Gluten Free Tropical Dairy-free No Churn Ice Cream Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on June 21, 2009

My husband eyed me suspiciously when I asked if we owned a machete. Apparently he has not forgotten the time I asked if we owned a blowtorch which resulted in repainting the kitchen. Long story…lots of smoke, fire, sirens and such. But that’s a story for another day.

After perfecting this dairy free semifreddo which is made with Cream of Coconut instead of cream I decided the perfect presentation would be to serve the coconut halves. My kitchen knife did not do the job, nor did my cleaver so of course I needed a bigger tool. Or so I thought. He deftly whacked the coconuts in just the right place (after draining the milk) and viola – perfect coconut bowls. No machete required.

Gluten intolerance is often accompanied with an inability to digest dairy so in the spirit of celebrating abundance rather than focusing on scarcity I was determined to come up with an easy, dairy free ice cream alternative. This tropical semifreddo is just the thing to beat the heat. It is creamy and delicious, requires no ice cream maker or special equipment and takes about 3 minutes of actual work.

The trick to making this work is COLD. I refrigerated the Cream of Coconut overnight, put the beaters and mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes and froze the concoction for at least 8 hours.

Gluten Free Tropical Dairy-free No Churn Ice Cream Recipe


1 – 15 ounce can Cream of Coconut
¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup mango nectar


Refrigerate the can of Cream of Coconut and mango nectar overnight. Place a large mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 5 minutes before making the semifreddo.

Put the cold Cream of Coconut to the cold mixing bowl and add the powdered sugar. The Cream of Coconut will be partially solidified at the top and more watery at the bottom, this is normal as the cream part rises to the top and gets more solid. Beat on high speed until the Cream of Coconut gets very thick (like lightly whipped cream) add the mango nectar and mix until well blended. Spoon semifreddo into a plastic or glass container with a snug fitting lid, smooth it down to compact it and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Gluten Free Semifreddo will be a soft, not solid frozen mixture. For best result serve in cold dishes or coconut halves that have been placed in the freezer for a couple hours.


Serves 2-3 people

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Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert
  • Susan @ SGCC

    This looks absolutely dreamy! What a terrific idea, and so easy too. My nephews are gonna love this!

  • kitchentherapy

    Oh, this looks great. When the kids were little we used to drop drained coconuts on the concrete driveway. Or throw down if necessary. They broke, but often not into two bowls. More often into chunks. It is a fun way to get them involved in food prepration. A bit of exercise with that treat. :)

  • taste memory

    perfect – i love coconut….anything coconut and this looks divine minus the dairy!

  • grubsup

    Yum! Will definitely have to give this a try as I adore coconut ice cream but can never find it anywhere!

    Your presentation in the coconut halves is spot on too :)

  • b.

    wow, this is exactly what i've been looking for. i have a big bottle of cream of coconut sitting in my fridge, waiting to be used. i actually can't stand mango, though — any suggestions for a substitute??

  • oneordinaryday

    What a gorgeous presentation. Wonderful!

  • Steph

    I am drooling! I can't wait to make this…now to find some cream of coconut. You are such a great food photographer, I seriously want to mount this picture up on my wall :)

  • gfe–gluten free easily

    Wow, very cool! Pun intended. I bet Mr. GFE would want to use his machete. ;-) I would love some of that right now!


  • veggie wedgie

    This looks so amazing! Beautiful picture.

  • alisa – Frugal Foodie

    Wow, you really outdid yourself with presentation. Glad this one had a better outcome than the blow torch!

  • Wildlime

    This is one of the most delicious things I've seen in a long time. Beautiful presentation!

  • oneordinaryday

    Stunning presentation!!!

  • Can Eat!

    I'm Dairy and Gluten Free and always on the look out for something to satisfy my ice cream cravings – this looks like it might just do the trick! Thank you! Oh and I love your blog – I've added you to my blog roll on Can Eat! :)

  • Melissa

    This looks great. Can you clarify what you mean by Cream of Coconut? Are you referring to the sweetened stuff used by bartenders, or an unsweetened thick coconut milk?

  • Tabitha Teeter

    Your opening lines had me chortling. To this day I am harassed by my husband about using a frying pan and screw driver to open a green coconut. It turns out the pan was aluminum and forever warped after that. In retrospect, I really should’ve gotten out a hammer.

  • RH

    I might try this with frozen banana as a substitute for the sugar.

    • Carol Kicinski

      What a great idea,let me know how it come out!

    • Eeeeeeeeb

      Did this work? Frozen banana?

  • Stickyheels

    Oh I love this! Do you think that if I DID toss it into my icecream maker it would freeze up a bit more? Jut wondering…

    • Carol Kicinski

      I think so…let me know:)

  • Kendal Hoskinson

    I really enjoy the blog article.Thanks Again. Want more.

  • CarolKicinski

    Yes, it worked! Have not used frozen banana but it would be great I should think.

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