This vegan strawberry ice cream is better than any other I've tasted, vegan or not. It's creamy, light, and refreshing, with irresistible juicy and sweet strawberry flavor.
This dairy-free strawberry ice cream is also completely nut-free and gluten-free. If you only make one vegan ice cream recipe this summer, let this be the one!
What makes this recipe so good?
This ice cream is bursting with strawberry flavor. Using fresh strawberries makes such a huge difference. It's hard to beat them! I did originally try cooking down the strawberries to concentrate them in a bid to intensify their flavor. However, the more "jammy" flavor was not right, so I quickly scrapped that idea! Using fresh strawberry puree is what makes this ice cream so special, the flavor actually reminds me of strawberry Carte d'Or or Häagen Dazs!
Made with coconut milk and vegan sweetened condensed milk, which gives a perfect scoopable consistency without an overpowering coconut flavor. In fact, I can't taste coconut at all as this ice cream is packed with fresh strawberries!
This ice cream is:
- Packed with real strawberries.
- Creamy, with a scoopable consistency.
- Made with minimal ingredients and with an ice cream maker for the best texture.
- Eggless, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and made without bananas!
If you're looking for a refined sugar-free strawberry ice cream, why not try these vegan strawberry ice cream bars.
I've kept the ingredients minimal for this vegan strawberry ice cream. In fact, if you don't want to make the strawberry syrup you can even leave out the arrowroot and lime!
- As mentioned above fresh ripe strawberries are the way to go for this strawberry ice cream recipe. The quality of berries is important to get a good end result. The strawberry flavor is what stands out in this ice cream recipe, so the better quality berries you use, the more amazing your ice cream will be!
- Coconut cream or coconut milk forms the creamy base of your strawberry ice cream. If you're going for coconut milk, it needs to be the full-fat canned type. Refrigerate the cans overnight to separate the cream from the liquid - the cream is the part you want. Don't worry, you can reserve the liquid and add it to smoothies, soup, stir-fries, or curries.
- Sweetened condensed coconut milk replaces regular condensed coconut milk which is typically used in ice cream recipes. It adds sweetness and creates a consistency that doesn’t get too solid once frozen (aka. easier to sink your teeth into straight from the freezer!).
- Vanilla extract is added for another layer of flavor which compliments the fresh strawberries so well.
- Cane sugar or superfine sugar are added to bring out that fresh strawberry taste. The berries are macerated in sugar before being blended, which releases their juices. The remaining syrup is thickened and turned into a delicious strawberry sauce. You can sweeten the strawberry sauce with any sugar you like. Just note that brown sugar/coconut sugar will give it a darker appearance.
- Lime juice: the acidity of the lime juice gives the sauce a nice zing!
- Arrowroot powder is the thickening agent for the strawberry sauce. But you can also use cornflour/cornstarch in its place.
how to make vegan strawberry ice cream
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)
How to macerate strawberries
First, wash the strawberries really well and cut off the tops. Cut the berries into small cubes and place them in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over the berries and give them a good stir. Now cover the bowl, and allow them to sit and marinate for 20-30 minutes.
The strawberries will release their juices and you will end up with a sweet strawberry syrup mixture.
Making the strawberry puree
Next, place the strawberries into a fine-mesh sieve and separate out those sweet strawberry juices. Set aside the syrup, as this will be part of the strawberry sauce for the ice cream.
Add the cubed strawberries to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You could also use an immersion blender/stick blender for this. Set the strawberry puree aside until you're ready to add it to the ice cream mixture.
Making the strawberry sauce
For the strawberry sauce, add the reserved strawberry syrup to a saucepan along with the cornstarch and lime juice. Whisk the mixture thoroughly until there are no visible lumps of cornstarch.
Now, heat the mixture over medium heat until simmering. Use a rubber spatula to continuously stir the sauce to prevent it from burning to the bottom of the saucepan. After a couple of minutes, the mixture will thicken. Remove it from the heat and allow it to come to room temperature while you make the strawberry ice cream.
Making the ice cream
Making the ice cream base is similar to my vegan passion fruit ice cream recipe. First, whip the coconut milk/coconut cream with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until airy.
