paw paw ice cream on spoon

Coconut Paw Paw Ice Cream

If you don’t know what a paw paw is, then you maybe wondering why I would include a name for grandfather in ice cream, right? Well, paw paws are the largest fruit native to North America. And coconut paw paw ice cream is a delicious sweet treat! Paw paws look like mangoes when you cut them open, but instead of a single large seed they have many smaller seeds.

paw paws on plate

Disclaimer: if you like papaya, you will probably like paw paws. If you do not like papaya, then you will probably not like paw paws. Paw paws have a distinct flavor. Some people say they taste like a blend of mango and banana. I think they also remind me of papayas, which I absolutely love!

Paw paws have legendary status for me. When I was a kid in school, we sang a song that went…”pickin’ up paw paws, put ’em in a basket, pickin’ up paw paws, put ’em in a basket…” I had no idea what a paw paw was when I was six , but it sounded cool. I thought maybe it was tiny grandfathers who had fallen under the spell of a forest gnome and we were supposed to take them back to their families. I had a vivid imagination. Anyway, paw paws can be found in the wild in the eastern part of the U.S. and I have been looking for some good wild ones for years!

I finally ran across a farmer who grows paw paws and I had to have some. My friend, Katie, who is also crazy about paw paws went with me and we were not disappointed.

This recipe for coconut paw paw ice cream is super easy. You start off with a can of full fat coconut milk and your peeled and seeded paw paws. If you find that the flavor of the paw paw does not suit you, you could do exactly the same recipe here just use a few ripe mangoes instead of paw paws.

paw paw and coconut milk in blender

Mix the paw paw pulp together with one can of coconut milk, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of vanilla and the juice of one lime. That’s it! Blend this mixture until it’s consistent and then put it into your ice cream maker and let it churn away.

paw paw ice cream in container

Feel free to add some honey or sugar to the recipe if you prefer it sweeter. However, ripe paw paws or mangoes have a good amount of sugar so you may not need to add any sweetener.

PREP TIME: 90 minutes SERVINGS: 4-5


  • 6-7 paw paws or 3-4 large mangoes, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • juice of one lime


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree.
  2. Pour liquid ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and start churning. It may take between 30-60 minutes for the ice cream to solidify depending on your ice cream maker.


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