Tropical Fruit and Coconut Ice Cream

By Published On: November 5th, 2023Categories: Dessert2 Comments on Tropical Fruit and Coconut Ice Cream

I had a bunch of fruit ready to go south and I can’t stand wasting food so decided to mix it all together and make ice cream! Making ice cream is so easy and fun to get creative with. The fruit I used was cantaloupe, mango and bananas. Next time I would definitely substitute pineapple for the cantaloupe, but cantaloupe is what I had. It was actually delicious, but the melon didn’t add that much. I did use a couple of tablespoons of frozen pineapple concentrate, which gave it a little punch, but the fresh fruit would be much better.

I am not crazy about the color, but that is what these fruits gave me. This is probably why most processed foods add food coloring. I will take it as it comes!

I did not make a traditional custard base, as I was rushing and wanted to experiment with an even easier method so I heated sweetened coconut milk in the microwave for about 90 seconds (something I also rarely, if ever do!) and added it to the well beaten eggs. Generally you would bring your milk/cream, or in this case coconut milk, to a low boil and then temper the eggs by adding a little bit of hot milk to them at a time so the eggs don’t start cooking, until all the milk and eggs are incorporated. The coconut milk was heated so lightly that tempering was not necessary and the custard still formed perfectly.

1 cup sweetened coconut milk and this is the coconut I used untoasted in the ice cream and toasted for the topping. More on that later.

Cut up the fruit.

2 cups very ripe cantaloupe

This looks gross, but I often peel and keep bananas in the freezer. They are great for banana pancakes, banana ice cream, smoothies, or in this case Tropical Ice Cream!

I love the taste, texture and appearance of mangos. Such a beautiful fruit and reminds me of my old friend Granville Harris who ate mangos off the tree in Belize growing up!

Add the cut up fruit to the coconut mixture. Gently heat while constantly stirring.

Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp. of vanilla bean paste. I am sure vanilla extract would work as well, but I have been experimenting with vanilla paste. I like it!

Usually you would heat an ice cream custard base to around 165/170. Because there was so much fruit and the coconut milk is already thick, I heated to 145/150 degrees. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

The next day, blend the custard fruit mixture until fairly smooth, but don’t worry if there are some chunks of fruit. This gave the ice cream a nice texture. Add 2 Tbsp. of pineapple concentrate and blend again. Stir in 1 cup of coconut. Freeze in an ice cream maker per manufacturers instructions. My Cuisinart usually takes 20 to 25 minutes depending on the mixture. This was so thick, it was churned in 10 minutes.

Jerry Rabbitt, ice cream licker extraordinaire!

Absolutely delicious right out of the churn as a ‘soft-serve’ or put in the freezer and it hardens like any ice cream. Pull it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before scooping.

Here is what happened with my first batch of browned coconut topping. Do not attempt to brown coconut and walk away from the stove.

Coconut is so sweet that it catches quickly. When you are browning coconut, you want to watch it carefully, and stir frequently. I was watching a cooking show the other night and Alex Guarnaschelli burned something that looked similar to this (I think it was pancetta), so this can even happen to the pro’s! That made me feel a little better. But I just started over and this is more what you want toasted coconut to look like.

I hope you enjoy playing around with flavors and textures of ice cream. It’s hard to make any mistakes!

And here is the finished product!

Let me know what you come up with.

Thanks for sharing another fun adventure with me in the kitchen!

Tropical Fruit and Coconut Ice Cream

This ice cream is so sweet from the fresh, ripe fruit that no sugar is added. It is lusciously creamy and delicious. The toasted coconut topping adds a nice texture contrast.


  • 2 cups Cantaloupe, very ripe and cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 cups Mango, very ripe and cut into 1" chunks
  • 4 Bananas, either from your freezer or fresh, cut into 1 " chunks
  • 3 Lge. Eggs
  • 1 cup Sweetened Coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. Frozen Pineapple concentrate
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Sweetened Coconut
  • 1 cup Sweetened Coconut, toasted for topping


  • Cut all the fruit into 1" pieces.
  • Heat the coconut milk either for 1 minute in the micro or over low heat on the stove. Pour into a saucepan over low heat.
  • Whisk the eggs until very frothy.
  • Add the eggs to the warmed coconut milk, whisking constantly.
  • Add all the fruit and keep whisking.
  • Add the vanilla and pinch of salt. Keep whisking.
  • Add 2 Tbsp. frozen pineapple concentrate. Keep whisking.
  • When the temperature reaches about 150 degrees, remove from the heat and pour into a separate bowl.
  • Stir in 1 cup sweetened coconut. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, blend this custard fruit mixture well. You may need to do this in batches.
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. My Cuisinart usually takes 20 to 25 minutes to freeze a quart of ice cream. This froze in 10 minutes to a beautiful soft-serve consistency.
  • Place in the freezer and freeze for several hours to obtain firmly frozen ice cream.
  • Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before scooping and serving.


  • Heat a dry skillet and add 1 cup of coconut.
  • Stir the coconut to ensure that the coconut browns uniformly.
  • Once it reaches a light brown color it is done. The browned coconut keeps well in the fridge covered tightly for a few weeks.


  1. Deborah Vis November 7, 2023 at 6:27 am - Reply

    Looks yummy Cindy! I need to get myself an ice cream maker..

    • Cindy Rabbitt November 9, 2023 at 11:18 am - Reply

      I think you’d love it, but they can be dangerous!!! :-)

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