Avocado Coconut Ice Cream

avocado coconut ice cream

When I was younger, we used to go to a restaurant in Los Angeles, the long-gone Scandia. It was one of those places where they would wheel up the salad cart, and toss a big bowl of salad right at your table. Since some members of my family went there a lot, they made a special salad for us, which had lots of finely chopped vegetables in it, as well as little cubes of avocado.

It was always fun for a kid from the sticks of New England to sit in that restaurant, installed in a high-backed booth, watching the celebrities and the hoi-polloi mingle and eat nearby. But as much as I loved the salad, and straining my neck every time someone walked in the door, I couldn’t stand those slippery little green bits in there and would eat around them as politely as I could. Needless to say, nowadays, I can put all those avocados that I missed out on years later, on the same list with all those New England lobster platters that featured twin lobsters for $8.99 that I didn’t order when I was growing up.

3 avocados

Many years in California, many trips to Mexico, and now, many years shopping at the markets in Paris, helped me make up for lost time (well, on the avocados…) and I was thrilled to get a copy of Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin, which is packed with recipes for all sorts of things to do with them, including a bacon guacamole, avocado quiche, and even avocado brownies!

Always looking for excuses to churn up something in my ice cream machine, I zeroed in on Avocado-Coconut Ice Cream, which was incredibly easy to make and merely required a trip to the market to grab a bag of avocados.

avocado coconut ice cream recipe

When I started putting this ice cream together, I began envisioning all sorts of sauces or what-have-you to go over or around it. Then when the churning stopped, I tasted it, and tasted it. And tasted it. Until I realized that is was just right, as it was. All it needed with a little coconut. But if you wanted to douse it with a bit of rum, or caramel sauce, or even espresso, I don’t think you’ll have any regrets years later.

Avocado-Coconut Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart (1l)

Adapted from Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin

For those avoiding dairy, use additional coconut milk in place of the heavy cream.

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados (1-pound, 450g)
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 ounces, 400g)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon rum
  • pinch of salt
  • a squeeze of fresh lime juice

Toasted coconut, for garnish

1. Halve the avocados and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a blender or the bowl of a food processor.

2. Add the coconut milk, heavy cream, sugar, rum, salt, and lime juice, and puree until completely smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly.

3. Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve scoops garnished with toasted coconut.


Related Links

How to Make Ice Cream without a Machine

Ice Cream Makers: Buying an Ice Cream Machine

83 comments

  • That scoop looks soooo lucious!! I’ve been reading through my copy of Absolutely Avocados as well. I have avocados sitting on my countertop destined for a caesar dressing. I also have this ice cream bookmarked.

  • Beautiful! I always trust you when it comes to ice-cream David! So I might just have to give this gorgeous green ice a try.

  • I was just in LA and picked up a copy of Gaby Dalkin’s Absolute Avocados which is beautifully photographed by Matt Armendariz. As avocados are one of my favourite foods, I was thrilled to read through all the facts and tempting recipes in it. I eat avocados almost every day when I get the chance, but they just don’t taste so good by the time to get to Provence, not creamy like the ones in LA which I buy by the bagful when I’m there.. Only solution is I think I’m going to have to plant my own tree.

  • Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I buy avocados in bulk and usually eat them on toast or pureed in chocolate mousse. Could always use more ideas.

  • I’ve been a bit obsessed with researching avocado desserts lately, so I was more than a little excited to see this recipe! Going to give the non-dairy version a try. Thanks.

  • Decadent but delicious sounding.. Even though the calorie count looks to be sky high I will have to make this wonderful recipe — love your toasted coconut addition.

  • I love avocados, I adore the taste of coconut, and ice cream is one of my favorite desserts but, somehow, I just can’t imagine them all together. I’m not into weird-to me-ice creams like basil which I think should stay in pestos and the like. But I have to say, I might give this ice cream a try. Who knows what I’ve been missing?

  • jeez, it`s almost no work! love it) love avocados, thick enough to switch for the traditional ice cream base)

  • Avocado for an ice cream ???… Wahou… To be honest, I’m not sure to try it :D
    But I like people as you who don’t fear new experience like this ! :D

  • Good idea! My parents have a few avocado trees and sometimes I don’t know what to do with so many. I will try this recipe and will take a look to that book also. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • That sounds delicious. I notice that you also give decimal weights in your recipes here do you also do that in your books?

