Creamy Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream (Easy & Fast)

Bowl of strawberries next to scoops and pan of creamy vegan vanilla ice cream

The hunt for our go-to vegan vanilla ice cream is officially over!

This recipe is not only simple to make, but it also yields perfectly sweet, creamy vegan ice cream in 3 hours including freezing! Plus, just 6 ingredients required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Coconut milk, cashew butter, maple syrup, cane sugar, vanilla, and xanthan gum

The base for this ice cream is coconut milk + cashew butter. It’s a magical combo that creates a rich, creamy, dreamy texture.

For sweeteners, we went with a mix of maple syrup and cane sugar. Maple adds a delicious flavor and cane sugar helps the texture by reducing ice crystallization (learn more on why that is here).

Vanilla extract adds that classic vanilla flavor. And lastly, for even more creaminess, you can optionally add xanthan gum and olive or avocado oil, both of which add more richness.

Blender filled with coconut milk, cashew butter, maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, and xanthan gum

All the ingredients are added to a blender and blended until smooth and creamy. Then the mixture is chilled slightly so that the warmth from blending doesn’t mess with the churning in the ice cream maker.

Vegan vanilla ice cream churning in an ice cream maker

Churning in an ice cream maker makes it thicken and get super creamy. We’ve used this ice cream maker for years and find it works great!

Using a spoon to smooth out a pan of homemade vegan vanilla ice cream

Lastly, the ice cream goes in the freezer for further chilling.

Loaf pan and ice cream scoop of creamy vegan vanilla ice cream

We hope you LOVE this vegan ice cream! It’s:

Creamy
Vanilla-infused
Perfectly sweet
Comforting
Satisfying
& Versatile!

It’s delicious on its own or topped with fresh fruit or compote, chocolate sauce, magic shell, or our 5-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce. Or pair with nearly any dessert, including our Easy Baked Pears, Orange Cranberry Crisp, and Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies (V/GF).

More Vegan Ice Cream Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding cones filled with vegan vanilla ice cream

Prep Time 3 hours

Total Time 3 hours

Servings 9 (1/2-Cup Servings)

Course Dessert

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 1 month (in the freezer)

  • 2 14-ounce cans full fat coconut milk (ensure it’s a quality brand*)
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or sub all organic cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar (or sub all maple syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (or sub fresh vanilla from a vanilla pod, though the alcohol in extract ensures the ice cream doesn’t freeze too firmly)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (for creamier texture // if you don’t have, omit)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil (optional // for a bit of added creaminess)
  • The day before use, place your ice cream churning bowl in the freezer to properly chill.

  • To a high-speed blender, add coconut milk, cashew butter, maple syrup, organic cane sugar, vanilla, xanthan gum, and olive or avocado oil (optional). Blend for 1 minute or until completely creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Transfer mixture to the refrigerator to chill for ~30 minutes (or up to overnight) or until it’s at least room temperature or cooler (you don’t want to add it to the ice cream maker warm).

  • Add the slightly chilled mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions — ours took exactly 30 minutes. It should look like thick soft serve (see photo).
  • Once churned, transfer the ice cream to a large freezer-safe container and smooth with a spoon. Top with parchment paper and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm.

  • Set out for 10-15 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Store in the freezer well covered for up to 1 month.

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*We used to recommend Aroy-D coconut milk, but their manufacturing practices have recently come under question. We now recommend Whole Foods 365, Native Forest, Thai Kitchen, or Savoy (which is actually coconut cream).
*Prep time does not include chilling the ice cream maker churning bowl.
*The idea to include xanthan gum was inspired by this Salt & Straw recipe!
*The idea to skip soaked cashews and add cashew butter instead was inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie.

Serving: 1 half-cup serving Calories: 239 Carbohydrates: 16.1 g Protein: 2.5 g Fat: 18.6 g Saturated Fat: 13.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 24 mg Potassium: 21 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 13 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 13.53 mg Iron: 0.41 mg


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