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 4–6 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 *
- 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. Set aside to cool completely at room-temperature or in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to make the ice cream, drain and lightly rinse the cashews.
- 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.
- Place the ice cream base in the fridge for at least an hour, or until fully chilled through.
- 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 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.
- 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.
Keywords: vegan chocolate coffee ice cream, vegan coffee ice cream, espresso, mocha, chocolate chip, cashew, coconut milk