Cashew Ice Cream – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

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Video Cashew ice cream recipe

The creamiest Cashew Ice Cream made without any dairy or refined sugars! You won’t believe how deliciously indulgent and sweet this ice cream tastes with such great ingredients — plus only three required ingredients and no ice cream maker needed!

Try some of our other favorite healthy ice cream recipes — this Blueberry Ice Cream or Chocolate Healthy Ice Cream.

Cashew Ice Cream in a bowl

Is Cashew Ice Cream Good?

I get it — no dairy and no refined sugars…can this actually taste good?! I’m here to tell you: a resounding yes! It is luxuriously creamy and deeply flavorful with amazing richness and subtle notes of vanilla.

When I gave this ice cream to some friends to try out, they didn’t even know it was made with nutritious ingredients, let alone vegan and dairy-free! Truly, if you love cashews and coconut, you are going to be obsessed with this Cashew Ice Cream recipe.

My husband will eat dairy-filled ice cream occasionally but it never sits well with him. So after trying just about every vegan cashew ice cream (and paying a pretty penny for it), I thought, why not make my own! And we think this is the best Cashew Ice Cream — so much better than store bought! So instead of looking up where to buy cashew milk ice cream, give this homemade version a try!

Process shots: soften cashews in boiling water; add coconut milk and nuts to the blender.

What Is Cashew Ice Cream Made Of?

This recipe contains three integral ingredients and two optional flavor enhancers. Let’s break it all down:

  • Cashews are the base of this ice cream — not only do they add flavor, but they’re also integral to thickening the ice cream. Use whole cashews without added ingredients.
  • Coconut cream is what we prefer to use in this recipe, but coconut milk will also work. See “quick tip” box below for more information.
  • Pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener (unlike corn syrup or pancake syrup) made from the sap of a maple tree which gets boiled down to a thicker consistency. Maple syrup is just one ingredient and all natural — the perfect way to sweeten this Cashew Ice Cream recipe!
  • (Optional) Fine sea salt helps intensify flavors and balance all the ingredients nicely.
  • (Optional) Vanilla extract adds a nice flavor complexity.

Process shots: Add maple syrup, vanilla and salt to the blender; blend until smooth; pour into ice cube trays

How To Make Cashew Ice Cream

  • Soften the cashews. To ensure the cashews will blend smoothly, we need to soften them first. You can do this one of three ways: soak overnight, cover in boiling water and soak, or boil in water.
  • Blend. Once the cashews are softened, add them to the blender along with the remaining ingredients. Give it a whirl and it’s time to freeze!
  • Freeze. You can chill this mixture and then add it to an ice cream maker to freeze per the maker’s instructions OR try my foolproof method using ice cube trays instead of an ice cream maker! Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Once solid, pop ’em out and put them back into the blender. Blend to the perfect ice cream consistency!

Process shots of cashew ice cream: Freeze mixture until solid; add frozen mixture to the blender; blend to a soft-serve consistency; scoop and serve

Tools Needed

  • Powerful blender OR food processor. (We use a Blend-tec®). It’s imperative the blender can handle the cashews without overheating. You’ll also need a lot of power to break down the ice cream “cubes” into smooth and creamy ice cream without making it watery.
  • Ice cream maker OR ice cube trays. Here’s the ice cream maker I use and love, but you can make Cashew Ice Cream without an ice cream maker by using ice cube trays. We freeze the mixture in the trays then blend those cubes into smooth and creamy ice cream!

Cashew Ice Cream FAQs

A bowl of Cashew Ice Cream

Leveling Up Cashew Ice Cream

  • Make a brownie ice cream sundae! Prepare a batch of our best-ever Healthy Brownies (or our sugar-laden Brownie Recipe!) and top it with a few scoops of ice cream and a generous scoop of Whipped Cream.
  • Make a salted caramel cashew ice cream recipe: (our favorite!) Add a drizzle of Caramel Sauce and sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes — delish! Or try our Healthy Caramel Sauce if you’re avoiding refined sugars.
  • Add some chocolate: We’re obsessed with this Hot Fudge Sauce and it would pair perfectly on this Cashew Ice Cream!
  • Make a cashew milkshake: Add in some milk and caramel sauce and blend to a thick milkshake consistency! (Use general quantities from this Strawberry Milkshake recipe.)

Recipe Source: Inspired and highly adapted from @katieclarimore’s TikTok page! Thanks, Katie for the idea!

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