Kahlua Sunrise

View from the Mayan Ruins, Tulum

My family and I landed at the Toronto airport late last night in our sandals, sundresses and shorts—and instantly missed the warm Mexican sun as we raced to our parked car.We just spent a wonderful week at a resort called Dreams Riviera Cancun located in Puerto Morelos, just outside of Cancun. It was everything I could have hoped for in a vacation—relaxing and luxurious with lots of great food and drinks.

I never really adjusted to the two-hour time difference, and woke up around 5 a.m. most mornings. This turned out to be a great advantage, as the best lounge chairs at the pool and beach were already claimed (with a towel or personal item) by 5:30 a.m. I couldn’t believe it actually—but it helped to remind me of something I’d forgotten…

Sunrise in Mexico

How inspirational it can be to watch the sun come up.

I was also inspired by the many tropical flavour combinations that I enjoyed over the week—lime, cilantro and chili (ceviche); watermelon and mint (mojitos); cucumber and mint (granita); and coconut (ice cream) and Kahlua.

One day soon I’ll recreate the shrimp ceviche that I had almost every day for lunch, but in the meantime, I’ve recreated the dish—coconut ice cream and kahlua—that was introduced to me by one of the waiters at Oceana, my favourite restaurant at the resort. It is so simple, but the flavour combination is a keeper. It explains why I had this almost every day too!

Hopefully the effects of my vacation will last longer than a day or two. I know I’ll be thinking longingly of those magical sunrises as I get ready for work each morning. But I’m curious—what’s the most spectacular sunrise or sunset you’ve experienced in your travels?

Coconut Ice Cream Balls With Kahlua

  • ½ cup (approximately) good quality vanilla ice cream
  • 2 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut (medium)
  • 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp Kahlua (according to taste)


  1. Using a small ice cream scoop, make three ice cream balls approximately 1-1/2 inches wide.
  2. Place the coconut on a small plate and roll each of the three balls around in the coconut.
  3. Place ice cream balls in a bowl or glass.
  4. Drizzle with the Kahlua.
  5. Enjoy!


  • I’ve updated the recipe to note that I suggest using medium shredded coconut, as this is what I used and it worked well. It is a finer coconut and the texture works for this recipe. I’m guessing you could also use another type of cocount and chop it finer (I will test this out shortly).

29 Comments on “Kahlua Sunrise”

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Sounds like a great vacation. With the cold and rain in our part of Ontario, I can understand missing the sun and warmth. The dessert sounds great. I have all the ingredients in my kitchen and if it weren’t 10:30pm, I’d be making it right now. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

    • It was so warm here when we left that we were surprized to come back to the colder, rainy weather. Fingers are crossed that it warms up soon again. Hope you give this a try — it is so easy but the flavours are so good.

      • A_Boleyn says:

        I made this for dessert today. Very tasty though I only had a couple of small scoops of ice cream left in the tub. I think I have to make it again to figure out if I really like it.

        Seriously though, it was quite tasty though I had to do a bit more chewing on the shreded coconut than I expected to. I may just pour some Malibu Rum over the ice cream next time … get my coconut and liquor in one bottle. 🙂

        • Thanks so much for your feedback. I went back to check my cocunut, because we did not find it crunchy. It was called medium and the flakes were quite small — I’m thinking that this could have something to do with it. I will go back and make a note on my posting. Thanks again.

  2. What a beautiful place, Barb! So glad you had a great vacation and hope you can keep that feeling going for a while. Coconut ice cream and Kahlua…that sounds like the beach to me!

  3. It sure looks like you brought back the right memories, perfect photos and a fantastic recipe! I would love this combination of flavors and would have eaten it daily too!! xo Smidge

    • Thanks Smidge! There are times when you need a stand by dessert that tastes good, but is easy to make. I think that this will be mine for a little while. BTW, I read several books including Russian Winter while I was away. I found it on your book listing — so thanks for that. It is a great idea to post your recent reads, as I’m always looking for my next book to read!

