Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice – Raw

Sharing is caring!

Coconut Ice gets a healthy make over! This recipe does away with the refined sugars and uses a little beet juice to naturally colour the slice.

Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice


This Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice is a purely vegan recipe made with raw ingredients. Coconut Ice is a bit of an old favourite. It was a regular feature on the tables and goodie bags of the parties I used to go to as a kid, and was definitely something I would absolutely scoff down at the school fair or occasions such as The Easter Show. Really, it was so much yum.

The conventional recipe calls for butter, milk (and sometimes, sweetened condensed milk), icing sugar, salt, coconut and red food colouring. And when I say sugar, I really mean sugar – a whooping 3-6 cups icing sugar in a standard recipe!

Ahh… the things we ate!

Fortunately, all of the above can be given a fairly good make over. An easy substitution for butter and milk can be made with coconut butter and coconut milk, and beetroot powder makes a far healthier alternative to the red food colouring.

As for the icing sugar, that’s also an easy swap. For this recipe, I used a powdered alternative sweetener called xylitol. It is a plant-based sweetener derived from the Birch tree, but also occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. It comes in a fine, pure white powder that closely resembles icing sugar, or as coarser granules that resemble table sugar.

That is where the similarities end however. Xyltiol is not sugar, but a sugar alcohol. It elicits a rather low glycemic response, meaning it is absorbed into the bloodstream much slower than other sugars. Parents, this means it won’t make your kids hyper!

The other great thing about xylitol is that its pure white colour doesn’t discolour the Coconut Ice mixture. I made a test batch up using pure maple syrup, and again using coconut nectar, but the end result wasn’t nearly as pretty. Finally, unlike stevia, another fine, powdered white sweetener, there is no bitter aftertaste.

The only caveat however, is that in high doses it can cause a little digestive distress such as gas and bloating. It may also have a laxative effect in some people. Although, you would have to consume over 50g in a day. It is actually quite intensely sweet so you only need a little to get the desired effect.

Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice

What I love about this healthy Coconut Ice rendition, is that it is so simple to make. There is no cooking required, and the only fiddly bit is waiting for the coconut butter to gently melt before you can begin. Coconut butter by the way is the creamed, dried meat of a mature coconut. It can be expensive to buy, but you can prepare it yourself at home. I have done a simple ‘How to Make Coconut Butter’ post here. Just a note – you will need a high powered blender for this. My personal preference is still the store-bought variety however, they use equipment that grinds it into a truly smooth paste, whereas homemade coconut butter can still be a little gritty. Ceres and Artisana both have a great product.

Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice that won't hype the kids up!. Raw & vegan, recipe here. Click To Tweet

The other neat thing about this recipe, is that the beet juice so wonderfully colours it a natural hot pink. An alternative to juice may be beet powder, though I haven’t yet tried this so can’t attest to it truly working – I just wonder whether it would blend in smoothly that’s all.  Beet powder is a great thing to have in the pantry for colouring kid’s cakes and treats naturally.

This recipe also calls for desiccated coconut, which then gets blended to a fine flour. You could use coconut flour instead, which has already been finely ground.

One last note, if you can, use vanilla extract rather than vanilla paste. The vanilla paste has the vanilla bean seeds throughout and will discolour the slice.

The end result is so lovely and soft, sweet and coco-nutty, you will love it! Keep it in the fridge for a week or so to keep fresh, though I prefer it softer, at room temperature, to serve.


Close up of a plate stacked with healthy coconut ice
5 from 3 votes

Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice - Raw

This delicious Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice is entirely vegan and made with raw ingredients. Coloured naturally with a little freshly juiced beetroot, this healthy alternative won't send your kids hyper!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Sugar-free, Vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 328 kcal
Author Lauren Glucina



  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup coconut butter liquefied
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons powdered xylitol or: 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup coconut butter liquefied
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh beetroot juice
  • 2 tablespoons powdered xylitol or: 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



  1. If your coconut butter is firm, pop it in a jug and rest it in a bath of hot water to soften.
  2. In a blender, whiz the desiccated coconut until it becomes a fine powder.
  3. Put all ingredients in a food processor, and pulse till the mixture is well combined.
  4. Transfer to an 8 inch cake tin lined with baking paper, and flatten the surface. Pop in the freezer while you make the pink layer.


  1. Follow the same steps as for the white layer, adding the freshly juiced beet for colour.
  2. Transfer mixture to the cake tin, spreading it evenly over the white layer. Pop in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to set.
  3. Cut the slice into equal squares while it is still a little soft, then serve. Store in the fridge.

If you make and enjoy this recipe, please leave a rating! 

Healthy Sugar Free Coconut Ice

I’d love you to follow me on Instagram
tag me @ascensionkitchen so I can see your creations!  


Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.