Coconut Popsicles

Coconut Popsicles Recipe

This coconut popsicles recipe is the antithesis of those fudge pops with freezer burn from the grocery store. Few things are more perfectly paired than vanilla beans and warm milk, but creamy coconut milk is also a delicious companion for vanilla. Look for a good-quality full-fat coconut milk, not one labeled “light.” (The best kinds are usually found in the Asian-foods aisle of the supermarket.)–Shauna Sever

LC Stealthy Healthy Note

These coconut popsicles are one of those things we like to refer to as “stealthy healthy” because you certainly wouldn’t know from tasting it that there’s some nutritionally redeeming qualities about them. (Okay, maybe if these were truly interchangeable, taste-wise, with junk food they’d be loaded with lots more sugar. But we didn’t miss the sweetness. In fact, we’ve had them for breakfast and actually felt quite virtuous about it. So there.)

Coconut Popsicles Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 2 H
  • Makes 4 to 6 popsicles


  • One 13.5- or 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk (do not substitute low-fat coconut milk)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • 2 1/2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
  • Pinch salt


  • 1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla bean and seeds, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just barely begins to bubble. Do not boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let steep for at least 1 hour.
  • 2. Remove the vanilla pod and discard. Whisk the coconut milk mixture to recombine and dump it into a large measuring cup for easy pouring. Fill 6 ice-pop molds with the coconut milk mixture, divvying it up evenly. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews

These coconut popsicles are DEEEE-li-cious. We made this recipe 3 times in 1 week, the first time with 3 tablespoons regular sugar and the next 2 times with 3 tablespoons coconut sugar. Our popsicle molds are on the big side, so this made 4 pops. A great, rich-tasting, satisfying, creamy treat. Preparing and mixing the mixture takes only a few minutes. After setting the mixture aside to steep for an hour, we fished out the vanilla bean, cleaned it well with a dry paper towel, and buried it in the sugar bin. We froze the pops overnight.

Testers Choice
Martha T.

May 25, 2015

I love coconut and vanilla, so this coconut popsicles recipe was heaven. I ate 4 in 12 hours. If you don't love coconut or fat, this recipe is not for you. The popsicles took about 10 minutes hands-on time and then about 6 hours to freeze solid in my freezer. My only recommended change is to use a whole vanilla bean, not half.

Testers Choice
Natalie Gideon

May 25, 2015

I absolutely love this coconut popsicles recipe and have made it 3 times! I used a can of full-fat coconut milk that I found in the Thai section of the grocery store, only 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 vanilla bean. The coconut milk was thick and separated when I poured it into the saucepan but came back together quickly when I whisked it before turning on the heat. I added the vanilla bean and sugar and whisked it all together. It took about 10 minutes over medium heat for the mixture to bubble. I let it all steep for one hour, and it needed to be whisked for about 10 seconds to bring everything back together. I poured it into the popsicle molds—it filled 6 of mine—and froze them. I (somehow) resisted the chance to peek every 10 minutes. The pops took about 2 hours to freeze fully. The pops unmolded well—I think the fat of the coconut milk helped. The result was delicious! Creamy and smooth with a definite vanilla flavor. The 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar was plenty because coconut milk already has its own sweetness. This recipe was easy, quick, and cheap!

Testers Choice
Elie Nassar

May 25, 2015

This coconut popsicles recipe is a 10. I really have nothing much to add to this recipe. It makes a delicious pop with the perfect balance between coconut and vanilla. I cannot ask for a more satisfying summery dessert that is this simple to make. Well, maybe adding some mango or coconut chunks might gild the lily a bit. I was a bit dubious why we have to use only half the vanilla bean; might as well use the whole thing. However, the finished ice pops were indeed perfect. The whole vanilla bean might've been too much. Vanilla extract might work instead of the beans here (start with no more than 1/2 teaspoon) but you will lose those cool tiny black specks in the finished ice pops. I used 4 tablespoons sugar. That worked great. Just a reminder when tasting the unfrozen mixture is that you want it a touch on the sweet side, as frozen foods taste less strong than the same food at room temperature. So what might seem perfectly sweet warm might end up less so after being frozen. The coconut milk I used is my regular Thai brand that comes in a small carton called Aroy-D. It's delicious and easy to find at Asian grocery stores.

