Vegan Chocolate-Coffee Ice Cream

A dreamy vegan chocolate coffee ice cream made with a combination of homemade cashew cream and coconut milk – along with lots of coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate. This chocolate swirled coffee ice cream is so thick, creamy, and super indulgent, that you’d never believe it’s completely plant based! Dairy free, oil free, gluten free.

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Dreamy vegan chocolate coffee ice cream

See that creamy, dreamy, chocolate-y ice cream up there? That would be 100% dairy free, frozen vegan bliss and my current obsession.

I’ve been a fan of coconut milk ice cream for a long time, but recently started experimenting with cashew-based ice cream. Soaked, raw cashews blend up to create an unbelievably, super smooth cream, with a neutral taste that’s prime for any number of flavorings, mimics dairy milk and is perfect for vegan sauces and desserts.

The combination of cashew cream and coconut milk (along with lots of coffee and dark chocolate) in this recipe results in a thick, creamy, indulgent vegan ice cream you’d never believe was dairy free.

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

But let me back up… This ice cream all started with a craving for affogato, the classic, “drunken” Italian dessert (warm espresso poured over ice cream for a luxuriously foolproof grown up sundae).

I’ve teamed up again with Nespresso, and have been recipe-testing some new coffee recipes this week – playing around with the single-serve VertuoLine coffee system – which quickly brews flavorful, crema-topped espresso and large-cup coffees at the touch of a button – and their newest large-cup offering: Caramelizio, a medium-intensity, lightly roasted Arabica bean coffee of Brazilian and Central American origins.

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I looove coffee. Hot coffee, iced coffee, coffee ice cream, and definitely coffee paired with chocolate… heck I add a dash of coffee or espresso powder to basically any chocolate dessert I ever make, to deepen and enhance the natural flavors. And I get lots of emails from readers asking if it’s really necessary. Yes, yes it is. Coffee and chocolate are best buds.

The subtle, sweet caramel and vanilla notes of the Caramelizio coffee begged to be paired with deep, dark chocolate of course, and I was inspired to make some homemade dark chocolate coffee ice cream with the fresh brew. All the flavors of affogato (plus chocolate) wrapped up in one creamy, decadent ice cream, that (bonus!) also happens to be vegan and gluten free.

AND, in honor of the one year anniversary of the VertuoLine system, and to celebrate the release of Caramelizio, Nespresso is offering a brand new, beautiful VertuoLine machine to one lucky reader. That means you!

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

The ingredients you’ll need to make vegan mocha ice cream

If you bake vegan recipes often (and if you’re also an unabashed chocolate lover), you likely have most if not all of the ingredients for this ice cream in your pantry right now. Here’s what you’ll need:

Find all the exact measurements and recipe instructions below.

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Tips for the best homemade vegan ice cream

  • Be sure that the ice cream machine canister is completely frozen. For me, that means turning the freezer down to the coldest setting, placing the bowl in the very back of the freezer, and freezing the bowl at least 24 hours before I plan to make ice cream. If you make ice cream often, and have freezer space, I find it convenient to simply store the canister in the freezer, so that it’s always ready to go.
  • Thoroughly chill the ice cream base and any mix-ins. I generally make sure to chill any ingredients in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and often overnight. You want the mixture(s) to be really, really cold when you begin churning.
  • Take the canister out of the freezer at the last minute, and begin churning as quickly as possible. This will ensure that the container doesn’t defrost, which could impede the ice cream setting up properly.
  • Add mix-in ingredients in the last couple of minutes of churning. I generally wait until the ice cream is basically set up before adding any caramels, nuts, chocolate etc., usually about 3-5 minutes before turning off the machine.
  • Don’t over-churn. Most ice cream machines take about 18-25 minutes to churn a batch of ice cream. Continuing to churn beyond the recommended time generally won’t make the ice cream any colder or firmer in texture, as the frozen canister will begin to thaw.
  • Freeze your ice cream after churning for a firmer texture. Straight out of the machine, freshly-churned ice cream will be soft – similar to the texture and consistency of soft-serve. Freezing the ice cream for an hour or two will create a firmer, more scoop-able texture.

If you make this vegan chocolate coffee ice cream, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Here are the details: Nespresso and I have teamed up to give away a VertuoLine coffee machine (a $299 value) so that one of you lovelies can join in on the homemade coffee fun!

