Deliciously fragrant, refreshing and velvety pandan ice cream made with fresh pandan leaves and coconut milk. This recipe is really flavorful and easy to make at home!
With the continuously raising temperatures, the only thing that can cool me off on a hot summer day is ice cream. Not that any of us need an excuse to have it!
This homemade pandan ice cream is incredibly refreshing, making it the perfect ice cream to have at the height of summer. Alongside a refreshing glass of Wintermelon Milk Tea, this frozen dessert is guaranteed to quench your thirst!
Naturally a wonderful vibrant green color, pandan coconut ice cream surpasses any store-bought dessert. It’s incredibly creamy, refreshing and fragrant, with a silky smooth texture. If you haven’t tried pandan flavor before, get ready to add it to your top 5 favorites!
Made with real pandan leaf, every lick of this ice cream is an explosion of flavor. Coconut milk adds a subtle sweet and nutty flavor, which makes the pandan pop even more. So what are you waiting for? Get that apron on!
Looking for more amazing unique desserts and flavors? Try this earthy sweet Ube Ice Cream, this pillowy soft Pandan Chiffon Cake or these soft and crunchy Pandan Waffles, made with Homemade Pandan Extract. You might also want to see this rich and creamy Matcha Ice Cream and this rich Hojicha Ice Cream.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Fresh and natural: Fresh pandan leaves are used for the most natural flavor. The green color is also entirely natural and it comes from the pandan leaves.
- Very refreshing, perfect for summer: Pandan is world renowned for its fresh and grassy flavor, making it the perfect for ice cream. This pandan coconut ice cream is really refreshing, guaranteed to cool you off even at the heights of summer.
- Easy to make: This ice cream recipe is easy to follow, with plain ingredients. The only specialized ingredient is pandan leaf, which can be found in most Asian supermarkets. Preparing the recipe takes only a few minutes, so it’s really fuss free!
- Perfectly creamy: Coconut milk and cream are added to create the perfect silky smooth and creamy texture. Although this recipe is very refreshing, it’s also velvety and rich.
What is pandan?
Pandan is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, more specifically Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. This aromatic herb is renowned for its distinct flavor and scent, similar to a mixture of jasmine, vanilla and coconut. It tastes almost green and very grassy, so it’s ideal for making refreshing desserts and drinks.
Also known as screwpine, pandan is used in both sweet and savory dishes, and is often used to infuse coconut milk. When infused or pureed, pandan leaves create a very vivid green color, so it’s also great as natural food coloring.
What is pandan ice cream?
Pandan ice cream is a flavor of ice cream made by infusing coconut milk with pandan leaves. It’s a very popular dessert in Southeast Asia that’s becoming popular all over the world. Magnolia ice cream has its famous Buko Pandan ice cream flavor, loved all across North America.
Pandan leaves give this ice cream a very vibrant green color. They also give it a grassy, fresh and fragrant flavor, with sweet hints of jasmine and vanilla. Coconut milk is used as a base, which makes this green ice cream very creamy. Coconut adds to the flavor as well, bringing nutty and sweet notes.
Overall, pandan coconut ice cream is definitely a Southeast Asian staple due to its unique flavor of coconutty pandan. So if you’re on the lookout for a really refreshing taste, this may just become your favorite!
What does it taste like?
This recipe has two main flavor notes: pandan and coconut. Fresh pandan leaves bring a grassy aroma, infused with notes of jasmine tea and hints of vanilla. It tastes very refreshing and light, perfect for summer.
Coconut milk brings an earthy and nutty flavor, whilst also making the texture of the ice cream very rich and creamy. Overall, pandan and coconut are a perfect combination, making this ice cream flavor an absolute triumph!
Apart from pandan leaves, all ingredients can be found in most pantries or local grocery stores. Pandan leaves can be found in most Asian stores either fresh or frozen – both options work just as well.
Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- Pandan leaves – the star ingredient in this recipe. You will need about 6-10 pandan leaves.
- Sweetened condensed milk – adds sweetness and creaminess to the ice cream base
- Eggs – used to thicken the base. Egg yolks add creaminess and richness.
- Coconut milk – adds flavor and makes the natural pandan flavor pop
- Coconut cream – adds creaminess and richness
- Optional: pandan paste – enhances the flavor and makes the green more vibrant. Use with measure, otherwise it gives it a fake flavoring taste.
Variations & Substitutions
This recipe is so fuss free that you can swap out a lot of the ingredients. Here’s how:
- Pandan leaves - can be replaced with pandan extract, pandan paste or pandan powder.
