Silky Vegan Ice Cream – 6 Ingredient, Dairy-Free Dessert

Vegan ice cream scooped into 2 sugar cones

Not only do I have an excellent new recipe to share, it comes with 2 bonus topping recipes! Ice cream is my family’s go-to dessert, yet my body just doesn’t do well with dairy. So I set out to make the most legit version I could using plant based ingredients, and I gotta say, this vegan ice cream recipe def lives up to the hype.

Whether you chose the chocolate crackle, mix berry compote, or toppings of your own making, you’ll quickly fall in love with this buttery smooth dessert.

ingredients for vegan ice cream recipe including raw cane sugar, arrowroot powder, maple syrup, full-fat coconut milk, a whole vanilla bean and sea salt.

Vegan Ice Cream Ingredients

  • Full-fat coconut milk: Regular ice cream needs at least 10% fat content for the right consistency + texture. Full-fat coconut milk helps mimic this in my dairy-free version.
  • Raw cane sugar: This version of sugar is less processed and isn’t bleached, which helps it keep the sweet flavor without the additives. It still dissolves nicely without any gritty texture.
  • Maple syrup: I like the darker flavor of maple syrup, yet this recipe doesn’t use too much… this is vanilla, not maple ice cream after all.
  • Vanilla bean: While you can use vanilla extract or vanilla powder in this dessert, a whole vanilla bean provides a more robust flavor.
  • Arrowroot Powder: this lovely powder freezes and thaws without changing (or becoming lumpy). It helps thicken the ice cream without making it gritty.
  • Sea Salt: Just a pinch brings a nice balance to this rich dessert.

Store Bought vs Homemade Plant-Based Desserts

different brands of coconut milk in a line, all options for vegan ice cream

There are entire sections of grocery stores dedicated to plant-based offerings, which I love. However, when you look at the labels of some of these ‘green’ items, you’ll find quite a few unpronounceable ingredients + additives.

Avoid all that nonsense with this vegan ice cream recipe. It’s only 6 ingredients, and all of them are easily found at your local grocer, and are all minimally processed. Yes, ice cream is a dessert (no health food claims here!), yet one made with real ingredients. Even when I treat myself, I wanna feel good afterwards.

vegan toppings including chocolate crackle and berry compote as ice cream toppings

Perfect Ice Cream Toppings

This vanilla ice cream recipe is a great base for a plethora of toppings, and I’m sharing 2 ways I love to top my desserts. The recipes for both of these options are below, and they are super easy to make!

Chocolate Crackle

bowl of melted chocolate sauce

This 2-ingredient topping just needs heated + mixed a short time before serving. I love how simple dark chocolate and coconut oil is as well as how delicious it is on my ice cream. Watch the magic of pouring your slightly cooled crackle onto the ice cream and it instantly forming a hard shell that your spoon can crack through when you dig in.

Simple Berry Compote

jar of homemade berry compote

This berry compote can be used to top pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, yogurt and more. It’s easy to make as well as a great way to use those summer berries. I use mixed berries for a brighter flavor, yet you can just pick your fav and keep it to one berry.

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe FAQs

Which milk is best for vegan ice cream?

I use coconut milk as its high fat content is similar to dairy milk, and it doesn’t get frosty like almond or cashew milk.

Can you use an ice cream maker to make vegan ice cream?

Yes! I love the way my ice cream maker works, so I definitely use it when making the dairy free version as well.

How do you make healthy vegan ice cream?

While ‘healthy’ can be subjective, I do believe in using real, whole food ingredients for the best results. I use raw cane sugar in my recipe as ice cream does need a sweetener, yet raw can sugar is much less processed and isn’t bleached.

4 bowls of easy, plant-based dessert recipe
vegan ice cream scooped sugar cones

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

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Take summer by creamy storm with this decadent vegan ice cream recipe. I use just 6 ingredients to create a chilled dessert that scoops like the real thing. And because I love ice cream so much, I’ve also included 2 bonus recipes for the perfect toppings!

Total Time5 hours 15 minutes



  • 2 cans coconut milk (full-fat)
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and seeds scraped out)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • pinch sea salt

Chocolate Crackle

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 2 tbsps coconut oil (unrefined)
  • pinch sea salt

Fruit Compote

  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups mixed berries


For Ice Cream:

  • Place coconut milk, cane sugar, maple syrup, vanilla bean and seeds, arrowroot powder and sea salt into sauce pan. Whisk until smooth. Heat over medium, whisking constantly until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Boil 1-2 minutes, continuing to whisk constantly. Pour into a clean bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and chill until very cold.

  • Follow manufacturer instructions for churning ice cream. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Freeze until firm enough to scoop, preferably overnight.

  • Serve with desired toppings.

For Chocolate Crackle:

  • Set a heat-safe glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate with coconut oil. Add a pinch of sea salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before using. If the sauce is too hot, it won’t solidify quickly enough to form the shell. If it gets too cold, it will be too gloppy to for a thin enough shell.

For Fruit Compote:

  • Combine all ingredients except fruit in a saucepan. Whisk until combined. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes. The mixture will be very thick. Remove from heat and add the fruit. Stir well. Transfer to an air-tight jar and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Best if used within 3-4 days. Serve chilled or warmed.


  • Swap arrowroot powder with cornstarch or tapioca starch.
  • Not all coconut milk brands have the same amount of fat. Choose one with a high fat content, or use coconut cream.
  • For the fruit compote, use mixed berries or the berry of your choice.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 59kcal (3%) Carbohydrates: 15g (5%) Protein: 1g (2%) Fat: 1g (2%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 1mg Potassium: 6mg Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 14g (16%) Calcium: 2mg Iron: 1mg (6%)

3 photos of vegan desserts

Plant-Based Desserts

Since dairy isn’t my body’s friend, I’m always on the hunt for great dessert recipes sans dairy. Here are a few I use on the regular for family game nights, parties, holidays and more:

Fudgy Brownies

Chocolate Pudding

Rice Krispies Treats

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blackberry Sorbet

Ginger Cookies

Peanut Butter Fudge

Strawberry Vegan Milkshake

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