Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

MattieMattie  
 
4.7 (22)
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4.7  (22)
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Didn't Work Out Unfortunately

Trying to figure out what I did wrong. I chose to simmer the cashews and then added them and their water to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients. I blended it and then tasted it and at that point it was thick like a pudding and super sweet and syrupy. I then chilled it like it says. Then at that point it was the consistency of a cake/muffin batter. I poured it into my ice cream maker (it was my first time using my Cuisinart ice cream maker by the way so I didn't know what to expect and my first time making ice cream.) and it got thicker and colder but didn't really get much like ice cream. I froze it after that and when I had some it was not very ice cream like. It was like it was missing liquid and/or had way too much corn syrup. I still ate it because I didn't want the ingredients to go to waste, lol but it was really weird.. Can't figure out what the heck I did wrong.... Was it because I chose the option of simmering the cashews?

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Rating 
 
3.0

Oil??

I'm interested in trying this but am vexed at the idea of having to buy yet another ingredient. I've only been vegan for 5 months and have purchased everything under the sun (feels like it anyway) to make most anything I desire. However, vegetable oil is something I've probably never had in my cupboard. I don't even know if I could find organic vegetable oil (I eat 100% organic at home). Is there something else I could use? With coconut oil already being in the recipe. . . .I wasn't sure I should just increase it?

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Rating 
 
5.0

This. Is. PERFECT.

I have tried several Vegan ice creams, and even made my own recipes (early on in the learning process). They were edible - which is fairly impressive - but NOT good. When we discovered my daughters food allergies a few years ago, she took the news with grace and style. She had just turned 13 at the time, and to be told that you suddenly can't have chocolate, enjoy quiche and cheeses... I don't know if I could have handled it so well. But I'm not afraid, so I jumped right in and started cooking "vegan" dishes (that was the easiest way to search). I can add meat to anything, but the best way to find the allergy requirements is to go to Vegan sites. This ice cream - EVERYONE LOVES IT! It is creamy, tasty, it freezes nicely, melts with the same speed and texture as dairy ice cream... It really is perfect! I did the cashew base, and it was a vanilla ice cream; but my two older kids - who didn't watch me make it - did not know the base. When they tasted it, they immediately named the flavor I couldn't quite put my finger on: COOKIE DOUGH. Yep, for us - going the cashew route - the final product had a distinct Cookie-Dough Ice Cream flavor. And BTW, I used it the first time as the special dessert for my daughter's birthday, and served it with Grilled Carmelized Pears (I posted the directions on my blog). It was soooooo delicious. My husband, who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, had seconds! So thanks for this recipe - if you want Vegan ice cream that is fabulous, and hate the exorbitant prices for a little container that will NOT be as good, make this recipe. Follow it, and life will be sweet!

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Rating 
 
5.0

YUM!!!

I am not sure how I came to this recipe but I am so glad that I did. I made this earlier today and snuck a taste after several hours in the freezer. I split the ice cream leaving one half as the original recipe and then I added puréed frozen strawberries to the other half. Both are delicious but the strawberry is heavenly!! Thank you so much, I am so happy to have a base recipe to add my favorite fruit and mixins to. The only thing I plan to change is to use refined coconut oil instead of the unrefined to avoid the coconut smell and taste and to make it more of a true vanilla. I look forward to trying the variations you come up with.

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Cashew butter and apple syrup

Hi Mattie, greetings from France!

I just invested in a Kenwood Chef with an ice cream maker attachment, and am looking forward to trying this recipe. Here in France we have cashew butter, which consists of only puréed cashews, and is nice and smooth. Have you ever tried anything like this, or do you have any idea of the quantity of cashew butter I should use to replace the nuts? If not, I'll try it with say 1/2 cup, adjust the liquid, and let you know my results.

Also, I have some apple concentrate syrup on hand. Have you ever used this? It is nice and sweet, but may give a little acidity, so I might reduce or omit the vinegar. What do you think?

I just discovered your wonderful site, and am looking forward to looking around it! Many thanks!

Owner's reply

Great ice cream ideas chilepepper! I've used cashew butter in the past, but the issue is that most of it found in grocery stores in the US is roasted, which lends only what I can describe as "pet" flavor and aroma to desserts made with it. Ice cream that smells like your pet dog? Not very appetizing! Unroasted cashew butter is almost impossible to find so it's easier to just call for pureeing cashews. If you can find unroasted cashew butter, go for it! It's one less step you'll need to worry about.

