Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

A vanilla base for endless ice cream dreams

vegan ice cream recipe with oak milk

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Freezing Time: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 5 to 6
Yield: 2 2/3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
340 Calories
11g Fat
60g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 340
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 37mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 57g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 84mg 2%
*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.)

It's difficult to replicate the same consistency of a milk-based ice cream, and there's nothing worse than a sad bowl of ice cream. So many ingredients seem irreplaceable—eggs, cream, and even some ice cream stabilizers aren’t vegan. Luckily, this recipe seems to suit the vegan cook and the home cook. Vegan Ice cream requires plant-based milk, some sort of sweetener, and a stabilizer. It’s necessary to replace the fat from heavy cream with plant fat, this is why coconut milk is so popular. The stabilizer here is xanthan gum, which is a gluten-free emulsifier, found as a powder in grocery or health food stores. And then sugar, which works to add sweetness, of course, but by adding more sugar you are also lowering the freezing temperature of the base, resulting in a smoother ice cream. All properties are irreplaceable in the formation of good ice cream, and it is why it is necessary they are replaced. 

The texture here is so close to the real thing, that it may be even better. The fat from the cream of coconut makes this a luscious treat. The oat milk adds a nice well rounded flavor, and is plant-based milk with a little more viscosity than soy or almond, resulting in a thicker ice cream base/ smoother final ice cream. The coconut fat definitely adds a coconut flavor to the ice cream, but it's well balanced with the addition of oat milk and honey. If you can find it, I recommend using buckwheat honey, it helps balance the flavor of coconut and gives the base a good depth of flavor. I also recommend using vanilla paste, which you can usually find in specialty baking stores. Vanilla paste also works to supplement the coconut flavor and make it less overpowering.

I’ve also included many options for flavorings, and this recipe, while good on its own, makes a fantastic base for any other flavor- specifically nut flavors (pistachio is my favorite), in addition to pistachio butter, add crushed pistachios and top with salt!! 

"I was a bit skeptical at first, but this is one of the best vegan ice creams I've ever tasted. It has a really delicious coconut-forward flavor, and the mouthfeel is so smooth and creamy. Buckwheat honey gives the ice cream a distinct caramelized color and deep flavor. I'll definitely make this again." —Diana Andrews

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 cup oat milk

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut cream

  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup

  • 2 tablespoons honey, preferably buckwheat

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla paste or extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make vegan ice cream recipe with oat milk

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Whisk together the xanthan gum with granulated sugar in a small bowl.

    xanthan gum with granulated sugar in a small bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Blend the xanthan gum-sugar mixture with the oat milk and coconut cream in a high-speed blender until smooth.

    oat milk mixture with the corn syrup in glass cup

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Combine the oat milk mixture with the corn syrup, honey, and vanilla paste in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently.

    oat milk mixture in a pan

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Once the mixture boils, remove from the heat and pour it into a heat-proof bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface. When the mixture cools to room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator until the mixture is completely cold, ideally overnight, to develop flavor. You can churn on the same day as long as the base is cool.

    vegan ice cream mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Churn the mixture following your ice cream maker's instructions.

    vegan ice cream in a ice cream maker

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

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

    vegan ice cream recipe with oak milk in a glass container

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Tip

  • The way to achieve the best texture is to leave the ice cream base to cool overnight. 
  • To prevent exposure to air and the formation of ice crystals, press a sheet of plastic wrap over the ice cream before covering with the lid or foil.
  • Label homemade ice cream with the name and date and freeze it for up to 2 months.

Variations

Optional Add-Ins:

  • 1/2 cup high percentage chocolate or cocoa powder. Add the cocoa powder to the blender with the xanthan gum, or stir the chocolate in at the end of cooking, once the base has been brought to a boil. 
  • Chocolate Shell for Stracciatella: Once the ice cream comes out of the ice cream machine, place it into a FROZEN bowl, and stir the melted chocolate shell in with a spatula. This should break up into tiny chocolate pieces in your ice cream.
  • Fresh Fruit Puree—I recommend strawberry puree, about 1 cup 
  • Nut Butters: 1/2 cup pistachio butter, almond butter, or peanut butter
  • Swapping milks is not recommended for this recipe, just because we need the fat and viscosity from the coconut and oat. 
  • However, swapping sugars IS recommended! Try maple syrup or palm sugar. Swap in the same amount as the corn syrup. 

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