Salty Honey Dairy-Free Ice Cream

By Amanda Paa – Updated June 27, 2023
4.77 from 13 votes
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If given the choice of pie, cake, or ice cream, this girl will pick a bowl of the cool creamy stuff every time. No matter what season it is, I have a favorite.

Peppermint stick in the depths of winter, pumpkin ice cream in fall, rhubarb swirl in spring, and my new obsession that’s good any time of year – this Salty Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream. I figured out the secret to making it as creamy as regular ice cream, not a bit icy. 

As I’ve learned after several years of cooking, salt is hands down the key to any irresistible sweet treat. And in this recipe makes the floral honey and soft vanilla flavors shine!

Salty Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream {via heartbeet kitchen blog}

Secrets to silky smooth, creamy, flavorful dairy-free ice cream:

  1. The Kitchn proved that making a slurry of starch and some of the coconut milk gave it the thickness that typically comes from egg yolks. I made mine using tapioca starch, as most people can tolerate that versus cornstarch.
  2. They also suggested using a liquid sweetener instead of sugar to prevent ice crystals from forming. How perfect, as I had already envisioned my flavor combination being Salty Honey!
  3. Sarah of Snixy Kitchen let me taste her amazing vegan vanilla bean ice cream when I was visiting her this spring, and instead of using all coconut milk, she uses 1 part coconut cream to 1 part coconut milk. The higher fat content of the cream is exactly what’s needed to replace that of dairy and eggs.
  4. Alcohol – it can be a magic ingredient in cooking too. Jeanine of Love and Lemons adds vodka to her Matcha Coconut Milk Ice Cream, another way to reduce the chance of ice crystals forming. This concept is rooted in the fact that hard alcohol will not freeze solid.

I’m definitely not opposed to buying store-bought coconut, almond or soy ice creams, but I’m always disappointed. I have to set them out for at least 15 minutes before attempting to scoop because they’re rock hard, the flavor is kind of dull, and they just don’t have the same mouthfeel as regular ice cream.

It was time to give my ice cream maker a workout, which is now my KitchenAid Stand Mixer thanks to its ice cream bowl attachment – if I couldn’t love that machine anymore!

dairy-free ice cream in kitchenaid ice cream maker
Salty Honey Ice Cream (made with KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment)
Salty Honey Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipe (made with coconut milk)

Put them all together and BINGO.

It’ll fool anybody who thinks the only way to a scoop of happiness is with dairy. The mouthfeel is so velvety, holding a richness I can only compare to custard. And it scoops like a dream, not one bit icy even after three days in the freezer and being re-froze several times while taking these photos.

This is the real deal. Thick, creamy, lightly sweetened, and perfect for any time of year, but especially now. Enjoy!

Salty Honey Ice Cream {dairy-free}
Salty Honey Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipe (made with coconut milk)
Salty Honey Ice Cream {via heartbeet kitchen blog}

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Salty Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream {dairy-free}

This super creamy dairy-free ice cream recipe is made with coconut milk and coconut cream for the very best texture! Highlighted by notes of vanilla, honey, and flaky salt.
4.77 from 13 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Additional Time :8 hours
Total Time :8 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 cups
Author: Amanda Paa




  • To begin, mix tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, stirring to dissolve and create a “slurry”. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, bring remaining coconut milk, coconut cream, and 1/3 cup honey to a boil. Stir in tapioca starch slurry and boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Then turn down heat and simmer for 3 minutes, until mixture has slightly thickened and will coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla and vodka. Pour into a large Ziploc bag, seal, and submerge in ice bath. Refrigerate ice bath for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Pour ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker. I churn mine with my KitchenAid stand mixer attachment, on “stir setting” (low) for 13-14 minutes, until ice cream is of soft serve consistency. At this point sprinkle in 1/2 tablespoon salt and churn for 30 more seconds.
  • Remove bowl from Stand Mixer and spread half of ice cream in the bottom of bread pan or other metal container.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 tablespoon salt over the top. Spread remaining ice cream over that layer and drizzle remaining honey and salt over the top. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

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July 13, 2015


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Recipe Rating

4.77 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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  1. Sue

    How would you make this chocolate ice cream?

  2. Dannette Selph

    Great site by the way👌So glad I discovered it!