To enter for a chance to win, just leave a comment below, mentioning your very favorite coffee drink (or dessert).  It’s that easy, and I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Please note: This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be randomly selected and all comments must be entered by Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 11:59pm (PST) to be considered. The giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to the giveaway winner: Robbin Z!

My absolute favorite coffee drink is iced coffee – I could drink it all day, every day.  If calories didn’t count, maybe a frappuccino. – Robbin Z.

And thank you to everyone who entered!!

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Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream

  • Author: Laura Bolton
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A dreamy vegan chocolate coffee ice cream made with a combination of homemade cashew cream and coconut milk – along with lots of coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate. This chocolate swirled coffee ice cream is so thick, creamy, and super indulgent, that you’d never believe it’s completely plant based! Dairy free, oil free, gluten free.


  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked for 46 hours or overnight
  • 1 (14oz) can full fat coconut milk
  • 8 oz (1 cup) coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 oz bittersweet chocolate (70-85% cacao), plus more for mixing
  • 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tsp arrowroot starch *


  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl, cover with water and soak for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
  2. Brew 8oz of strong coffee or espresso. Set aside to cool completely at room-temperature or in the fridge.
  3. When you’re ready to make the ice cream, drain and lightly rinse the cashews.
  4. Add the cashews, coffee, and the remaining ingredients to a high speed blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth, creamy, and completely combined.
  5. Place the ice cream base in the fridge for at least an hour, or until fully chilled through.
  6. Add to an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s directions, generally 18-25 minutes, until the ice cream has thickened and resembles soft serve.
  7. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container (I like to use these pint containers or a 5×9-inch loaf pan). If your container does not have a tightly-fitting lid, press a piece of parchment paper against the surface. Freeze until set, about 4 hours.
  8. Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Homemade ice cream is best the day of, but will keep frozen for up to a week. Enjoy!!


If you don’t have a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix), it’s best to soak the cashews for longer (overnight if possible), to achieve a super smooth and creamy result.

For chocolate chip coffee ice cream, add an extra 2oz of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate during the last couple of minutes of churning.

High quality chocolate bars will list a cacao percentage on the packaging. In this recipe, you’ll want to find a dark chocolate bar with 70-85% cacao. Additionally, high quality dark chocolate should only have a couple of ingredients: cocoa beans and/or cocoa butter, and sugar (and maybe ground vanilla beans/extract or sea salt). If possible, avoid chocolate with other fillers, chemicals and emulsifiers (such as soy lecithin).

I’m in the habit of adding arrowroot starch to all of my homemade ice creams, which binds with any water molecules naturally present, and helps to prevent the formation of ice crystals, creating a smoother, creamier texture for your ice cream. Just a few teaspoons of this natural, plant-based starch, and super hard, impossible to scoop, icy nightmares are a thing of the past

The arrowroot starch is entirely optional, but if you do not plan on eating the ice cream the day of, I recommend adding it. Tapioca starch or cornstarch can also be substituted if you can’t get your hands on arrowroot starch, which is always my first choice.

Recipe inspired by Minimalist Baker.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Freezing
  • Cuisine: American, Italian-inspired

Keywords: vegan chocolate coffee ice cream, vegan coffee ice cream, espresso, mocha, chocolate chip, cashew, coconut milk

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream! SO creamy and so delicious! | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

This post is in partnership with Nespresso. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!

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  1. 9.2.17
    Raphaëlle said:

    Thank you so much for this recipe ! We just tried it and it’s soooo delicious, just as if it were real cream in it !
    Thank you !!!
    Raph from France

  2. 7.18.17
    Jay said:

    Will the texture change if I don’t use coffee? I would prefer just a chocolate ice cream. Thanks.

    • 8.10.17
      Laura said:

      Hi Jay! Sorry I missed your question – you’ll just want to replace the coffee with more coconut milk (or another milk of your choice). The texture should still be just as thick and creamy thanks to the cashews/coconut milk. Hope you enjoy!

  3. 8.6.15
    abiebaby said:

    made some edits for a richer more adult version. my wife love amaretto. increased cocoa to 1 cup. increased maple to 3.5 oz. added 2 oz amaretto. the amaretto and maple were reduced together by 1/3. no granulated sugar. we make cold brew at home, so i used a cup at full strength and omitted the espresso powder.
    this is a very decadent smoothie/sauce right out of the blender. i would eat it melted and warm as easily as i would after spinning it.
    supermodel glace. mille grazie.

