No-Dairy Chocolate Custard Ice Cream (Paleo)

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What’s Inside: This dairy-free chocolate custard ice cream uses coconut milk and coconut cream. The end result is silky, satisfying homemade ice cream. It’s also paleo-friendly!

Paleo, Dairy-free Chocolate Custard Ice Cream

REAL ICE CREAM ahead! Paleo Double Chocolate Custard Ice Cream to be exact. I’m tired of the so-called “healthy” dairy-free ice creams out there that are loaded with so much garbage and sugar… anyone else?! Homemade ice cream is well worth the effort and tastes 10x better than any pint you’ll find at the store, especially when you have a favorite recipe made with simple ingredients that you can customize.

This is the BEST Paleo Ice Cream

Some homemade dairy-free and paleo ice cream can leave you wanting… more. A creamier, thicker texture… a bit more flavor, and less icicles. And, store-bought tends to be loaded with unnecessary additives, stabilizers, and too much sugar. So what’s a gal to do when that craving strikes and the sun is out? That’s why I had to make it for myself and share it with YOU.

Eating dairy-free or Paleo does not mean you have to sacrifice your favorites, it just means you have to find new ways to make them. The added bonus is nourishing your body with better-quality ingredients, so you can literally have your ice cream and eat it, too.

Difference between Custard and Ice Cream 

I was craving some legit CUSTARD-BASED ice cream, which uses egg yolk to add that silky smooth texture. So I had myself a testing session and am so excited about the results. This recipe has the traditional (well, almost… minus the dairy) custard-base with pasture-raised egg yolks and full-fat coconut milk & coconut cream in place of half & half (which does require some patience… but guys, did you see that photo??)

Look at how creamy, dreamy, and decadent the result is! It’s worth the extra steps in my book.

Crank up the tunes, get whisking, and have fun. I’ll show you how.

Paleo, Dairy-free Chocolate Custard Ice Cream

How to Make Homemade Custard Ice Cream

As mentioned, making custard ice cream has a few more prep steps. You’ll need:

  • An ice cream maker of course (here's mine), and I always store the bowl in the freezer so it’s ready to go!
  • Egg yolks! That’s what makes this custard ice cream.
  • A large mixing bowl or roast pan for the ice bath.
  • A blender or mason jar to break up the coconut cream so it’s nice and smooth.
  • A fine-mesh strainer for the eggs.
  • Cacao powder to make it chocolate!
  • A whisk.
  • Sweetener of choice.
  • Patience!
  • Any desired mix-ins such as chocolate chips, nuts, or cacao nibs (optional).

Coconut Milk in Custard Ice Cream 

Custard ice cream calls for half & half… we’re making our own “half & half” in this recipe using full-fat coconut milk & coconut cream (promise, you won’t taste the coconut if that concerns you). Full-fat coconut milk is what makes this dairy-free and paleo, it’s also a healthy fat source.

Opt for a BPA-free can that’s organic, with no gums added, like this organic coconut milk.

Ice Cream Sweetener Options

The sweetener you use is totally up to you. I’d always recommend a natural sweetener, you can try:

  • Coconut sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Raw Honey
  • Or, Monk fruit sweetener, while “newer” to the market, is safe for diabetics because it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. 

Choosing the Best Egg Yolks for Ice Cream 

YOLKS! Let’s talk about it. 

I love to use Vital Farms brand because of how they care for their hens. I sat in on a brunch with this brand and learned ALL ABOUT the feed they use as well as their standards and techniques for caretaking. I even got to see live footage of the hens’ living space and honestly, I was kind of jealous hahaha. Vital Farms eggs are also food sensitivity or Autoimmune disease- friendly, in my opinion. Since the feed is so clean and has the least amount of soy, these eggs never bother me. Also, the yolk is literally the color of sunshine! And, regardless of what brand you select… the yolk color matters. Go for vibrancy.

No matter what, make sure you use the freshest eggs possible so you have the highest quality custard possible!

*For my egg-free folks, I haven’t forgotten about you! My personal preference is eggs on occasion, as AIP taught me that too much don’t sit well with me! That said, for this recipe, there are no substitutions for the egg. There are many fabulous egg-free dairy-free ice creams out there, here is a vanilla one to take a stab at: AIP Vanilla Ice Cream (Paleo, Dairy-free, Egg-free)

Cacao and Chocolate Options 

CACAO and chocolate… I’m a stone-cold chocoholic. For reals. I used 100% dark chocolate and cacao powder, sweeten it yourself (more control). Here's a cacao brand I love >>

Lastly… mix-ins, your call! I used sliced almonds and cacao nibs but you can use anything you’d like towards the end of mixing. I like the added crunch because this stuff is so RICH (#NotaComplaint), it breaks it up a bit. Maybe you even add a Paleo, AIP waffle… and by maybe, I mean you absolutely DO. Grab that recipe here: Paleo Tigernut Waffles (AIP-friendly, Egg-free, Vegan)

