How to make Disneyland Pineapple Dole Whip Recipe at home with just one ingredient. This sweet and refreshing pineapple soft serve healthy snacks recipes is wonderfully flavorful with none of the chemicals and artificial sweeteners of the original!
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Refreshing Homemade All-Natural Pineapple Soft Serve
So, before the world turned a little topsy-turvy (okay, a couple of years before – but as Disney only released their Dole whip recipe then, it seems relevant) and we all spent a year indoors, my family and I went on a road trip, and I was finally able to try the famous Disneyland Dole whip. The pineapple soft serve is so popular it has its own cult following and is known to gather long queues at Disneyland, no matter the weather!
Well, I have to say – I was a bit confused. Yes, the pineapple soft serve was very satisfying in the 115F weather. Still, I wasn’t blown away, and something just seemed a little ‘off’ – so I decided to look up the ingredients.
That led me down the rabbit hole of experimenting with making my own dole whip recipe. After several experiments, here you have a ONE ingredient ‘copycat’ healthy dole whip ice cream!
What Is Dole Whip?
Before I get into the ingredients, for those of you who aren’t familiar, Disneyland Dole Whip is a pineapple-flavored soft serve ice cream created by the company Dole. It only garnered a cult following when it started being sold at Disneyland’s Tiki bar though, in 1986! While it’s now available in several locations – it’s still become an ‘iconic Disney’ food item and one that I had to try on our latest family visit to the park. To say I was surprised with the ingredients list of this beloved pineapple frozen dessert recipe would be an understatement.
In fact, recently (in mid-2020 and two years after I initially developed my Dole whip recipe), Disney actually released an ‘at-home recipe for this pineapple frozen dessert for everyone ‘locked in’ and craving a tropical treat. What did their recipe suggest?
- Pineapple juice, a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, and frozen pineapple – blended to consistency.
Dole, the fruit company and original creator of Dole whip, also shared an at-home version:
- Pineapple juice (frozen), a banana, powdered sugar, and coconut milk – blended to consistency.
Having said that, you’d assume that the Disney version would be somewhat similar, right?! Warning: Dole Pineapple whip contains NO PINEAPPLE! Okay, that’s not entirely true – it has a little natural ‘pineapple juice powder’ … but that goes along with artificial flavorings and a whole heap of other additives, gums, and other ‘nasties.’
The Disneyland Dole Whip Recipe
What is Dole whip made of? Disneyland pineapple dole whip recipe ingredients are:
Sugar, Dextrose, Stabilizers (Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Karaya Gum, Pectin), Coconut Oil, Contains 2% Or Less Of Each Of The Following: Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavor (contains Pineapple Juice Powder), Modified Food Starch, Malic Acid, Beta Carotene (Color), Mono & Diglycerides, Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking).
In fact, Disney uses A Dole ‘pineapple soft serve mix’ powder that is combined with water and chucked in a soft-serve machine to get to the right consistency (The above ingredients were taken directly from a website selling the Pineapple soft-serve mix to vendors). Yup, you read that right – it’s a powder!! No fresh pineapple in sight!
Instead, what you get is a mouthful of chemicals, stabilizers, and additives – and at Disney prices $$$ (Sorry, I love you, Disney parks but we’re not going to pretend the food prices are low, right?!).
With that in mind, I was determined to go home and come up with my own copycat Disneyland pineapple dole whip recipe that tastes better with NO artificial ingredients (or powdered sugar) at all and at a fraction of the cost. And, I did!
My Homemade Pineapple Dole Whip Recipe
The name of this soft serve “whipped pineapple,” makes it only logical to assume its ingredients – pineapple. When I first experimented with the recipe, I tried various combinations, including ones that were fairly similar to the recipes released by Dole and Disney recently (with banana, a little coconut oil, ice cream, etc.)
No matter what we added, it all seemed to detract from the star of the show – pineapple. Ice cream is creamy, and I made it healthier by using homemade vegan vanilla ice cream. And sure, some may love it this way but even the Disney park version contains no dairy or ‘creamy’ element, so it didn’t taste quite right to me.
I also tried a version with frozen banana – which we know can create a wonderful soft-serve style ‘nice cream’ consistency. However, unsurprisingly, the banana flavor completely dominated the pineapple and wasn’t worth the thicker, creamier texture.
So, which version of the homemade pineapple dole whip recipe was husband-approved and kid-approved (unanimously!) as the favorite option?! One-ingredient frozen pineapple soft serve! Yup. I suppose it really makes sense that the most tropical pineapple flavor would come from simply blending up frozen pineapple, but I wasn’t sure that would be enough to satisfy my kid’s sweet cravings; it totally did, though, and it’s got a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth consistency too!
And I have included a few recipe ‘variations’ for those with a super sweet tooth or wanting something a little ‘creamier’ too, yet still far healthier than the parks’ official recipe and even their recently shared DIY version!
