Classic Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream

By Jess

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Who doesn’t love ice cream? But commercially made ice cream is full of dairy and sugar…not exactly a Paleo friend. But here’s some good news: this is a recipe for a Paleo version of classic vanilla ice cream. It uses almond milk and full fat coconut milk to deliver the creamy, cool taste that everybody loves.

Ice Cream

Think you have to give up ice cream with Paleo? Think again and try this classic vanilla ice cream tonight!

Even after I started eating Paleo, I have to admit that there were days I strayed here and there, especially at first. When I was just a novice, I thought I had to give up certain things forever. And let me tell you – ice cream was the number one thing that occasionally made me fall off the Paleo wagon. Until I discovered this: a recipe for classic vanilla ice cream. Yup, you heard right: Paleo ice cream!

This classic vanilla ice cream recipe is probably my all-time favorite example of how Paleo is not about “giving things up.” I’ve learned time and time again that if I’m restricting myself – if I’m constantly having to say “no, I can’t eat that” – I won’t stick to whatever eating plan I’m on. And that’s why Paleo has been such a godsend for me. Once I really got into Paleo I realized it’s not about giving things up. It’s about finding new ways to do things.

Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients

And that’s why this classic vanilla ice cream is my favorite example of an ingenious Paleo recipe. Instead of using milk or cream and white sugar – both no-no’s for Paleo eaters – this recipe uses full-fat coconut milk and almond milk for the “dairy” aspect of the ice cream. With these substitutes, you aren’t even going to notice the difference between this ice cream and traditional ice cream because the coconut milk and almond milk provide all the creamy, rich consistency that ice cream needs.

Just like if you were making traditional ice cream, you use the ingredients to make a custard. Then, you chill the custard and, once it’s cooled, you get it all into an ice cream maker. Then, all you have to do is wait while the magic is made! That’s definitely the hardest part for me.

Mixing In a Bowl

Now I’m sure some of you are wondering what to do if you don’t have an ice cream maker. I’ll say this: if you have little kids or, like me, a gaggle of little nieces and nephews, and you have a little extra cash, I totally recommend splurging on an ice cream maker. Why? Well, because you is cooler than the mom or the aunt who makes ice cream? Duh! And of course, there’s a pay off for you too!

Ice cream makers basically churn and freeze the ice cream at the same time, which aerates the custard mix and makes it have that almost fluffy-frozen mouth-feel. But, if you don’t have one, don’t give up yet! You can certainly still freeze your custard concoction and will get a delicious creamy, ice cream-like treat – it will just be a bit denser than regular ice cream. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Serving with a Plate

One last tip about this recipe: please don’t use vanilla extract in place of the whole bean! Vanilla beans are a bit pricey, but they are worth it. It’s always best to be as natural as possible, your body will thank you for it. But an even better rationale is that the flavor you get from a real bean totally dominates what you get from a bottled extract. It’s sweeter and more floral and complex and will really take your ice cream to the next level, flavor-wise. So get that bean in there!

So the next time you really want to wow someone – maybe someone who isn’t a Paleo eater – make up a batch of this classic vanilla ice cream. For starters, everyone is going to be impressed that you made ice cream because, how cool is that? And everyone – and especially non-Paleo people – will be amazed that you can actually have ice cream while eating Paleo.

Close Up

Another great example of the versatility and yumminess of the Paleo lifestyle!


    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • ½ cup honey
    • 1 ½ cup full fat coconut milk
    • 1 cup almond milk


  1. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape seeds and set aside.
  2. In a metal bowl beat the egg yolks with honey and set aside.
  3. Place the coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla seeds and scraped vanilla bean in a pot and bring to boil over medium heat.
  4. Remove from the heat and gradually pour it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
  5. Place the bowl over a pot filled with simmering water.
  6. Stir the custard gently with a spatula until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes (mixture should be 185 F).
  7. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla bean.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool completely.
  9. Transfer in a refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  10. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Serving Size





Total Time

25 minutes

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes

Print Recipe


Ask a Question 

  1. I have a 4 quart ice cream freezer, wondering if I can double or triple the vanilla ice cream recipe to fit this freezer?

  2. I normally use whole raw eggs but one thing I found that really helps to add creaminess is sweetened condensed coconut milk. I was never sure if the egg whites helped or not, but Ben & Jerry’s use the whole egg and whip it a lot in the beginning with sugar like a meringue.

    • Hi Ana,
      You can use stevia as a sweetener but in this recipe I use honey as a sweetener and to prevent crystallisation and create a smooth ice cream.

  3. Do you know of a good substitute for anything coconut in recipes? I am allergic to it and it seems like all the good recipes have some coconut ingredient.

  4. Hi,
    The ice cream sounds yummy. The almond milk I have is the Silk brand with only 25 calories. Will this work?

  5. I also used the good almond milk 60 calorie from Calfia Farms. I think I didn’t mix the eggs and honey enough. I only wisk them together. I have it in the fridge but I don’t want to waste these expensive ingredients. I also doubled the recipe and got a double yoke. I have been waiting for a double yoke and the one time I do t want it I get it lol
    Well the recipe sounds so good I know it will at least give me a soft serve if I put it in the ice cream machine. I have the same one you have. It’s a2 qt. I do t know if I need to make two batches or one at a time. The recipe only said four servings so I not know if that’s 2 qts. Or if by doubling the recipe it’s 4 quit. Help !!!’

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