Pina Colada Ice Cream

Pina Colada Ice Cream brings all the island flavors of pineapple and coconut from the popular cocktail to homemade ice cream!
Pina Colada Ice Cream

Pina Colada Ice Cream

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

It’s National Piña Colada Day today.  What a great way to honor and celebrate Puerto Rico, the birthplace of the classic drink! The person who first made the drink is uncertain, but one thing is clear, it hails from either the Caribe Hotel  (in the mid 1950’s) or La Barrachina Restaurant (in the mid 1960’s), both located in San Juan.

The name pina colada means “strained pineapple” and not pineapple-coconut (as you might be tempted to guess.) Usually a sweet frozen cocktail made with sweetened coconut milk and rum, it is one of the most popular tropical drinks ever. But it doesn’t have to be a cocktail as the classic flavor combination can be made into so many things, as we can see from the selection of recipes from Sunday Supper bloggers this week. I decided to do a pina colada ice cream (well not technically an ice cream since it is a frozen custard) but ice cream all the same.

One of the main ingredients in pina colada is the popular Coco Lopez (cream of coconut). I always find this ingredient interesting because when I post Thai recipes calling for coconut milk, I always seem to have to make some disclaimer about using unsweetened coconut milk in Thai curries instead of the sweetened Coco Lopez version. In fact, I don’t even bother to use the Coco Lopez in my pitcher pina coladas at all, going with the unsweetened. It is also important in cooking and mixing libations that coconut cream refers to the thick part of coconut milk that rises to the top of the can, and this is unrelated to Coco Lopez which is a sweetened product.

In this particular ice cream, I went with  the mixer- I can’t really say why, but it is pretty much homogenized, and since I was also using a can of coconut milk (unsweetened) I felt it had less chance of trying to separate in the custard overnight. As it turns out, it didn’t separate during the chill time, and may not have done so regardless of which thing I used in it. I do make this as a cooked custard, but I imagine you can work this out as a plain ice cream without the eggs if you can’t have those. I have always found that eggs in frozen custard add a richer creamier flavor and texture.

However you choose to make this, I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to check out the other pina colada inspired recipes from the Sunday Supper group below.

Until next time-


pina colada ice cream sundaysupper

Pina Colada Ice Cream

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Please  figure on a 6 hour chill time for the custard (overnight)


  • 14.5  ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup non-alcoholic pina colada drink mixer
  • 1 cup  heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 8 ounces crushed pineapple  (one small can)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon imitation rum extract


  1. Whisk together the unsweetened coconut milk, pina colada mix, heavy cream, and  egg yolks.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Place mixture in the top section of a double boiler and cook over low heat until mixture reaches 160ºF.; do not allow mixture to boil.
  4. Mixture will be somewhat thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
  6. The next day, pour custard mix into an electric ice cream maker and operate according to appliance directions.
  7. When finished, freeze further to tighten up from a soft-serve consistency.

From the kitchen of

pina colada ice cream sq


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8 responses

  1. Love your ice cream and I agree about the eggs in a custard. I grew up going to ice cream socials where we made our own ice cream right at the social! I remember mom making her custard base and I loved her recipe over all others!

  2. This looks delicious! I think that using a disclaimer is a good idea- it gets confusing with the coconut cream or the Lopez stuff that already has sugar in it.

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