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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!

vegan chocolate ice cream bars

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.

ice cream bars with bite taken out of it

How to Make the Ice Cream Bars

  1. Blend. Add the cashews, water, vanilla, and maple syrup to a blender, and blend until totally smooth and creamy.
  2. Freeze. Pour the blended mixture into an ice pop mold and freeze until solid, about 6 hours or overnight.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

ice cream bar on baking sheet

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.

finished vegan ice cream bar with nuts

vegan chocolate ice cream bars

Vegan Ice Cream Bars

4.66 from 26 votes
These Ice Cream Bars are dairy-free and naturally sweetened, featuring a creamy cashew ice cream and 3-ingredient chocolate coating. I love the crunchy, dark chocolate shell on these!
prep25 mins Freezing Time:6 hrs total6 hrs 25 mins
Servings:10

Ingredients
 
 

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)

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder (24 grams)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (71 grams)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (81 grams)

Optional Toppings

  • 1/4 cup crushed nuts (like hazelnuts or almonds)

Instructions

  • 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.
    cashew ice cream blended together
  • 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.
    vegan ice cream poured into ice pop mold
  • 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.
    vegan ice cream bars on lined baking sheet
  • 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.
    chocolate coating whisked together
  • 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.
    chocolate added to ice cream bars

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 10 large ice cream bars. If you use a smaller ice pop mold, you may wind up making more bars than this, with lower calories for each. This information is just an estimate, and not a guarantee.
For other ice cream flavors, be sure to read the full post above!

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: vegan
Keyword: vegan ice cream bar

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?

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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Comments

  1. 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…?

    1. 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.

      1. 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 😉

        1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. OMG these look so amazing and like the perfect summer treat! I cannot wait to make them!!

  4. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

          1. 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

    2. 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!

  5. 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!!

  6. 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 =)

    1. Peanuts might work, but they are legumes. They would make slightly-less-healthy Klondike bar, and they would no longer be paleo.

        1. Elinor,

          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!

          1. 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.