My favorite vegan chocolate ice cream! Made with coconut and almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, and sea salt. Dairy-free, healthier than most, and so YUM!
I’m semi embarrassed about how long I’ve put off sharing this recipe with you.
The ratio of batches made to months it’s take to finally write it down in shareable-with-the-internet form…it’s not good friends, not good.
The delay wasn’t because it’s not good, it’s perfect. Taste, texture, ingredients – it’s everything I could ever want the basic but essential chocolate ice cream recipe on this blog to be. And it’s not because I needed to test or tweak, I’ve made it so many time I could do it with my eyes close (challenge = accepted!) For a hot minute (cold minute?) there it was winter which did get in the way, but you and I both no true ice cream love knows no season.
The real reason it’s taken so long is because every time I would make a batch I couldn’t keep my own personal ice cream spoon out of it long enough to finish the video. Next time I’ll turn on the camera. Next time I’ll write down exactly how much almond milk. Next time I won’t devour it all without using a bowl or toppings or such other frivolous things that only get in they way of me and this tantalizing frozen chocolate bliss.
The day I finally shot these photos, I made two batches – one to photograph and one to eat. Yup, true story.
Ice cream obsession level: shamelessly greedy.
I admit I’ve been selfish, hoarding all the scoops just for me. You may not understand now, but three
bites scoops in and you will.
I think it’s clear at this point that I’m deeply in love with this recipe. It is probably the most thoroughly “tested” recipe to ever grace these blog parts. So that means that even though using words like PERFECT feels risky when it comes to recipes because everyone has different tastes, I feel confident enough to go there.
This vegan chocolate ice cream is healthier than most. Made with a combination of full fat coconut milk and almond milk, so it’s not as high fat. But churned, so hello still superbly luscious texture. Sweetened just a little…or a little bit more. With an optional collagen protein boost. Salted, of course. 110% irresistible, obviously.
I’ve tried and tweaked this recipe a dozen different ways, so I’ve got lots of options to make it as HEALTHY and decadent or DECADENT and healthy as you like:
- Sweetener. Personally I think 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey, agave, etc.) is just perfect, but anywhere from 1-4 tablespoons is delicious. Coconut milk is naturally sweet so you don’t need a lot.
- Cacao or cocoa. Cacao powder is my preference, but either is fine. Or even carob!
- With collagen. I like to add a couple of scoops of collagen peptides, but skip this if you are vegan. I don’t recommend other protein powders as they will mess up the creamy texture.
- Thickener. I have found tapioca starch to work best, but you can substitute with arrowroot or cornstarch.
- Gum-free coconut milk. I typically use the Trader Joe’s full fat coconut milk, which doesn’t contain guar gum. Using a brand with guar gum will make it even creamier, but not necessary.
- Make it nut-free. Use hemp milk, soy milk, or light coconut milk in place of the almond milk, and you’ve got dairy-free + nut-free ice cream.
Proof I’ve made this ice cream way too many times.
This recipe is simple, but there are quite a few steps: blend the ingredients > cook to a thick pudding consistency > cool completely > churn > eat immediately or freeze and scoop. Yes, you will need an ice cream maker. (If you don’t have one I recommend a higher fat or banana based ice cream instead!) I have and really like this one from Cuisinart.
Frozen berries are my favorite thing to throw on top, but simple, homemade, GOOD chocolate ice cream like this is a deliciously blank topping canvas so feel free to get crazy – sprinkles, syrups, cookie chunks, brownie hunks, the whole pantry. Or nothing at all, and just relish in every perfect creamy bite.
Happy healthier ice cream making to you!
Favorite (Healthier) Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: freezer
- Cuisine: american
My favorite vegan chocolate ice cream! Made with coconut and almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, and sea salt. Dairy-free, healthier than most, and SO YUM!
- 15oz can full-fat coconut milk*
- 2 cups (480g) almond milk**
- 1/3 cup (45g) tapioca starch***
- 1/2 cup (35g) cacao powder or cocoa powder
- 1–4 tbsps maple syrup****
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4–1/2 tsp sea salt
- Place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer the night before.
- Blend all the ingredients until well combined.
- Pour into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat stirring frequently. Once it is boiling, keep whisking for 2-3 minutes until thick.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl or container. Place in the refrigerator until completely cool (about 4 hours minimum).
- Once the mixture is cool, churn in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Serve immediately or transfer to a shallow dish and freeze for 2-3 hours until firm enough to scoop.
- It will keep in the freezer for a few days, but become less creamy with time.
*I used a gum-free variety, but with or without guar gum is fine. Shake the can before using so you get both the cream and the water. **Any kind of non-dairy milk from a carton is fine. Or you can use light canned coconut milk or homemade almond/nut milk for an even richer ice cream. ***You can sub arrowroot or cornstarch, but I find tapioca to yield the best texture. ****Personally I find 2 tbsp to be the perfect amount, but use more/less depending on how sweet you want it. You can use other liquid sweeteners instead, or even coconut sugar. I like to add 2 scoops of collagen peptides (not vegan), but that is completely optional and won’t affect the flavor or taste at all.
- Serving Size: 2 scoops
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 8
- Fat: 18
- Carbohydrates: 28
- Protein: 5
Keywords: vegan, chocolate, dessert, frozen, summer, easy
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😔 i don’t have an icecream maker…
You really need the machine for this one, but I will work on a no churn version soon!
The recipes looks fabulous. I do have a question.
Is there anyway to make this without the coconut milk. I hate the taste of coconut, but really want to make the ice cream.
You do need some sort of higher fat ingredient for creaminess, so what I would suggest doing is using all almond milk (or whatever kind you like/use, homemade would be ideal but carton is fine) and then add 1/2-3/4 cup almond/nut butter for the extra richness. Hope that helps!
