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

Want even more dairy free flavors? Check out these healthy key lime pie bars, healthy homemade popsicles and no bake peanut butter pie.

Three scoops of vegan vanilla ice cream in sugar cones.

There’s nothing better than a refreshing scoop of cold, creamy, and rich ice cream on a hot day. When I’m sipping on a homemade healthy frappuccino or healthy iced coffee, my kids are busy enjoying a scoop!

Making homemade ice cream is one of life’s simple pleasures that doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. It is ridiculously easy to make from pure simple ingredients and is one of my favorite no bake treats to consume all summer long.

Enjoy a scoop on the side of a slice of healthy chocolate cake or my healthy zucchini brownies or a couple of scoops in a cone.

This 3 ingredient creamy vegan ice cream gives us all the joy while being cost effective and healthy! So, skip the store bought carton or drive through soft serve because this is even better!

There’s a beautiful balance of coconut and vanilla flavor, its texture is just like a regular soft serve ice cream thanks to the full-fat coconut milk, and it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

No refined sugars, condensed milk, or heavy cream here just like with healthy banana cream pie!

The fleck of vanilla bean throughout is an indication that there’s nothing artificial in this classic vegan vanilla ice cream. So enjoy a scoop or three!

What You’ll Need to Make Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Coconut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup.

All you need are the following 3 simple ingredients.

  • Coconut milk: You need the full fat coconut milk from a can, not a carton. I recommend the Thai Kitchen brand, Compliments, or Trader Joe’s because they contain guar gum. This is what gives it the smooth creamy consistency.
  • Maple syrup: If not strict vegan,, you could also use honey. Both deliver sweetness and antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Vanilla beans: There is a pure delicious warm flavor that comes from the vanilla bean, but they are expensive. You can also use pure vanilla extract if that’s what you have. There is a huge difference in flavor and quality when you use a good quality vanilla extract. You want one that doesn’t have a heavy alcohol flavor.

How to Make Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Whether you’re vegan, dairy free, or just want an easy vanilla ice cream from scratch, you’ll love this recipe.

First, you’ll start by placing the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer overnight. Think about the way you chill your bowl when you make whipped cream. Adding cold ingredients to a warm bowl won’t work, so this is a very important step!

Also, the night before, blend coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. To use the vanilla beans, lay them down flat on a cutting board. Slice them down the middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds by dragging them along the length with a pairing knife.

Ingredients for vegan vanilla ice cream in blender.

Do a little taste test and make sure your ice cream mixture is a little sweeter than you’d expect. I don’t know the science behind it, but once the ice cream has frozen, it’s less sweet than the original mixture. Weird, right?!

Chill this mixture overnight as well. Not in the bowl that’s chilling, keep that separate. Do not skip this step, otherwise, your ice cream won’t crystallize.

If you are feeling ultra decadent, add some healthy cookie dough made into ‘balls’ into the mixture before freezing. I also love serving this in the spring with almond flour lemon cookies, so light and refreshing!

The following day, once your mixture and your bowl are nice and chilled, pour the prepared mixture into the cold bowl, place the lid on the ice cream maker and set it to churn.

This may take as little as 20 minutes or as long as 60 minutes, depending on which model you have. It will get to a soft serve consistency and not a full solid freeze.

Vegan vanilla ice cream in bowl of ice cream maker.

Ice cream maker tip! I have a cheaper one, similar to this model. However, if you want something higher-end, go for the Cuisinart.

We’re almost there, but not quite done yet! Transfer the soft serve to a freezer friendly container with a lid.

Place it in the freezer for about an hour and then let it thaw for a few minutes before serving. Use a bowl or splurge with organic sugar cones and enjoy!


Can I use coconut cream vs. coconut milk?

You can. Again, it comes down to the brand and the quality. I have tried some with less favorable results, but the one from Trader Joe’s is great.

How can I thicken this vegan vanilla ice cream?

You can add additional guar gum to thicken it up. Guar gum can be found in your local grocery store, usually in the baking section. It’s got a lot of uses, in baking, making yogurts, sauces, dressings etc. So, don’t be afraid to buy a larger package!

Do I use the whole can of coconut milk including the liquid ‘watery’ part?

Yes, you use the whole can. It’s important to incorporate the liquid watery part as long as you’re including the cream on top for fat and richness too.

What If I Don’t Own An Ice Cream Maker?

You need a machine to make it! No shortcuts. Otherwise, it will be rock solid. Coconut milk crystallizes so the churning process creates the air needed to make the ice cream soft.

How to Store

Keep it in an airtight, freezer friendly glass container for a few months.

One week have it plain, another week serve it on the side of almond flour banana bread, then the week after that top it with a vegan healthy chocolate frosting and coconut whipped cream. The options are endless.

More Vegan Ice Cream Recipes

You may also like to try these other vegan treats! Dole whip recipe with frozen pineapple, coconut mango ice cream for a taste of the tropics, and classic healthy chocolate ice cream for a bit of chocolatey indulgence!

Recently I’ve also been enjoying making homemade Instant Pot yogurt and making this strawberry yogurt with it. It’s a delicious treat to serve up with a healthy fruit salad. I’ll even have it instead of ice cream sometimes!

More Healthy Dessert Recipes

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

Vegan vanilla ice cream in chocolate dipped sugar cone.
Three scoops of vegan vanilla ice cream in sugar cones.

Cream Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Deliciously creamy Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream is made with a coconut milk base and naturally sweetened for a delicious, dairy free treat!
4.87 from 15 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 284
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 20 minutes



  • Place bowl of ice cream maker in a freezer the night before. This is an important step!
  • Also the night before, in blender or food proccessor, 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.
  • Coconut milk: 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.
  • Coconut cream: I have tried other brands with less favorable results. Coconut cream from Trader Joe’s is good.
  • Sweetener: I prefer maple syrup for making ice cream. If not strictly vegan, you can use honey. Taste will depend on the type of honey you use. Light color 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 | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g
Course: Desssert
Cuisine: American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. Recipe does not show coconut cream, but it is listed later in ingredients. Should I use just coconut milk or add some coconut cream

    1. This recipe calls for coconut milk. You can use either. Please see recipe card at the bottom of post and notes in it for the cream. Enjoy!

  2. I am on an anti-inflammatory diet and cannot use sugar in any form and Stevia is the only sweetener that I can use. How much of this would be appropriate for this recipe,if at all.

    1. Hi, you would only be able to use liquid stevia, and I would start at 1/3 cup then taste and adjust based upon preference.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    1. Hi Joey! Please don’t be shy to leave a comment and let me know what you think of the recipe once you have made it!

  6. 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! : )

4.87 from 15 votes

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