How to Make Dole Whip at Home
- Thaw the frozen pineapple: This will take around 15 minutes in summer (in a house without AC) or 20 minutes during the colder months. You’re looking for a consistency where the pineapple is slightly defrosted on the outer layer but still frozen in the middle.
- Process the pineapple: In a food processor, add the pineapple and process on high. Pause and scrape the walls with a spatula occasionally and add 2 tbsp of cold water at a time to help the pineapple pieces move around, as needed. As long as the fruit is blending, do not rush to add more water.
Eventually, the frozen pineapple pieces will turn into a pineapple whip. Serve immediately or freeze the leftovers for a few hours before serving.
- Sweetness: Now I find pineapple more than sweet enough on its own. But if you have a super sweet tooth, then feel free to add a small squeeze of your favorite liquid sweetener; maple, agave, etc., will work.
- Creaminess: There are several ways to increase the creaminess of this pineapple whip. The first is to replace the water I used in the recipe with your milk of choice (I use coconut milk, my go to in healthy banana cream pie). Alternatively, just a few tablespoons of coconut cream or cream will make healthy dole whip a creamier soft-serve without too much additional fat. You could also lean towards adding a scoop of ice cream. Still, I suggest using a small scoop of homemade healthier ice cream for the healthiest results- it definitely won’t taste as tropical and rich in pineapple flavor, though.
- Citrus juice: The original Disney world dole whip has a slightly lemony tang which you can recreate at home with a hint of lemon/lime juice. I prefer lime juice, but you won’t need much – especially as there is no added sugar in this recipe. In fact, I only really suggest this being necessary if you’ve added either (or both) of the above suggestions.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck using even a high-speed blender unless you add way more liquid to the recipe. Meanwhile, even fairly standard food processors will get the job done!
If you have a high-end, high-speed blender, feel free to give it a try, but I can’t guarantee results!
Disney now serves several flavor varieties of Dole whip, which, I’m guessing, are potentially also mostly artificial flavorings. Luckily, flavoring this homemade dole whip recipe is as simple as adding different frozen fruit to your machine. Reduce the amount of pineapple for whatever new fruit you use and experiment with your perfect ratios. Strawberries, raspberries, and mango would all taste wonderful!
Different fruits may require a little extra sweetener.
Simply fill up half a glass with pineapple juice, then top it off with the pineapple whip and optionally a maraschino cherry (or real cherry for a healthier garnish!)
Since this pineapple soft serve recipe is whipped into the correct consistency, it’s best when eaten immediately or stored in the freezer for just a few hours before eating. However, if you do find yourself with a ton of leftover:
Transfer the mixture to a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag, spread out into a thin layer within the bag, and then freeze flat for up to a week.
Then, when you want to use it for healthy snacks, it should be in a thin enough layer to break into several pieces (after a few minutes of thawing on the countertop), which will make it easier to transfer to your food processor and blend back into the correct consistency. Add a little water or milk as needed to get it back to the right consistency.
- If you accidentally add too much water: If the pineapple mixture is too soft after processing it, throw it in the freezer for a short while until it’s thickened up. The time needed will depend on how soft it is, but usually, between 30-60 minutes is more than enough!
- To pipe the dole whip: Scoop the blended whip into a piping bag with a 1-inch star nozzle and pipe it into your cup/bowl. If dole whip recipe is fresh and too soft to pipe, follow the above tip.
More Healthy Frozen Dessert Recipes
Dole Whip Recipe
- 4 cups frozen pineapple chunks
- Cold water
- Thaw frozen pineapple on a counter for 15 minutes in summer (if your house doesn’t have AC) or 20 minutes in colder months. You are looking for defrosted semi-soft outer layer but still frozen inside fruit.
- In a food processor, add pineapple and process on High, pausing and scraping the walls with spatula and adding 2 tbsp of cold water at a time to help pineapple pieces move around. As long as fruit is blending do not rush to add more water.
- Serve immediately or freeze leftovers for a few hours but not longer.
- Store: Since this pineapple soft serve recipe is whipped into the correct consistency, it’s best when eaten immediately or stored in the freezer for just a few hours before eating.
- Freeze leftovers: Transfer mixture to freezer-safe Ziploc bag, spread into a thin layer within the bag, and then freeze flat for up to a week. When ready to use, break into pieces, then transfer to your food processor and blend back into the correct consistency. Add a little water or milk as needed.
- Can I use a blender instead of a food processor? Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck using even a high-speed blender unless you add way more liquid to the recipe. Meanwhile, even fairly standard food processors will get the job done!
- How do you make a dole whip float? Simply fill up half a glass with pineapple juice, then top it off with the pineapple whip and optionally a maraschino cherry (or real cherry for a healthier garnish!)