The smoothest, creamiest vegan chocolate ice cream! Coconut milk makes the best vegan ice cream – you don’t need any thickeners and I don’t find that there’s a huge difference between it and custard based ice creams. This is adapted from my toasted coconut ice cream and an idea that’s been in the back of my head for ages, to churn vegan chocolate ganache.
The result is a shockingly easy chocolate coconut milk ice cream, that’s added sugar free (depends on how you look at that – there is still sugar in the form of date syrup). Whether you have an ice cream maker or not, it’s the best.
Sometimes I see 2/3/4 ingredient recipes and get grouchy because it’s actually using a box of cake mix and a tub of icing or something, but I do think of chocolate as one ingredient. If you would also like to be grouchy, then think of it as a 5-ingredient ice cream instead (cacao solids, cacao butter, sweetener in the chocolate).
This ice cream is extra good sandwiched between two of my vegan oatmeal cookies! Crisp but not hard when frozen, it’s really the perfect combination. That being said, it makes for a pretty huge ice cream sandwich so you might want to split it with someone. The cookies make ten, and there’s enough ice cream here for ten sandwiches plus a little extra.
- A bar of dark chocolate (I use 80%)
- Two cans of full-fat coconut milk
- Date syrup, maple syrup, or honey (if not vegan)
Place the chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Once the milk is simmering, take it off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let this sit for 30 seconds.
Whisk the melted chocolate and milk mixture until very well combined. It’ll look a little watery – don’t worry!
Add the separated coconut cream into the mix and whisk again. The chocolate milk mixture should still be hot enough to melt any lumps that may be in the coconut cream.
Add the date syrup or other sweetener and whisk again. At this point, you should add any other flavourings (not solids), like vanilla or spices, if you’re adding to the ice cream.
Let the mixture cool to room temperature before refrigerating until fully chilled, at least four hours. If you have anything strong-smelling in your fridge (like onions) make sure to cover the ice cream base so it doesn’t absorb any of those smells.
Once the ice cream base is chilled, it should be thickened. It’ll likely have a skin on the top and a thinner base underneath – this is normal! Just mix it all together to remove any lumps before churning.
Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the machine instructions. If properly chilled, it should take 10-20 minutes to churn and freeze fully. After churning, place the ice cream into an airtight container and freeze solid. Let the ice cream sit for ten minutes at room temperature before serving.
To Make the Ice Cream Sandwiches
Make sure you freeze your chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies ahead of time (the recipe recommends that they be frozen). Place a scoop of ice cream onto the inside of one cookie and use a spoon to spread it to cover the cookie. Place a second cookie over it, then press gently.
Use a spoon or butterknife to remove any excess ice cream from the outer edges, and to make sure it’s even between the two cookies. Repeat for the remaining cookies, and freeze immediately.
These can be enjoyed straight from the freezer, or left at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. If you know you want to make sandwiches with the cookies, do the ten minute baking time.
Tips and Notes
Using date syrup instead of cane sugar helps to prevent the ice cream from getting too hard after it’s been frozen solid. You just need to let it sit at room temperature for ten minutes before scooping. If you’d like, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mix (the alcohol content helps a bit with scoop-ability).
I really, really recommend making these peanut butter oatmeal cookies for ice cream sandwiches. Even though the ice cream is great on its own and an excellent standalone recipe, it’s the best as a sandwich. The perfect combination!
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you have a couple of options. Freeze the chocolate mixture in ice cube trays and then blend them in a high powered blender to break up the ice particles, then serve immediately or freeze again like regular ice cream. Alternatively, you can place the bowl of chilled chocolate mixture into a large dish of ice and whisk until frozen to the consistency of soft serve. I recommend the first method, because the second one takes ages.
The flowers pictured are pansies and feverfew, both from my garden, and both edible. Plus the first of the autumn fruiting raspberries from our berry patch!
This is an ultra simple recipe, so there aren’t a lot of substitutions to offer here. You need to use full fat coconut milk – it’s too thin otherwise, and icy – but the sweetener and type of chocolate can vary slightly. Keep in mind that any changes you make will directly affect the ice cream flavour as there’s nothing to hide any ingredients you dislike.
I used date syrup because I have a cupboard full from a brand I work with. The flavour is excellent, if you have it already. Otherwise, use maple syrup, or honey if you need dairy free ice cream but not necessarily vegan.
I use an 80% dark chocolate bar. The darker the chocolate, the darker the ice cream will be. If you prefer a sweeter dessert, you can go down to 60%, but I wouldn’t recommend less than that. You may be able to get away with unsweetened chocolate, but I haven’t tried. I don’t recommend chocolate chips – they tend to turn the frozen ice cream a bit waxy. Use a chocolate bar you love plain.
Of course you can add things, too! Throw some toasted coconut in at the last minute of churning, or swirl in some crushed raspberries. It’s a basic vegan chocolate ice cream recipe, really, so you can make it into whatever you like (though ice cream sandwiches are the best).
More Chocolate Recipes
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- 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk, divided (400 ml / 13.5 oz.)
- 100 grams (3.5 oz, one bar) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) date or maple syrup
- One batch Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies, for sandwiches
- Make sure your ice cream maker is full frozen and ready to use before proceeding.
- Pour one full can of coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until just simmering.
- While the milk is heating, place the chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Scoop the cream out of the second can of coconut milk and set aside.
- Once the milk is hot, pour it over the chopped chocolate into the bowl. Let this rest for 30 seconds, then whisk until fully combined.
- Add the separated coconut cream to the bowl and whisk again. The residual heat should melt any lumps of cream.
- Add the date syrup and whisk again until fully combined. If you are adding any extras, like vanilla, this is the time to do so.
- Cool the ice cream base to room temperature before refrigerating to chill fully, at least four hours.
- Pour the chilled mixture into your prepared ice cream maker. Churn according to the machine instructions, until creamy and frozen.*
- Place the churned ice cream into an airtight container and freeze. Remove it from the freezer and let it sit out for ten minutes at room temperature before serving.
- For ice cream sandwiches, simply sandwich a scoop of ice cream between two of the oatmeal cookies and freeze again before serving.
*See the Tips and Notes section above for instructions on how to make this without an ice cream maker.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 4g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.