You're going to want to add a scoop of this vegan ice cream to anything and everything! It has a sweet vanilla flavor and is made dairy free with coconut milk. It pairs perfectly with a slice of pie or a cookie or in a bowl with your favorite toppings!
Everyone needs a go-to vanilla ice cream recipe and this dairy free version is as simple and delicious as it gets! I kid you not when I say we have a container of this coconut milk ice cream in our freezer at all times so I'm prepared when the ice cream craving hits (like every day).
It's incredibly creamy, and best all, versatile. A scoop or two definitely hits the spot but feel free to jazz it up however you like — add some chocolate chips to the mix, or add a scoop to a gluten free mug cake, or drizzle dairy free caramel sauce on top. The beauty of a standard vanilla ice cream is that you can get creative in the toppings department.
Ingredients and notes
This dairy free vanilla ice cream only requires three ingredients making it one of the easiest vegan ice cream recipes out there!
- Coconut Milk - Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk. This is the base of the ice cream. Unfortunately every brand is not alike - here are some of my tried and true favorites are Thai Kitchen, Native Forrest, and Trader Joes.
- Vanilla - This adds a little flavoring. My go-to vanilla extract for ice cream is Rodelle or Nielson Masey. Trust me, you'll never go back to imitation vanilla again.
- Maple Syrup - This is our sweetener. There are various ways to sweeten coconut milk ice cream (see below FAQ section) but maple syrup is my favorite!
No churn vs Ice Cream Maker
Let’s talk ice cream making methods shall we? There are two ways we can do this - with a handy-dandy ice cream maker or no-churn style.
Ice cream maker
This is my personal favorite method. I just love love love my ice cream maker. I have a Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment which allows you to whip up ice cream in under 20 minutes. As a millennial, I appreciate this kind of instant gratification.
I get it okay, sometimes you don’t want to fuss with an ice cream maker. I have good news for you…you don’t have to with this dairy free vanilla ice cream recipe! It will take a little more patience compared to if you had an ice cream maker but it will still be creamy and delicious!
Step by step directions
Whether you are using an ice cream maker or not, the steps to prepare coconut milk ice cream are simple and easy.
Step 1 : Mix ingredients in an ice cream mixer or blender
If you are using an ice cream mixer, you can add all the ingredients straight to the container and mix until it becomes thick and creamy. It will resemble more of a soft serve texture in an ice cream maker.
For a no-churn style, simply blend the ingredients up in a blender. Then pour in an ice cream container or airtight container.
Step 2 : Store in freezer
If you used an ice cream maker and like your ice cream soft, feel free to dig right in! If you want more of a firmer ice cream, pour the ice cream into a container and stick it in the freezer for at least 2 hours where it will firm up.
For no-churn style, pour the mixture into an ice cream container or airtight container and store it in the freezer overnight. You can also use a cake pan with parchment paper as your ice cream container. Just be sure to wrap it tight with saran wrap or place an airtight lid on it to prevent freezer burn.
If you make homemade coconut milk ice cream frequently (like me), I recommend getting one of these reusable ice cream containers. They store well and make scooping a breeze!
To serve this dairy free vanilla ice cream, let it thaw for about 5 minutes if it's been in the freezer. This will make it easier to scoop. If you want to expedite some of the thawing time, run your ice cream scooper under hot water before scooping.
Topping and pairing suggestions
You can sprinkle almost anything over this vanilla coconut milk ice cream and it goes well with just about everything!
- Drizzle my dairy free caramel sauce over top
- Spoon some warm vegan chocolate sauce into your ice cream bowl
- Crush up some of my healthy thin mints into the ice cream
- Add a scoop along side my gluten free peach cobbler cast iron skillet
- Finish off my gluten free cherry crumble pie with a scoop of ice cream
- Top off my vegan bourbon apple galette with a couple scoops
- And of course you can't go wrong with paleo brownies a la mode
Frequently asked questions
Yes, this recipe can be made no-churn style. Refer to the above section for how to do this.
No, full-fat coconut milk is needed as the cream (the fat) is what creates a creamy texture. Without it, the ice cream would be super ice-y.
No, coconut milk is best for this recipe as it's one of the only nut milks that has the fat content necessary to produce a creamy ice cream.
You can use any sweetener of choice in this recipe. I have made this several times with coconut sugar and love the taste! If using a sugar in solid state (ie. coconut sugar), simply whisk the sugar into the coconut milk to dissolve it before pouring it into the ice cream maker. This makes sure the milk is perfectly sweet. If you prefer your ice cream sweeter, add another tablespoon or so of sweetener until you reach the desired sweetness.
This paleo ice cream would be great with:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Vegan and Dairy free Vanilla Ice Cream with Coconut Milk
- 13 oz can coconut milk - full fat
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Ice Cream Maker
- Place all ingredients into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn as directed by your specific ice cream maker.
- Churn until the mixture is soft and thick and resembles soft serve ice cream. This usually takes 10 - 20 minutes.
- If you like your ice cream more of a soft serve style then feel free to dig right in! If you want more of a classic firmer ice cream texture, spoon the mixture into a container and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
- Place all ice cream ingredients in a blender or in a mixing bowl. Mix well until creamy.
- Pour the mixture into an airtight container and store it in the fridge overnight to firm up.