Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)

Boy oh boy am I going to need a lot of this when we get back from Italy.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Yes, I’m talking about turning to ICE CREAM to reset my diet after a week and a half of indulgence in one of the most foodie-friendly countries of the world. You know why? Because this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is h-e-a-l-t-h-y! That’s right. We’re talking vegan/dairy-free, where the only cream we’re speaking of comes from our good ol’ friend the coconut. Did I mention it’s darn delicious too?

Now, you know I’m no stranger to ice cream, and I’m certainly no stranger to the full-octane kind. This Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is still one of my favorite recipes to date, and as soon as fig season rolls around you can bet I’ll be whipping up this Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream on the reg. But to me, this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream just screams spring and warmer weather. Sure, we can still enjoy our Golden Milk Lattes in the cool, often foggy mornings (here in SB at least,) but once the sun breaks through and the temperatures start to climb into the high 70’s, you can bet a healthy frozen treat will sound a whole lot better.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, here’s a quick recap of all of the great things turmeric can do for your body:

Help with heartburn and indigestion
Tame joint pain and inflammation
Support brain health
Fight cancer cells

So you can see why it’s been getting so much hype lately. Up until now, my go-to use of turmeric has been in our morning smoothies a few times a week, especially if the hubs and I are recovering from a tough workout or just not feeling up to snuff. But now I get to enjoy it for dessert too! Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is definitely going to be a new staple in our household.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

I have to admit, making ice cream out of coconut milk was quite the learning process. I’m not sure if I just fail at shaking canned coconut milk vigorously enough, or if TJ’s full-fat coconut milk just tends to be chunkier, but man I struggled when I used their stuff for my first go-around.

I did a little research when I first decided to give this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream a shot, and found two recipes online that seemed intriguing. The first method (when I used the Trader Joe’s brand of coconut milk) was from my friends at The Kitchn, which involved heating things up with cornstarch over the stove and then putting the pudding-like mixture in the refrigerator to thicken overnight. Unfortunately, when I pulled the mixture out the next morning, I was greeted with an incredibly thick film over the top and completely runny bottom. I tried salvaging it in the ice cream maker but with no luck. Now, I’m not sure if the problem was the brand of milk or the method, but I decided to try a different angle for my second time around.

The second recipe that had caught my eye was Minimalist Baker’s easy technique for basic coconut ice cream. This one involved whirring all of the ingredients together in the blender before pouring it all into the ice cream maker, no overnight chilling or vigorous shaking required. I’m happy to say this second attempt was a success and we had a batch of delicious Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream ready to consume after just a couple of hours of firming up in the freezer.

One thing I will mention is that this ice cream gets quite hard and icy after it is completely chilled. All this means is you’ll have to take it out of the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit to the consistency of soft serve.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Okay, folks, I’ve got to sign off because we have a very exciting day today. We’re taking a cooking class from the amazing owners at our villa and I cannot wait to eat allllll of the fresh pasta. I’ll try to post updates on my Instagram stories if our WiFi service is good enough! Xo

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com
Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
4 hr

New "it" superfood turmeric is the star in this vegan, dairy-free ice cream made solely from coconut milk. The perfect healthy warm weather treat!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk Trader Joe's brand did not work for me!
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Be sure to freeze your ice cream machine canister the night before you want to make this!

  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on medium-high until sugar dissolves and everything is well-combined.

  3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to maker’s directions. 

  4. Transfer ice cream to an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap, being sure to press the wrap down on the surface of the ice cream. This will help it from preventing too much of a film as it freezes.

  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours. Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit!

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

I have the best of both worlds for you today!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s right, I’ve combined my favorite carrot cake recipe with a not-so-traditional coconut pecan frosting, reminiscent of what you’d find on a German chocolate cake and, let me tell you, I wish I had thought of Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting years ago!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some classic decadent cream cheese frosting, but I also looooove the combination of carrot, coconut and pecans. It’s like the ultimate spring ingredient combo. Plus, doesn’t it feel great to have so many superfoods in a super-delicious dessert? I mean, there are plenty of indulgent ingredients in the recipes for both the carrot cake and the frosting, but having those other healthy ingredients in there to counteract everything else is EXACTLY how I roll. We’re all about that balance, right?