Regarding apple juice concentrate, I've found that it has an extremely high concentration of malic acid. Malic acid is a very sharp/harsh acid that can clash with many foods, especially desserts. White grape juice concentrate has a softer acid profile but is much harder to find. Sweetness actually goes through what I refer to as a "flavor path" as it's perceived on your palate from start to finish. I've found that plain 'ol sugar tends to have the most full, long lasting flavor path so that's why I recommend it over other sweeteners. Good luck!

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any chance I can use agar-agar instead of the Xanthan gum? I can't wait to try this!
Thanks!

Owner's reply

Hi Sue!

Agar should work almost as well although I don't know how much you'd need to add. The xanthan gum holds onto air bubbles and assists in emulsifying; two things that agar doesn't do. So the ice cream may turn out a little more dense.

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Rating 
 
5.0

delicious!

I made this for our Memorial Day cookout, and served it with my veganized peach cobbler. i was so excited about how good i already knew it was, that i kept bringing my friends to the freezer for a sneak peek taste while it was ripening. they were all shocked and in love. i substituted the canola oil for the cocoa butter and used refined coconut oil as it was what i had on hand with no worries. since i only had psyllium husk powder and no xanthan gum, i went by the substitution guideline you listed for the vegan butter recipe and it worked perfectly. i don't know if you've ever had Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, but down here in Texas it is king, and something i know my husband has missed since becoming vegan. store bought vegan ice creams are shall we just say, unsatisfying. this is so much better than either of those options. thank you!!!

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Cashew Water

Just wondering why you didn't dump the water after the cashews have been soaked? In other recipes that I've soaked cashews I've emptied the water and then poured in fresh water to blend the cashews.

Also, what do you think about taking the soaked cashews and blending them with some soy creamer instead of water? My thinking is that I want to get the most creamiest taste out of vegan ice cream and wondering if this would help?

Owner's reply

Great ice cream questions tages! Dumping the cashew soaking water and replacing it vs actually using the cashew water comes down to personal preference. My preference is to use the soaking water because it has more flavor and eliminates a measuring step. But it's pretty nitpicky of me.

You could add some soy creamer but I prefer to avaid all the highly processed soy creamer additives. The goal of this ice cream is to keep things relatively minimally processed. Again, a rather nitpicky move; I bet it would be a little more rich with the non-dairy creamer. Good luck!

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Can I use raw coconut in place of coconut oil?

Help! Whole Foods gave me whole raw coconut and I didn't realize it wasn't the oil until I got home and was in the middle of making this. I am already substituting additional vegetable oil for the coco butter (because it costs $25.00) so I don't know if this will ruin the batch. I am using a tofu base (boiled for 3 minutes to get rid of bean flavor, as suggested by one of the commenters) and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

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help

Im following this recipe but the ice cream isn't seem to be going anywhere in the ice cream maker. Its staying a thick liquid.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Delicious thanks for such a great recipe!

This recipe is great such a smooth creamy consistency - the best vegan home made ice-cream I have tasted or made. And thanks for the detailed description of what makes this ice-cream great I can see now why some of the other recipes I have made have failed!
I use the cashew base as I like the flavour more. I don't have a Vita mix so I soak the cashews for a few hours and also boil them for 15mins before blending them.
Other flavour variations I have done with this recipe - White Chocolate and Raspberry - use 3tsp of cacao butter instead of the coconut oil half a cup of raspberries and half a cup of white choc chips.
Maple Walnut - use maple flavoured syrup instead of the corn syrup and add 1/2 cup of very finely chopped walnuts and one teaspoon of vanilla powder along with the vanilla essence
YUM.

