Vegan Ice Cream

When I decided to make the switch from vegetarian to vegan I had some concerns. Will I get enough protein? What will I eat at restaurants? Pizza without cheese? But by far my most pressing concern was “What about ice cream?” I have been a huge fan of the creamy sweet treat ever since I was a little kid and could get a triple-scoop for 15 cents at the Thrifty drug store in Chatsworth, CA. Being vegan wasn’t going to dampen my love of ice cream, so I went on a mission to make the best vegan ice cream in the world.

There was a period of experimentation; I tried just soy milk, sugar and vanilla but that was too icy. I tried adding tapioca starch as a binder, but I just ended up with little balls of icy tapioca throughout. I think you’ll find the ice cream recipe below will turn out perfectly smooth and creamy, not icy at all, and satisfy the ice cream lover in all of us.

I’m not a kid anymore, but I still indulge nightly in a little dessert of luscious ice cream, only now it’s the best vegan ice cream in the world. Mission accomplished.

8 oz (1/2 1lb package) Nasoya Silken Tofu
3/4 cup vegan sugar
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
2 1/2 cups almond milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Combine silken tofu and sugar in a large bowl and stir really well with a wire whisk. You are creaming together the tofu and sugar, so just keep stirring until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.

Add coconut milk (shake can well before opening), almond milk, and vanilla. Mix well.

Pour the mixture into your favorite 2-qt ice cream maker and let it run for about 30 minutes (times will vary according to brand).

For dreamy chocolate chip ice cream, add 1/2 cup semi-sweet (vegan) chocolate chips 3 minutes before the ice cream is finished.

Nutrition
Servings: 10
Per serving: 299 calories (215 from fat), 23.9g total fat, 20.8g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15mg sodium, 20.9g total carbohydrate (2.2g dietary fiber, 18.4g sugar), 3.2g protein, 0% vitamin A, 5% vitamin C, 3% calcium, 10% Iron

16 Comments
  1. […] ready to end my affair with the smooth, sweet, and creamy love of my life. I was determined to make the best vegan ice cream in the world, and after exhaustive trial and error, I think you’ll agree with my […]

    • I am transitioning to Vegan and was so pumped to find this recipe for ice cream. I made it last night and I clearly did something wrong as mine turned out loose with a coarse, grainy texture. I used Mori-Nu Soft Silken Tofu, my own homemade almond milk, Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk and processed it in my Cuisinart 1 1/2 Qt Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. I am not deterred and will give this another try. I will try using Mori-Nu Medium Tofu (don’t have a source for Nasoya Silken Tofu as yet) next time with Earth’s Own Almond milk and see if that makes the difference. Any suggestions for me?

      • Hi Joan!
        Bummer this didn’t work out for you! I make this recipe once or twice a week, and we eat this ice cream just about every night (my total guilty pleasure…), and I’ve never had mine turn out loose and grainy. Here are some things that may help:

        You definitely don’t want to go with a tofu other than silken, any firmer will make it coarser.

        Before your mixture goes into the ice cream maker, it should be really smooth and creamy, all the sugar dissolved, all the tofu liquified. Smooth input = smooth output. 😉

        You could eliminate the tofu altogether and substitute more coconut milk. This will make it richer and creamier, but also adds more fat.

        Make sure your ice cream maker’s bowl is kept in the freezer and is frozen solid before you use it, and process for 30 minutes (or whatever your maker suggests). I process mine until it starts to grow and is almost coming out of the top of the ice cream maker.

        Let me know your results if you try it again! I’d love to hear that this recipe works for you!

        Patrick

      • I am considering an attempt at this recipe. However, could one substitute Agave syrup for the sugar and how much liquid should it be? Also, instead of almond milk could organic 1% suffice? Vegan not necessary but I want to make tofu ice cream!
        Ted

        • Hi Ted! You can certainly substitute agave for the sugar! There is a school of thought on this: For every 1 cup sugar called for use 2/3 cup agave minus 1/4 cup liquid. For this recipe I’d only use 1/3 cup agave and then reduce the milk by 1/4 cup. I hope this helps!

        • Thanks for the quick reply. I did just that and the ice cream came out of the I-c maker 5 minutes ago. Tastes great!!! Has a slight coconut flavor but excellent consistency that could be served immediately: but, I have put the bulk of it in the freezer having scoffed down SOME already.

        • So happy a vegan matcha ice cream reipce exists! If i use crushed/powdered black sesame would you recommend 2tbsp of this powder, or a bit more?

      • Yes, you can make amazing ice cream without a cow in sight. There are lots of different ingredients to experiment with (coconut milk, frozen bananas, avocado, soy or almond milk), and you can do it with or without an ice cream maker (frozen bananas are your new best friend if you don’t have one). Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind:
        • Fat helps you get the right creamy texture. That’s what makes coconut milk such a perfect substitute for whole milk and cream. Give it a shot, even if you think you don’t love coconut; the flavor is pretty subtle, especially if you mix it with fruit, chocolate, etc.
        • Thickeners like corn starch and arrowroot (like in this basic coconut ice cream recipe) can also help make a creamier texture.
        • Make sure any sweetener you add is in syrup/liquid form, or it’ll cause crystals to form.
        • Make sure all your ingredients are as cold as they can be pre-freezing/blending. That’ll help everything combine without starting to melt too much, which can make for a grainy final product.

  2. […] Top apples and pears with crumb topping and bake for about 45 minutes. Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream! […]

  3. […] vegan I got a little freaked out about not being able to eat ice cream any more. I set out to make the best vegan ice cream in the world, and I feel like I succeeded. This is basically that same recipe, with raw cacao powder and maca […]

  4. We just tried the vanilla ice cream and it was really really good! Love the fact that the ingredients are not outrageous and just a few. We did make a batch and added cacao chips. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Hi Robin! So glad you enjoyed it! I love recipes that are simple and tasty. We made some yesterday and had it with our Thanksgiving dessert of vegan apple crisp. It was awesome!

  5. Can I use a hand mixer to blend together the Tofu and sugar I am not vegan but madly in love with vegan dessert and a lot of vegan food. Thank you so much for sharing I just moved it’s my new NYC apartment and brough a ice-cream maker because I love ice-cream and it’s cheaper to make them buy all the time.

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