Matcha Coconut Ice Cream

Matcha Coconut Ice Cream / loveandlemons.com

Jack here, bringing you one of the many joys from our Japan travels – matcha ice cream. We had no idea, before going, that green tea ice cream was even a thing. But the minute you walk down the street in any touristy area, you’re guaranteed to see giant fake green soft-serve cones outside of ice cream shops. Seeing something so American and familiar as a giant fake soft-serve ice cream cone, but *green*, was, well, it made me want to eat some. Fast forward through the trip, and Jeanine and I must have eaten 1 cone each every other day. So enough about us, it’s time to share one of our favorites with all of you.

Matcha Coconut Ice Cream / loveandlemons.com

Of course, the “cream” in our ice cream continues to be coconut cream, and I have a dirty secret. I love dairy, I love dairy ice cream – but I like coconut ice cream better. There. I said it. Coconut ice cream is better than dairy ice cream. And this is coming from the guy that is sometimes happy his wife is lactose-intolerant so that he can have the cheese from her pizza.

Besides the coconut cream and matcha, the secret of this recipe is that we have some maple syrup, vanilla, and a squeeze of lemon. All of these help to cut through the natural bitterness that matcha (or any tea) has, and gives you a sweet ice-cream-y dessert.

Matcha Coconut Ice Cream / loveandlemons.com

4.6 from 13 reviews
Matcha Coconut Ice Cream
 
Author:
Cuisine: dessert
Serves: about 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons matcha* (see note)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vodka (optional - to help texture once it’s frozen)
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 12 hours, 24 is best.
  2. Whisk together the matcha, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon, salt and vodka, if using. (If your matcha is lumpy, you can strain the mixture before putting it into your ice cream maker). Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers directions. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 1-2 hours to firm up a bit.
  3. If your ice cream has frozen over night, let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes to soften again.
Notes
(white chocolate chips pictured are not vegan)

*the flavor of matcha can widely vary in bitterness, I suggest starting with less and adding more to taste (before churning the ice cream). I used AIYA Cooking Grade Matcha which is one of my favorites because the flavor is very nicely balanced.

I used this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, although if you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I recommend getting the Ice Cream Attachment instead. (It works the same, it’s just easier to store).

60 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Oh coconut ice cream is on my list of things to make this year. What an awesome recipe for the upcoming holiday! Thanks for sharing this looks fantastic!

  2. This looks delicious! I love that grassy matcha flavor. I’ve never tried making coconut ice cream before, but I’ve been known to buy a pint or two. Thanks for the recipe. I’m excited to give this a go!

  3. PL
    03.14.2015

    Can we replace the coconut milk with fat free milk or would the consistency not be the same? Thank you for this recipe. I have plenty of matcha green tea powder and this would be a lovely opportunity to use it.

    • jeanine
      03.14.2015

      I think fat free milk would make the texture too icy (there’s a decent amount of fat in the coconut milk that makes this creamy). I’d maybe google for a different recipe that specifically uses dairy milk…

      • Calicupcake
        02.02.2016

        If you use dairy or almond milk try adding Frozen banana and avocado. The consistency of frozen bananas mixed with the fat from the avocado will bring about a very creamy texture. Not as crisp as coconut milk but good enough if you are trying to avoid the high fat version.

  4. Love the vibrant green color from the matcha powder. I’ve never made anything with matcha before but I have a jar in my pantry so I might give this ice cream a try! 🙂

  5. Matcha ice cream is seriously one of my favourite things ever. My parents live in Hong Kong and I love visiting because matcha ice cream is EVERYWHERE, not to mention matcha and red bean sandwiches, matcha drinks… so. good. And coconut milk based ice creams totally rock!

  6. Sarah
    03.15.2015

    I just bought some matcha today and I got so excited when I checked the site to see this first! I’ve got everything needed to make this so ice cream is in my near future… 🙂

  7. Selina
    03.15.2015

    I’m so in love with matcha so I must try this!

  8. Therese from thebakedapple.wordpress.com
    03.15.2015

    This looks divine! I would make this asap if I could! Lovely blog and photography 🙂

  9. Serena from Www.sparklestyleandiy.blogspot.com
    03.15.2015

    This recipe looks great! Can’t wait to try it. I recently found out I have a dairy allergy and have been really missing green tea ice cream.

