Dairy Free Gelato

A serving of Stracciatella Dairy-Free and Vegan Gelato in a small clear glass mug.

5 from 2 reviews

A delicious and impressive 3-ingredient vegan and dairy-free gelato recipe made with only coconut milk, sugar, and dark chocolate. 


Units Scale
  • 2 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk (530 ml)
  • 3/4 cups sugar (150 grams)
  • 3 ounces good dark chocolate (85 grams)


  1. Prep: Place your gelato holding container and lid separately in the freezer so it's cold when the gelato is finished.
  2. Make the base: In a medium pot, add the coconut milk and heat until just beginning to steam. Start with medium heat and adjust as needed. Then, add the sugar and whisk in until fully dissolved. The mixture should be smooth and taste like a sweet coconut cream. Watch the temperature carefully and do not let the ice cream base simmer or boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Ice cream Maker: Once the liquid is at a warm room temperature, set up the ice cream maker. Whisk the mixture together one last time and pour it into the ice cream maker.
  4. Melt the chocolate: Once the ice cream is beginning to solidify, set up a double-boiler to melt the chocolate. For a makeshift version, use the same pot as before and rinse and fill with about 1 inch of warm water. Then heat on the stove with a heat-safe glass bowl on top. Place the chopped chocolate in the bowl and allow the steam from the water to melt it. Stir on occasion and remove from heat when fully melted.
  5. Make Stracciatella: When the ice cream has solidified to a thick soft-serve consistency, pour the melted chocolate into the ice cream maker in a thin stream. The chocolate will quickly solidify making the characteristic chocolate strings in stracciatella gelato. Continue until all the chocolate has been incorporated, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon so the mechanism doesn't get stuck. Then transfer the finished dairy-free gelato to the container in the refrigerator and freeze.


Don't allow the ice cream mixture to simmer or boil. This can change the flavor or burn the sugar. Since this recipe is so simple, even small changes in flavor are detectable.

Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved. If you want a smooth classic gelato, the sugar must be fully dissolved into the coconut milk.

Don't double the batch if you're using a 2 quart ice cream maker with freezing bowl. While it is very tempting to make a double batch, I found that the larger amount took a very long time to freeze and didn't quite get to the soft serve texture we want (it took too much heat from the frozen bowl too quickly). Fortunately, this dairy-free gelato recipe is super easy so you can make another batch soon if needed!

Serving Tip: If the dairy-free gelato is too hard to scoop after immediately removing from the freezer, allow it to rest on the counter at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. It will soften quickly to traditional gelato texture.

Storage: Store leftover dairy free gelato in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months. After that, you risk freezer burn.

Keywords: dairy-free gelato, vegan gelato, gluten-free gelato, stracciatella ice cream, coconut milk ice cream