  4. 5.13.15

    Wow! You’re right, this ice cream does look dreamy. You have me wanting to run to the kitchen and bust out my ice cream maker right now. Pinned.

    • 5.13.15
      Laura said:

      Thanks so much, Jennie!

  5. 5.11.15

    most beautiful ice cream EVER and can’t believe this is vegan. . making this!!!!

    • 5.12.15
      Laura said:

      Thank you so much, Alice!!

  6. 4.26.15

    My favorite coffee is when my husband brews me a cup of hazelnut flavored coffee with just a little milk in the morning.

  7. 4.26.15
    valerie sobus said:

    my current dessert obsession is flourless almond butter chocolate chunk cookies! i also love throwing in a bit of espresso into my cookies. (well, ones that include chocolate anyway). your ice cream looks beautiful! and great tips too. i always PLAN on putting the ice cream from the machine into the freezer to firm up after i make it but it turns out i’m always too impatient and devour the soft serve consistency stuff :p

  8. 4.26.15
    Sheela said:

    Looks delicious! My favorite coffee dessert is banana chocolate chip espresso muffins from the Baked cookbook. The good thing is that you get a little bit of coffee taste, but I can still give them to my kids without giving them a caffeine rush.

  9. 4.26.15
    Anna said:

    frozen cappuccinos (especially the ones in Costa Rica!)

  10. 4.26.15
    Amee said:

    Would love to make hazelnut mocha chip vegan ice cream- yum!

  11. 4.25.15
    Rena said:

    Blended ice coffee or salted caramel mocha 😉

  12. 4.25.15
    Christy said:

    Since chocolate is one of my basic food groups and coffee my preferred beverage, I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it. In the meantime one of my favorite choco/coffee desserts is a super yummy vegan mocha cake I make for special people. It is very labor intensive but worth every bite!

  13. 4.25.15

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. My favorite coffee drink is a Turkish coffee a dear friend of mine makes for me. It’s very thick and the flavor is off the hook. She used to look in the bottom of the cup at the grounds and read our fortunes. It was not serious but it was a lot of fun.

  14. 4.25.15
    Christyne said:

    I’m still a rookie coffee drinker, so I only drink mochas with coconut milk. Very yummy 🙂

  15. 4.25.15

    I LOVE coffee and this frozen delight looks amazing. I am planning on making this soon. Thank you for sharing!

  16. 4.25.15
    Kim Henrichs said:

    That looks amazing!!! My favorite coffee drink is iced espresso with a shot of milk!

  17. 4.25.15
    chickie brewer said:

    Looks so delicious!…And favorite dessert right now is chocolate ice cream with raspberry topping.

  18. 4.24.15
    paula s said:

    Lattes yum

  19. 4.24.15
    Gina Guthrie said:


  20. 4.24.15
    Rebecca P. said:

    now this is something i’ll make for sure! i usually like any kind of nut breads like banana nut, date nut. easy to make and freeze one for later 🙂

  21. 4.24.15
    Kimberly M. said:

    My very favorite dessert is white cake with white coconut icing. Oh now I’m hungry for a piece.

  22. 4.24.15
    Tyneisha said:

    My favorite dessert is a chocolate fudge sundae!

  23. 4.24.15
    Jennifer Waters said:

    I can’t wait to make this for my daughter. She is allergic to dairy, but loves all things chocolate. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!

  24. 4.24.15
    manda said:

    Green tea latte

  25. 4.23.15
    Laura said:


  26. 4.23.15
    Lauren said:

    I like lattes.

  27. 4.23.15

    I can’t wait to try the cashew milk as a dairy substitute! Tiramisu all the way!

  28. 4.23.15
    Emily said:

    I love a flat white or tiramisu!

  29. 4.23.15
    Azu said:

    This ice cream looks so good! I have made cashew ice cream and love the consistency, I used almond milk because I’m not a big fan of coconut. I will defintily try this combo.

  30. 4.23.15

    Coffee ice cream with marshmallows! It’s so good!

  31. 4.23.15
    Sue said:

    My favorite coffee drink would be a mocha latte. If dark chocolate, even better 🙂

  32. 4.22.15
    Carol Reski said:

    Iced Americano with a little 1/2 & 1/2
    Just a simple pleasure!

