Ultimately the easiest and healthiest dessert ever, this two-ingredient, easy banana nice cream recipe (basically banana ice cream) is dairy-free and still full of flavor. Forget about the ice cream maker! All you’ll need is a freezer and a food processor (or blender). The results? A silky smooth frozen banana dessert. Make it today and serve it with chocolate syrup or vegan magic shell on top.
Don’t you love a good sweet treat that’s 100% natural and has no added sugars? Me too! In fact, when I discovered that frozen bananas transform into the silkiest, smoothest dessert, I was shocked! I couldn’t wait to share this banana ice cream recipe with you.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Bananas — You’ll need a couple of ripe bananas.
- Maple Syrup — If your bananas are sweet, you may not need any added sweetener, but I like adding just a bit.
- Flavors — You can serve this nice ice cream as is, or add your favorite flavorings, such as blueberries, strawberries, peanut butter, and more!
What Bananas are Best for Nice Cream?
Use ripe bananas for the most flavorful and sweet banana ice cream. Look for bananas with brown spots. You can use yellow bananas, but you’ll need to add sweetener.
Lucky for me, a recent trip to Costco resulted in a big bunch of ripe bananas. I love vegan shopping at Costco!
How to Make Nice Cream
- Slice the bananas and freeze them.
- Place frozen banana chunks in a blender. Let them sit for a minute or two to soften.
- Add maple syrup for an even creamier, sweeter result.
- Pulse until smooth.
Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:
Step One: Freezing Bananas
There’s only one secret ingredient to this delicious two-ingredient recipe. If you haven’t already guessed it, bananas are the miracle ingredient here.
- Peel the bananas
- Slice the bananas and place them on a tray lined with waxed paper
- Freeze the bananas for 1 to 2 hours
- Remove frozen bananas from the freezer and let them sit for roughly 5 minutes to soften slightly.
Step Two: Processing Frozen Bananas
You have two options when it comes to processing frozen bananas to make nice ice cream: use a food processor or a blender. Here, we’ll go through the pros and cons of both.
How to Make Food Processor Nice Cream
It may take a bit longer to make banana ice cream in a food processor and the results may not be quite as smooth as using a high-speed blender.
To make it:
- Add frozen bananas to your food processor fitted with an “S” blade.
- Allow them to sit for a few minutes so they soften slightly
- Pulse in short bursts until the bananas are roughly processed but chunky
- Use a rubber spatula to wipe down the sides of the food processor bowl.
- Pulse again in longer bursts, until this mixture is mostly smooth.
How to Make Blender Nice Nice Cream
It may take a bit longer to make nice cream in a food processor and the results may not be quite as smooth as using a high-speed blender.
To make it:
- Add frozen bananas to a blender jar.
- Allow them to sit for a few minutes so they soften slightly
- Turn your blender to its lowest setting until the bananas are roughly processed but chunky
- Gradually turn your blender from low speed to higher speed, blending until smooth.
- If the mixture is overly frozen or thick, the blender motor might freeze up. If so, stop the motor and let the mixture sit a little longer to soften. You can also add a bit of almond or soy milk to soften up the mixture. Pausing in this way protects your blender’s motor.
Step Three: Freezing Instructions
As is, this frozen banana mixture is like soft-serve ice cream and it’s delicious! However, you can also freeze it to create more of a scoopable texture. Here’s how:
- Spread the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1 to 3 hours, depending on your preference for firmness.
- Remove from the freezer and allow it to sit for a few minutes to soften.
- Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out your delicious frozen treat
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Frozen bananas processed in a food processor or blender create a lovely, creamy texture
- Adding maple syrup creates a hint of added sweetness, making the perfect frozen dessert
- Using your favorite flavor add-ins creates nice ice cream made just like you like it.
You can serve your ice cream a la natural, or use these add-ins to make change up the flavor and colors. Add any of these below to the blender or food processor with the smooth, blended bananas. Then process or pulse again until smooth. Here are our favorite nice cream flavors:
- Chocolate — Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
- Vanilla — Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or a scoop of vanilla seeds from one bean.