      • I loved that book and glad you did too! I’m about to read the Hunger Games series.. if I can get them away from my daughter! She’s been glued to the pages so they’re going to be awesome!!

        • I read the Hunger Games while on vacation too. I hadn’t heard about the premise of the book — and found that really shocking. However, I really feel in love with the characters and couldn’t put it down. Now I’m 3/4 of the way through the second book in the series! I’ll be curious to know what you think after you read it.

  4. Charles says:

    Hi Barb – I hope you had a fantastic vacation – it sure looks relaxing and I hope you’re not suffering from “post-holiday blues” too much – that sun-rise photo… so lovely. Calming and tranquil… must have been an amazing experience!

    • Thanks Charles! No post-holiday blues Charles. I think that’s the sign of a good vacation, when you have a great time but you are refreshed enough that you are okay with settling back into daily life. So far so good!

  5. Kristy says:

    This may be the same resort I stayed at near Tulum. 🙂 Just gorgeous. I hope you all had just a fabulous time and are easing back into reality. I’d love some of this ice cream. It just so happens that I have a fresh bottle of Kahlua. 🙂 Lovely pics!

    • We were about a half hour drive from Tulum — closer to Cancun. Given how spectacular this beach was, it must have been amazing where you stayed. Such a beautiful part of the world, isn’t it? Yes, I’m easing back into reality Kristy….trying to pace myself and not get worked up about anything. We’ll see how that goes…

  6. Sissi says:

    What a wonderful dessert idea! As you said we both are big coconut fans, so imagine how I would enjoy this ice-cream 🙂
    Your holiday sounds perfect and the photos are so beautiful I can imagine you didn’t want to get back 😉 I hope you have had more cooking inspirations you will share with us.

    • Thanks Sissi. I have a couple other ideas that I’m going to work on. I am so much more focused on the food when I go to these places now that I’m blogging, so it is great to have the incentive to keep researching and creating new dishes. Here’s to coconut desserts!

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great view. Now I am instantly jealous…I didn’t think I needed a beach holiday, but now I do. I’d love to try that ceviche you had for lunch, one of my favourite dishes, ever!

    • You definitely would have liked the ceviche Eva. I tried to eat a bit lighter to make up for the drinks, and this did the trick. Let me see how it goes in trying to recreate it. I have a recipe book from Miami that has a few ceviche recipes in it — so I can use that as a reference. If I recall correctly, you have a few trips planned this year and all of them sound AMAZING!!!

  8. Karen says:

    You are not going to believe this but every time I am in Cancun, I have coconut ice cream with Kahlua. I have even had it after a late breakfast of green enchiladas. I get as much good food as I can before I leave.

  9. Beth says:

    Two sunsets stand out for me: at Key West, about twenty years ago, and on a cruise ship just off Stockholm, last summer. Truly beautiful!

    • I’m wondering if the first one in Key West was enjoyed while drinking something tropical and if the sunset near Stockholm was set against the fjords? Both are places I’d love to go someday — we came really close to Key West but there was a mardi gras-type festival on that weekend so we ended up as far as Marathon Key. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Oooh, it sounds like you had SO much fun and the ice-cream looks delicious! I love the ocean…there is something about it, the sunrises, the sound, the beauty. It always strikes me anew.

  11. Awesome ice cream dessert my friend 😀 – totally perfect for reminiscing your relaxing and tropical vacation!

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. Rachel says:

    Oh how fun! I love the way you’ve presented this. It’s simple, visually really cute, and seriously…. WHO DOESN’T LIKE KAHLUA?! 😉 I’m definitely trying this one out after a long hot day in the garden!

    • I recommend it Rachel. I agree – who doesn’t like Kahlua???? (It was such a treat to stock up in Mexico, as it is SO inexpensive there!) I would suggest that you use a finer version of coconut for this. I used medium and it worked great. I think it all depends on your texture preference.

  13. petit4chocolatier says:

    What a beautiful vacation! Love the kahlua surprise!! Delicious 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s