Owner's reply

I'm so glad you enjoyed the ice cream bellafood! Those flavor variations are brilliant. I can't wait to try White Chocolate and Raspberry!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Raved About on Big Fat Vegan Radio

I heard about this ice cream on Episode 42 of Big Fat Vegan Radio. Ben said it's delicious with the cashews, cannot wait to try it.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Question about scoopability

This icecream is delicious!! I've had many failed attempts at making vegan icecream but this one was great. A little sweet for me, but I can adjust that :)
I was wondering about how long this icecream will last in the freezer and still be scoopable? It was perfect the first time I had it, but 24 hours later when I got it out to have it again it was frozen pretty hard, and had to wait for it to defrost a little :(

Owner's reply

So glad you liked the ice cream Lucy! This ice cream is designed to be scoopable as long as regular ice cream is- for several months. The recipe is still evolving so I'll make it soon and if I find it hardening excessively, I'll take steps to correct it and update the recipe accordingly. Thanks for the feedback!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Will you marry me?

This is so delicious! I have been using Miyoko Schinner's book about Artisan Vegan Cheese, and so I knew the power of the cashew. Finally tried this today, and it is divine.

I do have a question - do you think you taste sweetness more when it's not frozen in the ice cream maker? When I had blended all the ingredients, I gave the cream a taste, and I could have sworn I added too much sugar. I actually got worried, and had some of Miyoko's macadamia ricotta on hand, so I just tossed some in because I thought it might balance out the sweetness. Now that I've tried it after freezing completely, I think it would have been fine as it was. (The ricotta is not a bad addition - I now have cheesecake ice cream!)

Just wondering if sweetness and temperature is "a thing."

Thank you so much! I had it with crumbled almond chocolate toffee (vegan also).

Owner's reply

Thanks so much Tara! Miyoko's book is amazing isn't it? I bet the ricotta was great in the ice cream. Great idea! Yes, sweetness and temperature is most definitely a thing. Colder temperatures absolutely mute sweetness. So ice cream will taste sweeter as it's churning at a cold temperature slightly below freezing but taste considerably less sweet once it hardens at the proper freezer temperature close to 0F. You'll notice that as ice cream gets more melty, it also tends to taste more intense and sweet. In fact, all food gets more flavorful as it warms, to an extent.

So glad it worked out for you! The crumbled almond chocolate toffee on top sounds fascinating.

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Question re oils

This looks so incredibly well considered - thank you! I haven't tried it yet because I had a couple of questions.
I'm wondering why the use of unrefined coconut oil as opposed to refined (if the coconut taste is not desired)? Presumably refined will work the same? Also, I assume the coconut oil needs to be liquid before adding to blender?
Also, I can't seem to get cocoa butter in Australia, could I just use coconut oil instead or should it be a 'liquid' oil like canola?
Finally with the xanthum gum the stuff I have is in 1g sachets and is a fine dry granule - do i need to reconstitute it or anything or just add it to the mix?
Thanks in advance - I'm wanting to make this for Christmas and blow the minds of my omnivore guests! Cheers.

Owner's reply

Hi colleenc! A little bit of coconut taste is desired in the background, hence the inclusion of unrefined coconut oil. Cocoa butter has a similar effect but if you can't find it, substitute it with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil as the recipe suggests. The xanthan gum is just vortexed in as per the recipe instructions. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
5.0

The Science of Delicious!

First, I want to thank you for a very detailed break down of why we love ice cream. Your method of explaining why ice cream with dairy is such a joy to make and eat is very helpful in setting the right mental approach to why making vegan ice cream should be joyful!
Second, I've used this recipe twice...once to make a vanilla ice cream and then as a base for a mango ice cream! I prefer using full fat coconut milk and arrow root as substitutes for your original and the texture has been rich and creamy.
Would you agree that using this basic recipe as a base for several flavors of ice cream would work?
Thanks!

Owner's reply

Thanks Nnamdi! Using full-fat coconut milk and arrowroot as a base is a great idea and should work awesomely as a base for different ice cream flavors. I'd like to eventually include full-fat coconut milk as a third option for a base in a future recipe update. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Fantastic with one little change

I've been experimenting a lot, trying to come up with a good ice cream dairy free for my hubby. We haven't been thrilled with any of the commercial brands. Oh my gosh, thanks to you, I've just found it! The first batch I made was okay but we just didn't care for the coconut flavor soooo rather than adding coconut oil I instead added 12 grams (3 t.) of the cocoa butter. Perfect! We can't believe it! I used the silken tofu as there is less fat in the tofu rather than the cashews. However, I would bet this ice cream made with cashews would be wonderful also! Thank you so much! Next, the pumpkin--I plan to use this recipe and simply add some pureed butternut squash and spice!