Quick backstory on my love for carrot cake, and specifically this recipe: I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my parents met and got married in Hawaii, where my dad grew up and my mom worked as a pediatric nurse. During my parents’ courtship, my mom was given this carrot cake recipe by a dear Hawaiian “tutu” named Mrs. Kealoha. And on the back of the recipe, she wrote a note: “Make this for Ken, and he will never leave you.” Well, I’m proud to say that truly was the case (my parents are still together 40 years later!), and now I ask my mom to make this cake for me without fail every year on either my birthday or Easter. It is, after all, the perfect spring-like dessert to bust out in March or April, as the days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

Mrs. Kealoha’s recipe calls for the classic cream cheese frosting, which includes pounds of both butter and cream cheese. As delicious as that is (and I will never turn my nose up at it,) I do often find that I can’t quite finish alllll of the frosting that comes along with my slice, it’s just a leeetle too rich. So naturally I started thinking about other ways to frost my favorite carrot cake, and when my mind wandered to the caramel-y, pudding-like coconut- and pecan-laced frosting that traditionally graces the top of German chocolate cake, I knew it would be the perfect fit.

I had never made coconut-pecan frosting from scratch, but I soon learned it’s much like a pudding, where you have to combine the likes of evaporated milk and egg yolks with staples like sugar and butter to get that creamy consistency. Since this was my first time making it, I followed this recipe from MyRecipes to a tee and didn’t stray at all. We’ll save the improvisations for the next time around! I am happy to report, though, that this recipe did not disappoint. I have to admit that I was doubtful for a minute – Did I cook the egg yolks enough? Would the frosting just look yellow?  But after making sure I let everything cook and sit for the designated amount of time, I was left with a perfectly normal looking coconut pecan frosting that spread onto the three layers of cake like a dream.

Speaking of the layers of this cake, there is one disclaimer I have to make: I doubled Mrs. Kealoha’s recipe to make a four-layer cake, because I wanted it to be really grand and fun to photograph. BUT unfortunately one of my layers didn’t turn out of the pan properly, so I was stuck with just three, which turned out to be plenty. The layers of Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting are quite thick, and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to eat a serving of all three layers (usually I skim just one or two layers off and save the rest for another day…hehe!) So, use your judgment and scale this recipe down if you don’t want such huge servings. OR, you could do what I did and use any extra cake layers to make into yummy chocolate-coated carrot cake balls, which turned out to be really easy (I’ve included the basic recipe below in the recipe notes.)

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

You should have plenty of frosting to cover all four layers should you decide to go that route, especially if you go for the “naked” cake look like I did here (that also helps with the cake-to-frosting ratio I was speaking of earlier.)

Other than the quantity, the only thing I changed from Mrs. Kealoha’s original carrot cake recipe is that I used pecans instead of walnuts in the batter. I figured if I was using pecans in the frosting I might as well use them in the cake as well!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

So that’s the long and short of it: Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting has been born and it’s here to stay. Do you have any fun family baking recipes you’ve adapted to make your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com
Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins

Carrot cake gets a modern update with a coconut-pecan coating in lieu of the standard cream cheese frosting. The perfect cake for spring!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 4 8-inch round cake layers
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
For the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups flour plus 1/2 cup for coating carrots
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
For the frosting:
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, eggs and sugar until creamy. Toss the carrots with ½ cup of flour and then add them to this mixture along with the pecans. Next, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mace and salt. Mix until well combined.

  3. Unless you have four 8-inch round cake pans (I only have two), you will need to work in two batches to bake up all of the cake layers. Spray however many pans you have with nonstick cooking spray, then one-fourth of the batter into each one. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat baking process however often is necessary until all of your batter has been used up.

To make the frosting:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, butter and egg yolks and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12-14 minutes more or until mixture is a light caramel color and is bubbling and pudding-like. 

  2. Remove from heat and stir in pecans, coconut and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until it is of a spreadable frosting consistency.

  1. Place the first cake layer on your serving plate and, using a long, serrated knife, even out the top. This will help all of the layers stay put on top of each other rather than sliding off once you add the frosting in between the layers. 

  2. Slather a hefty helping of the coconut-pecan frosting over the top of this first layer, being sure to get all the way out to the edges. Repeat the process with however many more layers you are using. You do not need to even out the top layer as you don’t have to worry about another layer sliding off of it.

  3. Keep cake in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

*Coconut pecan frosting recipe from MyRecipes.

To make the cake balls:

Combine any extra cake with 1 cup of frosting of your choice (preferably one without anything chunky, I used a whipped cream cheese frosting) in a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. 

Use a cookie scoop to ball up the cake dough. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Melt at least one bag (maybe even two) of chocolate chips of your choice (I did some white chocolate and some semisweet) in a heatproof bowl with one to two tablespoons of coconut oil.

Dip balls in melted chocolate and place back on parchment covered cookie sheet. Cover with sprinkles of your choice and refrigerate balls until hardened. I also recommend storing them in the refrigerator so they hold their shape.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:

Superfood Pina Colada

We’re keeping it healthy(ish) and green this St. Patrick’s Day!

