Lemon coconut ice cream is tart, creamy, and packed full of toasted coconut flakes and toasted macadamia nuts. Because it's made with coconut milk it's dairy-free (and vegan)!

Lemon Coconut Ice Cream with Toasted Macadamia Nuts (Dairy-Free)

Lemon coconut ice cream is tart, creamy, and packed full of toasted coconut flakes and toasted macadamia nuts. Because it’s made with coconut milk – it’s dairy-free (and vegan)!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 44 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 317kcal
Author Alyssa


  • 3 cups full-fat coconut milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
  • 2 1/2 tsp lemon zest (from 2ish lemons)
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, toasted then chopped


For the toasting:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Place coconut flakes on one sheet and macadamia nuts on the other in single layers. Toast for 5-10 minutes, or until the coconut flakes and macadamia nuts are golden brown and are just becoming fragrant. I put them on two different sheets in case one was done before the other. Set aside to cool completely.

For the ice cream:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup coconut milk and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 3/4 cups coconut milk, sugar and agave nectar to a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is all smooth. Let the coconut milk mixture reach a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Let boil for 3-4 minutes and then whisk in the reserved coconut milk/cornstarch mixture. Let it all come to a boil again and cook for an extra 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Pour mixture into a large plastic bag (or two) and seal. Place bag in a large bowl containing ice water and a bunch of ice cubes for 40-45 minutes, or until mixture is thoroughly chilled. You may wish to replenish the ice to maintain a chilly temperature.
  • As the mixture is chilling, chop toasted coconut flakes and macadamia nuts into smaller pieces. To make this step easier, I placed the macadamia nuts in a food processor and pulsed until they were broken up into small pieces.
  • Once the coconut milk mixture is well chilled, pour into ice cream maker and prepare according to instructions. Mix in toasted coconut and macadamia nut pieces when instructed. This was about 10-15 minutes into churning for me.
  • Once ice cream has thickened (it will still be soft), transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least a few hours to harden.


Prep time contains 45 minutes of inactive time for the ice bath.
Keep a watchful eye when the coconut and macadamia nuts are toasting as they can go from perfectly golden-brown to burnt in a short amount of time.
As lemon coconut ice cream will harden in the freezer, remove for a few minutes or more before serving so it will soften enough to scoop.


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.1g | Protein: 3.1g | Fat: 25.9g | Saturated Fat: 19.3g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 3.2g | Sugar: 16.8g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.