This Coffee Ice Cream is unbelievably creamy, and once you taste it, you’ll have a hard time believing it’s dairy-free! It’s possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever made, using only 3 simple ingredients. (No coconut milk required!)
Why You’ll Love It
- It’s coffee ice cream. Seriously, if you love coffee-flavored ice cream, you’ll love the flavor of this vegan version. My mother-in-law was one of my taste testers for this one, and she couldn’t believe it was dairy-free! It really does taste like “real” ice cream.
- No complicated ingredients. I originally started testing coffee ice cream recipes with instant coffee granules, but I figured it would be even easier if you could simply use home-brewed coffee. So, that’s all you need!
- Easy as possible. Just blend 3 ingredients until smooth, and pour into an ice cream maker.
- It’s scoop-able. Have you ever made a dairy-free ice cream, only to find it turns rock-hard when you freeze it overnight? This vegan coffee ice cream is much more scoop-able than other recipes that use canned coconut milk. It’s still firm, but it’s not as “icy” in texture.
- It’s naturally sweetened. This ice cream is naturally sweetened with maple syrup, so it shouldn’t spike your blood sugar quite as much as traditional versions.
Did I mention it tastes amazing? My husband literally came home from work the day after I made this, craving another scoop. It’s so good!
How to Make It
- Blend. Add the coffee, cashews, and maple syrup to a blender, and blend until very smooth. If you have a Vitamix, I recommend blending for a full 60 seconds, and using the tamper to make sure things are moving along. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you may want to soak the cashews in the coffee for up to 2 hours in advance, to help them soften and blend easier.
- Pour. Transfer the blended mixture into the bowl of your ice cream machine (make sure it’s been frozen for 24 hours in advance, if your machine requires that) and process until the ice cream is thick, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Enjoy! You can enjoy this ice cream right away with a soft-serve consistency, or transfer it to an airtight container to store in the freezer. It will be more firm and scoop-able after you freeze it for 2 to 4 hours.
You can store this cashew based ice cream for up to 3 months in the freezer, and its flavor will be best if you keep it tightly covered.
How to Make it Without an Ice Cream Maker
Don’t have an ice cream maker? You can blend this mixture together, then pour it into an airtight container to freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours. The resulting ice cream will be slightly more icy in texture, but it still turns out delicious.
For even creamier results, you can stir the mixture every hour or so, to help incorporate more air into the ice cream, the way an ice cream maker does. The process just takes longer this way.
I have more ice cream recipes coming for you all Summer long, but if you want to experiment with this recipe as a base, here’s what I’ve tried so far.
- Almond Milk Ice Cream. Yes, I’ve tested this recipe with almonds instead of cashews, and the result is just as creamy, but the texture isn’t as nice. If you leave the whole almonds in the milk, without straining them out like you would when making almond milk, the resulting ice cream is very “fibrous.” My kids didn’t like it. If you strain out the pulp, you wind up with a more icy-textured ice cream, that is also delicious, but definitely not as creamy as this recipe. (And not scoop-able later– it freezes very hard!)
- Pistachio Ice Cream. This one is coming soon! You can use pistachios instead of cashews, and water instead of coffee. The pistachios leave a little more fiber in the final ice cream, so it’s a little grainier in texture, but it’s totally delicious.
- Almond Mocha Fudge. Try adding in some chopped almonds and swirls of vegan chocolate sauce, for a delicious variation.
- Coffee Caramel Crunch. Swirl in some date caramel and crunchy cacao nibs.
Could you possibly use hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, or pecans? Possibly! I’ll let you know as soon as I try it out, and I hope you’ll share with me in the comments below if you experiment with it, too.
Coffee Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee (cooled, 12 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (206 grams)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (155 grams)
- If your ice cream maker requires a frozen bowl before you get started, make sure to freeze the bowl at least 24 hours in advance. Add the cold coffee, cashews, and maple syrup to a blender, and blend until very smooth and creamy, with no visible cashew pieces remaining.
- Pour the blended mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream machine, and then process until thick and creamy, about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Enjoy right away, for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer to an airtight container to store in your freezer. It will be more firm and scoop-able after 2 to 4 hours in the freezer, and will still be as scoopable as regular ice cream the next day! Store in the freezer for up to 3 months, as long as you keep it tightly sealed.
If you try this coffee ice cream, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you try any variations, I’d love to hear about those, too.
Reader Feedback: Which ice cream flavor would you like to see next?
Questions and Reviews
Delicious! My husband just said he can’t believe it’s vegan. Very quick & simple to make. I brewed the coffee, and threw all ingredients in my blender. I had ice cream in about 40 minutes start to finish using my compressor ice cream maker. Will definitely make this again and probably a double batch so I can share with friends. Please keep the ice cream recipes coming!
Looks great. Did you use salt in this recipe?
