There is nothing like a rich, sweet bowl of homemade ice cream. But skip the animal products this time with this vegan ice cream recipe. Made with creamy coconut, you’ll still get the luxurious texture you love, made more mindful with the absence of dairy. That's right: Creamy without the cream. And oh-so-easy to enjoy.
This vegan ice cream is also gluten-free, refined-sugar free, and soy-free. What it's not is flavor-free.
You’ll only need six ingredients to make it, and only 10 minutes of active prep time is required. The rest of the recipe time is simply waiting for the ice cream to chill (enough time to enjoy a refreshing kombucha spritzer, perhaps?); then you'll have to process it in an ice cream maker.
The key ingredient in this vegan ice cream recipe is coconut milk. Coconut milk’s thick and creamy texture works wonderfully to substitute the dairy in ice cream. You’ll want to buy full-fat canned coconut milk for this recipe.
To sweeten this ice cream, we've opted for agave. You could also substitute pure maple syrup if preferred, but there will be a slight caramel flavor from the maple. Of course, organic turbinado sugar is just fine, too. All are much healthier choices than refined liquid sweeteners like corn syrup, which are often found in conventional ice cream.
Organic coconut milk tends to be free of additives, which some conventional brands do include in their formulations. The Native Forest brand of coconut milk is BPA-free, pesticide-free, additive-free, and non-GMO; but there are lots of options these days, so don't settle for less.
As for the coconut oil in this recipe, it’s best to use an unrefined virgin coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil is less processed and is a great source of essential fatty acids. Plus, it’s often fair trade certified which means it was made in regulated working conditions.
You’ll need to have your ice cream maker chilled in advance for this recipe. Ideally, it will have been in the freezer for 48 hours, but a minimum of 24 hours should do. I also recommend chilling all other utensils which will be used, such as a rubber spatula, whisk, and spoon.
Alternatively, if you don’t have an ice cream maker and don't have time to buy our pick, there is still a way you can enjoy this vegan ice cream. The ice cream won't be smooth, with that unmistakeable blend of fluffy and dense that makes ice cream what it is; but it'll still be delicious (think extra-thick milkshake). You’ll need a stainless steel bowl and whisk chilled and ready for use if you go this route.
Transfer the blended ice cream mixture into the bowl and then place in the freezer. Whisk and stir the mixture vigorously every 30 minutes to prevent ice crystals. In total, it should take about 30 minutes to become firm and completely chilled.
How To Make Vegan Ice Cream
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 27 ounces full fat coconut milk
- ¾ cup agave
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
- Add coconut milk, agave, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and xanthan gum to a blender. Blend until well combined. Chill the mixture in the refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Once the mixture is chilled, plug in your ice cream maker and start running it. (Check manufacturer’s instructions and make any adjustments as needed.) Pour in the mixture and process according to instructions.
- If ice cream isn’t thick enough for serving yet, then it will need to be chilled for at least an hour. Transfer the ice cream to a loaf pan, or storage container, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Once it’s firm enough to scoop, serve immediately and enjoy!
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