  • Looks gorgeous! I’m definitely bookmarking this for future. If you are avoiding the heavy (or double as we say cream) how much extra coconut milk would you recommend please? Thanks very much! Ceri

    • Hi Ceri: I would just replace the 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup coconut milk ~ or there is something called ‘coconut cream‘ which is closer to heavy cream, and you can use that if it’s available as well.

  • Thank you, David for giving the weight for the avocados! So many recipes tell you the number of fruit but don’t realize that the sizes of avocados and other fruits in general vary so greatly across the world! I can get 1 avocado that’s about 1 pound by itself! Thank you!

  • FYI…Avocado was never considered a side dish or vegetable in most of southeast Asia, it was always considered as a dessert typically served over shaved ice and evaporated milk with sugar. In the Philippines, avocado is a major ice cream flavor. I’m surprised it’s not more common. You can easily find it at Michell’s Ice Cream in the mission area of SF.

  • Only you can make avocado ice cream look this enticing!

  • This ice cream is seriously my dream! LOVE this flavour!

  • Espresso, that´s the most interesting flavor idea I heard for avocados lately! They´re quite the rage in baking, though I´ve yet to try them. The idea of coconut milk is brilliant, as is rum as an extract almost. A recipe to try, for sure.

  • this time you can’t get me interested – not even with those luscious wonderful creamy steamy ultra-cool photos :)
    i have no problem to think of coconut icecream but avocado…. nope – but i shall be reading with interest what your readers think. one thing is sure; you always come up with a new idea and your posts are always tast(y)eful
    thanks – as ever

  • SCANDIA, I MISS THIS RESTAURANT SO VERY MUCH.

  • Yum! I just made cherry vanilla ice cream this week (dairy free-with coconut milk), it was a hit with my kids. Not so sure how avocado will go over with them, but I’m excited to try it. :-)

  • We rarely get great avocados on the East coast, but this month has been great. I am in!! On the agenda for tonight!

    And look out Paris, I’ll be cutting you in line with my basket in just 8 weeks!

  • This ice cream looks amazing! The green color is gorgeous. I have never had avocado ice cream, but I bet it is just delicious, and so creamy!

  • It’s funny, I was actually thinking the other day how delicious avocado icecream would be, especially if it was made with coconut milk. I love avocados in dessert!

  • Yes please!!! I love avocado in coffee milkshakes – sublime!

  • Genius, you.

  • This combination sounds very much like what you would get in Indonesia (and anywhere that serves proper Indonesian food). In Southeast Asia it comes in the form of a shake or smoothie, called Jus Alpukat or Avocado Juice in English, but really it’s an avocado blended with coconut milk, and drizzled copiously with palm sugar syrup. So this sounds like a brilliant ice cream version! That I’m going to also drizzle copiously with palm sugar syrup (and the palm sugar in Southeast Asia is DARK caramel brown, not like light brown sugar, yumm)….
    Thank you for sharing David! Absolutely love your blog and your books. :)

  • I’ve never been sold on avocado ice cream but avocado coconut? You might just have something there…

  • I loved Scandia–along with Chasen’s, both dearly departed, our special occasion restaurants in L.A. Have you been to Joan’s on Third in L.A., David? They feature a super ice cream from Portland, Oregon, Salt and Straw (but you don’t have to wait in line!)

  • I share your childhood aversion to avocados in salad, but, unlike you, I have never gotten over my distaste for avocado. It’s the taste. It’s the texture. It’s the color. It’s the whole deal. So you will be enjoying this ice cream with others.

  • Ah, Scandia. I still make their gravadlax with the wonderful dill sauce. My husband had his Bar Mitzvah luncheon there long before I met him, and I had my my high school celebration dinner there.

  • Karen, Shellie, Sue: Scandia was pretty great and such a time and place, that can’t be repeated. I remember someone bought the place when the family sold it (I think the father died?) and it wasn’t the same and folks stopped going.

    Safira: I bought something a while back at an Asian shop in Paris called coconut syrup, which I think is palm sugar syrup. I’m going to try it with this ice cream – thanks for the prod!

    • Hi again! I don’t normally comment on blogs, if at all, and never have I done a follow up comment (also in reference to Beth’s comment)! But I just want to add that yes, palm sugar is often labelled as coconut sugar, though I don’t think it has anything to do with coconut besides pairing with it really well; I have tried a granulated form of coconut sugar from Bali and realized its the same as the palm sugar i have in my fridge, just milder. If you also find what is called Gula Melaka/Malaaca, this is also the same thing! Even if it appears in rather unwieldy cylindrical blocks (but which turn to syrup really easily, like cane sugar but less temperamental…however be sure to strain it because you may find natural..um, by-products, like a big tropical ant, or bee, or small twigs..). Be warned the darker blocks are very oomph-y! I followed your suggestion in your book, (or blog?) to use it in coconut ice cream, yours looked sort of ivory-coloured, mine looked like coffee ice cream, and became more like a Gula Melaka ice cream with a touch of coconut, rather than the other way round! good, but not intended! ;). Have a good weekend!