  10. Michie from Www.michiedoll.com
    03.15.2015

    I love green tea ice cream! We have so many all you can eat sushi places in Toronto and they all have green tea ice cream (and black bean ice cream) for dessert. The first time I tried it, I was hooked. It’s perfectly sweet and not too sugary. So glad I found this recipe!!! And dairy free- excellent!

  11. Kristine
    03.15.2015

    Do you need to boil all of the ingredients together first, to make the base? Or just combine them and place in refrigerator?

  12. Nii from potspenandgallivanting.com
    03.16.2015

    Just in time for summer! Looks refreshing

  13. Great post, and you’re very convincing about dairy-free ice cream. I need my husband to read this. 😉 I’ll be anxiously waiting for it warm up around here to make this!

  14. Loving the whole matcha movement happening lately!

    I don’t have an ice cream maker, but this is definitely something i’m making when I do get one! In the meantime I’ll use my matcha for frosting and lattes!

    X

  15. I lovelovelove those soft serve green tea ice cream in Japan! And I can imagine how creamy and delicious your coconut milk version is, too! Yum.

  16. Love matcha! Never had it with coconut ice cream before but looks really delicious and the colour is gorgeous.

    Can’t wait to make this in the summer time!

  17. I am obsessed with matcha these days! I have to go to Japan just for all the matcha flavoured things!

    This ice cream looks incredible! Love the coconut-matcha flavour combo.

  18. Oh boy! I bet the coconut in this ice cream makes the matcha stand out even more. I need more matcha asap so I can whip up a batch!

  19. Minnah
    03.18.2015

    Holy macaraoni, I cannot wait to test this recipe out when the weather gets warmer. I am curious to know though what brand your ice cream maker is? There are too many on the market that gived the crystallized effect which I would like to avoid.

  20. savvy
    03.22.2015

    Time to make room in my freezer my bowl….and start summer early! Everything else already HERE- and knitting group meeting on Tuesday!! Lucky ladies this week!!

  21. Love!! Do you have to use full fat or do you think you could cut the calories and use light coconut milk? Or would that make it too icy?

    • jeanine
      04.03.2015

      Hi Haley, I find light coconut milk to be too icy – but sometimes I make a bigger batch (double this) and do 1 can of each.

  22. Shirley
    04.02.2015

    Hi there! Your recipe looks amazing!! Definitely will try it! Quick question though, could I ask how many ml or ounces the can of coconut milk is?
    Thanks!

  23. Sittideat Kitporkha
    04.08.2015

    Thank for sharing.
    Looks really yummy

  24. Sarah
    06.02.2015

    I was planning on making this this weekend but now I’m a bit confused when I read the instructions. Do I freeze the can of coconut milk before mixing in the other ingredients?

    • jeanine
      06.04.2015

      Hi Sarah – oops, no just the bowl of your ice cream maker needs to be chilled in advance (unless you have a fancier kind of ice cream maker that doesn’t require that). I can see how the way I wrote it looks confusing, I’ll re-word that.

  25. Ash
    06.06.2015

    Thanks for the recipe! Just made a batch and used the 2T of matcha – it was a little too matcha-y for me (and I love matcha… Could have been because I used matcha tea powder not marked specially for cooking) so I added another can of coconut milk. Worked beautifully. Topped our first bowls with toasted sesame seeds and freeze dried coconut and it was delicious!

    • Valerie
      08.13.2015

      A friend returned from Japan and brought me a gift of Macha Green Tea powder. I googled recipes and found yours to be very attractive. I just finished making it and it is now chilling in the refrigerator. I can’t wait to eat it!
      I wondered what is the difference of the “cooking” Matcha green tea powder vs. the “drinking” type that I have.
      I’m hoping it’s not too bitter (as one of your reviewers mentioned it WAS when she used 2 tablespoons of the “drinking type” powder). If it is… do you suggest adding another can as she did? I wonder if she can respond to this message too.

      • jeanine
        08.13.2015

        hi Valerie, every type of matcha will taste different no matter what it’s labeled – ceremonial matcha is supposed to taste less bitter than cooking-grade matcha – but every single brand will be different and everyone’s taste for it will be different too. If you’ve already mixed it and the flavor is too strong, maybe add a few sweet toppings to your ice cream to balance it out :).