  33. 4.22.15

    almond milk lattes!

  34. 4.22.15
    Clara said:

    i Iove lattes, they just warm the soul:)

  35. 4.22.15
    Alexandra robertson said:

    Coffee and ice cream is just a pairing i love! My favorite coffee drink is cold brew coffee with a splash of cashew milk and stevia!

  36. 4.22.15
    Charlotte said:

    Without a doubt, homemade chocolate mousse from my French mom. 🙂

  37. 4.22.15
    Sarah P. said:

    I NEED to make this ice cream… it looks amazing! My favorite coffee dessert is chocolate-espresso pôt de creme!

  38. 4.22.15
    itzia said:


  39. 4.22.15
    myrna sossner said:

    COFFEE! A cup of it with just a drop of cream – just enough to change the color – with mocha ice cream of the side… that makes me happy!

  40. 4.22.15
    Maggie said:

    Salted Caramel Mocha all the way! And I may have just ordered an ice cream maker for myself for Mother’s Day:) Now all I need is the Nespresso machine. Can’t wait to try this one!

  41. 4.21.15
    Andrea Hidalgo said:

    My favorite coffee dessert is probably tiramisu, and drink has to be a caramel frappe. I’m not sure how much coffee is in that, though.

  42. 4.21.15
    linda said:

    this recipe combines all my favorite flavors1

  43. 4.21.15
    abbi page said:

    I love orange mochas with soymilk!

  44. 4.21.15
    Nancy nicholls said:

    Coffee cream panna cotta was served on my last visit to a favourite restaurant but it wasn’t vegan, now you have me inspired to try with coconut milk, sounds like a nice combination!

  45. 4.21.15
    Danielle said:

    When I want to be indulgent I drink a salted caramel lattee; when I just need the caffeine, I usually opt for an iced americano.

  46. 4.21.15
    Carmen Carlton said:

    Tiramisu…yum! But really anything dark chocolate with a great big mug of coffee.

  47. 4.21.15
    Dorothea said:

    My very favorite coffee dessert has to be affogato – so yummy and satisfying on several levels!

  48. 4.21.15

    Chocolate AND coffee? Count me in friend! I am so ready to dig into this with a spoon!

  49. 4.21.15
    Krista said:

    I love coffee desserts of all kinds, and a cappuccino is my favorite coffee drink!

  50. 4.21.15
    Abby said:

    That Nespresso machine looks amazing! My favorite coffee drink would be a frozen cappucino.

  51. 4.21.15
    Marlena said:

    I love non-dairy affogatos – yum! And a simple cup of black coffee is as good as it gets.

    • 4.21.15
      BeckyCauwels said:

      amaretto cappuccino for breakfast and espresso in the afternoon. There is no better coffee maker that the Nespresso.

  52. 4.21.15
    Alison H. said:

    My favorite coffee drink is soy vanilla latte & my favorite dessert is tiramisu! Yummy!

  53. 4.21.15
    Robbin Z. said:

    My absolute favorite coffee drink is iced coffee – I could drink it all day, every day. If calories didn’t count, maybe a frappuccino.

  54. 4.21.15
    Sue Wang said:

    One of my favorite treats is Coffee with Kahlua topped with homemade whipped cream.

  55. 4.21.15

    …and, by the way, that Virtuoline machine produces killer crema on top of the coffee. Would love to own one of those! Am I doubling my chances by commenting twice? Doesn’t matter, had to add that.

  56. 4.21.15

    Tiramisu is one of my all-time favorite desserts. Ridiculously enough, my husband doesn’t like it, so I hardly make it any more. But this summer I am going to make one when he goes on his fishing trip and I will have 5 days to finish it off by myself!

  57. 4.21.15
    Lynn said:

    Tiramisu is a luscious coffee desert. Still remember the first one I ever had, and coffee ice cream is wonderful, or just stir a little chocolate ice cream in your coffee for a special treat.

  58. 4.21.15
    Sharon said:

    Fresh brewed light roast.

  59. 4.21.15
    Marcia said:

    Yesterday I made a wildly chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday using her family recipe. I was drinking a Nespresso espresso as I started making it then decided that what the recipe needed to kick it up a notch was hazelnut espresso. What a wonderful addition that turned out to be! Affagato is one of my go to desserts and your recipe is inspired as is your food blog.

