SSS: Toasted Coconut Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Caramel Coconut Chunky Monkey?)

gluten free, dairy free, grain free, refined sugar free, coconut, ice cream, Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts This post is linked to Wellness Weekends.

Today’s Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts (SSS) entry is another recipe in the gluten-free, dairy-free (and more) ice cream/sherbet category—Toasted Coconut Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. It shares some traits with Ben & Jerry’s beloved Chunky Monkey ice cream, but the inclusion of toasted coconut and coconut sugar takes this ice cream up a notch in my opinion … in both taste and appearance. Plus my version is also dairy free and more-free.

suite of sweets, gfe, gluten free easily, sweets, Valentine's Day, treats, desserts, biscuitsThis recipe was not on my SSS slate at all, but when I flipped through my massive stack of recipe ideas when looking for a misplaced recipe card for a recipe that is on my agenda, I saw a page that I’d saved from an old Country Living magazine. It featured a “semi-homemade” ice cream. Their idea was to mix sliced banana, toasted coconut, and bittersweet chocolate into softened store-bought vanilla ice cream and refreeze the concoction. I knew I had to make the ice cream immediately, but I also knew that I could do better making my own homemade dairy-free+ version. About 25 minutes later, I was eating this ice cream and while I obviously never tasted the magazine’s version, I know mine is better … the proof is in every bite! And, of course, I had to share the recipe with you all for Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts!

gluten free, dairy free, grain free, refined sugar free, coconut, ice cream, Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts

In other very sweet news, you may have noticed the pretty little blue star on my sidebar. That’s because I’ve been nominated for Best Gluten-Free Blogger in Triumph Dining’s 2012 Best of Gluten-Free Awards! Wow, huh? Yes, I am honored! You’ll find some of my favorite gluten-free bloggers and yours right there with me, too. If you have a moment, please cast your vote for not only your favorite blogger, but also your favorite cookbooks, favorite flour mixes, favorite products, and more. It’s an opportunity to voice your opinion and let others know what/who you find valuable in our wonderful gluten-free community! If you should happen to vote for me, well, thank you very, very much!

 triumph dining, best of gluten-free awards, 2012, best gluten-free blogger

Also, don’t forget that the 25% discount on Caveman Cookiesset up exclusively for my gfe readers—continues on through Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

Enter GFESweets when ordering to receive the discount.

I’m loving this year’s SSS event … hope you are as well!

gluten free, dairy free, grain free, refined sugar free, coconut, ice cream, Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts

Toasted Coconut Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free+)
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)


1 can coconut milk (full fat, not lite), chilled for several hours (preferably overnight)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut flakes, divided
2/3 cup coconut sugar (or palm sugar; see notes for more options)
1 cup banana, very ripe and at least partially mashed (about two bananas; see notes regarding mashing or not)
½ cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional; for dairy free, Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet or Enjoy Life minis or mega chunks are good, or a quality gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate bar broken into pieces, for refined sugar free as well, use unsweetened chocolate bar broken into pieces and increase coconut sugar to taste)
¼ cup chopped walnuts


Spread coconut flakes on baking sheet and toast in preheated 400F-degree oven for about 3 minutes. Stir every minute. When coconut is fragrant and some of the coconut flakes are a lovely golden brown, remove from oven. (You don’t want to wait until all the coconut flakes are brown, because if you do, some of the coconut will burn and may ruin the taste of the rest.) Set coconut flakes aside to cool for a few minutes.

Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, ½ cup toasted coconut flakes, coconut sugar, and banana to the pitcher of your blender. (See my notes on banana options before adding.) Blend on high until fairly well mixed, just about a minute.

Add to frozen ice cream tub. Turn ice cream maker on. Pour contents of blender pitcher into tub. Pour chocolate chips, walnuts, and any additional banana slices slowly into tub via the top opening as ice cream churns. Churn about 20 minutes.

Ice cream can be served immediately or frozen for later. For the prettiest presentation and best taste, scoop ice cream and roll each scoop into remaining toasted coconut flakes before serving.

Shirley’s Notes:  If you eat refined sugar, you should be able to substitute brown sugar or granulated sugar for the coconut sugar or palm sugar. Brown sugar is a better substitution if you want the same caramel coloring. White sugar will give you more of a vanilla coloring and, similarly, a more “vanilla” taste. I’m sure honey would be wonderful in this recipe, too. With honey, the coloring would be somewhat “in the middle.” I decided to mash both bananas to make one cup. However, if you’d like you can mash half of the banana (half a cup), but save a number of slices (to equal half a cup) to add as you start churning your ice cream. I just grabbed a small handful of the walnut pieces from the bottom of my walnut bag, versus taking the time to chop some.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


30 Responses to “SSS: Toasted Coconut Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (Caramel Coconut Chunky Monkey?)”

