Toasted Coconut Gelato

August 23, 2009

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

When I was young I loved the texture of the coconut chocolates sold at the Fannie Mae kiosks in the local mall. The coconut was very finely cut and all throughout the chocolate. The texture was sublime. I wanted to recreate that sensation in an ice cream that was as rich as I remembered that confection to be. If you don't have a vanilla bean use extract. In order for it to be the right texture though, you have to have (unsweetened) desiccated coconut. Leaving the untoasted coconut in the base overnight really intensifies the coconut flavor. - NicoleCLang


Food52 Review: Coconut ice creams are often too rich and too sweet -- not this one! NicoleCLang's toasted coconut gelato hits all the right notes: with layers of fresh and toasted coconut, the freckling of vanilla bean and a milk custard that keeps it all nimble. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 2 cups desiccated coconut (1 cup toasted)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
In This Recipe


  1. Toast one cup of the coconut in an oven at 350 until golden, stirring 2 or 3 times to get it evenly browned. In a bowl combine sugar and eggs, stir until incorporated.
  2. Heat milk and vanilla bean over med heat, add sugar/egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of the (non toasted) coconut. When mixture is thick and glossy and coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and cool. Keep in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight if you can.
  3. When you are ready to freeze the mixture, strain out the vanilla bean and coconut. Discard. Pour into ice cream maker and follow the instructions for the model, When it reaches the consistency of soft serve add the toasted coconut. Put into a container and freeze until ready to eat.

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Reviews (10) Questions (4)

10 Reviews

suziqcu July 1, 2018
Still wondering how it tastes, or freezes using coconut milk instead of dairy. Anyone tried?
Melanie July 2, 2014
Should I use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?<br />
Author Comment
NicoleCLang July 2, 2014
unsweetened desiccated
Maria C. April 3, 2013
This looks delicious, I think I may get on a roll
DMACK July 14, 2011
Anyone out there tried making this with SOdelicious vanilla flav. Coconut Milk?
DMACK July 14, 2011
anyone tried making this recipe w/ SO Delicious Vanilla flav. Coconut Milk???
Aebell99 June 21, 2011
Really easy to make and very tasty. Maybe a little sweet, but I wasn't sure whether reducing the amount of sugar would make the gelato too hard when it froze. Will experiment with it.
dfwfoodie July 17, 2010
WOW ! Made this last night. Not only is it EASY it is delish ! Not too sweet with the pure delight of coconut in every bite ! yummers ! will be making this one again!
nannydeb December 2, 2009
I made this for myself for my birthday and it was delish! Of course, everyone else (even those who said that they didn't like coconut) gobbled it up. I'll make this one again!
likestocooklovestoeat October 22, 2009
Holy cow, was this good - rich, coconutty deliciousness!