  • I trust you always know what you’re doing…this does look luscious. The color is so pretty, and with toasted coconut and a drizzle of rum, my goodness!

  • Hi David-
    LOVE your blog and this ice cream looks delicious! I was wondering if you would mention what kind of ice cream machine you use. I have been looking for one. Thanks!!

    • I use a Cuisinart ICE-50. It’s been replaced by a newer model which isn’t available in Europe, so I haven’t tried it. I did a write up a while back on ice cream machines, which I linked to at the end of the post for more information & some tips on picking a machine.

  • I was so surprised in Brazil that avocado milkshakes were a popular flavor..then I tasted it. Out of this world delish. So creamy…

  • Ah…Scandia. That was my parent’s go-to place for special occasions. During their first years as a married couple they’d celebrate their anniversaries there with a lunchtime splurge. Far more affordable than dinner. More than 50 years later they still recall those meals and reminisce over a much-missed restaurant.

  • Oh delish. Thanks so much for posting this. My local ice cream guy, who sadly has left town, made this last summer with a bit of ginger and it was one of my favorites. So smooth, so unexpected.

  • OK- so made it tonight, it is to die.

    I have to say I have been a bit timid to try the unconventional flavors in your book- just uncertain I guess. However, as I mentioned with the avocados being so darn good right now, I jumped in with this post.

    It is so smooth and creamy. The additional flavors are delightful. I did use the light coconut milk and it worked nicely. I also tend to be a bit heavy handed with the EtOH (rum) as I do prefer it a bit soft and like the flavor, so that worked out nicely as well.

    Thanks for posting, and thus nudging me on…. back to the book now!!

  • Finally, ice cream!!! You left us icecream-less last summer.

    BTW, the recipe looks great, here in Brazil avocados are seen as a sweet fruit, we often eat it with condensed milk. Brazilians at first find it odd that avocados are eaten in spicy/savory dishes in its native Mexico.

  • Just made this tonight – delicious! Used coconut sugar instead of regular cane sugar, all coconut milk instead of coconut milk/cream combo, and added a touch of vanilla. My Cuisinart electric ice cream maker left a creamy pile in the middle and frozen flat icy shards stuck to the sides-not sure how to fix this, but the ice cream itself is so luscious I will definitely be making it again and again. Thanks David!

  • Hi, David,

    I just made the Aztec “Hot” Chocolate Ice Cream from “The Perfect Scoop”. OMG!! That ice cream will now be the daily dairy component in my diet!!! I plan to work my way through that cookbook!

    Thanks for all of your recipes. I’ve made several and all have been hits!

    Linda

  • such a beautiful, restful colour
    perfect accompaniment: lazing on the patio

  • Here in the Philippines, avocados are in season during the monsoon months. Avocado ice cream is commercially available and they’re of good quality. I love it!

  • I was convinced by your descriptions in the Perfect Scoop to make avocado ice cream. Everyone was like WTF avocado ice cream. But I made it anyway. Sadly no one really liked it. Everyone thought it was just strange. Oh well. At least we tried, each to their own.

  • David, as an indefatigable ice pop maker in summer months, my wife has forwarded this recipe to me with the challenge to try to make a batch in ice pop molds. I have yet to research the matter of successfully converting ice cream recipes to ice pop treats (and there in fact may be no issue), yet I thought I might ask you if you know of some modifications that I might want to make to the recipe. TIA for any guidance you can provide!

    • You can generally just reduce the sugar in ice cream mixtures by up to 50%, or to taste, to make popsicles out of them. In this case, I would also use milk (low-fat or even non-fat) to make them even firmer. Happy licking!

  • Scandia! Miss it too! Wish there was a ‘golden
    oldie’ section of restaurants just like music.
    Thanks for sharing your memory.

  • Yahoo, an ice cream without eggs! Dollar wise 2 avocados won’t break the budget for the ice cream, but a whole book of avocado recipes? Seriously, I’d have to get another job to afford the avocados. How does one afford it?

