One of the most popular recipe requests from readers here is for easy no-churn ice cream. I've been testing various vegan ice cream recipes over the years and I've concluded with this creamy no-churn vegan chocolate ice cream.
It gives you the closest to store-bought ice cream consistency (even better than most if you ask me!). It's made with just 6 ingredients and without an ice cream maker or fancy equipment.
This recipe is based on coconut, so if that's not your thing then try this dairy-free chocolate ice cream without coconut instead.
🍫 Ingredients Needed
Notes about the ingredients
- Coconut whipping cream replaces dairy cream found in non-vegan ice cream. You can also use full-fat canned coconut milk. In both cases, make sure you refrigerate the cans the night before (at least) in order to separate the liquid part which you don't want to use for this recipe.
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk for both consistency and sweetness. Condensed coconut milk is what stops this ice cream recipe from freezing rock solid like many other no-churn recipes tend to do. It helps to keep a level of fudginess while also acting as the sweetener for this no-churn chocolate ice cream recipe.
- You can use either raw cacao powder or Dutch-processed/dark cocoa powder. Raw cacao will give a natural slightly more bitter taste, whereas Dutch-processed will give a deep intense chocolate flavor. I would add slightly less if using the latter.
- Extra virgin olive oil: ice cream has a high-fat content, and getting the water to fat ratio of a recipe right is key to getting a creamy ice cream consistency. It needs to be firm enough to make it scoopable but light enough so that it melts in your mouth. Olive oil is a great way of adding in fat without overpowering the flavor of the ice cream.
- A little vanilla acts as a flavor enhancer and helps to smooth out the bitterness of the cacao.
- A pinch of salt helps to balance out the sweetness and enhance that chocolatey flavor.
🥣 How To Make Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream
Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post
This easy chocolate ice cream recipe along with my caramel ice cream is probably one of the most simple ice cream recipes out there.
(1) Add the coconut whipping cream to a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and fluffy. You want to make sure that there aren't any lumps in the coconut cream before adding the remaining ingredients.
(2) Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt, and whisk again to combine.
(3) Next, add the cacao powder in one tablespoon increments. Whisk for about 10 seconds before adding each tablespoon to incorporate it into the mixture. It's important not to dump all the cacao powder in at once (unless you want a cacao dust bath that is!). Adding it into the mixture in increments makes a lot less mess!
Lastly, add the olive oil and whisk once more to combine. The olive oil is incorporated last as you really want to be careful not to over-mix it into the ice cream base. Mix it just enough so that it incorporates into the emulsion.
(4) Transfer the ice cream mixture to the loaf pan and cover the tin with more parchment paper. Make sure that the ice cream isn’t exposed to the air. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours until completely set.
👩🍳 Recipe Success Tips
- Make sure your coconut cream or coconut milk is chilled before use. This will help it to whip up properly. The coconut milk will thicken in the tin and separate from the liquid part of the can. You only want to use the thick cream from the top of the can, you can reserve the liquid for smoothies or even soups.
- Allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. This will ensure a creamy, scoopable consistency.
- Heat your ice cream scoop before using it to create perfect scoops every time. Simply rest the scoop in a jug of hot water for a couple of minutes before serving.
Add-Ins and Serving Tips
- Add chopped roasted hazelnuts or almonds for a nutty chocolate ice cream.
- Swirl in some homemade caramel sauce or additional chocolate chunks (or both!).
- Serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries, or dark cherries.
- Tastes amazing with a scoop of banoffee ice cream or pistachio ice cream.
- Make the ultimate vegan chocolate dessert by serving it on top of a slice of chocolate cake, brownies, or chocolate chunk cookies.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Coconut has a high-fat content, which in many cases makes it the perfect candidate for substituting dairy. And since the recipe is no-churn, we're not using an ice cream maker and need to rely on the consistency and fat content of coconut to create that perfect ice cream texture.
In particular, the sweetened condensed coconut milk is what gives this non-dairy chocolate ice cream its creamy, scoop-able, and almost fudgy-rich consistency.
If you're not a fan of coconut don't worry, my vegan chocolate cookie ice cream recipe has got you covered!
Typically ice cream makers are called for in most good ice cream recipes as the constant churning movement which accompanies the freezing process creates smaller ice crystals than say, just freezing the liquid mixture without the help of a machine.
If you want to create a deliciously smooth dairy-free ice cream WITHOUT the help of an ice cream machine, coconut is by far the best way to get that authentic creamy consistency.
You can easily make vegan condensed milk at home with coconut milk and a couple of other ingredients.
It will keep for a couple of months in an airtight container in the freezer.
🍨 More Vegan Ice Cream
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Chocolate No Churn Vegan Ice Cream
- 14.1 oz (400 ml) chilled coconut whipping cream, or chilled full fat coconut milk *see notes
- 11.3 oz (320 g) sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) sea salt
- 5 tablespoons (74 g) cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- Add the coconut whipping cream to a large mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy for a couple of minutes (with an electric whisk if possible). Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk again to combine.
- Next add the cacao powder in one tablespoon increments, whisking for about 10 seconds before adding each tablespoon to incorporate it into the mixture. Lastly, add the olive oil and whisk once more to combine.
- Transfer the ice cream mixture to the loaf pan and cover the tin with more parchment paper so that the ice cream isn’t exposed to the air. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours until completely set.
Serving and Storage
- Allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. This will ensure a creamy, scoopable consistency. Heat your ice cream scoop before using it to create perfect scoops every time. Simply rest the scoop in a jug of hot water for a couple of minutes before serving.
- Add chopped roasted hazelnuts or almonds or chocolate chunks for extra crunch. Swirl in some homemade caramel or serve with fresh strawberries, raspberries, or dark cherries.
- It will keep for a couple of months in an airtight container in the freezer.
- Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the tins of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can. This recipe will call for around 2 x 400ml cans using just the cream, depending on which brand you use.
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