A scoop of vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream is easily the best way to beat the summer heat, with some nice cooling mint and creamy coconut milk. If you’re not a big coconut fan, this is perfect for you, because the mint flavour effectively covers that little hint of coconut.
I only started to eat mint chip ice cream a few years ago and never liked it when I was a kid – and I can tell you, with two years of experience working in an ice cream shop as a teenager, it’s not a child favourite. Now it’s right up there in my top five, though, and especially with this recipe (no green food colouring, please).
This base recipe with coconut milk is surprisingly simple, without any starches or gums to imitate eggs, and it’s just as creamy as its dairy counterpart. There are some great store-bought options for vegan ice cream these days, but they’re either way too high in sugar for my taste, or made with ingredients you don’t really want to eat. This recipe uses just 7 ingredients including the salt and vanilla.
The method here is extraordinarily simple, with no custard step. The ingredients are simply whisked, chilled if needed, then churned in an ice cream machine. You can find the same method used for my toasted coconut ice cream recipe.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Coconut cream: if you can’t get coconut cream, use the cream scooped from the top of a can of coconut milk instead.
- Mint extract: I use extract because mint leaves can be quite bitter here. You can sub fresh mint but keep that in mind. To use garden mint, go for spearmint instead of peppermint as it’s a bit sweeter. Chop it as finely as you possibly can, making it into a kind of paste, before mixing it in. Use about a tablespoon of fresh mint.
- Sweetener: as usual, maple syrup and honey can be used interchangeably. If you’re making this for someone who follows a vegan diet, be sure to use the maple syrup option.
About the chocolate – depending on the type, it can be a little waxy when frozen. If you really hate that, I suggest using chopped raw chocolate instead as it tends to freeze a little better.
If you are following a dairy-free diet or eat honey, ice cream in general does tend to freeze a little better when made with honey. It crystallises less than maple syrup when frozen and results in a better texture (I also live in Sweden, so all maple syrup is imported from overseas).
Make it Without a Machine
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, try this: freeze the base ice cream, not including the chocolate chunks, in a container or ice cube tray. Break it into pieces and then blend it up in a high powered blender or food processor, then mix in the chocolate and serve.
Easy peasy and no single-use equipment needed. I know you’re supposed to be able to freeze it in a tray and use a fork to break up the crystals as it freezes, but that’s never worked very well for me. Alternatively, freeze the mixture in popsicle moulds.
- Get good extract: there will be a taste difference between pure mint extract and artificial, so get the good stuff if you can. Mint essential oil is not extract.
- Soften before scooping: like most vegan ice cream recipes, this needs to warm up a bit before it can be scooped. Let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Don’t over-churn: if your ice cream turns out quite hard and almost flakey, it’s been over churned. Mix until it resembles soft serve, then freeze fully.
More Ice Cream and Frozen Treats
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Lemon Elderflower Popsicles
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Popsicles
Blueberry Swirl Coconut Milk Popsicles
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Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 400 ml full-fat coconut milk* 1 can
- 200 ml coconut cream** 1/2 can
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey to taste
- ½ teaspoon mint extract
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut cream, maple syrup, mint, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions and add the dark chocolate in the last couple minutes of churning.400 ml full-fat coconut milk*, 200 ml coconut cream**, 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract, 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, Pinch sea salt, 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped
- Serve immediately or place into a large airtight container and freeze fully. Set on the counter to thaw for ten minutes before serving if stored in the freezer.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This recipe was originally published in August 2018. It has been updated with improvements and clarifications to the text and recipe as of July 2020.
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