  60. 4.21.15
    Beth said:

    My current (and enduring) favorite is the Birchwood Cafe blend from Peace Coffee, our gifted local roaster, freshly ground and brewed stovetop in my little moka pot, stirred together with a spoonful of coconut cream and flavored with a sprinkling of ground cardamom and grated cinnamon. Heavenly. I would LOVE to try this with a cup of Nespresso instead! Thank you for hosting this giveaway. 🙂

  61. 4.21.15
    Pete Mathis said:

    Jamaican coffee!

  62. 4.21.15
    Meagan Denman said:

    After going to Hawaii for the first time our normal go-to coffee will never top freshly brewed Kona coffee right from the source. Kona coffee is like a dessert!

  63. 4.21.15

    Any coffee drink I will take! But iced lattes are my go to!

  64. 4.21.15
    Rachel said:

    Cookies! Chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven with coffee ice cream

  65. 4.21.15
    Marianne Zorich said:

    Coffee,Macadamia, chocolate chunk ice cream! 🙂

  66. 4.21.15
    Lacie said:

    There is a chocolate pie that my great grandmother used to make that is probably my favorite chocolate/coffee combo. It’s a basic chocolate mousse with a couple tablespoons of coffee in a meringue crust, but it’s delicious. And it’s allegedly a family recipe, so that always seems to add to the deliciousness somehow.

  67. 4.21.15
    Shari said:

    Anything chocolate is my favorite dessert! I am a certified chocoholic (I have the mug to prove it!). I also love coffee….so this seems really interesting to me and I will try this recipe!


  68. 4.21.15
    Alyssa Renee Rodriguez said:

    Coffee gelatoooooo!! 🙂

  69. 4.21.15
    Mary Ann Harville said:

    Easy! Chocolate! Why settle for anything else. Mocha espresso, frappuccino, ….

  70. 4.21.15
    Julie said:

    An expresso drink? – Latte. Otherwise love me a host dark roast.
    Thanks for the recipe. We are fans of coffee ice cream.

  71. 4.21.15
    grace said:

    i used to hate coffee-flavored desserts, then i had a slice of espresso cheesecake and all that hate flew right out the window. 🙂

  72. 4.21.15
    julianne c. said:

    call me boring, but i enjoy a plain ol’ latte or flat white. thanks for the giveaway!

  73. 4.21.15
    Elaine DeBitetto said:

    Coffee Ice Cream Pie w/ Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafter Cookie Crust accompanied by freshly brewed coffee with light cream/no sugar. (drool)

  74. 4.21.15
    Jessica Roberts said:

    I love a warm gooey brownie with a cappuccino. Your recipe looks delicious!

  75. 4.21.15
    Andrea E. said:

    I am so hungry for ice cream now – and it’s only 6:23 am! Thanks for
    the fun giveaway! 🙂

  76. 4.20.15
    Sarah R said:


  77. 4.20.15
    Juliana said:

    Cafe au lait!

  78. 4.20.15
    anna parker said:

    I love mocha gelato.

  79. 4.20.15
    Joan said:

    This looks so delicious! For coffee, I love lattes with just about any sort of flavoring, from traditional vanilla to caramel, almond roca or white chocolate.

  80. 4.20.15
    Tammy Moro said:

    I love espresso and cappuccinos.

  81. 4.20.15
    Krystn said:

    i love all thing chocolate, and all things coffee.
    Recently I had my first affogato. It is bar none, my new all time favorite!
    Cannot wait to try the above affogato inspired ice cream!

  82. 4.20.15
    christina said:

    I love soy vanilla lattes!

  83. 4.20.15
    cori said:

    Love coffee or an Americano black.

  84. 4.20.15
    Karen said:

    This looks divine! I love coffee any which way but an iced latte is probably my favorite.

  85. 4.20.15
    Laura said:

    Yum! Coffee and chocolate BFF for sure. A hot mocha is my ultimate coffee treat – and I’d love to be able to make one at home!

  86. 4.20.15
    Candace said:

    Beautiful! My favorite chocolate cake calls for coffee. Friends, indeed.

  87. 4.20.15
    Steph said:

    This looks amazing! I love any espresso based drink but oddly enough don’t drink espresso on its own.

  88. 4.20.15
    Jane Bolton said:

    Sounds like a yummy ice cream. My favorite coffee is white chocolate mocha. That is my favorite hot coffee

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021.