April 20, 2015

Vegan Chocolate-Coffee Ice Cream

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

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

Homemade Ice Cream Tips

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.

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!!


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

Vegan Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream (and a Giveaway!)

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon, Inspired by Minimalist Baker
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x



  • 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 (such as 1 Nespresso Caramelizio pod)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1.5 oz bittersweet chocolate (70-85% cacao), broken into rough pieces
  • 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
  • optional: 2 tsp arrowroot starch*


  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl, cover with water and soak for 4-6 hours, or overnight. Brew 8oz of strong coffee or espresso (such as 1 Nespresso Caramelizio pod). Let cool completely at room-temperature or in the fridge.
  2. When the coffee has cooled, drain the cashews, rinse lightly, and add to a high speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend on high (or use the “liquify” setting), for 2-3 minutes, until smooth, creamy, and completely combined.
  3. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, or until fully chilled. 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. Transfer 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.
  4. 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.


If you don’t have a high-speed blender, 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 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.


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!


Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. Making a purchase through one of these links pays me a small referral fee at no added cost to you. These tiny fees add up, and help keep the blog running. Thank you for supporting Fork Knife Swoon!

Make this recipe? Let us know what you think!

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  • Reply
    Double Chocolate Blended Iced Mocha - Fork Knife Swoon
    November 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    […] Vegan Chocolate-Coffee Ice Cream […]

  • Reply
    September 2, 2017 at 5:59 am

    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

  • Reply
    July 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm

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

    • Reply
      August 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    5 ways to use leftover coffee - Liberal Progressive Democrat News
    January 17, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    […] in-depth guideline to making dairy-based coffee ice creams of all types or this recipe for vegan cashew-based chocolate-coffee ice cream […]

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 5:54 am

    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.

  • Reply
    No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream | Well and Full
    July 4, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    […] I’ve been seeing all of these amazing ice cream recipes online (like this one and this one). But they all seemed to require one of the following […]

  • Reply
    Jennie @onesweetmess
    May 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks so much, Jennie!

  • Reply
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom
    May 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

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

    • Reply
      May 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you so much, Alice!!

  • Reply
    Lydia Plunk
    April 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

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

  • Reply
    valerie sobus
    April 26, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    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

  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 10:35 am

    frozen cappuccinos (especially the ones in Costa Rica!)

  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 4:24 am

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

  • Reply
    April 25, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Blended ice coffee or salted caramel mocha 😉

  • Reply
    April 25, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Etta Britt
    April 25, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    April 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm

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

  • Reply
    Alexandra Sperring
    April 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm

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

  • Reply
    Kim Henrichs
    April 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

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

  • Reply
    chickie brewer
    April 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm

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

  • Reply
    paula s
    April 24, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Lattes yum

  • Reply
    Gina Guthrie
    April 24, 2015 at 9:53 pm


  • Reply
    Rebecca P.
    April 24, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    Kimberly M.
    April 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 24, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    My favorite dessert is a chocolate fudge sundae!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Waters
    April 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    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!!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Green tea latte

  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm


  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    I like lattes.

  • Reply
    Andrea @ Plat du Jour
    April 23, 2015 at 1:33 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I love a flat white or tiramisu!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 8:56 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    April 23, 2015 at 4:40 am

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

  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 12:50 am

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

  • Reply
    Carol Reski
    April 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm

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

  • Reply
    Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming
    April 22, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    almond milk lattes!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    i Iove lattes, they just warm the soul:)

  • Reply
    Alexandra robertson
    April 22, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    April 22, 2015 at 10:21 am

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

  • Reply
    Sarah P.
    April 22, 2015 at 10:10 am

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

  • Reply
    April 22, 2015 at 8:51 am


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