This is the time of year that most of us are craving a breath of fresh air, a bit more sunlight and some warmth in our lives.  If you are like me and believe that ice cream knows no season, then this ice cream can help answer your winter blues.  One of my girlfriends and I have been doing movie nights lately.  Once the kids are in bed we get together for a chick flick, girl talk and some sort of sweet treat.  Last week we watched 50 First Dates because I thought the tropical setting would go perfectly with the ice cream.  (By the way, I love that movie!  I’ve seen it so many times but it never gets old.)

I have been wanting to try this particular flavor combination for a long time.  What I actually did was take toasted coconut ice cream and marble it with pineapple sorbet.  I mean, I like coconut but probably not enough to eat plain coconut ice cream, especially when I could be eating chocolate instead :)  The addition of the bright and fruity pineapple sorbet was a nice counterbalance to the creamy coconut and definitely reminiscent of one of my favorite frozen drinks.  I think this would actually work well both ways; either layered together as I did, or simply with both the ice cream and sorbet bases added to the ice cream maker at the same time to give a homogeneous mixture of the two.  It really just depends on whether you would prefer blended flavors, or whether you might enjoy a bite of pineapple and then a bite of coconut.  Whatever floats your boat – just go with it!


For the toasted coconut ice cream:
1 cup dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
1 tbsp. light rum (optional) or ½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the pineapple sorbet:
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
8-10 tbsp. sugar
½ cup water


  • 01

    To make the toasted coconut ice cream batter, heat the coconut in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown.  In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt.  Mix in the toasted coconut.  Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the milk, and add the pot to the saucepan.  Heat until the mixture is warmed through.  Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

  • 02

    Rewarm the coconut-milk mixture.  Set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the coconut-infused liquid into the bowl, pressing down with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible.  Return the strained milk mixture to the now empty saucepan.  Discard the coconut and vanilla bean pod.  Wipe out the now empty bowl and add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to the bowl.  Replace the mesh strainer over the bowl.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture back to the saucepan.  Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, reading 170-175˚ F on an instant read thermometer (do not go above 180˚ F!)  Remove from the heat and pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the heavy cream.  Mix in the rum or vanilla.  Let cool, then chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

  • 03

    To make the pineapple sorbet batter, combine the pineapple, sugar and water in a blender or food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

  • 04

    To finish the ice cream, freeze both the coconut ice cream batter and the pineapple sorbet batter in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Alternatively, freeze the batters one at a time in an ice cream maker and spread in alternating layers in a freezer-safe storage container.


  • Delicious! :)

  • Passing this on to my hubby who is the ice cream maker in our house. I would love this!!!!!

  • Wait – some people think ice cream has a season? ;-). I eat it year-round, and this tropical inspired one looks amazing. How can you go wrong with pineapple and coconut mixed together?!

  • I need an ice cream maker NOW! :)

  • Mmm this sounds fabulous! What a lovely summery treat!

  • Dalia

    Hi Annie, how do you ensure the egg yolks do not scramble when you pour the warm coconut mixture over them. I had a bad experience with the pistachio ice cream, the end flavor waas eggy!

  • Rachel

    Oh, my goodness, I’ve loved all your recipes and I’m so excited about this! My hubby got an ice cream maker for Christmas, and I am a MAJOR pina colada lover, so THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I know I will love this!

  • Annie

    The thermometer is key. Don’t go above 175 or 180 and you’ll never scramble the eggs.

  • Oh dear…we’re in trouble…combining our love of ice cream and fruity tropical drinks?! Yikes. And YUM.

  • I love making ice cream and have a bunch of different flavors on my site, but oddly, never thought to create this one – will give it a try soon. You might like my lemon lime and want to try it!

  • looks yummy! just not a fan of coconut…

  • I haven’t made homemade ice cream in a while. I think I will have to bust out the ice cream maker just to make this delicious ice cream concoction!

    I absolutely love 50 First Dates too!

  • I love that movie too! And I’m totally craving summer flavors!

  • Wonderful flavor!

  • yes please!! This looks amazing

  • How timely! I’ve been on an ice cream making kick lately (pg craving) and I was just thinking about pina colada ice cream with hot fudge- and I’m going to make some this weekend!

  • I can’t wait to try this!

  • That sounds absolutely amazing. I love pina colada’s, they are so refreshing.

  • What a great idea to combine them! I love your ice cream glasses – where did you get them?

  • LOVE THIS! Coconut Ice Cream! Girl, you are amazing! Thank you!

  • Annie

    They were my mom’s. I don’t know where she got them.

  • Wow this ice cream looks delicious! What a great recipe and definitely puts me in the tropical mood. Is it summer yet? Thanks for sharing!

  • I got an ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid for my birthday and haven’t been able to use it much. This looks like a great recipe to get on my way. Thanks!

  • Sarah

    I made this last night in an attempt to pull myself out of the winter blahs…it was SO GOOD and it definitely did put me in a summer mood! I even had a little bowl for breakfast this morning ;)

  • Patti S

    Annie, could I substitute coconut milk for the coconut infused milk mixture? Or do you think the flavor would better by infusing the milk with the coconut?

    Thanks! My son, even though he doesn’t like actual coconut, wants pina colada cupcakes and ice cream for his 21st birthday. :)

  • Annie

    It’s probably best to stick with the recipe as is, because it was designed to be best with these ingredients. I trust David Lebovitz completely and I’m sure he tested it with coconut milk as well. Enjoy!

  • Patti S

    Thanks Annie. I’ll try it as is.

  • tara sz

    I made this and loved it! I blended the 2bases together in the ice cream maker and thought they were great. I ended up saving my vanilla bean and making vanilla coconut sugar. I used some of my coconut the next day in my oatmeal (yummy!) and ended up mixing the rest back in after I churned the ice cream and it was wonderful. Thanks for a great recipe!!!!!