Paleo Ice Cream

I am an ice cream-aholic. In fact I could ALMOST say that my uncontrollable craving for ice cream contributed the most to my weight problems. I could eat an entire container in a matter of days. My husband and I laugh at that Tupperware container designed to keep your ice cream from getting frost bite… Like that would EVER happen in our house!

Since discovering the adverse effects that table su and corn syrup have on my system, and turning to a paleo eating habit, finding ice cream that I can eat and not feel deprived has been a challenge. So Delicious brand Coconut Ice Cream had been my go to, but it still contained cane sugar rather than a paleo friendly sweetener.

I knew someday I would have to break out the old ice cream maker and make some of my own. I had done this before with traditional ice cream recipes, so I knew the general idea of how I wanted to make my paleo version. I reviewed several blogs to see what they had success with.

One thing I noticed was that many didn’t even use a milk of any kind!? Some variation of banana, avocado or other food puree designed to make an ice cream like substance. The last thing I wanted was all my ice cream to taste like banana (I already get that in my smoothies).

Another thing I noticed was that all the creations were small, 1 to 2 servings. I mentioned my penchant for ice cream right? 1-2 servings would not be enough. I wanted to have it for more than just 2 days! I’m also lazy, and creating a real ice cream takes several hours, so the more I could make at one time the better. My recipe makes about 4 1-cup servings (because 1/2 cup is also NOT enough!).

Last thing I experimented with is the sweetener amounts. My husband and I like things on the less sweet side. When I make crème brûlée for us we generally half the sugar in the recipe, and that is plenty, so I decided to do that with this recipe as well. So be aware when making this recipe and feel free to increase the sweetener by as much as double if you are a sweet tooth.

So I created my recipe based on all of the information gathered around the net, and my past experiences creating crème brûlée, ice cream, etc. And here it is!

Notes on ingredients.

Coconut Milk: I used the coconut milk I had on hand, Taste of Thai, which is not as creamy as the Thai Kitchen brand. Either will work, but next time I’d like to see if Thai Kitchen will make this even better. You can substitute almond milk for coconut milk, but you may sacrifice creamyness. I have not tried it… yet.

Egg Yolks: yolks is what really gives your ice cream a rich flavor, you can make this with less yolks, maybe even half as many or use half as many in whole eggs, so 4 whole eggs vs 8 yolks.

  • Note: You will need to temper your yolks. Tempering is a method of bringing a cold ingredient up to temperature with the rest of the cooking food so as not to clump the ingredient you are adding. Eggs and yolks will cook almost instantly if added to hot liquid, so we will need to temper them first by adding small amounts of the hot liquid into the cold (or room temp) egg yolks. By doing this slowly, you avoid the clumps and are left with a creamy and thick custard at the end.

Honey: feel free to substitute maple syrup or possibly agave syrup for honey. If you choose to use coconut sugar, you may need to experiment to get desired sweetness, as they don’t substitute 1 to 1. Molasses might give an interesting flavor as well depending on what you are going for with your mix-ins. Molasses and walnut, might be a nice choice?

Vanilla Extract: just about any will do. If you are awesome enough to have vanilla beans on-hand, you can substitute the scrapped seeds of 2 beans.

Mix ins: This is so much your own monster here. 🙂 I LOVE peanut butter in chocolate ice cream when I am not eating paleo. My paleo options are dark chocolate with almond butter. Other things you can add include – your favorite fruit, chopped nuts, other nut butters, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, really whatever you like in ice cream.


Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream Base



  1. Heat milk in double boiler over medium heat. You want this hot, but not boiling.
  2. Add vanilla extract.
  3. In separate large bowl, whisk egg yolks. You will be adding milk to the bowl, so make sure it is larger than needed just for yolks.
  4. Temper your yolks:
    1. Get a ladle of the hot milk and SLOWLY drizzle into the yolks while whisking quickly to incorporate the hot milk into the yolks.
    2. Do this 2 more times.
    3. Now add the yolk and milk mixture back into the hot milk in the double boiler by drizzling slowly again, and whisking quickly to incorporate.
  5. Continue to cook on med to low heat, stirring continually, till it turns the consistency of  thin pudding. About 5 more minutes. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
  6. Once the you like the consistency, transfer base to fridge and cool for several hours. You may want to consult your ice cream machines directions for cooling time.
  7. Once chilled, turn on ice cream maker and transfer mixture to maker.
  8. Once the ice cream has thickened and begun to stiffen, transfer to a freezer safe storage container. (mine was the consistency of milk shake, I probably should have let it go a bit longer, but I tried to add my mix-ins to the mixer which didn’t work.)
  9. At this point you will want to stir in your mix-ins by hand prior to placing in freezer.
  10. Freeze for about another hour, stirring occasionally if you like to help speed the process.
  11. Enjoy!

My recipe WITH mix-ins came out to about 5.5 cups of ice cream.

When you try this recipe, let me know in the comments how it went and what you mixed in!


13 thoughts on “Paleo Ice Cream

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