Superfood Pina Colada | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s right, this Superfood Pina Colada gets its vivid teal green color from our favorite superfood – spirulina! I’m just so over the top excited about not only the refreshing, tropical taste of this beautiful libation, but the gorgeous hue. And it’s all natural! How about that.

We’re pretty lucky that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, not only because we have two whole days to recover afterwards, but also because that means I get to bring you a fun cocktail to celebrate! And fun this is.

I’m really expanding the horizons here with this Superfood Pina Colada. After all, it’s only the second frozen drink I’ve featured on this here blog (after this Frozen Cantaloupe White Wine Sangria) as well as just the second superfood cocktail (after this Turmeric Gin and Ginger Cocktail, which was a HUGE hit.) I figured it was high time for me to start padding the portfolio in these areas, and our Superfood Pina Colada did not disappoint.

Superfood Pina Colada | CaliGirlCooking.com

Here’s the trick with anything you’re adding spirulina too: be sure to add tons of other delicious flavors! In fact, you might be a bit put off by the smell of spirulina when you first open the jar, but have no fear, when mixed with plenty of fruity pineapple and creamy coconut flavor, any off-taste is gone and all you’re left with is this beautiful color!!

The other great thing about this Superfood Pina Colada is that the recipe makes multiple servings. Perfect for a party! After whirring all of the ingredients together in the blender, you’ll end up with four small or two very large drinks – and if you go with the small servings, this is actually quite a low potency cocktail, which means you can drink more than one without worrying about a headache the next day!

As always, I tried to minimize any artificial sweeteners and stick with as many fresh ingredients as I could. This means that, in addition to the spirulina and requisite rum, all you’re going to need is some coconut milk, frozen pineapple, and pineapple juice. No crazy liqueurs or overly-sugary syrups needed. Oh, and a blender. You’re definitely going to need a blender.

Superfood Pina Colada | CaliGirlCooking.com

And if you’re wondering where you can find spirulina, simply head to your nearest Whole Foods or health food store, or hop on to the every-trusty Amazon! It’s pretty easy to find these days, so don’t even worry about that.

No matter what your plans are this St. Patrick’s Day, I hope they involve these Superfood Pina Coladas in some way. The hubs and I aren’t up to anything too exciting, most likely going downtown for a bit to support some of his accounts and possibly stopping by a show our friends’ band is putting on at a local restaurant.

The good news is, if you don’t have time today to make these Superfood Pina Coladas, they’re perfectly acceptable any time of the year, especially with all this warm weather we’ve been having! And if you’re on the East Coast hunkering down for winter storm Stella, why not mix some of these up to transport yourself to a tropical vacation somewhere?

Superfood Pina Colada | CaliGirlCooking.com

I hope you all have a safe, superfood cocktail-filled day and weekend! Xo

Superfood Pina Colada | CaliGirlCooking.com
Superfood Pina Colada
Prep Time
10 mins

The classic pina colada gets a healthy twist (and it's beautiful color!) from the addition of the trendy superfood, spirulina. 

Course: Drinks
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 4 ounces white rum
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina
  • 2 cups ice
  • 3 1/2 cups frozen pineapple
  • 6 ounces pineapple juice
  • Pineapple wedges for garnish (optional)
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree on high until everything is combined. Pour into glasses and garnish with a pineapple wedge, if desired.

Superfood Pina Colada | CaliGirlCooking.com

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding

Full-on long weekend recovery mode right here.Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

And this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding is helping us keep on keepin’ on.

How was everyone’s long weekend? Do anything fun? Eat (or drink) anything delicious? Tell me, tell me! I want to hear all about it. This Labor Day weekend was a tad bittersweet for us. When it comes to long weekends, we’re usually the ones to jump at the chance to go on a short trip somewhere or go visit our family. Unfortunately, due to recent injuries, we had to stick at home this year, but we still managed to squeeze in some fun!

The best part was all of the delicious food and drink that were consumed. We attended a Convention of Cocktails on Sunday (yep, my friends are the coolest and have cocktail competitions for their birthday parties) and my good friend Dez hosted a CaliGirl Cooking Night for me last night!

Guys, this was soooo fun and I highly recommend that all of my food blogger friends jump on this train. Basically, Dez invited over a bunch of our friends, and asked each person to contribute a dish using a recipe from my blog. Everyone was told to come armed with empty stomachs and feedback for how easy the recipe was to follow, whether I missed anything in my instructions, if there was a part they didn’t understand, etc. Let me tell you, it was just EPIC and my heart felt so full seeing everyone enjoying all of the recipes I work so hard to create for you all.

