Vegan Ice Cream Bars feature a creamy cashew ice cream, coated in an easy, 3-ingredient chocolate shell. They are naturally sweetened, dairy-free, and totally delicious. Let’s make them!
Why You’ll Love Them
- They’re nutritious. Cashews are the base of these creamy ice cream bars, and since they contain both fiber and protein, this treat may leave you feeling more satisfied. Eating cashews may also help to lower insulin levels.
- No refined sugar. This ice cream and chocolate coating are both sweetened with maple syrup. Feel free to experiment with honey, if you prefer, but keep in mind that honey has a stronger flavor, so you may want to use less of it in comparison.
- They remind me of store-bought ice cream bars. If you love chocolate-covered ice cream bars, you’ll love these! They are creamy on the inside, with a crunchy, dark chocolate coating.
- You can control the sweetness. The chocolate shell is lightly sweet, but if you prefer a darker chocolate flavor, you can simply use less maple syrup. You can taste as you go! Feel free to make the ice cream less-sweet if you prefer, too.
You can also change the ice cream flavor in the middle. I think these would be amazing filled my vegan coffee ice cream or pistachio ice cream, for a change of pace.
How to Make the Ice Cream Bars
- Blend. Add the cashews, water, vanilla, and maple syrup to a blender, and blend until totally smooth and creamy.
- Freeze. Pour the blended mixture into an ice pop mold and freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight.
- Mix. When you’re sure the ice cream bars are firm, it’s time to mix together the chocolate coating. Add the cacao powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a bowl, and whisk until no clumps remain. Be sure that the maple syrup is at room temperature, so the mixture will be drippy and pour-able. (Cold maple syrup will cause the coconut oil to thicken up and seize the mixture.)
- Remove the bars. To remove the ice cream bars from the mold, try running the popsicle mold upside down under hot water briefly. This should help the edges loosen up enough for you to pull each popsicle out. Lay them down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, so you’ll be able to coat them all in chocolate next.
- Coat. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate coating on each chocolate bar, and spread it out into a thin layer quickly. The chocolate will harden fast, so this can be a bit of a messy process. Once the chocolate has hardened, you can flip the bars over and coat the other side, and along the top of the bars. Place the pan in the freezer, if needed, to help keep the bars cold as you work.
- Enjoy! Once the chocolate has hardened, these vegan ice cream bars are ready to eat.
Once the bars are coated, you can enjoy one right away, or place the pan of coated ice cream bars in the freezer to chill until you’re ready to serve them. They should keep well in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Don’t have a popsicle mold? Pour this ice cream mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Freeze until firm, then slice the loaf into 8 squares.
Coat each frozen ice cream square with the chocolate coating, for a homemade “Klondike bar” instead. These are messier to eat, but still delicious.
Vegan Ice Cream Bars
Vegan Ice Cream Bars
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (215 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups water (355 grams; 12 ounces)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (155 grams)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (24 grams)
- 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder (24 grams)
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (71 grams)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (81 grams)
- 1/4 cup crushed nuts (like hazelnuts or almonds)
- To prepare the ice cream bars, add the cashews, water, maple syrup, and vanilla to a blender. Blend until very smooth, with no visible cashew pieces remaining.
- Pour the blended mixture into an ice pop mold (mine makes 10 large pops, this may vary among molds), insert popsicle sticks, and freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
- When the ice pops are firm, run the ice pop mold upside down under hot running water to help remove the ice pops. Lay each ice cream bar down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, so they will be easy to coat in the chocolate later. Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating.
- To prepare the chocolate coating, stir together the cacao powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Make sure the maple syrup is at room temperature, so the mixture will remain runny. Use a whisk to stir well, breaking up any clumps.
- Remove the ice cream bars from the freezer, and use a spoon to spread the chocolate mixture on one side of the bars. Use the spoon to spread the coating into a thin layer, so it will harden quickly. If you'd like to add crushed nuts to these bars, sprinkle some on as soon as the chocolate is added, while it's still wet. They won't stick once the chocolate has hardened. Flip the bars over and coat the other side. As soon as the chocolate is firm, the bars are ready to eat, or you can store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Update Note: This recipe has been modified from my original healthy Klondike bar recipe, which I find messier to make and eat, since there’s no popsicle stick to hold on to. If you miss the original recipe, the ice cream filling was made with 1 cup of cashews, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. The chocolate coating was made with 5 tablespoons cacao powder, 5 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, and a 1/4 cup maple syrup. Follow the directions above for freezing in a loaf pan to make the bars, instead of ice pops.