  • I’m almost fanatical in my love for good ice cream, but I have a difficult time with avocado (it’s a texture thing, I guess). I’d certainly give this a go, though, to see if it breaks the spell for me. Also, I’d get to stare at that beautiful color…

  • Ahhh Scandia, what a great LA place. Did you know they were once “shut down” for re-serving butter pats….even though the butter pats were wrapped in foil. Thanks for all your posts, I live vicariously through you. :)

    • That’s interesting, because restaurants often serve butter in wrapped pats because they can be re-used (I worked in a place where the owner figured out it was more economical to buy the more expensive pre-wrapped pats than throw away all the leftover butter on the plates.) I was thinking there used to be an old “Life” cookbook – whose name I can’t remember – that had some great color pictures of the restaurant. The book had a big orange and red cover.

  • Is avocado a fruit…or a vegetable? A timeless question for the philosophers, but not to my Filipina wife. Filipinos take the damn thing and add cream and sugar, pop it I to the freezer for awhile, and nummy nums is the result.

    I’ll stick to guacamole, thanks.

    But since I recently got an ice cream maker and I love my wife (though not avocado ice cream), I guess I should give it a whirl.

  • Avocados are considered fruits. Broadly speaking, anything with seeds inside – such as squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, berries (although strawberries have their seeds on the outside) – are fruits. However they often get called vegetables because they are used in savory dishes, depending on the culture.

  • I had to try this because the idea of avocado in icecream seemed really off to me. I made this without using an ice cream maker and the texture came out very smooth and creamy. I substituted Malibu for the rum. Flavor of the ice cream was more coconutty. Could not taste avocado but it did seem to add a nice tropical background. I would definitely try avocado in other ice cream mixes.

  • I’ve been seeing a lot of dessert recipes using avocado as the named ingredient lately. Can’t wait to see some of the recipes people come up with. It can get pretty wacky!

  • I too miss Scandia. It was a regular hangout for us, a place to go for supper after a hockey game, whatever. The maitre’d and captains all knew my husband, so it was very homey. Steak tartare made at tabeside by a favorite captain was my special treat. And of course gravadlaks (sp?) and iced vodka. Yum.

    The butter thing did have to do with unwrapped butter. They put out butter in shapes; had to change – reluctantly – to those weird little foil wrapped pats. That was not their style, but….

    As for avocados, Angela. Those buttery avocados you get in Los Angeles are probably Hass. Thickish pebbly skin that turns squite dark. Wonderful. A native Californian, I found out the hard way that although avocados may be available here year-round, all avocados are not created equal. Each has its season. And those that are brought in to fill in for Hass are not as rich in oil and often haven’t the rich taste and buttery texture. We used to grow Fuertes, which were wonderful, but they don’t ship well – and now shipping life is paramount. Growing avocados is not a slamdunk. One year you may have a bumper crop; another you may have only a few. Tricky. If you are thinking of trying to grow them, live in a place like Southern California that has a long growing season and research the varieties for the best choice for your area and for taste and texture. You may decide to go with the market after all. :-)

  • I just made this. It barely made it from my ice cream maker to the freezer. So subtle and fresh.

  • I made this with coconut cream for the heavy cream, and replaced the rum with coconut extract as my 5 year old daughter is allergic to dairy and although what harm one teaspoon can do better to avoid rum.

    Beautifully creamy and refreshing. Thanks David.

  • I use coconut milk a lot and have encountered a lot of variation in the fat content. I could show you half a dozen cans all called simply coconut liquid or milk [NOT cream] with fat ranging from 2% to 15%! The 15% is about the same as cans of coconut cream – 15% to 20%. Having seen so much variation, I am wondering how a lower [or higher fat percentage would have on the ice cream flavor or texture.

    Sp please, what % of fat does your can of coconut milk have?

  • Bebe: Ok, that makes sense about the butter. Odd they got in trouble for that since it was somewhat standard practice to serve butter cut into shapes (and served on those stainless-steel iced little vessels! That was kind of a real “era” in dining, with tableside service and so for. In some ways, very southern California with salads tossed tableside. In San Francisco, they still do it at House of Prime Rib, which is a lot of fun…and a lot of food!

    Rochelle: I’ve not seen fat percentages marked on cans of coconut milk, but there is something called ‘Lite’ coconut milk, which has a lot of the fat strained out. (It’s usually 30-50% lower in fat.) It’ll make a much firmer, icier ice cream if you use that. I’m not so good at math, but most coconut milk has 17g – 24g fat for 100ml.

