here’s how to make coconut ice cream trini style. Hope it brings back some memories for you too. :-)

Coconut Ice Cream Recipe


Coconut Ice Cream


2 coconut
2 tins evaporated milk (i.e 410g x 2)
4 tins condensed milk (i.e 390g x 4)
1 pk custard (200g)
4 cups water, divided
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mixed essence
2 pks salt (500g)


Add the custard to 2 cups water and stir over low heat.

Continue stirring until the custard thickens.

Make the coconut milk.
Note: Here we’re using the blender method. It would take 2 cups of water to blend the coconut.

Squeeze the coconut through a strainer to collect the coconut milk.
In a large bowl mix the custard, coconut milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk,
cornstarch, sugar and mixed essence.
Note: “But I can’t remember granny using cornstarch in her ice cream recipe! “…..
Although true, cornstarch gives the ice cream a smoother texture and keeps the ice cream unbelievably soft even it has been frozen for a few hours. If only granny knew about cornstarch back then!

Strain the mixture while pouring it into the can. Set the dasher inside.
Fill 3/4 of the can with the mixture.
Place the can inside the pail and assemble the crank.
Add ice and salt and turn the crank until it gets stiff to turn.
Note: This is where the real work starts. Churning the coconut ice cream will take some time and a considerable amount of “elbow grease”, so when you’re making this, let all would be partakers of the ice cream afterward take turns. :-) The ice cream would take about half an hour to make. To further ripen the ice cream just place it in the freezer until it is ready to be served.
Delicious coconut ice cream ready to serve. Serve cold, duh!, or freeze immediately.

I hope you enjoyed this trini coconut ice cream recipe. It is truly a classic. Don’t you agree?

Ah gone! ย Tell us how you make your coconut ice cream.



  1. says

    Yes, it has brought back those shoulder pains, lol. We did this for every family get together as I was growing up. One of my aunts had perfected this recipe but sadly she past away young, before she could give me the recipe.Thanks for bring back a much loved memory

  2. says

    Good evening!
    I found your recipe during my search of Trini style coconut ice cream. yours look delish, so i followed your recipe in grams and it didnt freeze and was very yellow (from the custard powder I suppose!)like the third picture you have of the custard, it remained yellow even with the evaporated milk added. I used my kitchen aid ice cream attachment instead of an old fashion ice cream maker (but that shouldnt make a difference, right?) the question I have for you is, the recipe you have above is that the amount you used to make the ice cream or is it just the package amount. ex: custard powder you have 200g. is that the amount you used or the amount that came in the package?
    Thanks for the link. and i will try try again! :) (I also followed your recipe for cowheel and it was delish!)

  3. says

    It still beats me to where you may have gone wrong. With the milk from two coconuts, almost 5 cups, and the rest of milks, the ice cream should not come out yellow. The custard amount is 200g and because of the corn starch the ice cream will not freeze entirely. It will be firm but smooth.

    This ice cream recipe makes a lot of ice cream. We used a large pail but the kitchen aid attachment would work as well, just that for the amount of ice cream in this recipe, it means that you would have to make it in a few batches. Even with a large pail we still had to do two batches of ice cream.

    I look forward to your reply.

  4. says

    with two coconuts I added 4 cups water (i see now,you only use 2cups) to make the milk. I think that made it watery. I put all ingredients and made one batch, but you came up with two batches. my finish product was watery. no ice cream found. hahahaha! I will try this recipe again, TODAY, damnit! hahaha! let me kno if this is the correct ingredients plz:
    2 coconuts (2cups warm water and grated coconut…..)
    410g evaporate milk
    390g condense milk
    200g custard powder(2cups water)
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    4tbsp sugar
    1tbsp (I used vanilla essence)
    also i didnt realize that the custard would get thick so fast and it got clumpy on me, so i keep whisking it to remove the clumps. it was really thick. can the consistency of the thick custard play a part of my uniced cream?

    thanks sooo much for responding and anticipate your response.

  5. says

    You seem to be on track now. Just to clear up few things…

    First the coconut part…make sure to get two medium sized coconuts chop it up like in the 6th picture then put in the blender with the 2 cups of water then strain to make the milk.

