pina colada milkshake garnished with cherry, pineapple wedge and straw and a cocktail behind it

Did you ever think such summery, beach-vibey, cocktail could exist?

Neither did I. But my Grandma was on to something.

For as long as I can remember (or, likely in my adult age when I was of-age), my Grandma would rave about how much she loved Piña Coladas…but it had to be made with ice cream.

overhead view of 3 pina coldads garnished with cherries, pineapple wedges, and with black and white straws.

Now, I love the beach. And I love pineapple and coconut. But I never experienced such a treat until a few months ago, when it was time to heal through food.

I lost my Grandma unexpectedly in her battle with that virus. Since I couldn’t go be with her, I couldn’t be with family, and I couldn’t leave my house, again because of that virus, I was at a loss for how to attempt to begin greiving. How to heal.

Especially because, as I’m sure you know, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the same mundane routine these days. When everything is the same, it’s easy to put up the denial shield and pretend that, well, everything is the same. When, in fact, everything has changed.

So I healed the best way I knew how: through food.

I healed through food that reminded me of her, our childhood time spent with her, and my Grandpa, and her favorite foods.

Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, the ones we’d make all the time in the summers we spent at Grandma and Grandpas. The ones that my cousins and I constantly debated over whose turn it was to eat the middle roll.

Velveeta Shells and Cheese. Our childhood lunch of choice at Grandma’s to refuel us during a day of somersaults in the swimming pool and backyard adventures.

Root beer floats made with IBC Root Beer.

Butter pecan ice cream.

Pizza with everything on top.

And, of course, Piña Coladas with ice cream.

hand holding a pina colada milkshake

Despite the fact that I’d never even seen my Grandma consume an alcoholic beverage until a half glass of wine my cousin’s wedding last summer 😂.

While I unfortunately never got to cheers you with our own rounds of Pina Coladas (with ice cream, yes I didn’t forget…), I’m cheersing to you today, Grandma. Happy Birthday!

How to Make a Piña Colada With Ice Cream

It’s quite easy to make a piña colada, which is quite fitting considering the drink itself is synonymous with “being on the beach”.

flat lay with pineapple sliced open, ice cream, liquor, cherries, and coconut cream

For this ice cream version, we’re swapping out the ice with frozen pineapple and, well, the ice cream. Which results in a luxurious, creamy cocktail that’s not watered down or full of ice chunks (#win!).

Start by adding frozen pineapple to a blender.

frozen pineapple in a blender next to coconut flakes and coconut cream

What about fresh pineapple? I’m absolutely a fan of fresh over frozen, especially when it’s summer and the season for fresh is happening! And I actually recommend using fresh frozen pineapple in these for the most flavor.

In order to do so, layer the pineapple chunks on a baking sheet or in a resealable bag and let them freeze for at least 3 hours. The smaller they are, the quicker they’ll freeze.

If you use fresh pineapple as is, your beverage will just result in a less smoothie/milkshake-like cocktail and err on the side of liquidy. Totally fine, absolutely delicious, just slight texture variation.

Ok, so we’ve got the pineapple down. Now the coconut for our coconut-pineapple cocktail. The coconut flavor comes from two places: coconut cream (2) and coconut liqueur (3).

side by side photos of pineapple in a blender with coconut cream and pouring in rum

What is Coconut Cream?

I had quite the time trying to parse out the differences between coconut cream, cream of coconut, and coconut milk.

You can find coconut cream in a can in the grocery store. It is different than coconut milk in that it’s thicker and richer. And perfect for piña colada milkshakes. Check the ingredient labels, it should be as simple as coconut and water!

The alternative, as found in liquor stores or near drink mixes, is cream of coconut, usually in a squeeze bottle, and usually with a lot of ingredients and added sugar. For this reason, it’s not my go-to in this drink. The ice cream adds enough sweetness and I don’t see the need for more.

That being said…have I used the cream of coconut in this before? Yes. Can you use it? Yes!

Back to the cocktail ingredients!

Now it’s time to add the liquor (step 3 above). In goes a light rum, or white rum, as well as Malibu (or a coconut rum/liqueur you have on hand).

Last, Grandma’s ultimate Piña Colada request: vanilla ice cream.

P.S.: make your own homemade ice cream recipe and take it up an extra notch! Another ode to my childhood at Grandma and Grandpas.

P.S.S. Coconut ice cream would also be top-notch in these cocktails!

ice cream scoops in blender with pineapple for pina colada milkshake

Blend it all together until smooth, stirring as needed, and serve!

blended pina colada milkshake photo next to pouring into a cocktail glass

Can I make this into a Piña Colada Milkshake Mocktail?

You mean can you make this creamy, luxurious, pineapple coconut milkshake without alcohol?

But yes, of course!

pina colada with ice cream in a glass garnished with pineapple wedge

Simply omit the liquor, and blend as is. Taste it to see if you need to add more coconut cream, since the additional coconut flavor is missing from the liqueur, and you’re set!

Extra kid-friendly and delicious!

Do You Like Piña Coladas?

…if this song hasn’t been playing in your head over and over throughout this entire post, I’m willing to bet it is now!

If you like piña coladas, you’re going to love this version with ice cream. Grandma really was onto something great.

overhead, 3 pina coladas with ice cream garnished with coconut flakes

You can garnish your glass with toasted coconut flakes, and add in a pineapple wedge or cherry as desired. Want to really take it over the top? Add on some whipped cream.

“Yum Yum!” – as Grandma would say, followed by a big, contagious laugh.

5 (7 ratings)

Get the Recipe Piña Colada Milkshake

Cool down with Piña Colada Milkshakes! This Piña Colada is made with ice cream, resulting in a creamy, luxurious cocktail treat (bonus: can be made as a mocktail, too!)


  • 1 1/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks*
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut cream
  • 3 oz. white rum
  • 2 oz. Malibu or coconut liqueur
  • 1 1/3 cup vanilla ice cream


  • Coconut Flakes
  • Pineapple Wedges
  • Cherries
  • Cute Mini Umbrellas



  • Combine all ingredients in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth, stirring as needed.
  • Pour into glasses and garnish as desired.


  • For the best flavor, freeze your own pineapple chunks by placing fresh pineapple in an even layer on a baking sheet or in a resealable bag. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or until frozen. 
  • To make a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the alcohol. Taste test to see if more cream of coconut is needed depending on your preferences.
  • To Make a Coconut Flake Rim: Before you pour the cocktail, dip the rim of the glass into the coconut cream, then carefully dip into a pile of coconut flakes. 
Serving: 1cocktail, Calories: 447kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 73mg, Potassium: 338mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 430IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 128mg, Iron: 1mg
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