by Olena

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 13 votes

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Delicious Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream made with a coconut milk base and naturally sweetened for a delicious, dairy-free treat!

Want even more flavor? check out this pineapple Dole whip copycat, healthy chocolate ice cream, or coconut mango ice cream!

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

This vegan vanilla ice cream was so good we devoured it at 10:30 PM last Saturday after getting home from watching fireworks. I have been meaning to make coconut ice cream in simple vanilla flavour for a while and started experimenting on Friday night. It was trial and error big time. Thank goodness I stocked up on 10 cans of my favourite coconut milk that was on a sale (2 for $5). Kids were so anxious to try it that they even skipped an ice cream shop before the fireworks. I promised we will have some when we get home. Money and “a slice” of health saved.

Whenever the warm months roll around I love getting in the kitchen to whip up frozen and no-bake treats. This includes homemade healthy frappuccino’s and iced coffee, too (I’m a mum – I need all the energy help I can get!)

I’ve already made several no-bake treats too like no-bake black bean brownies, strawberry cheesecake, Nutella pie, peanut butter pie, and key lime pie bars!

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

This coconut ice cream turned out SO good! And so much healthier than a store-bought one. Think healthy fats from coconut milk versus cholesterol from heavy cream and eggs. Pure maple syrup full of 54 antioxidants, manganese and zinc in place of refined GMO sugar. And vanilla. That is it. 3 ingredients ice cream.

Coconut milk is so creamy that it’s a perfect addition to desserts too, like this no-bake Nutella pie or healthy key lime pie bars!

can of coconut milk

Since I am on a dairy free experiment I can’t even if I want to have regular ice cream. My face will explode with acne. Ice cream and wine are my favourite treats and honestly I have quite a lot of fun making ice cream in summer – most recently I even made some homemade fruit popsicles (which the kids LOVE!). Makes me feel super fuzzy inside knowing my kids do not eat any non-sense and it tastes amazing.

Let’s go through a bit of homemade vegan vanilla ice cream science. I learnt a few tricks the hard way last weekend.

First, you start with full fat coconut milk. I used Compliments brand (Sobeys, IGA and Thrifty Foods generic brand). Thai Kitchen and Trader Joe’s coconut cream work very well too. Do not try to use Asian brands with additives or low fat coconut milk. Won’t work.

vanilla beans

You can use pure vanilla extract or vanilla beans. I tried both and both were good. For vanilla extract I recommend good quality pure one. I have Costco’s vanilla extract and I taste more alcohol than vanilla. When I tried pure one – it is day and night.

Vanilla beans are expensive and are not necessary. I have got some as a sample and decided would be super cool to have those black dots (vanilla bean seeds) in photos. Now I am thinking to invest into vanilla bean powder. Especially when also making treats like healthy vanilla cupcakes!

Ingredients for Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream in blender

Blend it all. Food processor works too. Haven’t tried to whisk manually so can’t tell. Another trick I learnt – mixture should be sweeter than final result. Somehow and I am not a scientist, ice cream tastes less sweet than mixture. Don’t ask – just do it.

Then important step – you have to chill the mixture. Learnt that hard way. It was a hot day plus warm mixture even in a frozen ice cream bowl – ice cream just wouldn’t freeze. No way. So, I recommend to chill the mixture overnight or at least for a day. If placing ice cream bowl in a freezer the night before, make the vegan vanilla ice cream mixture at same time and refrigerate overnight. Done. Simple just a bit of planning ahead.

box of organic sugar ice cream cones

I finally gave in and bought these cones. $6 for 12 but we don’t eat ice cream often. They are delicious sugar cones without any chemicals. Still cheaper than an ice cream cone at an ice cream shop at $4 each on average. I feel good giving these to kids.

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Now, pour chilled mixture into frozen ice cream bowl and turn machine on. I have a cheap ice cream maker from Superstore, similar to this one. I suspect it takes longer to churn than a brand one like Cuisinart. I mean I paid $25 for mine and whatever. If it breaks I will buy Cuisinart.

So, churning time varies from 20-60 minutes but please note your ice cream doesn’t have to be ready serve frozen consistency. It should be more of a soft serve. Thicker than mine in a photo above because I was still experimenting. I refrigerated maple syrup and coconut milk overnight thinking to skip chilling mixture but that wasn’t great. So, chill your mixture for sure.

close-up of vanilla ice cream

Then all you have to do is place churned vanilla ice cream into a freezer for about an hour. At this point you can start get everyone excited.

Also please note you need an ice cream machine to make this vegan vanilla ice cream! No shortcuts. Otherwise it will be a solid rock. Coconut milk crystallizes during churning creating air in ice cream thus making it soft.

scoop of Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Pillowy soft, creamy and delicious! This was so good! I was amazed once again how simple things can be the most delicious. And no condensed milk, sugar or heavy cream. I love using maple syrup but you can try honey, especially the light one with a mild taste.

Recently I’ve also been enjoying making homemade Instant Pot yogurt (like this strawberry yogurt), too – it’s a delicious treat to serve up with lots of fruit on warmer evenings. I’ll even have it instead of ice-cream sometimes!

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream in cones

More Healthy Dessert Recipes

You can also browse through my entire collection of healthy dessert recipes for more inspiration!

