tropical ice cream
tropical ice cream

How to Make Creamy Tropical Ice Cream with Coconut Milk

With 3 tropical ice cream flavors and tons of tips for making homemade ice cream, the only question you'll be asking is which one to try out first! Check out the notes and see how much banana, mango, or pineapple you need.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

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Recipe Rundown

Which tropical ice cream has your cravings kicking in: banana, mango, or pineapple?

mango ice cream, banana ice cream, and pineapple ice cream served in a pineapple

I set out to thoroughly refresh my taste buds with some mango ice cream and ended up with the most incredible ice cream sundae. Go me!

See, once you see how easy and delicious homemade ice cream is, there’s no turning back. You will want every conceivable flavor.

Why You May Want To Churn Your Own Ice Cream

Quality. Quality. Quality. When you churn your own ice cream, what comes out of that machine is incredibly smooth, tender, and creamy. There’s no need for fillers or additives when you’re eating the fresh stuff. This is something you only get with just churned ice cream.

People who might benefit:

  • If you have dietary preferences (paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free) or are cutting down on processed ingredients or refined sugars.
  • If you garden and regularly have seasonal ingredients you want to experience.
  • You fancy yourself an ice cream connoisseur and want the very best.
mango and pineapple ice cream

What’s in tropical ice cream?

Made with real mangos, bananas, and pineapple, you will be amazed by the fresh flavor of each of these tropical ice creams. Instead of heavy cream, there’s full fat, canned coconut milk for a rich flavor that compliments the tropical ingredients.

I used a natural sweetener (honey), but you could easily use maple syrup or agave instead. If you have questions about specific sweeteners, please leave me a comment below.

Speaking of sweetness, how do you like your ice cream? I ask because a couple of people have found my lemon custard ice cream a tad tart.

Can I increase the sugar in this recipe?

In my household, I try to keep sugar to a minimum. I want just enough to give the ice cream the proper smooth consistency but not much more than that. So, if you want to increase the sweetness, you can easily do this without it impacting the consistency of the ice cream.

Ingredient Tip: Be sure to use really ripe fruit for the best, natural sweet flavor.

Why is there alcohol in this ice cream recipe?

Let me say that alcohol is not necessary if you plan on eating the ice cream same day (or next day). Where alcohol plays an important role in ice cream is with extended freezes. Alcohol prevents ice crystals from building up and gives ice cream a really pliable texture.

Technique Tip: If you’re dealing with ice crystals, I sometimes like to let my ice cream melt a bit on the counter. Usually, this improves the texture quite a bit.

Alcohols That I Recommend for Tropical Ice Cream Flavors

While vodka is a safe, neutral choice, I really like the tikki vibe of rum. While I like 2 teaspoons to let the fruit flavor shine through, you could increase to 1 tablespoon for more of a boozy flavor.

Which Ice Cream Machine Do I Recommend

I recommend whichever ice cream machine you have! If you are shopping for an ice cream machine, I generally recommend people start with a 1 1/2 quart plus size freezable base such as this Cuisinart.

I started with a similar model, and while the freeze takes about 20 minutes (more or less depending on the temperature of your kitchen), it’s pretty effective. The one down-side of these machines, is that you can only make 1 flavor at a time. You have to freeze the base for a minimum of 24 hours in-between churns.

Banana vs Pineapple vs Mango

I honestly recommend you try all three flavors. I especially loved them all together. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be pineapple. My husband preferred the mango. The main difference between the recipes is the amount of sweetness needed, which I adjusted depending on the fruit (*see recipe notes).

Tips for Mango Ice Cream

Be sure to select ripe mangoes and include both the flesh and the juice. I like to squeeze the core/seed over a bowl to remove the mango juice. Regardless of the variety of mango you use, be sure you have about 3 cups for the best flavor.

mango, honey, and coconut milk

Tips for Pineapple Ice Cream

Choose a really ripe pineapple and remove the flesh with a metal ice cream scoop. Save the remaining pineapple skin and serve ice cream out of it for a real tropical vibe.

pineapple with ice cream scoop

Tips for Banana Ice Cream

Bananas should be fully ripe for the best banana flavor. You might even want to decrease the amount of sweetener in the recipe to 1/4 cup because bananas are so naturally sweet by themselves.

More Ice Cream Recipes

Be sure to vote for your favorite flavor below and send me a picture of your ice cream on Instagram @thefrayedapron.

Tropical Ice Cream (Banana-Pineapple-Mango)

With 3 tropical ice cream flavors and tons of tips for making homemade ice cream, the only question you'll be asking is which one to try out first! Check out the notes and see how much banana, mango, or pineapple you need.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: aip, banana, coconut milk, gluten free, ice cream, mango, paleo, pineapple, tropical, vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 78kcal
Author: Chef Sara Furcini


  • fresh mango, pineapple, or banana please see notes at bottom of recipe for quantities
  • 1 14-oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup sweetener* such as honey, agave, or maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 tsp rum optional


  • In a blender, combine the fruit, coconut milk, sweetener, salt, and rum (if using). Blend on high until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into the frozen base of your ice cream maker.
  • Follow the instructions of your ice cream machine manufacturer. Churn until you have a frozen, soft-serve consistency. Serve as-is or freeze for an additional 4 hours for a scoop-able consistency. To freeze: transfer to a container and top with plastic wrap directly touching the ice cream. Wrap tightly to prevent freezer burn.


Mangoes: You will need 3 large mangoes, weighing approximately 2 1/2 pounds, for 3 cups of juices + flesh.
Pineapple: You will need 1 large pineapple, weighing approximately 1 pound 12 ounces, for 3 1/2 cups flesh + juice.
Banana: You will need 6 medium bananas, weighing approximately 1 pound 3 ounces; If you plan on making this flavor, please consider reducing the sweetness in the recipe to 1/4 cup. I’ve found that bananas are naturally sweet and require less sweetener than other tropical fruits.


Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1339IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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Y the Wait
Y the Wait
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing this recipe

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