Owner's reply

So glad this ice cream worked so well for you Veggiewoman!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Not Missing The "Real" Thing!

Ok - if I could truly rate this recipe on a scale of 1 - 5, I'd have to give it a 12. It is the best homemade vegan ice cream I've ever tasted and it gives some of the best soy and non-soy based vegan store brands an honest run for their money!  I doubled this recipe to make two quarts. I also followed another poster's advice to boil the tofu about 3 min to reduce its nutty flavor (I boiled the silken tofu inside of a nut milk bag). The texture, color, flavor, and mouth feel were simply superb! I tried it on my family and they LOVED it! I got comments like "I can't believe how real this tastes!", "I can eat this without stomach issue worries, yet this is sooo good!" and "Bye-Bye Soy Delicious!" I will DEFINITELY be making this again and again! This will be my base for
butter pecan, maple and black walnut, turtle tracks, and many other "vanilla family" based ice creams.

Now my questions. Do you, or will you have a catalog or book of homemade non-dairy ice cream,  sherbert, sorbet, and frozen yogurt recipes? If so, where when can I find it/them? Lastly, if I change out the cocoa butter for a "tasteless" oil and remove the vanilla, is this an excellent base for endless fruit and non fruit ice creams? I want to understand how to build many flavors. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and recipe.

Owner's reply

Thanks so much ttyme09! I'm so glad this ice cream worked so well for you! This recipe is meant for me to be a starting point for me to eventually to redo all my vegan ice creams from. I've been really wanting to embark on this journey lately and eventually post a book's worth of frozen dessert recipes on Veganbaking.net based on this recipe.

Someday I'll write a book but for now I prefer putting everything I do on Veganbaking.net and Veganfoodcraft.com (my other blog) so they can be shared and easily accessed by anyone for free, without them needing to buy a book.

Regarding your second question, the short answer is yes. You could use deodorized cocoa butter (or deodorized coconut oil should also work for a substitute), hold the vanilla and this recipe would definitely work as a base for any ice cream recipe. But you might want to experiment with leaving the cocoa butter as-is so you get the flavor-depth similar to a dairy based ice cream. It's worth experimenting with to see which option works. Thanks again!

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Rating 
 
5.0

thank you :-)

Thank you so much for this detailed recipe. It's a great formula base.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Blender vs Food Processor

Your information is so profound...so valuable! So glad I found you. :) Would a food processor work as well as a blender?

Owner's reply

Thanks so much Zia! I prefer a blender for breaking up the tofu because it will liquefy it more effectively than a food processor will, resulting in a smoother, creamier mixture. In a pinch, I'd use a food processor but there might be tiny bits of tofu in your ice cream depending on what kind of tofu you're using. Good luck!

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Golden vs corn syrup

Forgot to add: For any UK-ers, I used Golden Syrup in place of the Corn Syrup the recipe calls for, with no issues at all (save the slight flavour change). All I've gathered is that it works, but I'm not sure how! Is this because both glucose (in CS) and inverted sucrose (in GS) inhibit sugar crystallization in the same way? I'm very curious to find out :)

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Rating 
 
4.0

Pretty good, needs more experimentation!

I used the cashew version of the recipe, and since I used vanilla paste (sugar-based), I added a teaspoon of alcohol (white rum, it's what I had to hand), to keep things from getting solid. And it worked, it came out perfectly soft and not icy. My only issue is that I still have some mouth-feely issues with using soaked cashews as the base, there's definitely a grainy feel in there. I'm putting that down to my blender more then anything, and may experiment with putting the mixture through a cheesecloth next time, though I don't know what size particles I'm dealing with here! Maybe blend cashews in advance after a 1st soak, and then continue to soak and reblend before using? I think I might prefer to use the cashew base with a stronger flavour then vanilla (chocolate or coffee?) as I found the nuttiness overpowered the vanilla, but it's definitely a base I'll be trying again :) Thank you!!

Owner's reply

Thanks for sharing your findings luinecu! I use a Vitamix so I didn't experience graininess issues so I'll have to revisit that in a future recipe update. I think that soaking the cashews, blending then continuing to soak them before blending again may be the way to go.

