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Learn how to make Vegan Chocolate Ice cream with just 7 simple ingredients. It's fresh-tasting, chocolatey, and perfectly sweet. The texture is phenomenal, too — it's creamy, decadent, and silky-smooth!
Ice cream is a favorite amongst many, and homemade ice cream just takes it to the top. This Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream recipe is a must-try and the perfect dessert for everyone. I mean, who doesn't love chocolate?
Plus, you won't believe how easy it is — just blend, churn, and chill! The hardest part is waiting for it to freeze. You'll never buy store-bought again!
If chocolate isn't your thing, you can omit the cocoa powder or try this Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream recipe instead. If popsicles are more your style, you'll love these Coconut Lime Popsicles or these Orange Creamsicle Pops. So many delicious options!
🌟 This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
You won't need any fancy ingredients to make this vegan chocolate ice cream and you'll find everything at your local grocery store. Here's what you'll need.
- Raw Cashews - They have a neutral flavor and help create the perfect ice cream consistency. I like to use whole cashews rather than pieces because they're usually the best quality. Lower quality cashews tend to have an aftertaste.
- Full-Fat Coconut Milk - It yields a rich and creamy base that is very close to dairy.
- Lite Coconut Milk - it breaks up the richness a bit, yet still provides a creamy texture.
- Dutch Process Cocoa Powder - It provides an intense dark chocolate flavor that is just heavenly (this is the one I like). However, you can use a ½ cup of regular cocoa powder if you want and it'll still turn out chocolatey and delicious!
- Sugar - I use organic cane sugar to ensure it's vegan. I haven't tried it with any other sweetener yet, but I think maple syrup or agave should work nicely.
- Vanilla Extract - This is a must! It really enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Salt - Don't skip this! It helps bring all the flavors together. I usually use sea salt or Himalayan salt.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
- Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth. Cover and chill the mixture for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight.
- Once chilled, add the mixture to your Ice Cream Maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- It should usually take between 15-25 minutes. The mixture will thicken and look like soft serve.
- Now transfer the ice cream to a large, freezer-safe container, smooth the top and cover it tightly. Freeze it for 3 to 6 hours, or until it's firm.
Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream Success Tips
This ice cream recipe is pretty much fool-proof, but here are some helpful tips before you get started.
- Your ice cream maker base should be completely frozen before beginning. I usually put mine in the freezer the night before.
- If you don't have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), you will need to soften the cashews first. To soften, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 20 minutes.
- It's important to chill the ice cream mixture before churning so the mixture freezes properly. This will prevent larger ice crystals from forming and yield a smooth texture.
- Before serving, let the ice cream sit out at room temp for 10-15 minutes or until it slightly softens.
- If you want to add mix-ins, add them at the last few minutes of churning. Don't add large pieces because this could break your machine.
- Don't overfill your ice cream maker bowl or it will overflow when it starts to thicken. Your instruction manual will provide a maximum fill line.
- If you want to prevent your ice cream from freezing too solid, add 1-2 tablespoons of a nice quaility vodka to the mixture. It works like a charm and you won't taste it!
Vegan Ice Cream FAQs
Vegan ice cream will keep in the freezer for about two weeks in an airtight container. It can last longer, but ice crystals are more likely to form.
Homemade ice cream should be stored in a freezer-safe, airtight container and placed in the coldest part of your freezer. Cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap or wax paper to avoid ice crystals from forming.
If you'll be opening the container often for smaller servings, I recommend storing the ice cream in two separate containers and using up one container first before opening the other. This will keep it fresher for longer.
Want more storage tips? Here's a great article with 7 essential tips for storing homemade ice cream.
More Chocolate Recipes to Try
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Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk (1.5 cups)
- 1 14-oz can Lite coconut milk (1.5 cups)
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- ⅓ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Make sure that your ice cream maker base is completely frozen before beginning. I usually put mine in the freezer the night before.
- If you don't have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), you will need to soften the cashews first. To soften, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse and discard soaking water.
- Add the cashews, coconut milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt to your blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Cover and place in the coldest part of your fridge. Chill for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight. It should be very cold!
- Once chilled, add the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It should usually take between 20-30 minutes. The mixture will thicken and look like soft serve when it's done.
- Using a rubber spatula, transfer the ice cream to a large, freezer-safe container with a lid, smooth the top, and cover. Freeze it for at least 3 to 6 hours, or until it is firm. If you don't have a container with a lid, cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
- To serve, let the ice cream thaw at room temp for about 10-15 minutes to slightly soften. Before freezing again, cover the surface of the ice cream with wax paper or plastic wrap and then cover with the lid. This will prevent ice crystals from forming.
- Storing - This ice cream will last in the freezer for about two weeks in an airtight container. It can last longer, but ice crystals are more likely to form.
- Yields a little over 1.5 quarts
- Serving size is about ½ cup.
- If you don't have a powerful blender, the cashews might not completely break down and this could result in a gritty texture. You can try soaking the cashews in cool water, overnight in the fridge to get them really soft.
- I like to use whole cashews rather than pieces because they're usually the best quality. Lower quality cashews tend to have an aftertaste.
- I highly recommend using Dutch Process Cocoa Powder. It provides an intense dark chocolate flavor that is just heavenly. However, you can use a ½ cup of regular cocoa powder if you want and it'll still turn out chocolatey and delicious!
- If you want to add mix-ins, add them at the last few minutes of churning. Be careful not to add large pieces or this could break your machine.
- Don't overfill your ice cream maker bowl or it could overflow when it starts to thicken. Your instruction manual will provide a maximum fill line.
Now, what if I don't have an ice cream maker?
Hi Jeanette, I haven't tried this recipe without an ice cream maker. I have seen alternative methods online but I haven't given them a try yet. I wish I could be more help with this.
What if you used cashew butter instead of the cashews?
Hi Jack, this is a good question. I have seen recipes that use cashew butter, but I haven't tried it. I think it'll work, but I just don't know the exact amount to use. I'll have to experiment with this one.