Make Ahead

Coco Helado (Puerto Rican Coconut Sorbet)

June 28, 2024
6 Ratings
Photo by Elvin Abril
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 8 hours
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Growing up in New York City, the flavors of Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America were never too far away, and the hot weather always brought out ice cream trucks, Italian ice storefronts, piragua stands (frío frío to our Dominican cousins), and the famous Delicioso Coco Helado carts. The coco helado served from this cart is closer to an Italian ice/sorbet than an ice cream, with a creamy yet icy and gritty texture. Mango, cherry, piña, and "rainbow" are among the flavors, but coco is superior to them all! This recipe comes together faster than it takes to decide on a flavor at an ice cream shop, with the addition of ice to replicate its unique texture. This will surely become a new freezer staple. —César Pérez

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Coco Helado (Puerto Rican Coconut Sorbet)
  • 1 1 (13.5-ounce) can evaporated coconut milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut such as Coco López
  • ½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups ice
  1. In a high speed blender, combine coconut milk, cream of coconut, heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Blend on high speed for 5 seconds.
  2. Add ice and blend until ice is fully incorporated, about 15 seconds.
  3. Transfer mixture to a metal bowl or freezer safe container and cover. Freeze for at least 8 hours. Use an ice cream scoop to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jess Butterbaugh
    Jess Butterbaugh
  • César Pérez
    César Pérez
  • Abby
César Pérez

Recipe by: César Pérez

Recipe Developer & Food52 Test Kitchen Content Creator

4 Reviews

Abby July 15, 2024
This was sooo delicious and soooo easy!

I couldn’t find vanilla paste, so I just used real extract. Also I actually started blending in 2c of crushed ice, thinking it’d be easier on my cheap blender. But then I worried that that might mess with the texture so I panic-added an extra 1/2-cup of cubed ice…

TLDR; it’s still super delicious, perfectly sweet, and delightfully gritty even with the extra half-cup of ice.

This is my new go-to treat on hot summer days.
Jess B. July 12, 2024
This was super fast to blend together and the flavor is perfection. But my texture is way off: not scoopable at all, and I had to kind of chip away at it to get icy shards. After they melted for a minute, I could spoon it up and eat it. Delicious - just like NYC street vendor - but how do I get it scoopable? I did get it freeze longer than 8 hours before I tried it and it had turned into an ice brick; maybe the longer time in the freezer is why the texture was off?
César P. July 12, 2024
Hi Jess! The longer freeze time could’ve played a part in it. I’d let it sit out for a few minutes first. It is sort of a scrape/scoop situation with the scooper so it’s not going to scoop exactly like let’s say ice cream. I hope this helps!
Jess B. July 12, 2024
Thanks ;) I'll definitely try again.