Vegan Chunky Monkey Copycat Ice Cream – Liv Gluten-Free


This vegan chunky monkey ice cream is a copycat recipe of the classic Ben & Jerry’s flavour. Filled with fresh banana flavour and chunks of chocolate and walnuts, you would never guess that this delicious treat is gluten and dairy-free.

close up of an ice cream scoop scooping vegan chunky monkey ice cream

Chunky Monkey has been one of my mom’s favourite ice cream flavours for years. The Ben & Jerry’s classic is a banana flavoured ice cream filled with chunks of chocolate and walnuts, creating a rich and refreshing treat.

This Vegan Chunky Monkey Copycat Ice Cream is a gluten-free and dairy-free version of the classic flavour! Still filled with banana, chocolate, and walnuts, this homemade ice cream recipe allows you to control the flavours, and also whip it up whenever the craving strikes.

Want to learn how you can make this delicious gluten-free and vegan chunky monkey ice cream? Keep on reading!

Looking for more gluten-free desserts? Check these out:

  • Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Bread
  • Gluten-Free & Vegan No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Gluten-Free Butter Tarts
  • Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Tiramisu Jars

Jump to:

  • How do you make vegan ice cream?
  • Why You’ll Love This Recipe
  • Ingredients Needed
  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Freezing Instructions
  • Substitutions
  • Expert Tips
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Desserts You’ll Love
  • Recipe

How do you make vegan ice cream?

Homemade vegan ice cream is actually easier to make than you may think! This recipe contains a base made from coconut milk and soaked, blended cashews. The combination of these 2 fats makes a great base with a neutral flavour, without freezing too solid like several store bought options.

Also read: Gluten Free Vegan Ice Cream Recipe – with the #1 Flour & Mixes

Another special ingredient is xanthan gum. This is an emulsifier that is often used in gluten-free baking to mimic the effects of gluten. In this vegan ice cream recipe, xanthan gum prevents the formation of ice crystals, which helps the ice cream to churn smoothly, with an end result that is easily scoop-able and not too frozen when solid.

These 3 ingredients are the key to a good vegan ice cream base, and can be transformed into whatever flavour you dream of—in this case, a banana, chocolate, and walnut dream called Chunky Monkey.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Few ingredients for big flavour. You control the ingredients! Made with just a few pantry staples, this ice cream delivers a rich and creamy flavour.
  • Allergy friendly. Know exactly what’s in your ice cream with this recipe. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and even refined sugar-free.
  • Quick hands-on prep time. A lot of this recipe prep is spent soaking, churning, or chilling, leaving you time to do other things while awaiting your homemade ice cream.

Ingredients Needed

Here is everything you’ll need to make this gluten-free and vegan chunky monkey ice cream:

ingredients for vegan chunky monkey ice cream

This vegan chunky monkey ice cream comes together easily with a few pantry staples and little hands-on prep time. A few notes on the ingredients…

  • Full-fat coconut milk in the can: Make sure you use full fat coconut milk in the can! Not the stuff in the cartons. Chill the can in the fridge overnight so that the coconut cream (white part) solidifies and is easy to scoop out, as that’s all we’ll use for this recipe. Save the coconut water for a smoothie or discard.
  • Raw, unsalted cashews: Cashews add creaminess to the coconut milk base. Be sure to leave time to soak the cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes prior to prep, or even overnight. This will help them blend even creamier.
  • Ripe bananas: Fresh ripe bananas provide the banana flavour in this ice cream. They are also a great base texture for vegan ice cream. They do not need to be frozen, but you could use frozen bananas if needed.
  • Maple syrup: This liquid sweetener blends well with the mixture and also makes this recipe refined sugar-free.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds subtle flavour.
  • Xanthan gum: This ingredient might seem odd, but xanthan gum is an emulsifier often used in gluten-free baking. In this ice cream recipe, its purpose is to help the vegan ice cream from being too solid and “icy”. Coconut-based ice creams have a tendency to freeze very solid and be difficult to scoop, so a pinch of xanthan gum helps to emulsify the mixture and prevents the formation of ice crystals in the freezer.
  • Salt: To balance the sweetness.
  • Chocolate chips or chunks: Ensure they are dairy-free—I like to use dark or semisweet.
  • Chopped walnuts: You can use raw or slightly roasted.
scoops of vegan chunky monkey ice cream in a white ramekin

Step-by-Step Instructions

Be sure to read the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions.