    Ok so I have food sensitivity.. get this to vanilla!! Crazy right!?! Sad things is I love vanilla. Can you recommend and extract that would blend beautifully and not over take everything? I’ve tired many different ones and none have been successful.
    Thanks in advance,

  3. Ramin

    I just tried this and it’s amazing! I’m thinking of adding lavender next time to take it to another level!!!

    • Amanda Paa

      love the idea of lavender ice cream!

  4. Juliet

    Hi! This looks wonderful! :) Two questions: why does it have to go into a metal container when done? Can I put it into a plastic Tupperware and then put it in the freezer? Second, I can see that the vodka makes a big difference, but it’s not something I can include. How successful do you think the recipe will be without it? Thanks! :)

    • amandapaa

      Hi Juliet! To answer your questions: yes, you can put it in plastic tupperware, not a problem. And without the vodka, it will still turn out great! It will just harden a little bit more than if you were to use it. To remedy that, just set the pan out of the freezer 10 minutes before you want to eat to soften.

  5. Sandra Duke

    I am starting AIP and have to try this recipe. Is it ok to use Himalayan salt?. Thanks,

    • amandapaa

      Yes! But here are the changes – since you are not using bigger flaked sea salt, mix in 1/4 teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt while the coconut milk is on the stove. You can sprinkle your scoops with a little bit extra when ready to eat as well.

  6. Sara

    This turned out amazing! After many failed attempts at making creamy coconut ice cream at homeI had given up. I followed these directions almost identically except replaced the honey for maple syrup and it turned out amazing. The only thing that was unclear was how much sweetener so i ended up using 1/3 cup maple syrup + some extra. Now that I have the base down I am excited to explore other flavors thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Brielle @ Breezy Bakes

    This is just what I was looking for! We’re trying dairy free for a while with my youngest and we’re all missing ice cream. This sounds fabulous!

    • amandapaa

      Great! I hope you enjoy with your littles! xo

  8. Naomi S.

    Just finished churning and am now waiting for it to freeze. It looks sooo good and I honestly can’t wait to eat it. I took a little taste and it’s super creamy! I added unflavored gelatin cause it makes ice cream easier to scoop. I also decided not to add the salt. Anyways, this is the best dairy free ice cream I have ever made!!! I just sent the recipe to a friend!Thank you for cracking the code to perfection.

    • amandapaa

      So glad you liked the recipe, and I’ll try a little unflavored, grassfed gelatin the next time I make!

  9. limor

    can it be make withput an icecream machine?

    • amandapaa

      Hi Limor! You do need an ice cream maker for this recipe, otherwise the ice cream will have zero air whipped into it, and freeze solid as a rock.

  10. Michelle

    I made this ice cream over the weekend and used regular sea salt. I didn’t realize what maldon sea salt was until after I tasted the ice cream and looked back at your recipe to sea if I mistakenly put in 2.5 tbsp instead of 2.5 tsp, but nope, I just used the wrong kind of sea salt! It was so salty it wasn’t even edible. Oops. But the texture of the ice cream was perfection! I made another batch without salt and honey and mixed it with the original batch and it is delicious! I am so excited about using this recipe for my base of other flavors. Please share any other flavors you have made with this recipe!

    • amandapaa

      oh Michelle, I’ve made mistakes when reading recipes too fast as well! but i’m glad you made another batch with the correct sea salt. one note, i would always add a little bit of salt to ice cream no matter what kind you are making because this is very important for bringing out the flavors of the cream and vanilla. i’ll have another ice cream flavor coming up in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

      • Nancy bell

        So I was just wondering about putting in 2 Tablespoons of salt, sounds like too much for the regular sea salt I have, I assume Malden salt is something totally different that I probably cant get at my local grocery store in this small town….

        • Amanda Paa

          Hi Nancy!

          Yes the 2 tablespoons is Maldon flaky sea salt, so big chunks, that’s why the amount is larger. You can omit from recipe if you can’t find, and instead add 1/2 teaspoon regular salt at the same time you add the coconut milk.

  11. riadoo

    i can’t find the recipe on this page where exactly is it?

    • amandapaa

      hello! recipe is posted.

