Ditch the Dairy and Make Delicious Vegan Ice Cream With These Strategies

How to Make Vegan Ice Cream These days, many people are starting to follow a vegan diet. There are many benefits of following a vegan diet, including eating healthier and being kinder to Earth. One of the common misconceptions about following a vegan diet, which also keeps many people from starting down this path, is that you can only eat fruit and vegetables. This is certainly not the case.

It is even possible to get sweets like vegan ice cream while still continuing to follow a strict vegan diet. Actually, you can make vegan ice cream from scratch with the right ingredients and a little time. There are several popular recipes out there for your next ice cream buffet. This article will lay out one of the more popular (and tastier!) recipes available. By the time you get to the end of this page, you’ll know everything you need to know to make your own delicious vegan ice cream. Read on to learn more about how to make vegan ice cream.

What is Vegan Ice Cream?

If you are new to the vegan diet or you simply have not tried vegan ice cream before, it may be hard to fathom that ice cream can even be made without milk. Most people have eaten dairy-based ice cream for their entire lives and have enjoyed their favorite mint chocolate recipes. However, there is more than one kind of milk. There are actually several kinds of vegan milk. These different kinds of a vegan milk include coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, and even hemp milk. These vegan types of milk are not only kinder to the environment then dairy-based milk, they are also healthier in many ways.

Vegan ice cream can be made from each of these vegan milks. In fact, each different kind of vegan milk gives vegan ice cream a slightly different taste. If you are interested in making vegan ice cream, you may even want to make one batch from each type of milk so that you can see which you like best.

Difficulties in Making Vegan Ice Cream

Problems When Making Vegan Ice Cream While making delicious vegan ice cream is certainly possible with the easy-to-follow recipe in this article, that does not mean that the process doesn’t have its challenges. The two main challenges that people face when making vegan ice cream are finding the right kind of vegan milk and getting the same creamy taste that you can get from dairy-based ice cream.

Finding the right vegan milk can be a challenge. This is especially true if you are interested in using a less-common type of vegan milk, such as hemp milk. Many stores do not carry hemp milk. You may have to go to a specialty grocery store to find it. Also, it can be difficult to get your vegan ice cream as creamy as dairy-based ice cream. This is especially true if you have not made vegan ice cream before.

Not Using Animal Milk

It can be difficult to get the right consistency and texture when using vegan milk to make ice cream. Keep in mind that ice cream was originally created with dairy-based milk and that ice cream recipes were never intended to accommodate vegan milk. Milk from cows is so perfect for making ice cream because it has a great deal of fat and sugar in it naturally. Both of these ingredients are very unhealthy and are two of the main reasons that many people want to have vegan ice cream.

However, not only are fat and sugar integral to the taste of dairy-based ice cream, but they also play important parts in the creation of ice cream by helping to give it the consistency and texture that people always associate with ice cream. This texture can be recreated with vegan milk, but it is a little more difficult.

Getting the Same Creamy Flavor

How to Make Quality Vegan Ice Cream The other main challenge that people face when creating vegan ice cream is getting the same kind of creamy flavor that you can get with dairy-based ice cream. Generally, experts agree that the easiest kind of vegan milk to use to get that same dairy-based taste is coconut milk. This is because coconut milk naturally has fat and protein content that is similar to the fat and protein content in dairy milk.

While almond milk is the most popular vegan milk choice, it’s much more difficult to make vegan ice cream using almond milk than it is using coconut milk. This is primarily because the creamy taste and texture is very difficult to recreate when using almond milk. Even many vegan food companies have difficulty doing it, so you can imagine how hard it is to accomplish at home.

Non-Dairy Milk Options for Vegan Ice Cream

There are many vegan milk options with the common ones for vegan ice cream being coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, and sorbet. 

Coconut Milk

As previously mentioned, coconut milk is the easiest to use when making vegan ice cream. The high fat and protein content mimic the content of dairy-based milk. This is important both for the taste of the ice cream and for the texture. Also, the properties of coconut milk make it fairly easy to work with. There’s a good reason that the recipe included in this article used coconut milk.

Nut Milks

Many people want to use nut-based vegan milk, especially almond milk, to make their homemade vegan ice cream. However, almond milk has a very low natural fat content. This makes it both hard to work with when making vegan ice cream and it makes it hard to get the right taste. If this is your first time making vegan ice cream, you should probably go with coconut milk.


Hemp-based vegan milk has become quite popular in recent years. There aren’t as many recipes out there for hemp milk as there are for coconut milk, but this may be due to change. Hemp milk has a high fat content, making it a good alternative to coconut milk for vegan ice cream.


Sorbet ice cream generally contains only water, fruit, and sugar. However, many supposed "vegan" chocolate and vanilla sorbets actually contain honey, which is not considered vegan. If you want to be sure that your recipe is completely vegan, it’s best to avoid sorbet.

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

This relatively easy vegan vanilla ice cream recipe uses coconut milk. The full ingredients list includes:

  • 28 oz. of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 pinch of sea salt


First, place your churning bowl overnight to chill. Note that this recipe does require a special ice cream maker; without one is a little tricky to make homemade ice cream properly. The next day, put the ingredients into a blender and blend the ice cream at high speed until everything is creamy and smooth. This part is important because the sugar must be fully dissolved into the mixture. At this point, you’re going to want to do a quick taste test. You want to pay special attention to the level of sweetness and the strength of the vanilla flavor. If you need to make the mixture sweeter or give it more of a vanilla taste, now is the time. 

Steps for Making Vegan Ice Cream Now it’s time for the churning bowl to do its thing. Pour the mixture into the chilled churning bowl and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. The length of time it takes in the churning bowl depends on the individual model you have. However, most people find that it takes about 45 minutes of churning to get just right. Note that the mixture should look more like it’s been in a soft serve ice cream machine than traditional ice cream at the end, so don’t worry if the mixture has a softer consistency than you were expecting.

Once you’ve finished churning the mixture, it’s time to put it in the freezer. Pour the mixture out of the churning bowl and into a freezer bowl ice cream maker. Make sure to smooth out the top of the mixture after you pour it into the freezer-safe container. This isn’t really that big of a deal, but it’ll make the ice cream look a little prettier when it’s solidified. You want to put the mixture into your freezer for 4-6 hours, depending on how firm you want it to be.

When the ice cream has reached the desired level of firmness, you can go ahead and take it out of the freezer. It’s a good idea to actually take it out 10 minutes or so before you plan to serve it, as this will let it soften up a little, which will make it easier to serve and give it a nice, smooth texture. Using a heated ice cream scoop can also help if the ice cream is a little firmer than you had intended and it’s taking a little too much elbow grease to scoop out. 

Enjoy your own homemade vegan ice cream! This ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 10 days. However, just like dairy-based ice cream, it is at its best when it is fresh. This is when your ice cream is at its smoothest and creamiest. 

Preparation is Key

While following the recipe above should make the process of creating your own vegan ice cream pretty straightforward, that does not mean that it is necessarily easy. As you can see, make your own vegan ice cream is more challenging than making many other types of vegan food. This means that preparation and sticking to the recipe closely are the keys are for success.

You should make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients in the proper amounts, and that you have a copy of the recipe handy so that you can follow it to the letter. Of course, even with proper preparation, making vegan ice cream is a learning experience. This is true of following any vegan recipe and really of following a recipe of any type.

While your first experience with making vegan ice cream may turn out delicious, keep in mind that you’ll have a better idea of what to do when you make vegan ice cream in the future. Pretty soon, you’ll be making vegan ice cream that’s almost as good as that made by trained vegan chefs.