This No Churn Vegan Ice Cream recipe is an amazing, plant-based indulgence with no added refined sugars. It’s easy to create this coconut milk ice cream without an ice cream maker. Cure your ice cream cravings with this simple 6-ingredient vegan ice cream and discover the magic ingredient for perfect no-churn ice cream. You’ll love the results — a creamy, smooth dairy free ice cream!
I hesitated to share this recipe, because it’s so good, it’s scary. And, you know, I don’t want to scare you! But then I realized you have to try this recipe, so I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t share it with you. So, here we go. No churn coconut milk ice cream. Your life may never be the same.
Easy Vegan Ice Cream
I scream for ice cream. Do you?
Actually, that statement could be taken a little bit on the literal side. That’s because ice cream was actually the way that I discovered I have a dairy allergy.
I lived with chronic stomach issues for most of my life, but we couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I eventually lost my gallbladder in the battle. Pardon me as I take a moment of silence for the loss of a (hopefully) non-essential organ.
However, one day after eating some particularly rich ice cream, I noticed some stomach cramping going on. And then I waited a few days and tried it again. I’m from Missouri, the show-me state, so we can be a bit stubborn. That’s why continued experimentation was required. Well, sure enough, I experienced the same cramping each time I ate that ice cream.
It’s not as if I screamed, but there was some definite pain involved.
I thought my ice cream days were over. 🙁
What I’ve learned is that just because you’ve given up dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up flavor. There are so many ways to bake and cook without dairy, and now that includes dairy-free ice cream as well.
Vegan Sugar-Free Ice Cream
One of my favorite ice cream flavors was chocolate chip. I love the little crunch the chocolate chips give in ice cream! So, today I’m sharing with you this no-churn vegan chocolate chip ice cream, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s made without refined sugars!
First, let’s discuss the “No Churn” terminology. No churn simply means you don’t need an ice cream machine to make this recipe. Go ahead. Do your happy dance. I’ll wait. 🙂
This vegan no-churn ice cream is so easy to make you’ll want to make it more than a few times, especially during the summer months. It’s also affordable. With less than 10 ingredients, you can make this recipe today and enjoy a bowl after dinner tonight!
What You Need
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.
- Mejdool dates
- Plant-based milk
- Coffee liqueur
- Chilled full-fat coconut milk
- Cacao Nibs*
How to Make No Churn Vegan Ice Cream
This No Churn Vegan Ice Cream is not only super delicious, but it’s also easy to make. It begins by placing a mixing bowl in the freezer.
Step One: Make the Naturally Sweetened Milk
A lot of no-churn ice cream recipes use sweetened condensed milk. Of course, those milks are not vegan, although I do have a vegan sweetened condensed milk that could be used.
However, I wanted something different for this recipe. I’m using Medjool dates in this recipe to make a refined sugar-free vegan ice cream. Dates are naturally very sweet and have fiber and other phytonutrients as well so it’s a healthy alternative to refined sugars.
So, place chopped dates in a large, microwave-safe bowl and add the plant-based milk. Heat this in the microwave for about 1 minute and then place a plate over the bowl to trap the heat. Set aside for about 10 minutes, until the dates are tender.
Once the dates have cooled, pour them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the vanilla and the liqueur. Pulse until smooth, up to a minute or more. Remove the lid and push down any ingredients that may have risen up the sides. Pulse again and then transfer to the fridge to cool.
This is basically a naturally sweetened sweetened condensed milk, the magic ingredient for this no churn vegan ice cream!
Step Two: Whip the Coconut Milk
Remember that mixing bowl that you put in the freezer? It’s time to put it to use! Remove the mixing bowl from the freezer and get out the can of chilled full-fat coconut milk.
Note: Check out my post on Coconut Whipped Cream for more tips.
Quick Fix Tip
I store all my coconut milk in the fridge so I always have a chilled can at the ready.