- Sweetened condensed milk – replace with ¼ cup coconut milk + ⅓ cup white sugar. You can also use gula melaka (coconut palm sugar) for a more unique flavor.
- Coconut milk – replace with whole milk in the same quantity
- Coconut cream – replace with heavy cream in the same quantity
Other ingredients can be added to enhance the flavors, here are some of my favorite:
- Vanilla extract – adds a subtle sweet flavor, which works really well with pandan
- Lemongrass – add ½ lemongrass stalk to infuse the coconut milk for a unique flavor twist
- Mango – puree ½ cup fresh or frozen mango and add to the ice cream base for a sweet and floral flavor
- Lychee – puree 4-5 pitted lychees and add to the base for a tropical flavor
- Coconut flakes – after churning, fold in some coconut flakes for a pop of nutty flavor and texture
How to make pandan ice cream
1. Wash and cut pandan leaves into small pieces. Process in a blender with coconut milk, the sift to remove leaf pulp. This is the pandan milk.
2. Combine egg, egg yolk, condensed milk and salt in a bowl, mixing well.
3. Separately, heat the pandan coconut milk and coconut cream over medium heat until bubbling. Pour it over the egg mixture, then return to heat to cook until thickened.
4. Let mixture cool down, then refrigerate. Churn mixture in ice cream machine until soft serve, then freeze until firm.
Success Tips & Tricks
- Use real pandan – Great pandan coconut ice cream has a unique flavor, which cannot be reproduced by using pandan extract. The real grassy floral aroma can only be extracted from pandan leaves, which is why it’s important to use the real thing.
- Sift out leaf pulp – The key to perfectly smooth and creamy ice cream is a flawless texture. To achieve this, it’s important to use a sieve to remove every last bit of pandan leaf pulp. Although they taste lovely, pandan fiber isn’t great to eat.
- Temper eggs using kitchen thermometer – Raw eggs aren’t safe to eat, so it’s important to temper them well. Although this can also be done without any special tools, it’s best to use a kitchen thermometer.
- Chill ice cream before churning – The pandan coconut ice cream base needs to have at least 2-3 hours in the fridge before churning. Cooling helps mature the flavors, and also drops the temperature, making it perfect for churning!
- Don’t over-churn – Make sure to follow the ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions when churning this ice cream. Over-churning can make it lumpy and form ice crystals, which give it a grainy in texture.
Serving & Storing
Serving: You can enjoy this ice cream either soft serve or slightly firmer. For soft serve, let it freeze for 1 hour after churning, then serve in a glass bowl or cup. For firmer pandan coconut ice cream, freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Enjoy it out of waffle cones for an even more delicious frozen dessert!
I recommend serving it with coconut flakes or shredded coconut, or with a dollop of red bean paste. Top with pandan jelly for extra texture!
Storing: Homemade pandan ice cream can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Always store it in an freezer-safe air-tight container and for extra protection, add a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream.
After storing, use an ice cream scoop to scoop out only the amount you need. Don’t let the entire container out for too long, as melting and re-freezing the ice cream can make the ice cream become icy and too hard.
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Pandan Ice Cream with Real Pandan and Coconut Milk
- blender or food processor
- medium saucepan
- ice cream maker
- 6-8 pandan leaves, washed
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (100 grams)
- 2 medium eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut milk* (100 grams)
- 1 cup coconut cream* (220 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ teaspoon pandan paste (or extract)
- Thoroughly wash pandan leaves, then cut off the thicker part of the stem. Chop them into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Add the chopped pandan leaves and coconut milk to a blender and mix well until the leaves are pulverised. Strain out the leaves and discard them.
- In a medium bowl, add the eggs, salt, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla bean paste (optional), then whisk well to combine.
- In a medium saucepan, pour the pandan coconut milk, heavy cream and pandan paste (or extract) and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture starts bubbling or when it reaches 180°F (80°C).
- Slowly pour the hot pandan milk over the egg mixture, whilst whisking. Place the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat whilst mixing continuously until slightly thickened. This should take about 5-6 minutes or if using a food thermometer, the temperature should read 180°F (80°C).
- Pour the hot custard into a bowl to prevent overcooking. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then let it cool down to room temperature before transferring to the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before churning.
- Once chilled, add the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn as indicated on the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes between 20-30 minutes.
- After churning, transfer to a freezer-safe container and smooth out the top with a spatula. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours or until firmly set.
- Coconut cream & milk: can be replaced with regular cow milk and cream. See Substitutions & Variations section for more information.
- Nutritional value is estimative only and is calculated per serving, without any additional toppings. This recipe makes 6 servings (2 small scoops per serving)