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Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream {Dairy-Free, Paleo}

If you’re looking for the best Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream, you’ve found it with this simple and delicious recipe. You’ve never had a dairy-free ice cream that is this rich and creamy!

3 scoops of chocolate vegan ice cream in a white bowl

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Ohhhhhh boy, this ice cream is so rich and creamy that you’ll never guess that it isn’t packed with tons of heavy cream. This is the dessert I wish I had when I was dairy-free. Well, this ice cream and these Strawberry Truffles.

You can make this incredible treat for people in your life who are vegan, paleo, dairy-free, or lactose intolerant. Is it ice cream or a magical bowl of happiness? It’s BOTH.

What is Vegan Ice Cream Make Out Of?

This recipe is rocking:

  • Cashews – it’s the magical ingredient that gives this ice cream its super creamy base.
  • Chocolate! Something like Enjoy Life or your favorite non-dairy brand.
  • Sweeteners – a little organic sugar and dates. Yep…dates! 
  • Almond milk. Prefer other milk(s)? Feel free to sub it in.
  • Vanilla extract for flavor and to prevent ice crystals from forming (thanks booze!).
  • Pinch of kosher salt to make the flavors pop.
  • Coconut oil – it gives it a nice scoopable texture.

6 step by step photos showing how to make dairy-free ice cream

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream Tools

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • No ice cream maker? Once you make the ice cream base, freeze it in a shallow dish, stirring it often to achieve a creamy consistency.
  • Most dark chocolate is naturally dairy-free/vegan so just check the labels!
  • If you don’t like the taste of coconut, use refined coconut oil as it is unflavored.
  • Homemade ice cream does tend to be best if eaten within a day. To enjoy after that, I like to leave it out for a few minutes to soften up, or pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
3 scoops of chocolate vegan ice cream in a white bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream {Dairy-Free, Paleo}

Cook Time15 mins
Chilling time4 hrs
So rich and creamy, you've never had a chocolate vegan ice cream that is this incredible!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews {raw and unsalted}
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar {coconut sugar for paleo}
  • 8 dates {pitted}
  • 3 oz dark chocolate {chopped}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Equipment

Instructions

  • If using an ice cream churning bowl, freeze for 12-15 hours prior to starting this recipe.
  • Soak the cashews in water overnight, or at least four hours.
  • Heat almond milk, dates, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and chocolate on medium-low heat until sugar are dissolved.
  • Drain the cashews and place in the blender/food processor.
  • Pour the almond milk concoction in the blender, and blend on high until everything is well blended and creamy. In a food processor, it will likely take about five minutes or so, and you'll need to stop and scrape the sides a few times. In my Vitamix, it is a 30-60 second process.
  • Place in the fridge for two hours, or until the ice cream base is fully cold.
  • Following your ice cream maker's instructions, add the base and churn until it resembles soft-serve ice cream.
  • Place in a freezer-proof container, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly over the full surface. Place the lid on the container and freeze for at least five hours

Notes

If you are using a food processor, the longer you soak, the better it is for a creamier result. If you are using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, you can achieve strong results with only soaking for a few hours.
 
No ice cream maker? Once you make the ice cream base, freeze it in a shallow dish, stirring it often to achieve a creamy consistency.
 
As with all homemade ice creams, this one gets a bit hard after a day. Let it sit at room temperature for five minutes, or a quick 10 second trip in the microwave softens it to the point where it is easy to scoop.
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream {Dairy-Free, Paleo}
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cups)
Calories 0
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This recipe was originally published in March 2016. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

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8 comments on “Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream {Dairy-Free, Paleo}”

  1. So, I never ended up making this. Maybe I’ll see if Emma wants to give it a try!
    And yikes! I’ve been following you for over 4 years. Time sure does fly by!

  2. Yum! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I have eaten a fair amount of dairy free ice cream in my day and this was by far the best. It was so lovely and creamy! I substituted oat milk for the almond milk as that is the preferred dairy free milk in my family. I was pleased to see that the substitution worked. I am excited to try this in different ways!

  3. Ooooh, yum. Will have to try. (Yet another internet temptation to buy a Vitamix tho, blast you!!)

    Cashews are so versatile! If you like that, you’d like these I bet. I did make them, and I’m sorry, they do not taste like cheesecake, or better than cheesecake … I think some people go dairy free and just forget what dairy tastes like and their ability to compare things properly is lost. But they are good, and they stand on their own as worthy of the effort that went into making them, which is my personal criteria:
    http://minimalistbaker.com/7-ingredient-vegan-cheesecakes/

  4. Holy crap, I love the new print recipe option!!!

    And I need to make this.

    You are amazing. Thank you!

    • That is courtesy of my friend Angela. She has been requesting it for months. I can format new recipes easily enough, but it will take a long time to go back and update the old ones.