Creamy Vanilla Custard Ice Cream – Corn-free,GF,RSF

Pecan Praline Ice Cream
Pecan Praline Ice Cream

This ice cream is rich and creamy but most importantly scoop-able (and sliceable) right from the freezer.

In order to make the ice cream birthday cake recipe I shared with you yesterday, I needed a softer non-dairy ice cream base. Coconut milk is notoriously hard to scoop!

Making the vanilla custard base.
Making the vanilla custard base.

The recipe I came up with is inspired by traditional vanilla custard (non-dairy style) and a tiny part by bulletproof ice cream (blowing the whole non-dairy thing with butter!).

I subbed out my usual agave/honey sweetener for coconut sugar which turns the ice cream a little tan color. I figure if I’m going to heat it up anyway, I may as well go for the healthier (low glycemic) sweetener while I’m at it. I know. Even as I’m typing it, is sounds ridiculous after adding egg yolks and butter. Let’s keep in mind that eggs that come from pastured chickens and butter that comes from grass fed cows IS healthy in a lower carb diet such as ACD and paleo.

The result is the most rich and buttery tasting ice cream I’ve had since my allergy diagnosis. No deprivation happening here!

Pecan Praline Option

Pecan Praline Bars
Pecan Praline Bars

Add about 1/2 cup (or more) of chopped pecan praline bars to the ice cream in the last five minutes of churning.

If you wait to add the pralines as a topping to your ice cream, they will be hard and crunchy. That’s certainly an option. However, if you adding them during the churning, they’ll soften up while the ice cream hardens in the freezer. That forms a slightly gooey carmel coating on the pecans. It reminds me of a certain Texas-based ice cream manufacturer’s praline ice cream that I grew up eating. Good memories!

Chai Chocolate Chip Option

Chocolate-covered Chai Ice Cream Party Balls
Chocolate-covered Chai Ice Cream Party Balls

Add the spice mixture below to the ice cream base before the straining step.

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom

Add 1/2 cup of grated chocolate during the last five minutes of churning. For more options on corn allergy-friendly chocolate, please review my strawberry chocolate party balls recipe.

You can also dip the party balls into chocolate for an ice cream bon bon—a treat unto itself!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Vanilla Custard Ice Cream - Corn-free,GF,RSF
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This coconut milk ice cream is rich and creamy and oh so scoop able right from the freezer!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar or agave
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, optional
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  1. Add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, butter and salt to a medium sauce pan. Heat on low until the coconut sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to a blender. Start the blender and drizzle in a couple of cups of the milk mixture through the blender lid opening. Don't add too much or it will fling hot liquid at you.
  3. Add the blended mixture back to the sauce pan and continue to heat until the custard thickens enough that you can draw a line through it on the back of a spoon.
  4. Add any spices or flavorings at this time but not any chunky stir-ins as they might clog your ice cream maker.
  5. Strain the mixture into a container and refrigerate for 2 hours. Overnight is even better.
  6. Using your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, process the chilled ice cream mixture.
  7. Add in any chunky stir-ins in the last 5 minutes or as directed by your machine's instructions.
  8. Turn the ice cream into an air tight container. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
You can remove the butter for a vegan version.

If you have any difficulty scooping or slicing the ice cream, heat up your disher/knife in a bowl of hot water.


Update 8/6/2014: I’m still experimenting with the texture. The coconut sugar is tricky in this recipe. If it’s not completely dissolved in the base, it will cause graininess in the finished ice cream. I tried substituting agave for coconut sugar and it produces an even softer (non-grainy) texture, which may or may not work for you depending on the application. I wouldn’t make the ice cream birthday cake with the agave version. It would be too hard to slice.

I have one more experiment to try. I’m going to make a coconut sugar “simple syrup” and see if I can get the best of both worlds—lower glycemic and not grainy while maintaining a good texture. I’ll report back once I give it a try!

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