  12. Blaine

    Hi, being brand new to this world, I’m wondering if you can provide step by step instructions with proportions. I’d love to try this but wouldn’t know where to begin.

    • Amanda Paa

      hello! recipe is posted.

  13. Steph @ Steph in Thyme

    Simply stunning, as usual! :) I didn’t know KitchenAid had an ice cream maker attachment, they think of everything! Thanks for all the tips on making homemade ice cream. Would never have thought about alcohol or tapioca starch!

  14. Kathryn

    This is seriously beautiful + this flavour combo just sounds utterly heavenly.

  15. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    OH EMM GEEE – The salt + the honey sounds like the perfect combo for this coconut milk ice cream! I love this! Now I need to come visit so I can sneak a bite:) (thanks for the shout out!!)

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you for the coconut cream tip! It truly makes this ice cream what it is. And yes, pleeeassseee come visit me!

  16. Elle @ Only Taste Matters

    I make a no-churn version of honey cream but never thought to add salt. Brilliant! It always tasted a bit off and this will fix it! Plus this is a dairy-free version–even better! I love coconut milk! Pinned!

    • Amanda Paa

      Elle, I think you’ll love the addition of the salt! Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the sweet treat. :)

  17. robin

    Congrats on cracking the code! Alcohol is also a good way to add fruit to your frozen treats, as long as you cook the fruit with a little booze, it doesn’t turn into little rocks in the ice cream.

    • Amanda Paa

      mmmm… I see delicious fruit popsicles in my future!

  18. Erin@WellPlated

    You’ve struck gold!! Love this flavor combo Amanda.

    • Amanda Paa

      thanks for stopping by Erin!

  19. Tessa | Salted Plains

    Salty honey!! Sounds like my kind of ice cream. I am loving these shots, Amanda. Beautiful!


    VODKA, obviously the answer. Hehe, ahhh you’re comment on salt and dessert couldn’t be more spot on. Ice cream even if dairy free, should still be something you love. Glad you found a recipe that works for you. I really need a kitchen aid mixer and that ice cream attachment. I have neither :( Also, random side note- my temp roommate Sophia last fall is friends with Snixy Kitchen! They grew up together in Cali! Random, huh?! Have a lovely Wednesday! :D

  21. Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I couldn’t agree with you more, I add a pinch of salt to everything I make!

  22. Valentina @Hortus

    Sounds amazing!!
    I’ve been thinking of getting a food processor, mostly for doughs…but finding out that you can have an ice cream bowl attachment (and veggie slicer) pretty much made my eyes sparkle. I checked the recipe and it seems perfect!
    Thanks for sharing!

  23. Laura @Petite Allergy Treats

    This looks heavenly! I’ve wanted to splurge on the ice cream attachment and I think you’ve convinced me I need one. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Amanda Paa

      You will love it. I used to have a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker, and this one really does create smoother ice cream, and it doesn’t freeze solid to the sides of the bowl.

  24. genevieve @ gratitude & greens

    Okay so I had NO IDEA that I could get an ice cream bowl for my KitchenAid. That is genius! I need to get my hands on one asap, especially since ice cream season is in full swing! Love all these tips for dairy-free ice cream and this coconut milk ice cream just sounds incredible.

    PS. I am totally a pie girl but I will never say no to pie AND ice cream ;)

    • Amanda Paa

      I had no idea either – it’s kind of like magic. I swear the stand mixer can do everything! And pie and ice cream, always a winning combination :) xo

  25. kristie {birch and wild}

    This looks like the most amazing ice cream ever! I absolutely love a sweet, salty combination. Trying this (as soon as I get that attachment :)!

    • Amanda Paa

      I know, I’m a sucker for anything sweet and savory. The beauty of the salt is that it really brings out all the nuances of the honey, and I used a local one that was harvested in an area with fall wild flowers. So lovely. I’m sure you have some wonderful ones in your area too. xo

  26. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    I think you have found the key to perfect dairy free ice cream! I have also found that alcohol lends a little give to the ice cream, making it easier to scoop, but the coconut cream/milk ratio..I have to try it! Love the little extra salt too, so good! xo

  27. Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog

    This recipe looks and sounds heavenly! I always use my homemade vanilla extract in my ice creams, which is made from vodka to add the alcohol in. Adding alcohol to ice cream is such a great tip!