Add in the sweetened condensed coconut milk and vanilla, and whisk again for a minute or so until combined.
Lastly, start adding the reserved strawberry puree to the ice cream mixture in half cup increments, whisking between each one. I recommend avoiding adding all the puree at once, as this could split the mixture seeing as you are incorporating a water-based liquid into fat.
Once all the strawberry puree has been whisked into the mixture, slowly add it to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
As for the strawberry sauce, you can either hold this aside for serving or work it into the ice cream to give it swirls of strawberry sauce throughout. For the latter, fold half of the sauce into the ice cream once churned, then transfer the ice cream to a loaf tin or container.
Add the other half of strawberry sauce on top of the ice cream and swirl it with a spoon. Lastly, cover the ice cream and place it in the freezer to set it completely for a minimum of 2 hours.
This vegan strawberry ice cream will keep for a couple of months in an airtight container in the freezer.
Dairy-Free ice cream making tips
- Chill your coconut milk and use only the thick part from the top of the can. You want to avoid adding the watery part from the bottom of the can as this will result in an icy texture.
- Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. this makes the consistency perfect for scooping.
- Use a hot ice cream scoop dipped in boiling water between each scoop.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe uses an ice cream maker to get the best possible, creamy, and indulgent end result. Sometimes no-churn ice cream recipes can leave you with an icy mouthfeel - especially if they have a high fruit and water content. You can pick them up reasonably enough, you certainly don't need a top-of-the-range fancy ice cream machine!
You can use another vegan condensed milk such as sweetened condensed oat milk. As for the coconut cream, I haven't tried but you could possibly use a whipping oat cream or soy cream. A vegan custard may also work!
I don't recommend using frozen berries for this recipe as the berries need to be macerated in sugar to release syrup, and defrosted strawberries have a much higher water content.
More Vegan Ice Cream
Still, have more strawberries to use up? Check out this delicious roundup of 11 vegan strawberry dessert recipes!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- 600 g (21.2 oz) fresh strawberries
- 50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 400 g (14.11 oz) coconut cream, or chilled full fat canned coconut milk *see notes
- 320 g (11.3 oz) sweetened condensed coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder, or cornflour/cornstarch
Strawberry puree and strawberry sauce
- Wash and remove the tops from the strawberries. Cut them into small cubes and add them to a medium bowl. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the strawberries and give them a stir. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 20-30 minutes until the strawberries release their juices.
- Place a fine-mesh sieve on top of a bowl and sift the strawberries, separating the syrup. Set the syrup aside for making the strawberry sauce later. For the strawberry puree, add the cubed strawberry pieces to a food processor or blender, or use a stick blender to blitz them until smooth. Set the strawberry puree aside.
- Make the strawberry sauce by adding the reserved strawberry syrup to a saucepan along with the arrowroot and lime juice. Whisk well until there are no visible lumps of arrowroot in the mixture. Place on medium heat until simmering for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens. Make sure you stir it continuously with a spatula to prevent the sauce from burning to the bottom of the pan. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Add the coconut cream/coconut milk to a large bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the sweetened condensed coconut milk and vanilla extract, and whisk for another minute to combine.
- Slowly add the strawberry puree to the whipped coconut mixture in half cup increments, whisking to combine between each one. Once all of the strawberry puree has been incorporated into the mixture, slowly add it to your ice cream maker. Add it to the machine about a ¼ cup or a few tablespoons at a time (not all in one go). Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, mine usually takes about 30-40 minutes.
- Once churned, turn off the ice cream machine and gently fold in half of the strawberry sauce using a spatula. Transfer the ice cream mixture to a loaf pan and swirl the remaining strawberry sauce on top. Cover and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 15 minutes before serving to allow it to thaw slightly and use a hot wet ice cream scoop to serve.
- Canned coconut milk: Refrigerate overnight and use only the thick part from the top of the cans. Depending on the brand you use, you will need anywhere from 2-4 400ml cans. I find Biona and Nature's Charm yield the best volume of coconut cream per can.
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