Thank you Natalie for the quick suggestion! That will be very helpful for this recipe and others!
The Vegan 8 says
Missed commenting on this one! I love this classic chocolate coconut ice cream! Gotta have one in the arsenal! I always like to pair my full-fat coconut milk with another milk as well to avoid the coconut flavor being too strong or else it is overpowering. And YES to the churned ice cream. NO churn may be convenient but it does not even begin to compare to the texture difference in churned ice creams. No-churn always gets so hard and so many ice crystals, even with lots of fat. I think an ice cream maker is one of the best investments ever and Yay for ice cream season! I’m so so excited about seeing this ice cream. It was HOT today and all I could think about earlier outside was popsicles and ice cream, haha! Love it Natalie and love the closeup cone shot!
I forget you aren’t a fan of tasting coconut in desserts…now the last recipe in your preorder freebie makes even more sense. I can’t wait to try that one, oh yes the ice cream maker is a totally worth it investment if you ask me too (although if it didn’t take up an entire cabinet to store that’d be cool😂) I’ve had lots of requests for a no churn after posting this one so I probably will but it’s gonna take a lot more coconut/nuts and still never quite as lush😋 Happy weekend to you and I hope there is some sort to chilly treat involved!
Can’t think of anything better than homemade ice cream on a warm summer day 😀 Any leftovers???
This one disappeared in record time somehow hehe! But I am right there with ya girly🍨❤️
Oh this recipe is amazing. It’s always good the have a chocolate freeze thing on stock 🙂 Haven’t tried carob in my icecream yet. I might give it a go after I tried yours.
Haha yes totally a freezer essential in the summer! And usually I have some vegan store-bought for backup too even…I take my ice cream very seriously 😀
Thank you for all the yummy.recipes that are vegan and don’t make me feel yucky after! I love the videos too-so cool! Just made the no bake chocolate cake and no bake cheesecakes! Want to try so many more! Thanks again!!!
Aw yay!! I am so happy you liked both of those–what a yummy no-bake combo. Thanks for the kind words and I hope you try many more to come 🙂
Do I need to use a blender, or can I just mix everything with a spoon and bowl (I hate cleaning my blender)?
As long as you whisk it really well so the tapioca starch is fully dissolved, you don’t need the blender 🙂
I have the mix ready to be churned but in the meantime I wanted to share some issues I have ad with past ice cream recipes. I have the exact same ice cream machine you have and what happens is that the ice cream stucks to the wall of the bowl, rock hard and I get lots of frozen mixture instead of churned….
I was wondering if this is something related to the mix consistency. Do you happen to know??
Can wait to have this one churning!
thanks for sharing the recipe!
Debbie Hallmark says
Can’t stand chocolate…how would I make this into strawberry
I’d try taking out the cocoa powder, reducing the almond milk to 1 cup, and adding 1 cup strawberry puree (just fresh or frozen/defrosted strawberries blended up). Great idea, I may have to do that this summer too!
Debbie Hallmark says
Thank you SO much for replying. I’m a newer vegan. Most of the processed “ice creams” are not to my liking
If I want to use coconut sugar, how much I would have to add?
Same amount! So about 3-4 tbsp, depending on how sweet you want it😊
I have try this, but the flavor is too strong. Is ok if I add less cacao powder?
Can I use agave instead of maple?
Sure you can reduce the cacao to make it more mild, that won’t affect the texture 🙂 And yes agave works too!
I would like to make vanilla ice cream. If I take out cocoa powder, do I have to reduce the milk content?
Thank you for your answer!
Sure you can skip the cocoa powder here! Um yes, I would recommend reducing the amount of almond milk to 1 1/2 cups to make sure it’s still creamy and maybe add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract😊
Thank you so much 😊
Greetings from Slovenia!
Chris St. James says
I enjoyed the recipe but was really hoping there was a Colder method, without Boiling anything to make Vegan Ice Cream. Even if that involves Pudding or Frozen Nut Milk cubes? I’ve seen those recipes from the Ninja folks but can’t get my Vegan version to Freeze well like they would with my past Dairy versions. They turn out more Slushy with many Ice crystals in them. It’s almost like the Non-Dairy Nut Milk cartons have some kind of Anti-Freeze in them that prevent a solid state?
Most recipes that churn in an ice cream maker do require a cooked ice cream base that you then have to chill before churning. This is my favorite no-churn blender chocolate ice cream if you wan to try it, very creamy! https://www.instagram.com/p/B0ORTdTh5FD/
Roxana Rivera says
I am allergic to chocolate, but would like to use pistachio on the recipe. What would be the right amount to use.
Ground pistachio in place of the cocoa powder? Hmm that may work although I worry it will be grainy. You could try pistachio butter, or just leave out the cocoa powder and make vanilla ice cream!
hi, this looks great. I’m out of maple syrup, do you think i could use dates and blend them up?
Yes that will work! I’d recommend about 1/2 cup packed dates 🙂
Hi Natalie! Such an amazing recipe! Thank you!
Could you guide on how long would be the shelf life of the ice cream? Or what can be added to increase the shelf life?
This recipe is really best within the first day or two that you make it, after that it will start to get icy with more time in the freezer (as is true with almost all homemade ice creams). Storebought ice creams contain thickeners and stabilizers that keep them so creamy for months. A higher fat homemade ice cream (like cashew or coconut milk based) would last a bit longer but still a week max
tried this and it was amazing, I added some dairy free dark chocolate and it turned it turned out great. Thank you for such a great recipe.
YAY!! I am so happy you loved it Keith, and extra chocolate is always a good idea😊🍫