This Pina Colada ice cream is so easy to make with canned pineapple chunks in juice, coconut cream, banana, maple syrup, and of course a little rum extract, this creamy delicious dairy-free frozen tropical dessert will remind you of relaxing on a beach at sunset, sipping a Pina colada, and letting your cares go by.
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This lower-sugar frozen homemade ice cream tropical treat was developed for the Ninja Creami ice cream maker. You will be shocked at how smooth and creamy it turns out. The challenge with making vegan ice creams is getting a smooth and creamy texture. With the Ninja Creami, you are pretty much guaranteed a nice smooth finish!
You can make this recipe using another type of ice cream maker (see below); and while the coconut pineapple rum flavor of your vegan ice cream will still be delicious, the texture will not be as smooth. I’ve given directions below near the bottom of step two for those who have a different type of ice cream freezer.
You can even turn this recipe into an adult version, frozen, pina colada! See below if you’d like to do that! So which are you going to make? The family-friendly dairy-free ice cream version? Or the very adult cocktail version, also dairy-free? Either way, get ready to enjoy the flavors of summer on the beach – even if you are stuck in the house on a drizzly gray day.
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Ingredients needed for Dairy-Free Pina Colada Ice Cream
- coconut cream – I skim the top from a can of coconut milk. You can use lite or full-fat coconut milk. Today I used lite coconut milk because I’m trying to go for lower sugar and fat with this recipe.
- maple syrup – Real maple syrup, please!
- 8 ounces canned pineapple chunks – Canned in juice. You will be using the juice as well as the pineapple chunks.
- rum extract – if you will be making the adult version then you’ll obviously need actual rum as well. I recommend gold or dark rum. See directions below if this is what you are looking for.
- sliced banana – you will be using about one-half cup of sliced banana.
- Ninja Creami (or other ice cream freezer). – I strongly encourage using a Ninja Creami. This device is game-changing. However, if you are using a different ice cream maker then I’ve provided directions below.
How to make this delicious smooth vegan pina colada homemade ice cream
The exact ingredients with measurements along with abbreviated concise directions are in the printable recipe card below. Feel free to scroll to the card, or read further for useful tips.
Step 1: Skim the cream from the canned coconut milk
Make sure you are using canned coconut milk for this recipe. The fat and water from coconut milk that comes in a carton won’t separate. You can use full fat or lite coconut milk. The directions and flavor will be the same. Obviously, anytime you use fuller fat ingredients, the texture will be richer. For this recipe, I can’t really tell a difference and so I recommend lite coconut milk.
Make sure your can of coconut milk sits undisturbed overnight before opening it. If you just purchased your coconut milk the day of, place it in the freeze or fridge for a few hours. This will allow the cream to harden, separate, and float to the top.
Carefully open the can, and with a spoon, skim out one-half cup of the cream from the top. I measure directly into a two-cup liquid measuring cup. You do not want the ingredients to exceed two cups and this is a great way of ensuring that.
Step 2: Add the other ingredients
Again, I measure and add the ingredients directly to the two-cup measuring cup. I mix right in the cup so that I don’t dirty another bowl.
Add the canned pineapple along with its juice. I use pineapple canned in its own juice for this recipe. I’m trying to keep this one as healthy as possible with the lite coconut milk and pineapple juice. I realize maple sugar has calories and sugar too. But maple syrup is not as processed as the sugary syrup found in canned pineapple with syrup.
To the pineapple, juice, and coconut cream, add the rum extract and maple syrup. Give it a stir. You don’t have to have everything perfectly stirred and blended before freezing. The Ninja Creami will take care of that when it is processing the frozen mixture.
Finally, you may add the sliced bananas. I save the bananas for last because bananas come in different sized and it might be tempting to add just a little more so that you don’t have any pieces of banana leftover. Don’t.
Don’t add the sliced bananas past the 2-cup mark for this recipe. The Ninja Creami pint container has a max fill level and you don’t want to go above that level.
Directions for making Pina Colada Ice Cream if you are using another ice cream machine other than the Ninja Creami
The beauty of the Ninja Creami is that it blends the small pieces – such as pineapple chunks and banana slices – as it is processing. With any other ice cream machine, you are going to need to blend everything up ahead of freezing.
Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend till smooth. Then follow the manufacturer’s directions that came with your ice cream maker.
