Homemade vegan French Silk Ice Cream made in the blender with healthy ingredients to enjoy as soft-serve or creamy mocha chocolate chunk scoop style!
A.k.a. mocha dark chocolate chunk with a creamy vanilla swirl ice cream.
But French Silk flows much better.
I don’t think French Silk Ice Cream is an official universally recognized flavor, but the name certainly does have an ice cream alluring ring to it that this tasty combo of flavors and mix-ins definitely deserves.
I remember quite clearly the first time I tasted French Silk ice cream in a waffle cone at my aunt’s house…and the countless tubs of it I polished off the rest of that yummy summer. Up until then in my life chocolate ice cream was always just chocolate, but add coffee to the mix and now we have something mocha magical on our ice-cream-adoring hands!
The thing that confuses me is why ice cream isn’t a breakfast food. But I’m learning to accept that.
The other thing that confuses me is why French Silk PIE is just chocolate cream filling + whipped cream + graham cracker crust. No mention of mocha at all. I’m not mad about it. I don’t hold the lack of coffee flavor against aforementioned amazing-sounding pie situation. But then the espresso addition when you change the word pie to ICE CREAM just feels totally out of left field, ya know?
So there’s a mystery for you if you are up for a good googling challenge. I’ll probs just accept it and get back to eating ice cream. Or pie. Or both. Together? Nah space it out.
Soooooooo don’t be mad that I didn’t tell you this up front, but um this is actually nice cream.
So right now you’re thinking one of two things:
That sneaky fruit-obsessed deceiver leading us on with the no-churn thing and then betraying us with this banana news-bomb!
But I know that once you experience the rich mocha flavor and smooth scoop-able texture you won’t be thinking about the fact that it’s made of 90% fruit. I’ll even spike your bowl with extra chocolate chunks if you will forgive me and try it despite your potential negative feelings towards bananas or ice cream that is sneakily healthy.
Mocha ice cream. Or banana ice cream for the full disclosure version. Because despite all the banana-free recipes I’ve posted this summer, frozen bananas are still the easiest way to instantly ice cream.
Frozen bananas + cacao powder + espresso powder. See what I mean, it’s hard to rival that kinda no-churn ice cream easy.
The recipe calls for 6-8 frozen bananas, which translates to 3 to 4 servings per batch. Because this is banana ice cream it is really best eaten the same day it is made, so if you want to scale the amounts back to make just 1 or 2 servings feel free to do so.
You can simply stir in the vanilla swirl and chocolate chunks and dig in immediately for French Silk soft serve. Or, for the perfect cone-worthy scoop, layer it all in a pan or shallow dish and freeze for 1-2 hours. That sweet spot of scoop-able but not too solid can be a narrow window when working with bananas, so don’t forget about it in the freezer or it will be a French Silk ice cube.
Vanilla swirl. This little detail turned out to be the trickiest part, but there was no way I was going to skip it. First I tried coconut cream, but that froze to be too solid. And coconut butter was even more of a chunky mess. So coconut products were out.
Something light-colored and creamy that stays soft when frozen…?
The answer was cashew butter, and wow did it make this whole recipe immeasurably more delicious. Because unlike most swirls in ice creams that are barely distinguishable in terms of taste (unless it’s a marshmallow swirl–that’s a whole different story!), cashew butter adds all kinds of rich buttery flavor in addition to the vanilla on chocolate color contrast.
I used the Artisana brand of cashew butter since it is much lighter in color than most, but any kind will taste great regardless of color. Vanilla extract, optional maple syrup, and non-dairy milk stirred in make for the perfect creamy swirl to mix throughout the cold mocha creaminess.
Dark chocolate chunks. Not chips. Not nibs. Not those little chocolate shavings that are simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. Chocolate CHUNKS. The kind that make it feel like a mini spoon-search success when you find one. The kind that you strategically scoop from the carton in a peculiar shape to maximize in your cone.
Blend up a batch before summer is gone, because this is the swirly-sweet scooped stuff mocha dreams are made of!
Vegan French Silk Ice Cream
- Yield: 4 people 1x
Homemade dairy-free French Silk Ice Cream made in the blender with healthy ingredients to enjoy as soft-serve or creamy mocha chocolate chunk scoop style!
- 1/4 cup cashew butter
- Optional: 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1–2 tbsp non-dairy milk
Mocha Ice Cream
- 8 frozen bananas
- 3–4 tbsp cacao powder ((or cocoa powder))
- 2 tsps espresso powder
- 1/3 cup chocolate chunks
- For the vanilla swirl, whisk together the cashew butter, maple syrup (if using), and vanilla extract. Add the non-dairy milk slowly until it is a thick but pourable consistency. Set aside.
- In a high speed blender or food processor, combine the frozen bananas, cacao powder, and espresso powder.
- Blend on high until creamy and smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides or use a tamper.
- Add the vanilla swirl and chocolate chunks, and serve immediately as soft-serve.
- Or layer into a shallow pan, and freeze for 1-2 hours until scoop-able. Running the ice cream scoop under warm water first can be helpful too!
More frozen fruity feasting for you…
–Ice cream on a stick and with a salty sprinkle.
-Swirled and sweet and good for you green stuff!
-Just like Reese’s except minus the chocolate and not cup-shaped and ice cream.
-Those layers though!
–Cookie-inspired and seasonally forward-thinking.
A cashew butter swirl…HELLO, I’ll take approximately 5 bowls. Such a great idea!! You know I’m on board when it starts with bananas, and this looks so dreamy! You’re so right though I had never thought of french silk in terms of an ice cream flavor, but clearly it most definitely works. Let’s make this a thing! I don’t even care if it becomes a thing, as long as I can keep eating it. Have an awesome week, Natalie!