    Then it’s 4 tins of condensed milk and 2 tins evaporated milk, don’t forget that as well. I put the grams to give you an idea of the liquid capacity of the tins used.

    So you see now why we had to make two large batches? That’s a lot of ice cream base to make ice cream.

    With that said I think you should be on your way to making some great coconut ice cream.

    I will certainly like to hear how it comes out :-)

  6. says

    hi felix,
    I’d love to make this for my mom’s bday on monday. We dont have an ice cream pail tho so i was wondering if it wud work jus as well if it’s left to freeze in the refrigerator. can u give me any ideas? thanks alot an great site ^^

  7. says

    OK Avah making ice cream without a pail is simple but will require a bit of work.

    I once got some good advice from an article written by David Lebovitz

    Here are the steps

    1. Chill the ice cream mixture in an ice bath.
    2. Pour mixture in a bowl (plastic, stainless steel)and freeze.
    3. Check after 45 mins…When it starts to freeze around the edges whisk it vigourously and place back in freezer.
    4. Check every 30 mins and whisk vigourously every time.
    5. Continue checking the ice cream stirring every time while the ice cream freezes.

    It will take about 2 – 3 hours to make the ice cream this way but if you’re liming it’s all fun…..And no one’s arm will be hurting them :-)

  8. says

    I broke my mother’s wedding gift Ice cream pail last year, So i’ll be buying an electric one and making her this coconut ice cream for Mother’s Day. Thanks for the recipe.

    Never knew about the custard thing.


  9. says

    Hi Felix I tried your coconut ice cream recipe and and I was wondering 2 things-i do I boil the entire pack of custard in the 2 cups of water, and ii- do I just add the 1/2 cup corn starch to the mixture or do I boil it first. My family loves the Ice cream but I still felt I did not completely understood the method. Looking for to your reply.

  10. says

    Yes you boil the entire pack of custard, it’s only 200 grams which is not much don’t forget to stir it while it’s boiling.

    The cornstarch is to be added when you are mixing the custard, coconut milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk,sugar and mixed essence.

    Hope this helps :-)

  11. Stephen says

    Ay Felix… Question. Can I substitue the coconut milk for a like amount of soursop to make soursop ice cream? Also any other flavor ice cream recipies anytime soon? Link we with some Peanut…Guiness….Soursop….Chocolate nah!!!

  12. Vanda says

    In California and can’t find a recipe book my dad gave to me! It was perfect finding this site to confirm the specifics. My parents brought the tradition here to the states. I too had coconut custard ice cream every special get together in Brooklyn!

  13. Brooklyn-trini says

    Dear Felix, can I use coconut milk from the tin? If so – how many cups should I use for this recipe?


  14. says

    Hi Felix. I simply enjoy every recipe on your website. Thank you for your dedication to keeping Trinidad culture alive!!

  15. sophia says

    Hey FelixI learned a lot from simply trini thank you.I do think that the coconut icecream got to much custard , it came out ok but was sand like with so much custard and tasted like custard ice cream instead of coconut, can you tell me if I can use less.

  16. Claire says

    yes I remember this, always with custard, but these days I make it wtih tinned coconut cream, and living in the uk custard is something everyone can make, plus it goes in the freezer and instead of considerable elbow grease it is beaten in intervals with an electric whisk. simple and very 21st century.

      • shalima says

        Hi Felix I tried your recipe came out really nice… jus one problem it was to yellow for coconut ice cream could I use less custard …

        • says

          Obviously, you didn’t follow the recipe properly 200g of custard is not much for the amount of ice cream this recipe yields. Check what you did and leave a comment again. You can also check the comments to see if it can clear up any other problems you may encounter. I’m here to help.Thank you for you comment. :)

  17. Suresh says

    My wife makes a lot of things from this web site, it all tastes great but I the only problem I have is that she always wants me to help her, isn’t eating it enough????????

  18. Alex says

    this turned out great! took longer than 30 mins in ice cream maker though, i used coconut milk powder about 4 packs instead of whole coconut, but it was really great anyway… wonder how it would taste if i had used grated coconut instead… hmm… probably the same… :)
    but i really look forward for lots more ice cream recipes from you. my only reliable source ๐Ÿ˜€

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