        • Valerie
          08.13.2015

          Where do you find “cooking -grade” Matcha? … I never heard of that or seen it.
          I now have my chilled mixture in the ice cream maker now. I tried tasting the liquid mixture and am very excited to eat the finished ice cream product. The watery liquid mixture is delish!!! Not bitter at all! I used about 1 and 3/4th Tablespoons of my Matcha Powder.
          Thank you again for sharing your recipe!!!

  26. Sarah
    06.23.2015

    I made this ice cream today and wow! What a delectable dessert. I got myself two scoops but only had one because it was so intensely amazing. Every little bite was savored and one to be appreciated. I used honey instead of maple syrup and a tablespoon of cane sugar. I like that this is more of a unique ice cream compared to other flavors that are just in your face sweet. Thanks for another awesome recipe! Will definitely be making this ice cream again this summer 🙂

  27. Caspar
    11.02.2015

    Hi Jeanine,

    How many ml is 1 can?

  28. Louise
    01.30.2016

    Hi–when do you add the vodka? Thank you! Looks amazing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.31.2016

      Hi Louise – mix it with all of the other ingredients (I just updated the recipe to list that a little more clearly).

  29. Josh
    06.25.2016

    I haven’t read all the comments to see if anyone else said this yet, but the instructions don’t mention when to add the coconut milk. I’m assuming it goes with step 2 eh?

  30. Sarah
    03.29.2017

    Just tried to make this and it was a total fail. I was suspicious of the ingredient list and should have trusted my instinct. Reading the last comment posted back in June 2016, I see that someone else had the same question as me about when to add the coconut milk, because that is left out of the instructions. While the flavor of the ingredients is great, the ingredients do not make for good ice cream. Vegan ice Cream needs some sort of thickener. I typically use arrowroot flour, which is gluten free. The mixture also needs to be heated first (to create the thickening) and then cooled before putting into the ice creamer maker bowl. This recipe never thickened in my ice cream maker, and the fat in the coconut just separated from the liquid and hardened. Maybe this recipe has potential with some tweaks??

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.30.2017

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m so sorry for the unclear instructions. Yes, the coconut milk gets mixed with the rest of the ingredients and then poured into the ice cream maker. Hmm.. I’ve always found that 2 cans of full fat coconut milk thickens up nicely. It’s possible that there could be a difference in types of coconut milk or in ice cream makers? I’ve used this template for lots of various ice creams. I occasionally add corn starch, but I’ve personally found the difference to be negligible. The mixture needs to be cool (not hot) before adding to the ice cream maker and the ice cream maker has to be as frozen as possible. I get a soft serve texture right out of the ice cream maker and then let it firm up in the freezer for a scoop-able texture. I’ll be sure to test this one again adding more detailed notes, and I sincerely apologize for the trouble with the recipe.

  31. Theresa
    07.21.2017

    I am so thankful for this recipe. Years ago my friends took me out to a sushi restaurant for my birthday and I had my first green tea ice cream. I searched high and low for it in stores to no avail. I went to my local Asian market and found it, but it was chock full of stuff I avoid eating. So, I went without its deliciousness until I found your recipe.
    This is really delicious! The texture is really nice too. The first time I made it, I used the ingredients you listed with the exception that I only had a lime in the fridge and not a lemon, so in it went. I have tried it with the lemon as well, but have to say the lime ups the dimension of flavors quite well! I know play around with sugars, where I use half coconut sugar and regular sugar ect. Always comes out perfect.

  32. Do you use the whole can of coconut milk or just the fat?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.11.2018

      the whole can!

  33. Jill
    03.15.2019

    I only have light coconut milk in house…will that work? I hope so cuz I really want to make this now!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.15.2019

      Hi Jill, I’m sorry, it’ll be too icy with light coconut milk.

      • Jill
        03.15.2019

        Ok, so I tried it anyway and put in a bit of cornstarch thinking this would thicken it up a bit, maybe! Anyway, it seemed to work well! Love the result anyway!

        • Jill
          03.15.2019

          Forgot to rate it!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          03.17.2019

          Hi Jill, I’m so glad that worked! Thanks for coming back with your results!! xo

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.