- Blueberry — Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries.
- Strawberry — Add 1 cup of frozen strawberries.
- Cherry — Add 1 cup of frozen cherries.
- Cookies and Cream — Add 1 cup of crumbled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.
- Protein — Add 1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder (make sure it’s dairy-free and vegan)
- Peanut Butter — Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
- Pineapple — Cut a pineapple and freeze it. Add 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks to the frozen banana mixture.
- Mango — Add 1 cup of frozen mango chunks.
- Caramel — Add 4 to 5 soft medjool dates and blend until mostly combined, leaving the dates marbled throughout.
When adding any frozen fruit to a blender, be sure to let it sit for a moment or two before blending, to help it soften.
Nice Cream Toppings
I love adding these tasty toppings to a big bowl of banana ice cream:
- Vegan Chocolate Syrup
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Strawberry Puree
- Chopped Peanuts
- Chopped Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
- Crumbled Homemade Oreos
Store any leftovers in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just like ice cream, keep it in the back of your freezer because the process of freezing and thawing can add ice crystals. To serve, let it sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes to soften before scooping it into serving dishes.
What is Nice Cream?
NiceCream means “nana ice cream.” It’s basically frozen bananas blended and whipped into ice cream. Is nice ice cream vegan you may ask? Well, yes, it is because it’s made entirely with plant-based ingredients.
Can you use a blender to make frozen banana ice cream?
Yes, you can use a blender to make nice ice cream. In fact, one of the best things about this ice cream banana dessert is you don’t even need a fancy ice cream freezer to make it. No pre-cooking the ice cream mix in a saucepan either. How much easier could this be!
How long does it take for bananas to freeze in the freezer?
I’ve found you need to allow at least two hours for banana slices to freeze in the freezer. Here’s how to freeze bananas for nice cream: place banana slices on a tray and place that tray in the freezer. Then transfer to a freezer bag after an hour, that way the slices won’t get stuck to each other.
Or you can place banana slices directly into a freezer bag, just try to lay the bag flat so the bananas freeze in an individual layer.
More Frozen Desserts
I hope you love this banana nice cream as much as we do! If you want even more frozen desserts, give these a try:
Banana Nice Cream
Banana Nice Cream
- 2 cups sliced frozen bananas (2 large ripe bananas)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
- Berry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen berries)
- Vanilla (Base recipe + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- Peanut Butter (Base recipe + 2 tablespoons peanut butter)
- Chocolate (Base recipe + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder)
- Caramel (Base recipe + 4 to 5 medjool dates)
- Cherry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen cherries)
- Blueberry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen blueberries)
- Strawberry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen strawberries)
- Cookies and Cream (Base recipe + 1 cup chopped chocolate sandwich cookies)
- Pineapple (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks)
For Freezing Bananas:
- Peel bananas and cut them into 1 to 2" slices. Place them in a freezer bag in a single layer and freeze for up to 3 hours.
Food Processor Method:
- Add frozen bananas to a food processor fitted with an S blade along with any flavorings you desire. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes for the bananas to soften slightly. Pulse until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to wipe down the sides of the bowl. It's a perfect soft-serve texture to serve immediately or you can freeze it and serve it in scoops.
- Add frozen bananas to a high-speed blender along with any flavorings you desire. Let it sit for 1 to minutes for the bananas to soften slightly. Blend on low speed to break it down into chunks then gradually turn the speed up, moving gradually toward higher speed. If the blender stammers, stop and let the bananas sit for a minute or two until they soften a bit more. Then continue on low speed, gradually turning the speed up. It's a perfect soft-serve texture to serve immediately or you can freeze it and serve it in scoops.
- To achieve a scoopable ice cream texture, spread the banana ice cream into an airtight container or a loaf pan. Cover and freeze for 2 to 3 hours. Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so to soften, and then scoop with an ice cream scoop and serve with your favorite toppings.
- You can store nice cream in the freezer for up to 2 months, but the flavors and textures are best when eaten within the first week or so.
(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)
ToppingsAdd your favorite toppings, such as:
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2010 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.