Requiring only 3 ingredients and a few minutes to prepare, the hardest part of making this no-churn vegan ice cream is waiting for it to freeze! Trust me, it’s worth it!
I, like most children, LOVED ice cream growing up. In fact, my whole family enjoyed ice cream most nights of the week. We didn’t save it for special occasions, but instead had one or two flavors on hand at all times which we could enjoy whenever we fancied. My siblings and I now joke about the amount of ice cream we could consume as kids. I remember (almost) every night opening up our freezer and pulling out a gallon-size Costco tub of ice cream from which I would scoop a large bowl’s worth of ice cream. Then, if we had them on hand, I would add chocolate syrup and cool whip as well as the occasional handful of crushed up cereal or pretzels. I’ve never been a plain ice cream kinda gal, but I’m all about mix-ins and toppings when it comes to ice cream.
Since going dairy-free over 6 years ago, I don’t enjoy ice cream as often. One main reason is that my taste buds have changed and I don’t crave it as much. If I do want something sweet, I’d almost always choose something rich and chocolatey over ice cream. Another reason I don’t have ice cream as much now is because living overseas has made dairy-free ice cream harder to find. If it is available (which is definitely the case here in KL) its pretty expensive. I so wish I had discovered this no-churn vegan ice cream recipe sooner because I could have been reliving my childhood obsession with ice cream this whole time!
How to make homemade no-churn ice cream
There are a few different methods for making ice cream at home. I’m sure many of you as a kid used the bag and salt method at some point. If you have the space and budget, you can always buy an ice cream maker and churn your own ice cream at home. There are also a few no-churn methods for making ice cream, one of which I’ll be sharing with you today!
Homemade vanilla ice cream ingredients
This easy, 3 ingredient recipe results in vanilla flavored ice cream. Like I said above, I’m all about the mix-ins when it comes to ice cream so I almost always stir in some crushed up cookies, chocolate chips, brownie pieces, nut butter, etc. But for the basic vanilla ice cream base all you need is vegan sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract (the real stuff that contains alcohol!) and coconut cream (not milk!). I use the Kara brand of coconut cream and it works great!
Unless its really really good gelato, (I’m thinking of you Sottozero Factory in Malta!), then my ice cream has to have mix-ins. Below I’ll share some ideas for mix-ins you can add to your ice cream base to make it more exciting and textured. Sometimes just one mix-in is all you need, but sometimes a combination of mix-ins is the winning ticket! You can always think of your favorite store-bought ice cream and try to create a variation of that as well.
- Cookie Dough
- Broken up Oreos (or any homemade cookies you have on hand!)
- Broken up dairy-free Reese’s cups with peanut butter swirl
- Caramel sauce
- Brownie pieces and chocolate fudge sauce
- Fresh fruit (raspberries, cherries, strawberries, etc.)
- Chopped up candy bars
- Chopped up nuts (toasted would be amazing)
- Marshmallow pieces and nuts for a rocky road flavor
- Crumbled up cake pieces
How to make ice cream without a machine
To make this vegan ice cream without a machine, you need to make sure you use vanilla extract which contains alcohol. Adding alcohol to the base of this ice cream raises it’s freezing point, allowing the final produce to be non-icy, scoop-able, creamy vegan ice cream! To start you simply whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla extract. Then in a separate bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, you need to whip chilled coconut cream until peaks form. Next you’ll loosely mix in about a cup of the whipped cream to the sweetened condensed milk mixture to loosen it up. You’ll then pour the loosened condensed milk mixture into the bowl with the remaining whipped coconut cream and fold everything together until a semi-homogenous mixture forms.
If you over-whip your coconut cream (like I’ve done a couple times!) it will be a lot stiffer and harder to fold evenly into the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Don’t worry. You can still use it to make this vegan ice cream recipe and the final result will be delicious delicious. You just won’t have straight-out-of-the-freezer-scoop-able ice cream and the sweetened condensed milk mixture will melt quicker than the cream mixture.
Below I show you in video form how I make this easy no-churn vegan ice cream. Unlike in the video, you’ll want your base to be as smooth as possible before you freeze it. You’ll also see that I immediately stir in the mix-ins before freezing the ice cream base. However, I recommend freezing the ice cream base for about 2 hours before stirring in the mix-ins. This keeps heavier mix-ins from sinking to the bottom of the ice cream. It’s not necessary, but just a tip!
Enjoy the video and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss a recipe video!
Please let me know if you give this recipe a try! I’d love to know how it works out for you and what mix-ins you include. If you make this recipe and love it as much as we do, be sure to leave a 5 star rating and share the recipe with your friends. As always, be sure to take a picture too and tag @theconscientiouseater on Instagram so I can see the final product!
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- 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk* (not evaporated milk)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract**
- 2 cups (500 g) coconut cream, chilled
- Optional mix-ins: mini chocolate chips, nut butter, caramel sauce, brownie pieces, crushed sandwich cookies, etc.
- About 8 hours before you plan to make this ice cream, place the coconut cream into a container and place it in the fridge to chill.
- When you are ready to make the ice cream, start by whisking together the sweetened condensed coconut milk and vanilla extract (or whatever alcohol you're using) until combined. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixture, beat the chilled coconut cream until stiff peaks form. Take about 1 cups worth of the whipped cream and gently stir it into the condensed milk mixture until well blended. This will loosen up the condense milk mixture to make it easier to fold into the remaining whipped cream.
- Next pour the condensed milk mixture into the large mixing bowl with the remaining whipped coconut cream and use a spatula to fold everything together until as smooth as possible, without completely loosing the air in the whipped cream.
- Pour the mixture into a loaf pan (or another freezer-safe container) and place the pan in the freezer.
- Around the 2 hour mark, you can stir in any mix-ins you desire. Then return the ice cream to the freezer for about another 3 hours or until completely frozen.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 5-10 minutes before serving. Scoop and enjoy!
*I use two 7.1 oz. of Nature's Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk. You can also find 11 oz. cans on Amazon here (<--affiliate link) and just measure out 14 oz. Nature's Charm products are becoming easier to find at certain shops and grocery stores so you can also look in store!
**It's important that you're vanilla extract contains alcohol and isn't just vanilla flavoring. You could actually use whatever alcohol you have on hand. Get creative with your flavor base!
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 127Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 8mgSodium 9mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate provided by Nutrionix and should be used for informational purposes only.