Ice cream is the best. It’s the perfect treat for a hot summer day, but a scoop or two really doesn’t go awry in the winter, either. However, since traditional ice cream is a dairy-based dessert, vegans avoid it. Dairy is an animal product, after all.
Many people live a plant-based life for health reasons, and others do so because of their personal convictions about animal welfare. No matter what your reasons are, there are tons of benefits to going vegan. Eating plant-based can help you get more veggies in your daily diet, and it’s also a great way to avoid many of the pitfalls of the standard Western diet. Plus, eating plant-based just plain tastes good.
Avoiding dairy means you’ll need to skip traditional ice cream, but you have other options, especially if you have a raging sweet tooth the way that we do. Once you learn about all of the delicious vegan ice cream flavors out there, you’ll never look back!
So, without further ado, we give you our picks for the best vegan ice cream recipes! You’ll be diving into your favorite flavor in no time.
Jessica in the Kitchen’s Vegan Ice Cream
Just because your ice cream is cream-free doesn’t mean it can’t be cream-y. Jessica in the Kitchen’s five-ingredient vanilla bean vegan ice cream is so rich and creamy that you won’t believe it’s not dairy. This vanilla ice cream recipe makes 16 servings, so feel free to share it with some friends—or keep it all for yourself; we won’t tell!
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 26.8 ounces of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Prepare by soaking your raw cashews overnight and draining them in the morning. You should also make sure your ice cream maker freezer base is inside of your freezer for at least one day.
Using a blender, blend your raw cashews, granulated sugar, vanilla bean, sea salt, and coconut milk for 2 to 4 minutes on high speed until it is completely smooth. You’ll need to make sure all of the cashews have been entirely blended before moving onto the next step.
Pour your mixture into a container, cover it, and place it in the coldest part of your fridge. You only need to refrigerate the mixture for 4 hours, but you can leave it in there for up to 2 days if you don’t want to make the ice cream right away.
Once the mixture is finished cooling down, set up your ice cream machine and pour your mixture into the freezer base. Churn using the ice cream machine for about 20 to 25 minutes or until it’s thick and smooth.
If you don’t have an ice cream machine, never fear! You can just put the mixture into the freezer for an hour. After that hour is up, whisk the mixture every 20 minutes for 3 to 4 hours until it’s firm enough to scoop.
Remove your mixture from the machine and smooth it into a container. Wrap the entire container in parchment paper or wax paper, and make sure the paper is flat against the ice cream to protect it from ice crystals. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. If you prefer ice cream with the texture of soft serve, you can skip this step and eat your ice cream straight from the freezer.
Food & Wine’s Raspberry Delight
If you’re looking for more of a vegan sorbet, Food & Wine has you covered with their Raspberry Delight recipe. This recipe serves one, so it’s perfect for a night in or a lazy summer afternoon. If raspberries aren’t your thing, you can replicate this recipe with any berry or fruit you wish. Don’t be surprised if Raspberry Delight’s dazzling pink color turns you into an amateur foodstagrammer!
- 1 frozen banana
- ¾ cup frozen raspberries (or strawberries)
- 1 tablespoon nut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or alternate sweetener of your choice)
- 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened milk substitute (like cashew milk, soy milk, or oat milk)
Combine the banana, frozen berries, nut butter, sweetener, and milk substitute in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Add in almond milk until you reach your desired consistency. Scoop into a loaf pan and freeze until you’re ready to serve your delectable ice cream mixture.
Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Salted Bourbon Caramel Ice Cream
Peanut butter and jelly. MiiRO chocolate and peanut butter. Cookies and cream. Caramel and sea salt. Some pairings are just meant to be.
If you’re craving a little bit of savory with your sweet, check out Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Salted Bourbon Caramel Ice Cream recipe for a satisfying, smooth vegan ice cream (with a bit of a kick!). They recommend pairing this with a vegan apple pie or a vegan raspberry rhubarb crisp, and we have to agree. This recipe makes ten servings, but watch out—they’ll go fast.
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 1 cup bourbon
- ½ cup cane or granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened plant milk
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 14 ounces full-fat coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or tapioca flour (optional)
Prepare the night before by soaking your cashews overnight. You can also soak them day-of for at least 6 hours. Make sure to drain out the water before use. As always, remember to put your ice cream churning freezer base in the freezer overnight.