Five bowls…um do you happen to have any extra frozen bananas I could borrow for that? I KNOW your freezer must be stocked at pretty much all times 😉 Pie, ice cream, let’s just have an entire French Silk feast already. Happy monday Sara!
OMG !! This looks super yum, already looking ATM what ingredients I have to prepare it lol just quick question any idea how many calories per/scoop ??
Yay, I hope you have everything on hand to try it soon! You can always plug the ingredients into here http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator and find out the nutrition info really easily. I just calculated it for this recipe and if you say 4 servings per batch then each serving is around 380 cals. Hope that helps!
Coffee + ice cream and chocolate too? Now we’re talking! And I don’t see anything wrong with having that for breakfast! Or lunch…or dinner…or dessert!!! Coffee ice cream = my favorite. Thank you Natalie!!!
Or ALL of the above meals perhaps? 😉 I like the way you think! I can’t say i’ve actually ever had coffee ice cream without the chocolate part, but that sounds like something I need to try now too. Thanks Trena!
If you have access to “Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss” ice creams at your health food store, check out the “Cappuccino” one. Ooohhhhh…..delicate, smooth, coffee heaven. My other fav is “Mocha Almond Fudge” coconut ice cream by “So Delicious.”
Mmm yes I love Luna and Larry’s ice creams, but haven’t tried that one before. I will try out both of those, thanks for the recommendations! And for giving me a good reason to make a trip to the health food store for some ice cream “research” 😉
Forget all the banana-haters – you make any type of ice cream look AMAZING!
Hahaha they’re the ones missing out anyways 😀 Thanks girl!
Well, I don’t know what to say, except OMG! Looking at the photos and watching the video of your ice cream almost makes me cry as it looks soo amazing. I love ice cream and I really should make it more often after seeing your amazing pics. And I agree cashew butter is incredible, I used it for the first time recently and now I can’t get enough, haha. Wonderful recipe Natalie 🙂
Thanks for popping over here to see it, Ela! I am going to have a hard time when winter comes and I can’t post/make ice cream every week haha. Cashew butter is the best isn’t it?! I am totally hooked too for baking and just eating on things. And I am if I hop over to your site right now I might find some other delicious uses/inspo for it too…:)
Pamela (BrooklynFarmGirl) says
This ice cream looks AMAZING!
Thanks Pamela! I think I’m going to switch to an exclusively ice cream diet pretty soon lol 🙂
Whoa, baby!!!! That vanilla swirl looks good enough to eat on its own, but paired with that creamy, mocha goodness would be pure heaven! I love Artisana brand so much! Everything is so smooth and creamy. This looks insanely delicious, my friend! I, too, remember eating French silk ice cream in a waffle cone and out of the tub with a spoon…such a dangerously good flavor. And now that bananas and I get along again, I’m even more excited! I can’t wait to make this!! ❤️
Oh there was definitely some spoon licking after I finished mixing up the swirl part, nothing that stuff wouldn’t be good slather on! Haha yes I did some out-of-the-tub eating for sure too 🙂 You and bananas are back on good terms? That is amazing news–so many smoothie/ice cream possibilities! Thanks for checking it out Mandy <3
The Vegan 8 says
Ok, I’m seriously drooling over all of those million chocolate chunks and the fact that you added espresso! You know that espresso and chocolate are my #1 favorite combo ever, right??! I seriously don’t think there is anything better. And you know my love for cashew butter too, so I mean, you are scoring so many French Silk Pie/Ice cream (not brownie) points, here, hahahha! And I KNOW I suck for not being able to eat bananas, because I SO BADLY want to make this. My favorite ice cream in the world is a mocha cashew ice cream and I make it often, but it’s certainly not nearly as low fat as your version with the bananas. I must admit, the way you swirled and presented it is totally gorgeous too! I can’t keep up with all of your amazing posts….the drool is becoming a REAL problem over here on my keyboard!!!
I think about you ever time I add espresso to a chocolate recipe! And I totally understand why it’s your #1 – it’s a crazy good combo especially with a touch of sea salt. Lol to the “not brownie” points part 😀 It’s funny, I shot this one a little while ago at the beginning of summer and if i were to redo it now would probably do a coconut milk or some other sort of base since that’s what I am currently obsessed with, but the banana based thrown in sometimes is easy and yummy too 🙂 Thanks Brandi!
Hi!! beautiful everything! Great photos and the best food! love it!!
Can you tell wich recipe plugin do you use? Is lovely!!!!
Thanks Julie! I use WP Recipe Maker currently, the premium version 🙂
Great recipe. But I grew up on French Silk Pie, made lots of them. Definitely not ice cream in a pie crust, http://www.marthastewart.com/355899/jean-websters-french-silk-pie
Though, your recipe would be great in a graham cracker or nut crust.
They are very different things right?! How they got the same name makes zero sense to me, but both sound delicious crust or not 🙂
So if I freeze it overnight, will it be ruined? Or would you leave it in the fridge a couple of hours to soften up? Thanks!
Banana ice cream really doesn’t do well being frozen completely, but if you let it thaw for a couple of hours in the fridge or for 30 mins or so on the counter it will still be good although not as creamy as the day you make it. Another option is to break it up into chunks the next day and reblend to get it creamy again 🙂
I’m new to this kind of eating and I’ve never tried nice cream. I’m not into bananas unless it’s cake or bread. Does this have a banana taste along with the chocolate mocha?
Yes nice cream does have a banana flavor, so if you really don’t like bananas I don’t recommend it. I will say with chocolate and other strong flavors is the best way to hide it, and my mom (who hates bananas) has actually grown to like nice cream. But the banana flavor is still there. Hope that helps Kathy!