Testers Choice
Lou Ann Traster

May 25, 2015

These sweet little treats almost made themselves. Steep a vanilla bean in some sweetened coconut milk then freeze. Who knew popsicles could be this easy? My only complaint is that my pop mold only makes 4, and I had some mixture left over. So I stored it in the fridge until we ate the first ones. Not wanting to risk a slushy inside, we waited till the next day before eating. A pleasant surprise: pulling out the frozen pop revealed the tip of the creamy white treat speckled with vanilla seeds. Pretty!

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

May 25, 2015

It does not get any easier than this to impress your family and friends with a delicious, refreshing treat. This is a great snack for those who avoid dairy but love the flavor and texture of a great fudgesicle. From start to finish, I had these pops done in about 4 hours. It took about 5 minutes to heat the coconut milk with the sugar and vanilla. I let it rest covered for an hour and then allowed it to cool for another hour before pouring the mixture into the molds. During the cooling process the coconut vanilla mixture developed a thin skin on top. A quick whisking of the mixture blended the entire pop mixture together again. It took a little less than 2 hours to freeze solid. The flavor was slightly nutty, rich with vanilla, and not too sweet (I used 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar).

Testers Choice
Suzanne Fortier

May 25, 2015

I forgot to buy a vanilla bean, but I really wanted to try this coconut popsicles recipe, so I looked up substitutions. America's Test Kitchen says to sub 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for 1 vanilla bean. I ended up using 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, which gave my ice pops a subtle vanilla flavor that worked well with the coconut milk. 3 tablespoons sugar seemed ample to us. I got a scant 4 pops from my mixture, which I froze in very cute ladybug-shaped molds. They took at least 4 hours to freeze solid. The pops were creamy and rich. My taster thought they needed an accent flavor like raspberry, but they reminded me of the ice cream parlor flavor sometimes labeled "fresh churn," which was a favorite of mine when I could eat dairy ice cream. This is a worthy lactose-free substitute.

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

May 25, 2015

If you're looking for a fast and delicious way of making vanilla ice pops, you came to the right place. I never thought that I could do them in so little time and with only 4 ingredients. Hands-on time was 8 minutes, of which 6 minutes were spent stirring and making sure the mixture wouldn't boil. The rest of the time was mostly just waiting. We made the recipe at night and placed the coconut popsicles in the freezer. They were ready to be eaten in the morning. My molds are smaller than standard (2 1/2 ounces), so I was only able to make 5. Also I only added 3 tablespoons sugar. Truthfully, next time I will add a tad less, as we are not too big on sugary things. The vanilla flavor was stronger than the coconut, which was perfect as my older daughter isn't crazy for coconut (she still liked these a lot). This recipe is so simple and tasty to make that we will be making it often.

  1. Carla says:

    Vanilla paste works great and you still get the little seeds. I’d recently used my last bean, thus the swap. So delicious after a quick Asian stir fry meal!!! These were a huge success. Thank you.

  2. irma says:

    These look great!!!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Glad to hear it, Irma! We’re sorta crazy about these coconut popsicles…hope you are, too!

  3. Anna says:

    Hi David,

    The universe is telling me to break down and buy a popsicle maker STAT! This recipe looks good and was referenced by your colleague Megan Gordon, at A Sweet Spoonful, recently.

    It seems all my food bloggers are making delicious pops. I love it!

    Enjoying your Instagram posts and lovely backyard pics. Happy 4th to you!


  4. Amy says:

    This doesn’t get easier. Anyone try adding some unsweetened cacao powder, to throw in a chocolate twist? Any add-in suggestions?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Amy, you’re right, it doesn’t get any easier! And I love the way you’re thinking in terms of varying the flavors. We didn’t try cacao powder but I think it would work nicely here. I’ve done what is essentially this recipe with cocoa powder but warm as hot chocolate and it was splendid. If you try this, I suspect it may need a little added sweetener, whether honey or agave or sugar or stevia, just to temper the somewhat bitter cacao, but of course that depends on personal preference. As for other ideas, you could instead add in some blackberries or raspberries, whether you smash the berries with a fork to make a coarse mash and then swirl that into the coconut milk mixture to achieve a tie-dye effect or simply blitz everything in a blender or VitaMix before pouring it into the popsicle molds. I think fresh or frozen peaches, nectarines, mangos, or cherries could also work quite nicely if you’re using the blender approach. If you like acai fruit that could also work nicely blended in here and I’m guessing it would turn out a lovely shade of lavender. Even a pinch of cinnamon could be nice added to the basic recipe if you don’t mind a little warming spice. Let us know how it goes!

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