Start by adding your bourbon and sugar to a small saucepan, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and swirl until caramel forms. Make sure you swirl, not stir. The caramel will form in about 10 minutes. Remove from heat immediately once the caramel bubbles, and add 3 tablespoons of your plant milk and all of your sea salt. Stir together, then leave it to cool. Once your caramel has cooled, add salt to taste and more bourbon, if desired.
Leaving the caramel to the side, add the rest of your ingredients (minus the optional tapioca flour) into a blender and blend until smooth. If you have a liquify setting, now is the time to use it. Blend until there are no chunks remaining to create the ice cream base.
Add half of your caramel creation—plus tapioca flour, if desired (it’s just for thickening). Blend again until mixed. Chill the rest of your caramel in the fridge.
Add your blended mixture to your ice cream maker and churn until it looks like soft serve. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can churn manually using the instructions from Jessica in the Kitchen’s recipe.
Once your ice cream concoction has reached the correct consistency, swirl the rest of your caramel in with a spoon.
Freeze your ice cream for 4 to 6 hours or until firm in a freezer-safe container.
Make Your Own Vegan Ice Cream with Help from MiiRO
Feeling creative? Why not get in the kitchen and make your own dairy-free frozen treat?
Below is a quick and simple recipe for dairy-free, 100% vegan ice cream that features MiiRO’s delicious dark chocolate baking chips. These chocolate chips are low in sugar, high in protein, and right at home in a keto eating plan (not to mention absolutely delicious!). Plus, this whole recipe is an excellent choice for low-carb or keto eaters, thanks to its lack of dairy or other high-carb ingredients.
Here’s everything you need to get started with this tasty recipe.
- 1 Can of Coconut Milk
- ⅓ Cup Almond Butter
- ⅛ Tsp Stevia Powder
- 2 Tbsp MiiRO Chocolate Baking Chips
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Start out by blending all of your ingredients in a blender. Once the mixture is blended up, it’ll most likely have the consistency of yogurt or a smoothie. Give the blended mixture a taste to see if it needs any added sweetness, which can come from stevia. If it tastes good, stick it in the freezer inside the blender’s built-in container. Then, let it chill for about an hour and get ready to feast.
Add Alcohol to Keep From Over-Freezing
One optional ingredient that you can add to your dairy-free ice cream to keep it from getting over-frozen is alcohol. Alcohol has a super low freezing point, and mixing a little bit into your homemade recipe can stop your ice cream from turning into a block of ice. We recommend adding just a little bit of rum or vodka to improve texture and consistency, but it’s optional! Plus, it can add a little extra kick that really enhances the flavor!
For this part of the process, you’ll need your own ice cream maker (and if we haven’t convinced you by now that you need one, we don’t know what will). Take the chilled mixture out of the freezer and pour it into the ice cream maker, allowing it to churn and thicken until it has the texture of traditional soft-serve ice cream.
After the ice cream has been churned, it’s time to put it back in the freezer to let it harden. It’ll need around another hour in the freezer before it’s ready to serve, so go ahead and set a timer and find something to do to pass the time. Clean up the kitchen, read a book, throw your favorite show on Netflix, or just enjoy some much-deserved rest and relaxation.
Once an hour has passed, the ice cream should be ready to serve! Thanks to the addition of MiiRO’s high-protein, low-carb, low-sugar baking chips, it’ll have a rich, chocolatey flavor that is complemented by the sweet taste of vanilla and stevia. Yum!
Plus, once you’ve mastered the recipe, you can begin adding fun twists to really make it your own. Are you feeling mint chip? What about a dash of cinnamon or a peanut butter swirl? The options truly are endless.
Who says omnivores have to have all the fun?
Living a plant-based lifestyle can be a bit of extra work at the start, but it also gives you a unique opportunity to try all the delicious vegan recipes out there – like this yummy dairy-free chocolate chip ice cream! Once you try it, just one bowl won’t be enough, and you’ll be making ice cream sandwiches with your favorite vegan cookie pretty soon.
At MiiRO, we’re all about helping you enjoy your vegan, low-carb, or keto diet without compromising on your health and lifestyle goals. That’s why we’ve created a stacked lineup of delicious desserts and ingredients that are dairy-free, keto-friendly, high-protein, and low-sugar that are right at home in specialized diets!
MiiRO’s dessert offerings include our delicious chocolate and peanut butter baking chips, peanut butter cups, white chocolate and peanut butter bars, and sugar-free maple syrup. There’s plenty to love about MiiRO desserts – they’re guilt and shame-free, and they taste amazing!