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Vegan vanilla ice cream is easy healthy coconut ice cream recipe made with coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
4.85 from 13 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Desssert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 284kcal
Author: Olena Osipov



  • Place bowl of an ice cream maker in a freezer the night before. It is and important step!
  • Also the night before, in a blender or food processor, add coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. If using vanilla beans, lay them on a cutting board, cut in the middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife. Add to the blender and process until well combined. Place mixture in a fridge to chill overnight. This is important step otherwise your ice cream won’t crystallize, especially if it is hot outside.
  • The next day, pour ice cream mixture into frozen ice cream bowl, place lid on top and turn it on to start churning. Depending on your ice cream machine it may take 20-60 minutes to bring ice cream to a soft serve consistency. It won’t fully freeze.
  • Transfer soft serve ice cream into any container with a lid and freeze for another hour or so. To serve, let thaw for 5-10 minutes.

Store: Freeze in a glass airtight container for up to a few months.


    • *I highly recommend to use Thai Kitchen, Compliments or Trader Joe’s full fat coconut milk as it produces creamy and smooth ice cream thanks to a guar gum. It is available organic and regular.
    • I have tried other brands with less favourable results. Coconut cream from Trader Joe's is good too.
    • **I prefer maple syrup for making ice cream and haven’t tried this vanilla ice cream with honey. It will work but taste will depend on the type of honey you use. Light colour honey is usually mild tasting vs. dark with more prominent honey taste.


    Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3mg
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    41 comments on “Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

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    1. Hi I am going to try the ice crem,. but you didn’t say to pour off the water ou of the can, so I don’t know what to do. so I decided to use the whole can alone with the water and add some Guar Gum with it,So the nexttime I make it, shoud I pour off the water and just use the coconut milk? I put it in the fredge over night.
      Please let me know and is it okay to use the guar gum?

    2. 4 stars
      It was good, don’t get me wrong, but still very coconuty. Is there anything that can be done to increase the creaminess of the ice cream? It was still very watery and I used the instructions to a T, including the same brand of coconut milk. It wasn’t as mind blowing as some suggested below…

      1. I think it comes down to everyone’s personal taste buds. We are using 2 cans of coconut milk so it will be coconut-y. Using high speed blender helps with creaminess. Plant-based ice cream does not taste the same as heavy cream one, never will.

    3. 5 stars
      This ice cream is PERFECT! I made it in my ice cream maker and froze the leftovers. One of the best things is it doesn’t turn into a rock in the freezer. It’s the perfect consistency. I’ll be adding cookie dough or chocolate chunks or fruit as mix-ins for future batches. This is definitely a repeat recipe and would be divine on a piece of warm apple pie.

    4. 5 stars
      This recipe sounds awesome. I can hardly wait to make it. I have made pumpkin ice cream Vegan and wish to make vanilla. I’ll caver with fresh red raspberries. My favorite dish before I became allergic to beef and dairy products thank you

    5. 5 stars
      Hi Olena,

      I hope you’re doing well! Wanted to let you know that I love this recipe and would like to thank you for providing a great Vegan alternative Ice Cream recipe. It’s delicious! : )

    6. Hi Olena

      Does this recipe need to two cans of canned coconut milk? Thanks for this recipe by the way, can’t wait to try it out 🙂

    7. 4 stars
      I’m a sugar junkie too, also Type 1 diabetic. I never thought anything vegan may be any good being that I’m also a natural protein junkie as well. my wife gets vanilla from Ensenada, its the real thing.

    8. 5 stars
      My husband has diverticulitis and can’t have dairy or sugar, which is real hard since he is a sugar junky. He thought this was real good. Will definitely make this again!!

    9. Well I have had my mixture in the ice cream maker for an hour and it still is like water the taste is great but not doing anything more than when I put it in and I followed the directions to the T.

      1. Usually it happens when your ice cream maker bowl isn’t frozen enough or too hot in the house. It would be an appliance issue. Did you freeze the bowl long enough ?

    10. 5 stars
      So easy and delicious! Very creamy and rich. For my second helping, I mixed it some shredded, unsweetened coconut just for extra coconut goodness. I may even try adding slivered almonds tomorrow. I know I will make this again and again….all summer long!

        1. Bees are animals and insects….
          bees are both insects and animals. In fact, all insects are animals, and pretty much anything that’s not a plant, fungus, bacterium, virus, or protist is an animal too. ..

    11. Can this also be no-churn? I don’t have an ice cream maker, and this is the only recipe I found without sweetened condensed milk.

    12. This looks amazing! I actually have the Cuisinart ice cream mixer, that I won lol. I’ve been eating healthier over the past year so it’s been sorely neglected. Well not anymore! I’ll be making this ice cream this weekend. Thank you for another fabulous recipe!

      1. Awe, thank you. Means a lot you stopped by and made me feel this way for the weekend. 😛 I, on the contrary, think ate too much of it last weekend while testing. Was just scooping for kids and licked the scoop and am like “I am OK for now. Is it wine o’clock yet?!”lol. Have a great weekend!

    13. Wow this looks so good! I still haven’t bought myself an ice cream maker! I looked around last year, but, I couldn’t find the one you talked about and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I have to make it a priority for this summe 🙂 especially since you keep posting these yummy looking recipes!

      1. You should look now at the beginning of the season. It is a seasonal item at Superstore. I am hooked on making ice cream. 😛 I love ice cream!

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