If you try these Vegan Ice Cream Bars, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like them!
Reader Feedback: What kind of treat would you like to see next?
Questions and Reviews
I bet peanuts would work in place of the cashews, wouldn’t they?
I would think so!
Do you think it would still turn out if I used a sugar free maple syrup?
Peanuts might work, but they are legumes. They would make slightly-less-healthy Klondike bar, and they would no longer be paleo.
I believe peanuts are healthy too. I do not believe in, nor do I do the paleo diet. I base my eating on the Bible, and do Trim Healthy Mama. http://www.trimhealthymama.com/ 🙂
I thought peanuts and cashews were both legumes?
Cashews are nuts. Peanuts are legumes. Beans, lentils, peanuts, alfalfa and some other plants fall into the legume family, while almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans (and even coconuts!) are considered nuts. The difference, has to do with their plant “family”. This is also why in the nutrition/medical world, we made a distinction between tree nut allergies and peanuts allergies; an individual may have one, but not the other!
Hope this helps!
Coconuts are not I’m the same family as nuts. They can be classified ad a fruit, a nut, and a seed. They are a misnomer. Most people allergic to tree nuts are not allergic to coconut since it is a drupe, like an olive or peach.
It blows my mind that the words klondike and healthy can be in the same sentence!
Recently, it occurred to me that eating a whole box of the heath klondike bars was going to do nothing for me in regards to my shorts/bathing suit dilemma (um, summer is upon and I won’t want to be wearing jeans all the time.)
I can’t believe how delicious your version looks!! I need to congratulate you =)
OMG they look amazing!! I can’t wait to make them with my kids!!! thanks so much Meagan!!!
i cant wait to make and share these! gonna put popsicle sticks in em so they are easier to dip and snarf!! thank you for an amazing good for us summer treat!!
wow this looks awesome!!! can’t wait to make them for my family!!!! tons of thanks Megan!!!
Hi, I would love to make this for my daughter with multiple allergies and eczema but she’s allergic to coconut . What can I use instead of the coconut oil in your recipe? She is allergic to tree nuts too
Coconut oil improves the texture of the ice cream, but it can be replaced with real butter (if dairy isn’t an issue for you) or it can be replaced with more cashews for a slightly different texture. Since she’s allergic to tree nuts, I assume she can’t have cashews, either? That makes this recipe a bit tricky! However, maybe you could experiment with a seed instead… like hemp or sunflower seeds? The flavor will be totally different, but you can play with additional flavors until you come up with something you like.
Cashews are actually a legume.. just like peanuts. My daughter is allergic to most nuts, except pistachios, brazil nuts and pine nuts, which we all know are not nuts, and neither are coconuts (She’t not allergic to those either). She is allergic to peanuts, but not allergic to cashews.
Cashews are actually a tree nut. It’s very common for individuals with some tree nut allergies to not be sensitive to all tree nuts, but cashews are actually are tree nuts!
from wikipedia – The drupe develops first on the tree, and then the pedicel expands to become the cashew apple. Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut. Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense the nut of the cashew is a seed
what about cacao butter? would that work?
You could try bananas in place of the cashews and coconut. Making banana ice cream is super simple.
Do you have a recipe for that. I would appreciate it 🙂
Freeze ripe bananas in slices. Place in blender. Enjoy!
Hey Rosabel, I don’t like coconut so I use Earth Balance vegan buttery spread in any recipe that calls for the coconut fat. Granted I’ve only done it 8-10 times so far as this vegan/raw stuff is new to me but it has worked splendidly so far. It is hard when cold but most things call for refrigeration or freezing in the recipes I’ve used it for. Bless You and Your daughter. My son had severe food allergies which is what started me on this road 35 yrs ago now. And look for my post about the designation for cashews also. Keep up the great work for Your grrl!
OMG these look so amazing and like the perfect summer treat! I cannot wait to make them!!
These look so tasty and refreshing for hot summer months. I can definitely see myself making these when it is 120 degrees outside and I need something sweet and to cool down!
i want to make these…but one thing escapes me…
when you coat the cashew-inside with chocolate and then place it on the parchment paper, won’t the underside just stick to the paper…?
