Creme Brulee Ice Cream (Gluten Free, Egg Free, with Dairy-Free, Vegan Option)
"Base" Ice Cream Ingredients
  • just under 2 ¼ cups full-fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (see notes for homemade versions---including dairy-free options).
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • scrapings from half a vanilla bean
Ingredients for Brulee Sugar for Swirling In Ice Cream
  • 1 – 2 tbsp oil (coconut or grapeseed oil)
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut “cream”
  1. Mix ice cream ingredients in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Pour into frozen ice cream tub. Churn 25 to 30 minutes. As soon as ice cream starts churning, start making brulee sugar as shown below. (It doesn’t take long to make, but you will want to chill it as directed, which does take several minutes.)
Brulee Sugar Instructions
  1. In a small skillet, heat oil on medium heat until warm.
  2. Add coconut sugar. Stir constantly for a few minutes until coconut sugar is a little crunchy.
  3. Stir in about a tablespoon of the coconut cream (the thick “cream” at the top of the can after refrigerating for a long period of time) or a little less of some full-fat coconut milk, as a binder. Stir.
  4. Place skillet in freezer until 5 minutes before the ice cream will be finished churning. Remove skillet and break up brulee sugar, if necessary, with wooden spoon. While ice cream is still churning, using wooden spoon, knock brulee sugar pieces into ice cream maker, a little at a time. Wait until each piece “disappears” before you add the next one, so you’ll have brulee sugar “deposits” spread throughout your ice cream.
  5. Transfer ice cream to a freezer container and freeze a bit longer if needed. Enjoy!
When making the brulee sugar, I recommend only using grapeseed oil (which is flavorless) or coconut oil, as a second choice. Other oils may be too strong and negatively impact the crème brulee flavor. After scraping vanilla bean, don't discard it. You can add it to a container of granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar, add it to hot chocolate, add it to your homemade bottle of vanilla extract, etc. (The latter is what I did. My homemade vanilla extract that I made last year for Christmas is getting low. Soon, I'll be adding even more vanilla beans and vodka to the bottle.)

There are quite a few options for homemade sweetened condensed milk. Here are a few recipes: Unconventional Baker; And Love It, Too!; Go Dairy Free; and Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom.

If using non-dairy condensed milk, this recipe will also be vegan. Personally, I'd use full-fat coconut milk when making my own dairy-free condensed milk.
Recipe by gfe--gluten free easily at