Coconut Popsicles

These coconut popsicles are homemade with coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla bean. Easy. Creamy. Healthy. Dairy-free. Vegan. And no artificial anything. Just unadulterated loveliness. Here’s how to make them.

Three coconut popsicles in a dish filled with ice.

These lovely and light 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 any nutritionally redeeming qualities about them. Okay, maybe if these were truly interchangeable with junk food taste-wise 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.–Renee Schettler

Coconut Popsicles

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 2 H
  • Makes 4 to 6 popsicles
5/5 - 2 reviews
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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. Don’t let it boil.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let steep for at least 1 hour.

Remove the vanilla pod and discard. Whisk the coconut milk mixture to recombine and dump it into a large measuring cup for easy pouring.

Tester tip: If you sneak some of the unfrozen mixture (c’mon, we know you do!), it should seem a touch on the sweet side. Cold mutes flavor. So what may seem too sweet while the mixture is warm will end up tasting a lot less so after being frozen.

Divvy the coconut milk mixture evenly among 6 popsicle molds (or substitute coffee mugs or paper cups). Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight (or, if using mugs or cups, insert a wooden stick after about 45 minutes or so).

We think you know what to do from here. Originally published May 25, 2015.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I absolutely love these coconut popsicles and have already made them 3 times! This recipe was easy, quick, and cheap! And the result was delicious! Creamy and smooth with a definite vanilla flavor.

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 pops took about 2 hours to freeze fully. I (somehow) resisted the chance to peek at the popsicles in the freezer every 10 minutes. The pops unmolded well—I think the fat of the coconut milk helped. The 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar was plenty because coconut milk already has its own sweetness.

These coconut popsicles are 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's 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 and that worked great. 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.

Just a reminder, when tasting the unfrozen mixture 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.


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  1. These are very good and strangely addicting. Sweet but not too sweet and I even used corn syrup instead of sugar. Call me crazy but a description of “clean” keeps coming to mind.

  2. These look great. Reminds me of Frozefruit, if anyone remembers those. I think they were 100% fruit. I think Coconut was the best. Long time ago, now.

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

    1. 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!

  4. 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!


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