Dairy Free Ice Cream

Only 5 ingredients away from a sweet treat

dairy free ice cream

Anastasia Turshina / Getty Images

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Chill: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8
Yield: 1 quart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
14g Fat
15g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 183mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's no summer treat more quintessential than ice cream. Rich, sweet, and filling, it's a go-to for warmer weather when people want a frozen dessert. However, it can be hard to digest for many people, especially those who don't eat dairy can't enjoy it, either.

For an ice cream that's plant-based but also free of soy, we love this version made with coconut milk. The simple base of canned coconut milk makes this a recipe you can pull together from pantry staples alone, with no fresh ingredients needed. Plus, the use of a liquid sweetener helps prevent over-freezing. It's a vegan dessert even those who are faithful to dairy ice cream will enjoy.

Ingredients

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup or allulose syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. If your ice cream maker has a bowl that needs chilling, ensure it is chilled.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the coconut milk, sweetener, vanilla, and salt until ingredients are fully incorporated.

  3. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

  4. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes, or follow your ice cream maker instructions for churning.

  5. Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container with a lid, and freeze for 8 hours or longer before serving.

Recipe Tip

An ice cream maker does help, but if you are not using an ice cream maker, the mixture for the ice cream may be stored in an air-tight container and placed in a freezer until it solidifies. The mixture must be mixed periodically while it is freezing.

Flavor Variations

French Vanilla

  • Add the scrapings of one vanilla bean to ingredients

Chocolate

  • Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to ingredients; whisk well to incorporate

Strawberry

Mint

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon mint extract to ingredients

Chocolate Chip

  • Add 1/3 cup chocolate chips to ice cream once nearly frozen in maker

Pistachio

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon pistachio extract to ingredients; add 1/4 cup chopped pistachios to ice cream once nearly frozen

Peanut Butter

  • Add 1/4 cup peanut butter to ingredients, then blend instead of mixing in a bowl

Coffee

  • Add 3 tablespoons strongly brewed espresso to ingredients

How to Store

  • Store any ice cream not eaten immediately in a freezer-safe container with a lid.
  • To eat leftovers, let thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
  • To make thawing easier, store ice cream in individually-sized plastic containers or mason jars, and thaw one serving at a time.

Options For Best Texture

If you like an ice cream that stays extra soft in the freezer, try one of these additives. Combine them with the other ingredients when preparing the ice cream mixture.


  • Honey as the sweetener instead of maple syrup or allulose syrup (not vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin powder (not vegan)
  • 2 tablespoon vodka or other hard alcohol
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Use full-fat coconut milk for the second can, instead of light