It's officially May, so for me, that's good enough as "ice cream season". Vegan ice creams are some of the most fun recipes to make. I'm not really sure where to start with this Rum Raisin Ice cream. The combination of several ingredients together makes this the best rum raisin ice cream I've ever tasted (that includes any dairy versions I had before going vegan!)
This ice cream is creamy and rich, it has a melt-in-the-mouth consistency and juicy deep flavored sweet caramel-y raisins. All of that is followed by a heavy boozy punch of dark rum, perfection.
This ice cream is incredibly moreish, which is possibly down to it being so flavourful.
And yes, you heard me right, this recipe is completely vegan-friendly meaning no cows were harmed in the process. It's also gluten-free!
WHAT MAKES THIS THE BEST RUM RAISIN ICE CREAM?
Cashews: The nuts are pre-soaked in water to make them soft and creamy. Adding cashews to ice cream gives a creamy and stable consistency.
Chilled coconut milk: It's important to chill your can of coconut milk the night before you plan on using it. Once chilled, the water and fat in the can will separate. The water will sit at the bottom of the can, and the thick coconut cream will float to the top of the can. This will make it easier to scoop out the coconut cream and that's the part you want! Adding the watery part of the can to your ice cream mixture will give your ice cream a more liquid and icy consistency.
Coconut oil: Adding a little coconut oil makes a big difference to the end result of your ice cream. The extra fat makes the consistency creamy and gives a melt in the mouth texture. You can also substitute coconut butter for coconut oil.
NATURAL FLAVOUR ENHANCERS
Sea salt & Vanilla extract: A little salt goes a long way in desserts. It not only adds depth to the flavor, but it enhances the existing flavors in the recipe and makes the sweetness pop without tasting salty. I recommend using a good quality natural vanilla extract, and not vanilla essence which is made with synthetic ingredients. A good vanilla extract will give this ice cream a delicious base flavor. You can also use 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or half a vanilla pod in place of the vanilla extract in this recipe.
Maple syrup & Medjool dates: The main sweetness for this recipe comes from the maple syrup. Whereas the dates add sweetness, and they also help to keep the creamy consistency of the ice cream.
THE STARS OF THE RECIPE
Raisins: The raisins add a deep sweet caramel flavor to the ice cream. The recipe calls for the raisins to be soaked in rum overnight before making the ice cream. This process helps the raisins to soak up all that rum flavor, but also makes the raisins release some of the natural sugars and their flavor also intensifies.
Dark rum: The rum is the key ingredient in this recipe, Although you could probably substitute a rum extract in its place (you would need to taste test and use a lesser amount in this case), I'd highly recommend using the real thing if you can. The rum not only gives a beautiful aroma and deep flavor, but the alcohol content also helps with keeping the ice cream's creamy consistency. Alcohol has a lower freezing point (-114.7 degrees Celsius/-174.6 degrees Fahrenheit) than water (0 degrees C/32 degrees F.). Therefore ice cream tends not to get as hard as conventional recipes without alcohol.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST RUM RAISIN ICE CREAM EVER!
BOOZE UP THE RAISINS
The hardest part about this ice cream is waiting for the ingredients to soak pre-recipe!
Start by soaking the raisins in the rum. Add them to an airtight jar with the rum and allow them to soak overnight. It's important to allow time for soaking the raisins as this will make them plump and the natural sugars will mix with the rum, intensifying the flavor of the raisins. I tried making this recipe with raisins that were soaked for only a couple of hours and the result was that they got chewy and hard when frozen. Once they are ready, pass the raisins through a sieve, set the raisins aside, and keep the rum for adding to the ice-cream mixture.
MAKE THE ICE CREAM BASE
In the meantime prepare the cashews by soaking them in filtered water. After 4 hours, rinse the cashews with clean water and drain. This will make them softer and easier on your blender as well as give a rich creamy consistency to the ice cream.
Add the rum, soaked cashews, chilled coconut milk, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and Medjool dates to a high-speed blender and blitz for a few minutes until everything has combined and the mixture is smooth without any lumps.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and allow to churn for 10 minutes before adding in ¾ of the soaked raisins. I like to churn the ice cream for a little while before adding the raisins as it helps to distribute them more equally throughout the mixture.
Allow the mixture to churn for another 30 minutes until it becomes frozen or based on your ice-cream makers' manufacture instructions. Once the ice cream is thick and creamy, transfer it to a loaf tin lined with parchment paper.
Add the remaining raisins on top of the ice cream, cover with more parchment paper and freeze for 6 hours before serving. A lot of ice cream recipes (including some of mine) require less freezing time. However, the relatively high alcohol content in these ones means it takes a little longer to freeze. But trust me, it's worth it! That's how you get that perfectly creamy and ready-to-eat consistency straight from the freezer.
WHY MAKE THIS ICE CREAM?
- The best rum raisin ice cream you'll ever try
- Full of flavor
- Plant-based and Vegan-friendly
- Naturally sweetened with maple syrup, raisins, and dates
- Easy to make
- Free from animal-derived products
- Gluten-free (check labels of ingredients if you have a severe allergy/intolerance)
More vegan ice cream recipes
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- Ice-cream maker
- 1 cup (129 g) (100g) cashews, soaked *see notes
- 2 cups (450 g) chilled coconut milk, see notes
- ½ cup (118 ml) maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 g) sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) coconut oil, solid
- 3 medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup (72 g) raisins
- 3-4 tablespoons (44 ml) dark rum, sub 1 ½ - 2 tsp rum extract
- Add the raisins and rum to an airtight container, stir well, cover and let sit overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Prepare your cashews by soaking them (as per recipe notes below)
- Pass the raisins through a sieve and set them aside. Reserve the rum for the base of the ice cream.
- Add the rum, soaked cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and medjool dates to a high-speed blender and blitz for a few minutes until everything has combined and the mixture is smooth without any lumps.
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and allow to churn for 10 minutes before adding in ¾ of the soaked raisins.
- Allow the mixture to churn for another 30 minutes until it becomes frozen or based on your ice-cream maker's manufacturer instructions.
- Once the ice cream is thick and creamy, transfer it to a loaf tin lined with parchment paper.
- Add the remaining raisins on top of the ice cream, cover with more parchment paper and freeze for 6 hours before serving.
- Soaked cashews: Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain.
- Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the tins of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can
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