Paleo, Dairy-free Chocolate Custard Ice Cream

5 from 10 votes
Paleo Double Chocolate Custard Ice Cream (dairy-free) via Food by Mars
Print Recipe

No-Dairy Chocolate Custard Ice Cream (Paleo)

Luscious double chocolate ice cream with an (almost) traditional custard base with fresh egg yolks and coconut milk & cream takes dairy-free ice cream to the next level! You'll love this simple recipe, and the extra steps are well worth it for the decadent result.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Chill Time3 hrs
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: dairy-free, ice cream, paleo
Servings: 1 quart


  • Ice cream maker


  • 1 13.5 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 13.5 oz. can full-fat coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces about 1 heaping cup chopped dark chocolate (preferably unsweetened, 100%), or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup granulated sweetener i.e. monk fruit or coconut sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Pinch fine salt

Optional mix-ins:

  • sliced almonds
  • cacao nibs


  • Mix coconut milk with coconut cream in a blender or shake in a mason jar until well blended. Set aside.
  • Prepare an ice bath inside a large mixing bowl or roasting pan. Set another large mixing bowl inside the ice bath and set a fine-mesh strainer over top.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of your coconut "half-and-half" (milk and cream) with the cocoa powder. Simmer over medium-low heat for approx. 1 minute, stirring with a whisk until all the cocoa lumps have broken up. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sweetener, egg yolks, and salt until pale yellow.
  • In another medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups of coconut "half-and-half" to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once hot, remove from the heat and slowly pour about 1 cup of the coconut "half-and-half" into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Pour the milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it registers 170°F on a thermometer and a finger drawn across the back of the custard-covered wooden spoon leaves a trail. This may take several minutes, have patience.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through the fine-meshed strainer into the bowl over the ice bath. Pour in the chocolate mixture, scraping with a spatula to get every last bit from the pan. Whisk until the custard is smooth. Stir in any mix-ins like sliced almonds and cacao nibs (1/2 cup of each). Chill over the ice bath for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • IMPORTANT: Taste your ice cream base, if it's not sweet enough, or requires more cinnamon maybe... you can adjust it now. If making sweeter, I'd recommend using a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or honey instead of granulated because it will mix the best.
  • Once the ice cream base is cool, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, freeze the ice cream base in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until desired consistency.

More Favorite Dairy-free, Paleo Desserts:




Hope you enjoy!
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Recipe Rating

  • Melissa TorresAugust 16, 2018 - 3:56 am

    Pretty impressive!! I have to say that while I don’t follow a strict diet with these items in my cupboard regularly, the pictures say a 1000 words and sounds amazing, worth checking out! Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasSeptember 12, 2018 - 2:20 pm

      Thanks so much, Melissa!ReplyCancel

  • Tracy QuebralApril 1, 2019 - 1:08 pm

    Just an FYI that I saw this in the recipe index under AIP, and not just Paleo. On AIP, we can’t have cacao, but only carob, so I wouldn’t want anyone new on AIP to be confused and think it’s OK.  Can’t wait to try this once I reintroduce cacao! Holy cannoli, it looks amazing, as do the rest of your recipes! Wonderful site!!! ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 2, 2019 - 12:48 am

      Hey Tracy, thanks for your concern, however, I double-checked everything and it’s never been categorized or tagged as AIP so I’m assuming there was some lazy loading between the “all” category and “AIP” when you searched my index. Can’t wait for you to try it eventually either!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki HattoriApril 19, 2019 - 6:46 pm

    Could I use a kitchenaid ice cream attachment making this recipe?ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasApril 22, 2019 - 7:00 pm

      That should work!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly AnthonyMay 6, 2020 - 8:33 pm

    I love custard ice cream.  It just taste so much more rich than the regular kind.  My girls are going  to devour this paleo double chocolate ice cream. ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMay 7, 2020 - 7:01 pm

      totally agree, it has something extra special!ReplyCancel

  • SuzyMay 6, 2020 - 8:33 pm

    I love all of the tips for making this ice cream come out smooth and creamy! So delicious!ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMay 7, 2020 - 7:00 pm

      THANKS, GIRL!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica FormicolaMay 6, 2020 - 8:34 pm

    This is our favorite ice cream recipe! It’s so chocolatey and has the perfect texture!ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMay 7, 2020 - 7:00 pm

      you’re the best!! so glad you love it!ReplyCancel

  • AnitaMay 6, 2020 - 8:35 pm

    I have been making only no-churn ice cream all this time, but your post might push me over the edge to finally invest on one. This chocolate ice cream looks so delicious and creamy. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasMay 7, 2020 - 7:00 pm

      if quarantine doesn’t make us all invest in a machine, nothing will HAHAReplyCancel

hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.