Yummly ice cream recipe in waffle cones

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN ICE CREAM: RECIPE AND TIPS

No one should be deprived of ice cream, even those on a plant-based diet. With a few ingredient swaps, you can easily make a rich, dairy-free vegan ice cream treat. You might also be wondering how to actually make it. The good news is you don’t have to own an ice cream maker. A blender, food processor and even a stand mixer are all easy ways to make homemade vegan ice cream. Follow this guide for a simple vegan ice cream recipe. You’ll also learn about different flavors you can add to expand your making possibilities.

What is vegan ice cream?

Vegan ice cream is different from other dairy-free options like sorbet, granita and nice cream, because the base of vegan ice cream comes from plant milk. The other versions are different mixtures of frozen fruit, sugar and water, which are still delicious but not as creamy as vegan ice cream.

Frozen bananas will help you achieve the thick texture of ice cream in your blender. If you have an ice cream maker, you can use the freezing and churning process to create a thick vegan ice cream without the need for frozen bananas. This process often uses cashews that have been soaked overnight in water instead.

Simple vegan ice cream recipe

This recipe inspiration uses a blender for an easy way to whip up vegan ice cream in your own kitchen. Skip the frozen bananas and use the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer Ice Cream Attachment1 to churn thick vegan ice cream. Mix and match the list of common ingredients below to create your perfect homemade vegan ice cream.

1 Sold separately

YIELDS

  • 4 servings

INGREDIENTS 

  • Full-fat canned coconut milk

  • Toasted shredded coconut, chopped nuts, cocoa or other flavoring

  • Pitted dates or soaked cashews

  • Virgin coconut oil, cocoa butter or other fat 

  • Peeled & sliced frozen bananas for blender method

  • Additional fruits like mango or berries

  • Optional sweeteners like honey, agave nectar or maple syrup

PREP TIME

  • 15 minutes

TOTAL TIME

  • 20 minutes

Black KitchenAid® blender on countertop

Step 1: ASSEMBLE BLENDER

Make sure to place your blender on a cool, flat surface. If you’re using a stand mixer, secure the ice cream attachment into place.

White KitchenAid® blender filled with milk and fruit on countertop

Step 2: ADD INGREDIENTS

Add all ingredients besides frozen banana to your KitchenAid® blender jar. Blend on high for 30 to 60 seconds until ingredients are pulverized.

Close up of bananas on countertop

Step 3: ADD FROZEN BANANA

Scrape down the sides of the blender container and inside the lid. To stick with blender ice cream, add the frozen bananas. Secure the lid, remove the center lid cap, and insert the tamper if your model has one. If you are opting to use the ice cream attachment, skip the bananas and go to step 5.

Top view of blender with top open and blended fruit mixture inside

Step 4: BLEND

Process on high for 20 to 30 seconds, using the tamper to guide the fruit through the blades until smooth, but still frozen.

Pouring ice cream mixture into a Kitchenaid® stand mixer with ice bowl attachment

Step 5: CHURN

If using the ice cream maker attachment, skip step 4. Just add the blended mixture without the frozen bananas to the bowl of your ice cream maker attachment and churn. Get more tips on using the ice cream maker with this guide.

Yummly recipe of Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream on countertop

Step 6: SERVE & ENJOY

Scoop out and serve immediately like a frozen yogurt, or chill in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up for a harder consistency.

Shop KitchenAid® Blenders and Stand Mixer Attachments for Creating Vegan Ice Cream

Which plant milk is best for making vegan ice cream?

Most vegan ice creams are made with coconut milk, nut milk or soy milk. Full-fat coconut milk is a popular choice because it gives a thick and creamy consistency. Nut milks, like almond or cashew, are also popular but may not be as creamy due to a lower fat content. Whatever plant-based alternative you choose, get creative and have fun with flavors. Try adding vanilla or coconut extract, or infuse with your favorite espresso for a coffee-flavored treat.

Does vegan ice cream taste like the plant-based milk it's made from?

The type of plant-based milk you choose will make a difference not only in taste, but also consistency. Nut milks have a neutral flavor with a lower fat content. That makes for a slightly icier texture with a neutral flavor base. Canned full-fat coconut milk may have a more noticeable taste, which makes for a creamier consistency with a flavor that works well with other fruits or chocolate.

What should I use to thicken vegan ice cream?

Plant-based fats are the best way to thicken vegan ice cream. Coconut cream, full-fat coconut milk and coconut oil will give the creamiest and thickest results. Cornstarch and tapioca starch can also be used to thicken but the end result will be a little more icy and a little less creamy.

Is vegan ice cream gluten free?

While gluten can sneak its way into many store-bought vegan ice creams, it’s easy to create a gluten-free homemade version. A lot of the time gluten comes from the flavors you add, like cookie dough chunks or pieces of birthday cake. If you’re gluten-free, avoid using any type of wheat flours as thickeners and stick to using whole ingredients like fruits and nuts.

How can I create different vegan ice cream flavors?

To create new flavors for vegan ice cream, start with the classics like banana, chocolate and coconut. From there, think about adding different types of fruit, herbs and even coffee. The possibilities are endless so pick flavors for both experimental and more classic takes on this frozen dessert.

Can I make vegan ice cream with a blender or food processor?

Blenders, food processors and even stand mixers are great tools for making homemade vegan ice cream. If you have the ice cream maker attachment for your stand mixer, that’s a great way to make vegan ice cream after blending fresh ingredients together. But if you only have a blender you can still create a delicious result. It really comes down to the ingredients, what appliances you have in your kitchen and choosing the best one for the job.

What can I serve with vegan ice cream?

Vegan ice cream is delicious enough to eat by itself, but if you want to switch it up there are lots of ways to serve it. You could make a classic sundae or banana split with fresh fruit and nuts as toppings. Or bake up some cookies and make an ice cream sandwich. And warm brownies taste much better with a heaping scoop of ice cream on top.

How long can I store vegan ice cream?

Homemade vegan ice cream doesn’t have the preservatives found in store-bought versions, but if it’s prepped and stored correctly it should last about 3 weeks in the freezer. To prevent ice crystals from forming, place the ice cream in a loaf pan or other container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the ice cream. Place another layer of wrap on the pan and freeze.

Explore KitchenAid® Stand Mixers and Attachments

Both KitchenAid® blenders and stand mixers along with their attachments are powerful tools in the kitchen that provide versatility and help streamline food prep. With so many ways to use blenders and stand mixers, you can explore even more recipe possibilities.

Find more dessert tips with KitchenAid brand