  1. Jeanette on February 10th, 2012 12:31 am

    Oh my, this ice cream looks incredible. My husband used to love Chunky Money – haven’t had it in ages. Now that he’s lactose intolerant, I’ll have to make this for him.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:01 am

      Hi Jeanette–Coconut-based ice cream is such a treat for those who eat dairy free or lactose free. I think this ice cream is especially fabulous eaten right after it’s made. :-)


  2. Ina Gawne on February 10th, 2012 11:04 am

    Shirley – another winning ice cream…Yeahhhh! Dear Shirley – you most happily have my vote! :)

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:02 am

      Hi Ina–Thanks on both counts! You’re a dear! :-)


  3. Colette on February 10th, 2012 1:43 pm

    this sounds soooo good, i can’t wait to try it!

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:04 am

      Hi Colette–It looks like you are new here–welcome! :-) Thanks on the ice cream. Hope you like it!


  4. Linda on February 10th, 2012 1:52 pm

    Oh yum! I think this is my favorite of the week. I love the combination of coconut, banana and chocolate.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:05 am

      Hey Linda–Thanks, dear! :-) That is a hard combo to beat, isn’t it? ;-)


  5. Alta on February 11th, 2012 1:20 pm

    Ooh, yum. Can we put black walnuts in this too, Shirley? :) You and I can split a big ol’ bowl.

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:06 am

      Oh, Alta, I like that idea of adding the black walnuts versus English walnuts in this recipe! And yes, we can share! :-)


  6. Mary on February 11th, 2012 2:59 pm

    Beautiful Dessert, Shirley!
    I already cast my vote…there’s no one more deserving!
    Good luck!


    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:13 am

      Thank you, Mary! You are most generous! :-)


  7. InTolerantChef on February 12th, 2012 6:09 am

    Ohhhh, definitely on my must-make list! Yumm..

    • Shirley on February 13th, 2012 12:14 am

      InTolerant Chef–It’s yummy stuffy for sure–thanks! I don’t use my ice cream maker that often, but I do love creating tasty frozen concoctions using it. :-)


  8. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on February 13th, 2012 4:49 pm

    I do not even know what to say, except that Chunky Monkey is one of my FAVORITE ice cream flavors EVER!! Did I ever tell you that? You and your ice cream flavors are amazing! I suppose now I have another recipe of yours to add to my must-make list. :)

    • Shirley on February 15th, 2012 7:43 pm

      Hi Kim–No, you didn’t tell me, but it’s a good thing you’ve never opened any in front of me … it’s not pretty, let me tell you! ;-) I think this is a recipe that each time I’ll make it, I’ll get it a little closer to Chunky Monkey yet better, know what I mean? I’m thinking just a tad more banana slices and chocolate shavings added right at the end next time. :-) And of course, like most dairy-free ice cream, this is best right when it’s done churning.


  9. Tracy on February 19th, 2012 9:38 pm

    I made this tonight for dessert and OH MY!!! It is so delicious! I have had quite a few ice cream disasters but this is a recipe that I will make over and over. A big hit with my whole family, thank you so much for sharing the recipe!!

    • Shirley on February 19th, 2012 9:50 pm

      Hi Tracy–It’s wonderful to see you here at gfe again! And even better to get this fabulous feedback—thanks so very much! :-) You’ve totally made my day and I so appreciate you taking the time to comment!


  10. Tom @ Tall Clover Farm on August 18th, 2012 11:13 am

    Making this tomorrow, still deciding if I’ll share or consume a ‘test’ batch for myself. ;-)

    • Shirley on August 19th, 2012 3:39 pm

      Hi Tom–Fingers crossed that you loved this one! In one way, it’s hard to stop with this recipe. On the other hand, it’s rich and satisfying so not much is needed. Since it’s dairy free ice cream, I suppose you could have even let your four-legged friends have a teeny taste without too much worry, or at least allow them to lick up any errant drops. ;-)


  11. Ellen (Gluten Free Diva) on August 20th, 2012 8:22 pm

    Shirley – this looks SOOOO good. I can’t wait to try it!!!! I’m so thrilled to find a recipe for ice cream made with coconut milk. Yum yum yum yum yum!!!!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2012 6:04 am

      Hey Ellen–I think you will love this ice cream. I shared it with my support group this month for our ice cream social event at the end of our meal. It was loved!! Coconut milk and a few simple ingredients can make for some very tasty ice cream! ;-)


  12. Angela on June 30th, 2013 3:23 am

    Ok, so I just made this and yes I realize it’s past midnight…. :) this is out of this world delicious!!!! You have outdone yourself with this and I agree with the reader that mentioned it is just like chunky monkey – except I think it’s way better still!!!
    And yes, a blog on this is coming soon to a computer near you…. ;)

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2013 6:33 am

      Oh, Angela, coming home to this comment last night made me so happy! Thank you and your taste testers so very much for making this ice cream recipe and for declaring it the best ever! :-) I’m so pleased!

      Big thankful hugs to you!

  13. Angela on June 30th, 2013 5:02 am
  14. Angela on June 30th, 2013 2:59 pm

    One more thing, Shirley: this ice cream has just been pronounced as the best ice cream EVER, by my testers, and I have to agree!!!

  15. Angela on July 5th, 2013 3:18 pm

    One more thing: just had to make it again for July 4 – used coconut sugar instead, and no coconut, and that version disappeared just as fast – not sure they even noticed anything changed….no leftovers…..only requests to make more :)

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