Killer Chocolate Ice Cream. Made without dairy. Seriously.

September 13, 2013

OneHungryMama vegan chocolate coconut milk ice cream

It’s a little strange to be sharing an ice cream recipe now. (Well, not if you match your eats to the weather: holy summer heat!). I’ve been working on this recipe for a while now and it’s finally ready to share. I won’t let the fact that school has started or, the surest sign that fall is here, that I’m on the hunt for knee-high boots stop me.

When you look at the recipe, you might be surprised to hear that I’ve been developing it for so long. There’s not much to it, which is what I thought was the problem. It was never quite right, so I kept adding things. Peanut butter. Banana. Peanut butter and banana. Oreos. Peanut butter, banana and Oreos.

You know I’m pulling out the big guns when I grab Oreos. But even they weren’t the answer. (There’s a first time for everything.)

I wanted to post an OMG non-dairy chocolate ice cream, not just a really good one, so I gave up. Til next summer, I thought, until last weekend’s trip to local ice cream parlor, Van Leeuwen. We ordered vegan chocolate ice cream. It was killer.


I got home and pulled out the ice cream maker, September be damned. I also pulled out coconut milk, cocoa powder, sugar and—something new this time—chocolate chips.

See, the vegan ice cream at Van Leeuwen was simple and rich and showed me that I had been way too focused on add ins. Instead, I needed to intensify my chocolate base. And what better way to do that than by adding real, melted chocolate.

If you’re a crazy chocolate fanatic and not concerned with making this dairy-free or vegan, use your favorite splurge chocolate in this recipe. You don’t need much and it will make this ice cream fantastically delicious. High-quality chocolate chips work for me. I admit that I’m a milk chocolate person, but use dark if that’s generally your preference.

Also, I warn you that this is more the consistency of gelato or even a semifreddo if you try it before an overnight freeze. It’s soft and melts pretty fast. There are ways to adjust that, but it would make the recipe more complicated. Not much, but still: this is so easy and so tasty without calling for any unusual ingredients. I have no plans to mess with it.

Okay, that’s not true. I will try to make this thicker, heartier. I’ll cook the coconut milk. I’ll add arrowroot or something like it to create a custard consistency that will freeze more solid. But not now. Probably not until next summer. For now, this is OMG chocolate flavor that yields from 5 minutes of prep and requires nothing that comes from a cow. And, that, I had to share.

Non-Dairy Chocolate Ice Cream
(can be shared with kids 12+ mos)*
Makes about a pint of ice cream

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life (you can substitute your favorite dairy-full chips)
1 15-ounce can coconut milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar (use vegan sugar if you want to make this vegan)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Place chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or in a microwave safe bowl and, either on the stove top or in the microwave, melt the chips. (If using the microwave, heat the chips in short intervals, 20-30 seconds, and stir in between to see how much further they need to go.) Stir melted chips with a spoon until smooth. Set aside.

2. Add coconut milk, sugar and cocoa powder to a blender and blend until thoroughly mixed. Add melted chocolate and mix again.

3. Add coconut milk mixture to the chilled bowl of an ice cream maker and churn for at least 30 minutes or until the liquid has turned into a soft frozen solid. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-proof container and freeze until solid, overnight or at least 4 hours, before serving.

*Note: While there is nothing in this that is unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend this beginning at 12 months due to the high sugar content. No matter how old your eaters, be sure to serve age appropriate portions. Just a little of this sweet treat goes a long way with little ones.

14 Responses

  1. Ashley says:

    Sounds yummy. Does it taste like coconut at all or does the chocolate cover that up? Cause chocolate coconut ice cream also sounds delicious

  2. One Hungry Mama says:

    I can definitely detect coconut in the background, but it’s not strong. I wouldn’t call this coconut flavored. That said, there’s a hint, which I think makes this even more delicious! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  3. Myra says:

    Very yummy and very easy and fast. My 10, 9 and 4 year olds gobbled it up. I sprinkled shredded coconut on mine. All that’s missing is some chopped roasted almonds!! Thank you for the great recipe.

  4. One Hungry Mama says:

    @Myra, so glad that you like this recipe as much as I do. Chopped roasted almonds and shredded coconut on top does sound PERFECT! 🙂

  5. Soshanna says:

    This absolutely hit the spot! I added macadamia nut butter and it gave it an extra depth without detracting from the deliciously rich chocolate flavour!

  6. Molly says:

    I love this recipe. That said, I have had inconsistent results using coconut milk. I am using the full fat stuff. I shake the can REALLY well before opening. I let the can be in room temp (70 degrees F) for at least a week before using (because it always separates in the garage pantry which is very cold in the winter). My problem is sometimes the coconut mile separates to form a fat layer and a water layer. This happens IN THE ICE CREAM maker. I always have it be a smooth uniform base when I add it to the ice cream maker. Any tips on how to keep it from separating? It completely ruins the ice cream. It happens about half the time. I can’t figure out what is different and why it only happens sometimes.

    PS, if you melt PB with honey & almond milk to make a thick sauce, you can add it in after the ice cream base is frozen in the ice cream maker but before you put it in the freezer. It makes a delicious peanut butter ribbon to create non dairy PB chocolate ice cream.

  7. One Hungry Mama says:

    That’s so strange, Molly! So, the milk blends with everything and you take a smooth liquid base out of the blender, right? Then, you add that to the ice cream maker and it separates as the blade goes around and around? I’ve never had that happen before and, to be honest, have no clue what’s going on. I just did a litter searching and can’t find anything that helps me make sense of it. The only guess I have is that maybe the changes in temperature from your garage, to the counter for days, and then into the cold bowl of the ice cream maker is causing some sort of reaction?? If you think this (totally random) hunch has legs, maybe store one can of milk straight from the market in your house at room temp the whole time. Then make the ice cream and see what happens? I wish I could be more help!!

    And PS, your PB idea sounds AMAZING. Totally going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Holy cow, thanks so much for posting this! It is gonna be so helpful when I buy Coconut Milk online! Magnificent!

  9. One Hungry Mama says:

    Let me know when you give it a try!

  10. Dorothy Jo says:

    Wow!!!! This is so wonderful. I think it might have to be a staple in my freezer! I’ve missed ice cream so much and have a hard time buying dairy free at the store because it costs so much and usually disappoints. This is totally worth making if you are reading the comments trying to decide if you should try this recipe.

  11. One Hungry Mama says:

    Dorothy Jo – so glad that you enjoy this as much as we do!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does the mixture have to be chilled before going into the ice cream maker since it may be warm from melting the chips?

  13. No, it doesn’t have to be chilled. Though it might help make a harder ice cream. Don’t count on it, but worth the shot if you have time. I actually like the super creamy texture (even though it melts quickly), so make this as is. Let me know how it comes out if you chill it first!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hey sorry it took me so long to report back. I did end up chilling the mixture for several hours before pouring it into the ice cream maker. Oh my gosh it was amazing!! perfect texture and absolute heavenly taste!!! thank you so much for the amazing recipe!! My other non-dairy ice cream usually turned out much thinner, still delicious but I kept looking for that perfect texture and this chocolate ice cream definitely fit that expectation! thanks again!

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