Cut a hole in the top of the chilled fat at the top of the can and drain any of the coconut water into a bowl. Then transfer the solid fat part of the coconut milk into the chilled bowl. There should be roughly one cup of solid coconut milk fat. Put on the whipping attachment for your mixer and whip the coconut milk fat until stiff peaks form, 5-7 minutes.
Step Three: Combine Ice Cream Ingredients
Remove the chilled date mixture. It should be fully chilled at this point. If it’s still warm, place it in the freezer for a bit to chill. Once it’s fully chilled, add the coconut water and stir to combine.
Then add all of the date mixture to the whipped coconut milk. Use your mixer to whip and combine these ingredients. Add the cacao nibs and stir to combine.
Spread the whipped mixture into a loaf pan and place this in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
How to Serve No Churn Ice Cream
After several hours the ice cream should be frozen. When you’re ready to serve, simply remove it from the freezer and allow it to sit for a few minutes to soften. Then serve just as you would ice cream, on cones, in a bowl, or just get out a spoon and enjoy.
Once frozen, transfer the ice cream to a lidded container and store it in the freezer.
Look, we used to have an ice cream maker, but somehow when we moved that little machine disappeared. Again, I can be a little stubborn so I’m SURE I’m going to find it somewhere. I know one day I’ll be looking for, I dunno, maybe my favorite belt, and I’ll be like “Oh, there’s the ice cream maker! What’s it doing in this box of accessories?”
But the good news is you can make vegan ice cream without an ice cream maker!
While I’m waiting on that ice cream maker to find me, I’m happy eating my no-churn ice cream recipes. I’m also finding that no-churn coconut ice cream recipes are kind of, well, easy!
I was inspired to make this recipe when I saw a recipe also called for sweetened condensed milk, and that’s when I thought, why not make a thick creamy, sweetened milk with dates instead of sugar? And that’s kind of where this recipe was born. Because once I added the dates, this ice cream started to turn into exactly what I was looking for — a naturally sweet, easy vegan ice cream recipe.
I added a little coffee liqueur to keep the ice cream rich and creamy, but also to add even more rich, delicious flavoring to the mix.
More Frozen Recipes
No Churn Vegan Ice Cream
- 1 cup pitted Mejdool dates approximately 8, chopped
- 1 cup plant-based milk soy, almond, etc, vanilla-flavored
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 – 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
- 1 can chilled full-fat coconut milk Trader Joe’s is perfect here
- ¼ – ½ cup Cacao Nibs*
- Place a mixing bowl in the freezer
- Put the chopped dates in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add the plant-based milk. Heat in the microwave for about 1 minute. Place a plate over the bowl to trap the heat. Set aside for about 10 minutes, until the dates are tender.
- Place the date mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add the vanilla and liqueur. Pulse until smooth, up to a minute or more. Remove the lid and push down any ingredients that may have risen up the sides. Pulse again. Place in the fridge to cool.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the freezer and get out the can of chilled full-fat coconut milk (I leave all my coconut milk in the fridge so I always have a chilled can at the ready).** Put on the whipping attachment for your mixer and whip the coconut milk until stiff peaks form, 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the chilled date mixture. Add all of the date mixture to the coconut milk. Use your mixer to whip and combine these ingredients. Add the cacao nibs and stir to combine.
- Spread into a loaf pan. Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and allow to sit for a few minutes to soften. Then serve just as you would ice cream, on cones, in a bowl, or just get out a spoon and enjoy.
- Once frozen, transfer the ice cream to a lidded container and store in the freezer when it’s not being eaten.
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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.
If you love a good vegan ice cream, you’ll want to check these out:
- Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream by the Vegan 8
- Vegan Roasted Banana Ice Cream by the NY Times
- Key Lime Vegan Ice Cream by the Roasted Root
- Chubba Hubba Vegan Ice Cream by yours truly!
Whatever vegan ice cream you’re noshing on…Enjoy!