Regarding the sugar, liquid sugars such as golden syrup, glucose, agave, corn syrup, brown rice syrup, invert sugar, etc all contain longer chains of sugars that inhibit ice crystal formation. You can think of them as nets that surround the ice crystals and keep them from growing too big. So you can include any one of these liquid sugars in an ice cream and the result will be less hardening and more creaminess. Different liquid sugars have different sweetness levels so I chose to use corn syrup because it's readily available (at least in the US), cheap, flavor neutral and effective. Golden syrup is a great choice too! By the way, I'm a huge fan of English Black Treacle for baking and beer brewing and I order it from the UK just to get it!

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No ice cream maker

Could you offer me any advice on how to make this ice cream without the use of an ice cream maker? With regular stirring do you think I could still achieve a good consistency? I've recently come across some praline spread that I am really eager to incorporate into an ice cream recipe. It will be my first try since becoming vegan sometime ago so I would really like it to stand a good chance of turning out ok!
Thanks for all the great recipes!

Owner's reply

Great question Helen! I really should write an article on this! An ice ream maker is hard to replicate because it whips air into the mixture as it freezes but you can still get by without one if you need to. You can start by placing your ice cream in a durable mixing bowl in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Using a mixing spoon, stir the ice cream like crazy every 30 minutes. Continue doing this for 2 to 3 hours until your ice cream has developed to your desired creamy consistency. Place the ice cream in the refrigerator for an additional 3 to 4 hours to it can attain its full harden. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
5.0

GREAT recipe

I paused over the corn syrup, but this is really the best vegan ice cream I have had (homemade or store bought). I used the cashew base - flavor was great, but also AMAZING texture right out of ice cream maker and the next day. So good paired with the Ultimate Brownie recipe! Thank you for perfecting this and sharing!!!!

Owner's reply

Hi Lilew! This recipe is constantly evolving over the years as I continue to learn and experiment. So glad it worked well for you!

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Rating 
 
4.0

Best Homemade Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

I don't give it 5* because I've had better store-bought vegan vanilla ice cream, but do give 4* because it's the best homemade version. I've tried many other recipes, none of them worth making again, but this one is a keeper. I used Silk Coconut milk. Next time, I'll try the cocoa butter and vanilla beans, hopefully to have a richer vanilla flavor. Since most tofu packages are 12 oz, I made 1.5 times the recipe. I following the recipe exactly. The hardness came out the same level as those in the supermarket (not rock-solid). I think that the key is to blend the xanthan gum enough, up to 3 min as the author says. I have a high quality blender (Vita-Mix), and could still tell that the thickness wasn't allowing it to mix well by itself, so I manually mixed it too while the blender was going. This is my first time using xanthan gum in ice-cream, and also my first time where my ice-cream didn't come out rock-solid, or decent hardness but with the nasty alcohol flavor. I'm looking forward to trying out the cashew version someday and experimenting with other flavors (cocoa and coffee).

Owner's reply

Great that this worked out for you bandita! Thanks for sharing your experiences on the xanthan gum.

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Enhance Tofu Flavor

If you use tofu for the base, boil it gently for 2-3 minutes and then use in recipe. it removes the "beany" taste.

Owner's reply

This is a great tip Trinka. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Rating 
 
5.0

How to keep it soft

I tried this recipe and yes, it did freeze rock solid, albeit soo delicious! So I tried it again, this time adding 2 tbs of Alcohol (any type will do), I used chambord with chocolate, and it kept the ice cream soft enough to scoop freely. Mix it in just before freezing. The alcohol doesn't allow the ice cream to freeze solid. Not sure how to do this for those who do not partake in alcohol, but I hope this helps anyone who's willing to try it.

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Ice Cream softness

Made your ice cream - it was perfect when finished in the Ice cream maker but went rock hard after putting in the freezer. Pls can you advise...?

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I tried the tofu variation just now and I'm rather disappointed. Mine definitely has a very noticeable raw tofu taste to it. I'm hoping maybe the flavors will come together a bit more once it's been in the freezer for a while, but for now it's not very yummy to me. I'm going to hold off on rating it though, because I would still like to give the cashew version a shot. The texture of the final result was lovely, so if I could just get it to taste better and not like plain tofu it would be perfect.

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Hi, Just wondering if making the vanilla ice cream with the cashews if it still has that "cashew" taste, or is masked with the addition of the other ingredients?

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