Really good vegan ice cream can be hard to find. Apparently.
I didn’t think this was so, but then I’m not the most fussy sort when it comes to ice cream. I’m one of those who thinks frozen bananas processed in the food processor until creamy is super delish.
And when I found some rice milk ice cream at the organic store I was delighted and thought it was fab, that is, until my sister had some and declared it tasted like sorbet. And she didn’t mean this in a complimentary way.
So I set out to make a vegan ice cream that didn’t taste like sorbet! And so the experiment began!
The first batch I made I just blended the ingredients together, and then churned them up in the ice cream maker.
Hmmm. Not bad, but the texture just wasn’t right.
And my inquiring mind was wondering – should I heat the mix up first? If so WHY? Why do some recipes heat up the ingredients first?
So I researched online and came across a great article explaining the WHY’S of it all. WHY you should heat up the ingredients first (you want to homogenize the fats so they don’t create a grainy texture). And WHY so many vegan ice creams can end up tasting like sorbet (they use plant milks that are not fatty enough – rice milk or soy milks just don’t have enough fat).
So using a mix of coconut milk (full fat version) and coconut cream is the best solution.
So I tried again – and this time I also used some coconut oil in the batch. This was pretty good but there was a slight fatty aftertaste that I didn’t love.
So I tried it again – without any coconut oil, and bingo – nailed it.
Making this ice cream is really straightforward. You heat your ingredients to a simmer, and then blend for 30 seconds, this removes all graininess from your mix. Then you let the mixture cool down (ideally overnight in the refrigerator, but in a push you can cool it for a couple of hours in the freezer), then churn it in the ice cream maker until it reaches soft serve consistency, then allow it to set firmly in the freezer.
This vanilla coconut ice cream is smooth, rich, melt-in-the-mouth creaminess and has a perfect ice cream mouthfeel. You will not be calling this a sorbet that’s for sure!
And what I love is that you can take this basic recipe and flavor it all different kinds of ways. Instead of adding vanilla flavor you could add cocoa for chocolate flavor, you can add nuts or chocolate chips or anything you like!
I decided to go with Golden Oreos for sprinkles, as they’re basically vanilla flavored, so it works well to pair these together.
This ice cream is most delicious eaten fresh, within a few days, though of course it keeps in the freezer – it’s ice cream after all!
We’d love you to leave a comment and let us know what you think of this gorgeous vanilla coconut ice cream! Rate it and let us know how it went when you make it! Tag a photo #lovingitvegan on instagram too if you like, so we can see it! And of course – share it far and wide with anyone who may love a good vegan vanilla coconut ice cream recipe!
- 1 14oz Can Coconut Milk
- 1 14oz Can Coconut Cream
- ½ cup (100g) Sugar
- ¼ cup Golden Syrup or any other light colored syrup
- ½ tsp Vanilla Powder
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Golden Oreo Cookies
- The day before, place the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker into the freezer to freeze properly.
- Next, place all the ingredients (except for the vanilla) into a pot and bring to a simmer - stirring all the while.
- As soon as it reaches a simmer, remove from heat, add the vanilla extract and vanilla powder and using an immersion (handheld) blender, blend for 30 seconds. You can also transfer to a blender jug and blend it in that - just ensure the lid is on very firmly.
- Pour the mixture into a container, cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and churn as per the ice cream makers instructions. Can be 20-40 minutes.
- When it reaches soft serve consistency, move to a loaf pan or other freezer safe container, smooth down with a spoon, cover and place into the freezer for a few hours to set.
- When you're ready to serve, place Oreo cookies into the food processor (around 2 cookies per person) and process into a fine crumble.
- Sprinkle this over the ice cream and top with half a cookie.
- Will keep in the freezer but best when fresh. Scoop with a hot scoop (dipped in hot water) to allow for easier serving.
*Nutrition estimate is for a ½ cup serving without Oreo sprinkles.
*Prep time does not include chilling the mixture or time spent setting in the freezer.