One of the most popular recipe requests from readers is for easy no-churn ice cream. I've been testing various vegan ice cream recipes over the past few weeks. Finally, 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!). 

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Ingredients needed

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 vegan chocolate ice cream recipe.

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.

I use raw cacao powder, using Dutch-processed is an option however it will alter the flavor of the recipe so I would recommend adding it to taste.

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.

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How to make vegan no-churn chocolate ice cream

This vegan chocolate ice cream recipe along with my Vegan Caramel Ice Cream is probably some of the easiest ice cream recipes out there. You don't need any fancy equipment just a little bit of elbow grease and some patience!

  1. Add the coconut whipping cream and sweetened condensed coconut milk to a large bowl and whisk for a minute or so. Add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk again to combine.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.

How to make sweetened condensed coconut milk

You can buy ready-made sweetened condensed coconut milk (not to be confused with condensed milk) in most Asian and specialty shops. Probably some of the larger supermarkets too. Just make sure that you carefully check the label before buying to ensure that it’s suitable for vegans! I recommend a vegan brand called Nature’s charm.

If you can’t get your hands on a tin of sweetened condensed coconut milk, not to worry! You can make it from scratch using a tin of coconut milk and caster sugar.

  1. Simply empty 2 x 400ml cans of coconut milk into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Make sure you whisk continuously to avoid burning to the bottom of the pan. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a simmer and add two-thirds of a cup of caster sugar.
  2. Next, you’ll want to let it simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half. Check on the mixture every so often and give it a good whisk to prevent it from sticking to the sides of the pan. When the mixture reduces by half, it's ready.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the condensed coconut milk to a bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  4. You can make this in advance of preparing your ice cream. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.

Frequently asked questions

Why does this recipe need coconut?

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 vegan 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!

How does this ice cream recipe work without an ice cream maker?

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.

no churn vegan chocolate ice creamPin

More vegan ice cream recipes

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Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream (No-Churn)

4.7 from 10 votes
PREP TIME: 10 mins
Freeze Time: 4 hrs
TOTAL TIME: 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6
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Description

The creamiest vegan chocolate ice cream that doesn't require an ice cream machine! This no-churn recipe uses coconut to give an incredible consistency, just as good (if not better) than any store-bought ice cream. 

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add the coconut whipping cream and sweetened condensed coconut milk to a large bowl and whisk for a minute or so until combined. Add the 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.

Notes

  • Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the tin of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can.

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 2mg
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