Parchment paper is essential so that the chocolate bottoms don’t stick to the plate! Parchment paper is non-stick, so it easily peels away from the bottom.
no I realize that part of it…I just mean…the underside won’t have as much chocolate, because it’ll get pushed out to the sides…no?
meh…probably still worth making 😉
Actually, the chocolate solidifies almost instantly when it touches the frozen ice cream bars (thanks to the coconut oil)– so it doesn’t really move by the time you’re placing it on the plate. I felt like my coating was pretty even all over the bar!
Genius! Thank you! These will be so fun to make & eat!
Hey, would this work well with almonds instead of cashews?
Great recipe! I’m going to try my chocolate ice cream recipe made with coconut milk and use your coating. Thanks for your genius ideas!!!
Yummy! Does a food processor count as a high-speed blender? My blender is kind of average, I think.
Just curious, following the recipe to a tee, what is the nutritional break down? Carbs? Calories? Fat gram?
Jennifer, I had the same question! I looked up an online nutritional calculator and put in all of the ingredients without deviating from the recipe. Here is what I got:
For 1/8 of the recipe
Hopefully this helps! Here is a link to the calculator I used: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator
Would ghee work as a substitute for the coconut oil?
It might be easier to make the bars in a popsicle mold, take out after freezing and then dip in chocolate. Wouldn’t be the shape of a Klondike bar, but I’m ok with that. Less messy to eat too.
Great idea for the Popsicle mold although wouldn’t have that square Klondike shape. However love that the sticks in the mold would make it easier to flip/turn over the ice cream squares…not sure if you would be able to dip it into the chocolate though, the container of chocolate will freeze up quickly and require a lot of reheating…but certainly worth a try! 🙂
Can you use cashew flour?
Oh My Goodness, this is awesome!!! I WILL be making these 🙂
Thank you so much!
About to make these and realized I also have some coconut butter that I haven’t ever used yet…can this be used to substitute for (our combined with) the coconut oil in the recipe?
I second that question. How I LOVE coconut butter!! Yummy!
I don’t think I’ve ever had a Klondike bar but these look amazing and like they melt in your mouth!!! 😀 I can’t wait to try them – I think I could happily just eat the inside! Yum!
I wonder what you think or know about using Brown Rice Syrup in place of honey, maple syrup or stevia in recipes?
Your recipes are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!
Before using any brown rice syrup in place of anything you should look up brown rice syrup and arsenic. Here is a start…..
Hope that helps.
Oh my!! I had forgotten about Klondike bars. How I LO-O-OVED them as a kid!! This recipe looks fantastic! I will definitely be making some of these for my kiddos asap!
You are so awesome for coming up with this recipe! Can’t wait to try it. You always have the best recipe ideas detoxinista!!
Hey Megan! This recipe looks delish…except I’m allergic to cashews & peanuts! 🙁 Any ideas for substitutions? I assume maybe almonds could work with desserts, but it’s always been a challenge to replicate the cashew flavor for sauces/entrees. Thanks for your help 😀
Maybe blanched almonds would work? I think removing their skins might help replicate the creaminess of cashews.
no need to blanch almonds, just soak those overnight and peel off the skin. It’s wonderful.
Brilliant recipe! Made these and they came out perfectly and tasted just like the real thing. I just changed the honey to agave nectar since I’m vegan. Thanks so much!!
I just made these! They taste great! I did have some issues with the chocolate coating flaking off, but not a big deal.
I didn’t want to open a new jar of maple syrup to make a 1/4 cup, so I put in a tiny scoop of stevia powder instead.
Hi jesse, Im making this treat tonight and would like to use stevia powder for the choco coating, could you please tell me how much you used? Ive made chocolate bars using liquid stevia and the taste is very bitter even if i use a few drops. I use sweet leaf brand.
I also use the sweet leaf brand. I can’t remember how much I used. I probably just did it to taste. I find there is less of an aftertaste with the powder.
I made these last evening. So absolutely delicious! Love having a dairy free ice cream with so few ingredients and no ice cream maker required. THANK YOU!
Can I share this recipe on my blog?
I prefer that people don’t copy and paste my original recipes, but you are definitely welcome to share my photos and a link back to this recipe on your blog!