Now back to the Ninji Creami directions…
Step 3: Freeze the ingredients
Pour the mixed – but not blended – Pina colada ice cream ingredients into the Ninja freezer pint container. You will freeze and process using this container.
Place the lid securely on the top and freeze upright for 24 hours. This is the minimum time the manufacturer recommends. I have not played around with different times. If you want to serve perfect pina colada ice cream then you shouldn’t either!
I often have several pints freezing at a time and so I find it helpful to label the lid with the name of the recipe, the date, and the time I placed it in the freezer. (You will find that it is very convenient to have more pints to use than what came with the machine. If you would like to order more, you can go direct through Ninja. I ordered my Ninja pint containers on Amazon. )
Step 4: Time to make the best ever Pina Colada vegan ice cream!
It is very important that you understand and follow the directions that came with your Ninja ice cream maker. The following is my experience but not a substitute for the manufacturer’s directions.
After the ingredients have been frozen for 24 hours, you can process your homemade ice cream. Remove from the freezer and remove the lid.
Place the frozen pint container in the processing bowl. Insert the paddle on the lid and lock the lid onto the processing container.
Plug in the machine and place the enclosed processing container onto the base pad. Twist-up until it locks into place.
Turn on the machine. If you have inserted everything correctly, the panel lights will all be lit. If you have not ,it will indicate with a blinking light under “install”
You will process this vegan ice cream on “lite ice cream” because the amount of sugar is a little bit lower. Even if you used the full-fat coconut milk, still process on “lite” because of the lower sugar content.
After processing, press the release button and remove. Open the lid and see what you have! Yummy pina colada ice cream!
If your finished ice cream is dry, powdery, or has little balls on the top it might be that your freezer was too cold and you just need a little extra processing.
If that is the case then follow the steps again by closing the lid and reloading it into the machine. This time, press “re-spin” and that should do the trick!
It’s Pina Cola Ice Cream Time!!!
Or, make an adult pina colada drink!
Or…or…. you could turn your marvelous vegan ice cream into a more marvelous vegan adult beverage! Sprinkles on top are optional! After the first processing, make a hole in the middle of your frozen ice cream and pour in two shots of golden rum. Process on a re-spin. Then spoon into a fancy glass and it’s PINA COLADA TIME! For real this time!
For some other delicious vegan ice cream and frozen treat recipes from Veggie Fun Kitchen, try
- Haagen Daz Coffee Copy Cat Ice Cream made in the Ninja Creami
- Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream made in the Ninja Creami
- Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet
- Lemony Peach Popsicles
- Fresh Peach Sorbet
The printable recipe card
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- Ninja Creami Ice Cream Maker You won't be sorry!
- ½ cup lite coconut cream
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 8 ounces canned pineapple chunks in juice
- 1½ teaspoon rum extract
- ½ cup sliced banana
- Measure out one-half cup coconut cream from the top of a can of coconut milk or cream. I used lite coconut milk.
- Add the 8 ounce can of pineapple chunks in juice (including the juice), the maple syrup, and rum extract. Give it a stir.
- Slice a small banana into the mixture ensuring the level does NOT go above the two cup mark. This is very important!
- Pour into the Ninja Creami pint container and freeze upright for 24 hours. If you are using another type of ice cream freezer/maker, you will need to blend the ingredients and process according the manufacturers' directions.
- Following the manufacturer's directions, process on "lite" ice cream. If it needs to process further, then do a respin. See the next step for the processing directions if you are new to the Ninja Creami and please refer to the directions in your owner's manual.
- Processing directions:Remove the pint from the freezer and remove the lid from the pint. Place in the outer bowl and "lock" or set in the pint into place. Install the paddle onto the outer bowl lid according to directions in the owner's manual. Close the lid and lock into place. Plug in the machine and set the entire assembly onto the platform and turn right till it locks into place.
- Processing directions (continued):Turn on and process on "lite" ice cream mode. When it has finished processing, remove with the button according to directions and remove the lid. If it is powdery, do a respin. If fruit chunks have frozen against the sides after process, run the pint container under hot water for about 30 seconds before the respin..
- You can check at this point to see if it has as much rum flavoring as you'd like and add in an extra half teaspoon if desired before respining. Or if you don't need to respin then select the mix in mode.