  • I read you post yesterday and suddenly HAD to run to Terre Adelice (best ice cream in Lyon) to taste some avocado ice cream only to discover they don’t have that flavor. They have bacon, tomato, bell pepper, goat cheese, but no avocado : (
    I ended up getting sesame, which made me think of you, your previous posts on Tel Aviv and Beirut, and your sorbetiere. You have to try it out with tahini! It made me swoon so hard I hit the ground!

  • David, I honestly don’t remember Scandia’s being “shut down” for the butter thing. Just smacked and of course the local papers wrote about it. Many of our favorite restaurants served butter in shapes or in little ceramic pots. All of that went away. And the foil-wrapped tablets arrived. Ugh.

    The Food Nazis are everywhere…

  • Lawry’s Prime Rib was one of the pioneers – if not THE pioneer – of the tableside salad tossing, with their “spinning salad bowl”. Lawrence Frank, the founder, was highly innovative. His encasing of a prime rib in salt for roasting was another innovation. And the silver carts that still bring the prime rib to tableside for carving.

  • I’ve been obsessed with sorbets lately (just made a gorgeous pink grapefruit and gin that is irresistible even though it’s freezing winter here in Australia) but this looks so good I think I’ll have to take a sorbet break to give it a go! I’m thinking it might be amazing with some pistachios added too – the flavor is really good with avocado because it’s that ‘similar but different’ thing, plus the green and green combo would look beautiful!

  • Looks wonderful and would have hit the spot last week. Just returned from the Paris and its heat wave. Loved G. Detou!

  • Look what you’ve gone and done. Picked the 2 best flavours in the world, and put them together. In ice cream form! And then a book just of avocados recipes. Is it Christmas? Thank you, this is beautiful.

  • I live in Carpinteria surrounded by Avocado orchards. We have Avocado Festival every October in which McConnell’s Avocado Ice Cream is served every year.

    http://www.mcconnells.com/

    I grew up on Avos and have to say they are one of my favorite foods that I eat almost daily. This recipe looks awesome-I will definitely try it.

  • I have never commented on a blog before (I usually just like to lurk in the background) but I actually made this ice cream last night! So with much anticipation I arose this morning to sneak into the freezer and try some before breakfast. It is DELICIOUS! Thanks David xx

  • Coconut milk makes for absolutely silky smooth ice cream and gelato. And though I love the flavor of avocado, they give me a nasty stomach ache. That being said, one of the best gelato’s I ever made was an avocado lime. I couldn’t eat it, but it got rave reviews.

  • Absolutely delicious! I used only coconut milk and replaced the sugar with medjool dates. Turned out fantastic! It took me quite some time to get used to avocados being used as a savory item in dishes (I come from Brazil where it’s treated as a fruit) but now I love it both ways. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • I don’t have an ice cream maker, so I didn’t make my own ice cream until now. Avocado ice cream. It looked and sounded so delicious, it made me curious. My first batch I mad with palm sugar and cream. Delicious. Everyone loved it. The second batch I made with honey and olive oil instead of the cream (only a smaller amount than the cream). This second batch was even more delicious, fruity and light. Thank you, David, for this wonderful recipe and … I’m converted to making my own ice cream, even if it’s killing my waistline.

  • Hi,

    The weight of the avocados is before pitting? It’s not 450g of avocado flesh right? I can’t wait to try. To serve, i am going to make a palm sugar syrup!!

    • Weights in ingredient lists always refer to the entire fruit or vegetable. If pulp (or flesh) is called for in an ingredient list, that would be indicated, ie: 8 ounces avocado pulp.

  • Our nine member cooking club had a dinner last night. Dessert was your avocado ice cream with toasted coconut. It was wonderful. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration.

  • Sorry fro the cooking “newbie” question – I would love to make this recipe but I’m not sure what you mean by “heavy cream”. Thank you!

    Check out this post: What is heavy cream? -dl

  • To Rinnoo; Yes, it sounds strange. But, it is more than interesting. It is wonderful. Give it a shot. Go for it. You and your guests will be amazed.

  • I have made many of your recipes, from your Blog and from The Perfect Scoop, and have never been disappointed . . . until now. I like avocados and coconut but found this to be a bit muddy, not clearly tasting of either. I’ll stick with your own recipes, which are unfailingly excellent. Special thanks for your Ginger Ice Cream, which I make Philadelphia style to universally fantastic reviews!

  • Wow, this looks wonderful! Light and summery, and the idea that it’s full of good fats would likely make it all the more enjoyable.

  • Hi David,

    I just made this recipes last night with all canned coconut milk. Everything looked and tasted great, but when I froze it it turned rock hard. I didn’t use the rum, could this be the reason?

    Thanks!