These. Are. Amazing. They even won over my extremely picky, ice-cream hating mother, who loved the natural and rich flavors. This was especially helpful since our household is on a dairy and wheat elimination diet – no stomachaches, sugar highs or fatigue after eating these babies, and they taste soo good. I’m going to make another batch, but this time use iced coffee instead of water when blending everything together.
Megan, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for this recipe!!!! My sister posted it on Facebook and I had to try it!!!
It turned out sooooo good that I wrote a review on my blog to get others to try it also!!!
I really love the chocolate sauce! So simple and SO good!!!
Here is my post! =) Thanks again!
too bad I can’t buy them at the store.
Hi! I can’t wait to try these. I have an unrelated question though. When do you estimate that your cookbook will be for sale?
It won’t be on the shelves until next year, but it should be available for pre-sale by Christmas.
Made these last night. They’re REALLY good!! Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours, but I’m going to try again. Think I can make them look better. Hub and daughter really enjoyed these too! Thanks!
I just made these and oh.my.god….soooooo good!!!! I am hooked on icecream bars right now and this totally hit the spot. A much better alternative to the bars I’ve been eating lately. Thank you!!
I just got done assembling these babies! I found myself humming the Klondike Bar song for the last couple of days, while the ice cream was sitting in the freezer, waiting to be sliced and dipped. I set everything out ahead of time and first tried to dip the bars directly in the chocolate, but the cold temp cooled it down too much. Warmed the chocolate a bit and used a toothpick to suspend the bar over the bowl of chocolate and spooned it over (as you stated). This method worked great and the coating set very fast….but not before I coated half the bars in chopped nuts (almonds & hazelnuts)!! Thank you for this post….can’t wait to dig in tonight!!
These were a total hit. No one could tell they were non-dairy, and I couldn’t stop eating the darn things. I made them with only honey, and they turned out rich and delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!
Looks yummy, but not very healthy with all that sugar.
I’ve never had a real kondike bar. I don’t think they are available in Poland. The recipe looked easy and tasty enough to give it a try. And… it’s goooood and yummy and I don’t think they will last till my kid comes back from his weekend away 🙂
Next time though I will use coconut milk instead of water to get more cream in ice cream 😛
Thanks for the inspiration!
what size loaf pan do you use?
I used an 8×8 pan for mine and it was perfect!
I made these today and they were so yummy. Love the suggestions that followed like using coffee in place of water or making banana ice cream. I’m trying to be 95% paleo so a side by side comparison to the real thing may not win everyone’s taste buds over but when you don’t want off the shelf treats, you’re not left with many options and this recipe hits the spot!
I made these and at first I thought they were too much work and not that good. I have no idea what I was thinking because I am living them! My 2 and 3 year old have discovered them and now I have to share– bummer! 😉 I’m so happy they like them though! Thanks for creating a delicious recipe!
I have unsalted cashews but not raw. Can I use them in this recipe? Thanks!
If the cashews are roasted, the ice cream will have a stronger cashew flavor– but that’s not necessarily bad, it just won’t taste as much like real vanilla ice cream. Hope that helps!
I loved them! Still working on the chocolate…feel like I’d like to dip them twice.
I dipped mine twice…lol
Thank you Megan for your reply. I just made them today and they were so good. My kids loved them too! Great recipe!
I have to tell you these are amazing!! I made these for my bible study ladies. They loved them. I had two right away I couldn’t eat just one. I followed the recipe to a tee and I would not change anything. Yummy I will be making these again.
So I don’t happen to have any whole cashews or almonds in the house, but I DO have almond and cashew flower/meal… Could I substitute that for the soaked nuts 1 for 1?
I’m not sure, since I haven’t tried that myself, but it’s worth a shot! Please let us know if you have any success!
I made these and they are wonderful! I needed a bit more chocolate coating, but made it work. Never knew that raw cashews could turn into ‘ice cream’.
I love your blog! My first recipe of yours is in the oven now (chocolate chip cookies). I’ve added the strawberry muffins and these Klondike bars to my baking list. Thank you for sharing your expertise and passion!
Just made these last night. They are great.
What about substituting water with coconut milk for the ice cream bar?
Thanks for all your great recipes.
I would guess that the coconut milk would work well, and would probably result in a creamier bar.
I am so gonna make these!