Overnight Prep

(Prep) Ensure you’ve done any prep required to use your ice cream machine. This may include placing the churning bowl in the freezer the night before. Also place your can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before, and ensure the cashews have at least 30 minutes to soak, or even overnight as well.

  • can of chilled coconut milk
  • ice cream ingredients in a blender

Blending the Ingredients

Also read: Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream – JoyFoodSunshine

(1) Begin by removing the chilled coconut cream and adding it to the container of a blender. You only want the thick white cream. Discard the coconut water or save for a smoothie. Drain the soaking water from the cashews, rinse briefly, and add the cashews to the blender.

(2) Add the bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, xanthan gum, and salt to the blender. Blend on medium-high speed for at least 1-2 minutes until completely smooth.

(3) Place the blender container in the fridge while you set up the ice cream machine, but for no longer than 30 minutes.

  • blended ice cream base
  • vegan ice cream churning in an ice cream maker

Churning & Freezing

(4) Prepare your ice cream maker according to its instructions and begin churning. Remove the blender container from the fridge and use a rubber spatula to transfer the mixture to the ice cream machine. Ensure the machine is churning while you pour it in so that the ice cream does not immediately freeze to the bowl.

(5) Allow to churn for 45 minutes to an hour, until it is of soft serve consistency and is relatively solid around the churning blades.

  • pulling ice cream mixer out of the bowl
  • walnuts and chocolate chips added to the vegan ice cream base

(6) & (7) Remove churning blades and fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Also read: 15+ Healthy Vegan Ice Cream Recipes (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

(8) Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or place in a plastic airtight container/ covered loaf tin and freeze to enjoy later.

Allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes before enjoying from the freezer. Scoop and enjoy in a bowl or gluten-free cone!

  • walnuts and chocolate chips folded into the vegan ice cream base
  • vegan chunky monkey ice cream in a loaf tin

Freezing Instructions

Vegan chunky monkey ice cream will keep in the freezer in an airtight container for 1 month. Let thaw for 10-15 minutes before enjoying.


While this gluten-free and vegan chunky monkey ice cream is crafted with optimal ingredients, here are some substitution suggestions:

  • Frozen bananas. Fresh ripe bananas are preferred in this recipe, but frozen bananas could be used in a pinch. The texture of the blended mixture will be much thicker, so ensure your blender can handle the high power.
  • Nuts. Switch up the walnuts for your nut of choice: almonds, pecans, or more cashew chunks would all taste great.
  • Make it chocolatey. Add in 1-2 tablespoon of cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder to turn this into a chocolate chunky monkey!
scoops of vegan chunky monkey ice cream on cones held up by cups

Expert Tips

  • Follow the overnight prep guidelines. This will ensure that all elements are cold enough to work with (coconut milk and ice cream machine), and that the cashews are soft enough to blend nicely.
  • Churn in a cool place. Ensure the ice cream machine is churning before pouring the ice cream mixture in. This will prevent the ice cream from freezing directly to the bowl. Churning in the coolest place possible will help prevent early melting.
  • Freeze in a covered container to avoid freezer burn.
  • Allow ice cream to thaw for 10-15 minutes before scooping for ease.
  • close up of vegan chunky monkey ice cream
  • vegan chunky monkey ice cream in a loaf tin

Frequently Asked Questions

scoops of vegan chunky monkey ice cream on cones held up by cups

There you have a delicious homemade vegan chunky monkey ice cream! This is the perfect dessert for a hot day—it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Everyone can enjoy this gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan treat. Enjoy sharing with all your friends and family!

Have you made this gluten-free and vegan chunky monkey ice cream? I’d very much appreciate it if you leave a comment below and tag me on instagram @livglutenfree!

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hand holding a cone with vegan chunky monkey scoops


Through this article, we hope to help you understand Vegan gluten free ice cream

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