It was also the perfect way for me to do a “soft” kick-off for my newest venture, Celebrations by CaliGirl Cooking! Yes, that’s right, this gal is stepping into the menu planning/food and beverage consultation world and I couldn’t be more excited. In a nutshell, I’m here to help anyone (including you!) that needs just a little (or a lot of) guidance in planning a menu for any special occasion you may be celebrating. I’ll have more details coming to the site soon, but in the meantime, if you’re curious, drop me a line. I always love to hear from you!

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

But as per usual, I’m digressing again. What I REALLY want to tell you guys about today is this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding, because I’m pretty darn excited about it. As I mentioned when I made these Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfaits, it took me a while to jump on the chia pudding train. I always add chia seeds to my smoothie in the morning, but for that very reason it took me a while to feel the urge to make some other sort of breakfast involving the gelatinous superfood.

You may have seen a little teaser for these during my @bloglovin_food Instagram takeover this past weekend, and I’ve been getting so many requests for the recipe! Well wait no longer, my friends, it’s coming right at ya today.

To be honest, I was so surprised at how easy it was to make a matcha version of chia pudding. Like, why haven’t I been seeing more of this all over the inter-webs? Seriously, so simple. Much like our beloved matcha lattes, we just whisk matcha powder into almond milk, and then we add the chia seeds and just a touch of honey. Pop it in the refrigerator overnight and you’ll be ready to enjoy Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding first thing in the AM!

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

Seriously, aside from chopping up the macadamia nuts and pineapple, there will be no other prep time required once you pull this pudding out of the refrigerator. If that’s not considered a grab-and-go breakfast, I don’t know what is!

Before I leave you with the recipe, let me just say that this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding has got alllll the right flavors. The soft and silky matcha chia pudding is balanced out by the crunch of the macadamia nuts and the sweet hit from the fresh pineapple. And the coconut! We can’t forget the coconut. Because could we really call this a TROPICAL Matcha Chia Pudding without it?

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding

10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

A tropical twist on the favorite overnight chia pudding recipe, featuring matcha powder, fresh pineapple, macadamia nuts and toasty coconut.



  1. Pour matcha powder into almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine (try to get as many chunks of the matcha out as possible.) Whisk in honey, then add chia seeds.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes, and then stir again, breaking up any large chunks of chia seeds. Place in refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. In the morning, remove chia pudding from the refrigerator. Scoop into individual serving vessels and top with macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut flakes.
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*This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirlCooking.com

Little cup o’paradise!

Belizean Rum Punch

Hello from Placencia, Belize!

Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirl Cooking

Boy, has it been an amazing week so far. We arrived at our resort on Monday afternoon, and have been truly soaking it all in. We’ve had the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation, even despite a few thunderstorms here and there. That’s just what we get for going to Belize during its rainy season!

Nevertheless, we’ve hiked, traveled to private islands, snorkeled, gotten pampered at the spa…It’s not going to be easy hopping on a plane to leave bright and early tomorrow morning!

We’ve also most definitely been enjoying all of the local food and drink over this past week. We sprang for the all-inclusive package at our resort, and let me just say they have been feeding us well! Lots of seafood, lots of fresh fruit and veggies and definitely lots of delicious cocktails.

Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirl Cooking

Since we’re in Belize right now, I thought that for this week’s cocktail I’d share a local classic – Belizean Rum Punch! This drink is all things tropical – coconut, rum and pineapple come together to transport you to your own private island. It’s somewhat similar to a Mai Tai, but gets its own unique twist with a couple of special ingredients.

I have to admit that I’m no alcohol-layering expert, so don’t get put off by this drink looking like Pepto Bismol. I promise it doesn’t taste anything like it! It’s simply the grenadine and the coconut milk coming together that gives it that bright pink hue. And it’s so delicious!

Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirl Cooking

I’m going to keep this post short (because I want to enjoy every last minute we have here in this beautiful place!) but trust me when I say you want to give this Belizean Rum Punch a shot ASAP. You all may not be in Belize with us, but in this summer heat I know you’ll enjoy it just as much as we have been! XO

Belizean Rum Punch

5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A delicious cocktail hailing from Belize, featuring pineapple, coconut and rum that will transport you to a tropical hideaway.


  • 1 ounce white rum
  • ½ ounce Grenadine
  • ½ ounce sweet ‘n’ sour mix
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce dark rum


  1. Combine all ingredients except dark rum in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour into a highball glass.
  3. Float dark rum on top.
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Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now please excuse me while I go enjoy my tiki drink.