No I didn’t use any salt. I did notice it frozen a bit hard but with some softening time it was perfect
This looks great! Is an icecream maker required for this recipe? Can the prepared mixture just be placed in the freezer?
I’m going to test that out today! I’ll be sure to update this post once I know.
This looks/ sounds super delicious; I will have to give it a try! Timely posting as I have recently discovered coffee yogurt. Would you be able to post a recipe for dairy free coffee Yogurt next?
This recipe arrived the same day a friend gave me her Cuisinart ice cream maker. It was fated, AND I love coffee ice cream. I would love a recipe for peanut butter ice cream, my husband’s favorite. Thank you for the work you do.
Ooh, peanut butter ice cream sounds fantastic! I’ll add that to my list!
Looks great. Did you use salt in this recipe?
Can it be made with Silk unsweetened cashew milk? I might try it and let you know. 😊
Sounds delish! Can this be made with coffee and cashews only without any sweetener?
Great Recipe. I will try this and let you know.
Delicious! I made the ice cream this morning and ate way too much! This is much tastier than any other dairy-free ice cream recipes I have attempted (mostly coconut milk based). And so easy. I used 2C each of the cashews and coffee (because I wanted more ice cream, ha!), kept the maple syrup the same and it was still plenty sweet for me. Thank you!
sounds a delicious recipe! it would be helpful to provide instructions for those of us who dont have an ice cream maker. many thanx
This was absolutely wonderful! My family loves Haagen Daz coffee ice cream. This is the answer to non-dairy ice cream. Wow!
This recipe is ingenious . It came out perfect. I used a Ninja and it was very smooth before freezing in a Cuisinart ice cream maker. (Great investment. The older model is much cheaper and works 100%) Also used Stok cold brew and our neighbors from Baird Farm Vermont maple syrup . I’ve learned than honey and maple are often not authentic. Can’t wait to try the pistachio!
First I want to say i make so many of your recipes and my family absolutely loves them!
We love coffee ice cream! do you possibly have a recipe that doesn’t use cashews? Nuts are a tricky allergen for my family. Peanuts and Almonds we can handle. Thank you!
I don’t have an ice cream maker so I made these into popsicles instead. Yum!!
I do not have an ice cream maker and just put this in the freezer last night. It was fabulous today! I made a bowl with almonds and chocolate syrup on top, tasted like I went to an ice cream shop! So delicious on a hot summer day.
Bought the ice cream maker on Friday made the coffee ice cream on Saturday and the strawberry recipe on Sunday (used black sweet cherries since I had those in the freezer). Both recipes were simple to make and delicious. Thank you for being a food chemist. Love everything you do!
I’ve made this recipe twice so far. Both times it came out delicious. I soak the cashews in the brewed coffee until the coffee has cooled. I don’t have a high speed blender so soaking them helps. I also don’t have an ice cream maker, so I freeze it in popsicle molds. They came out perfect. So creamy and delicious. I even made the chocolate hard shell to drizzle over them.
Is there a subsitution for the Cashews? Allergy stiops me from trying this recipe. I can have peanuts and almonds but no other type of nuts.
I’ve tested this with whole almonds and the texture isn’t great at all, but maybe you could use almond butter? I’d try using 3/4 cup almond butter to replace 1 1/2 cups cashews.
I made this coffee ice cream recipe twice now, mainly for my son-in-law who is lactose and WHEY intolerant. It is good! Everyone liked it. I used cashew pieces from Trader Joe’s. The second time I made it, I opted to soak the cashew pieces in water for a few hours to soften them and then drained them. Even though the recipe does not call for that, it made the ice cream just a tad bit less gritty-ish and more smooth. It was not a huge difference. Both ways work well.
So creamy and not too sweet
Made the magic shell to go with it.
Thanks again for another fabulous recipe.
Now I’ll have to check out the other ice cream recipes you posted this summer.
WOW!!! This is hands down the best dairy free ice cream I have ever had! It is creamy and smooth and full of coffee goodness (I brewed it nice and strong). I added a pinch of xanthan gum while blending ingredients together.
I also added mini chocolate chips while it was churning. I will be experimenting with other flavors using cashews as the base.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
I like the simplicity of the ice cream, but the texture is not right. After extensive blending of the cashews, mine still came out very gritty and off-putting, not smooth like ice cream should be. Don’t think I would make again.
Greetings to you! I make sweet applesauce, no sugar added, 5-6 Ambrosia apples, sprinkles of cinnamon,
1 to 1-1/2 cups filtered apples, put into slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours. I have not eaten sugar since 2006. 🙂
Sorry, I meant filtered water and I dice the apples and leave the peel on because it’s fiber and removes excess glucose from the body. I plan to buy 1-2 stevia plants in the spring, you can cut 1-2 leaves off and boil in some water to sweeten things. Thanks, take care.