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 made these last night and ate one today! Absolutely delicious!! Guess I should eat more than 1 but I could! Will definitely make again. Thank you for the recipe!
hey I can only at this time have stevia so how much should I put in the recipe…I cannot have maple or honey….thanks
The amount of stevia you’ll want to use will vary by your individual taste buds– but luckily, you can taste the ice cream mixture as you go! So, I’d just squeeze a few drops into the mixture, taste, and add more as needed.
How many calories in your above recipe
Awesome looking recipe, can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing this one.
On another note, to clear up a little confusion. Cashews are ‘not’ legumes. They are the seeds/nuts of the apple cashew tree which grows in subtropical climates. Here’s a good page with lots of pictures and information. <3
Oops, the link would be nice:
Hey, I was just wondering, since I do in fact eat dairy, I’m wondering if I could use something like milk instead of the water (to maybe improve the taste)? Would milk change the texture of the bars? Thank you!
I have no idea how milk would affect the texture, since I don’t use it myself. I would guess it would depend on the fat content– the more fat in the dairy, the creamier the results!
All right, thanks! 🙂
Made the filling last night/finished this morning. I placed them on a cooling rack with the original parchment paper underneath to catch any drips and poured the coating on, let it set and turned them over and did the other end. I didn’t worry about the sides being totally covered, they look great with the chocolate dripping down. Subbed honey & agave for the maple syrup since I was out – they are good. Thanks for this idea.
Do the cashews just add a nice flavor? I would like to make these for my daughter, but she can’t have any of the suggested replacements in the comments (no cashews, almonds, bananas).She has a long list of sensitivities, including nuts and peanuts; plus she cannot have gluten. I am wondering what would happen if I just omit the cashews. Thank you.
The cashews give the ice cream its thick and creamy texture. Maybe you could try using some sort of seed, instead? Sunflower or hemp seeds could work, though I haven’t tried them myself.
This may sound weird but perhaps you could try tofu? I’ve seen many recipes for vegan puddings that use tofu so I think it works for desserts. Or perhaps even fresh coconut meat!
I just found this recipe but I’m hoping to try it soon – sounds so good!
I was making these late last night and wanted to coat them before I went to bed. I just plopped the chocolate on the top and bottom and went to bed. Was not in the mood to get it just so. Because it was a little thick it turned out like an ice cream sandwich. Great recipe. Great summer treat.
Just made this recipe, it’s good but the ice cream tastes a bit watery (which makes sense ofcourse, but it took my by surprise) and I found it really difficult to spoon on the chocolate! It hardened really fast so I wasn’t able to spread it nice and evenly.. Any tips on that part?
Hello, Does the one cup of soaked cashews mean soak them first then measure out one cup? I soaked my one cup and now it’s seems to double in size.
I would double the chocolate coating part of the recipe. I ran out of chocolate about halfway through, but these are delicious.
Just a reminder that truly raw cashews are poisonous but most store bought “raw” cashews are steamed and fine.
Do you have any suggestions to use instead of coconut oil? Especially for the chocolate coating to set? I’m unable to use it. It sounds like an excellent recipe though. Thank You!
If you can tolerate a bit of dairy, real butter can always be substituted for coconut oil, as it also becomes solid when chilled.
Came across this recipe today when searching online. It looks awesome and I will definitely be trying soon!! Pinned!
am wondering about the nutritional info of healthy Klondike bars? Do you have that, and if so may I have it. They are delicious.
Hi Megan, stumbled onto your site over the weekend and have been giving the name out to friends and clients who are all trying to maintain healthy eating habits. I used to moan about all of the “I can’t eat this, and I can’t eat that.” Having dinner parties was a freakin’ nightmare! Okay…so now I AM that person who says, “I can’t eat this and I can’t eat that.” For me it was lab results that quickly catapulted me into a vegan lifestyle. How do I get on your mailing list and thank you for being the person wiling to go through the process of trial and error. Thanks a LOT!
I never will buy a Klondike bar again. My husband and enjoyed these immensely! Thank you.
I just made these but created a layered bar by topping the cashew cream layer with a drizzle of homemade cashew butter and homemade Nutella. After freezing I topped with a caramelized honey syrup, froze. And then made a raw cacao hazelnut cream much like the cashew cream. After that layer froze then I enrobed the bars in chocolate. Sinful!
They look divine!
These are definitely a FIVE star treat! Thank you, they’re soooo delicious..
I want to try this!
HOW do you get the melted chocolate ALL THE WAY AROUND the cashew center? Doesn’t it stick to the paper on the bottom???
The chocolate coating hardens almost instantly, so it’s not likely to stick, but if you place them on parchment paper, it peels right off without sticking!
Hi Dear! trying this recipe tonite! I LOVE all your recipes and never doubt about how good it will taste even if is the 1st time making it and specially when having guest over like tomorrow nite. The part where you said: Spoon the chocolate coating over each ice cream bar, being sure to coat all sides evenly. (This part can get messy!)…do you think is a good idea to use tongs for dipping the bars in the chocolate sauce? or what other advice you could share with me?..
thank you as always Dear! <3
I wouldn’t dip them because you don’t want to chill the chocolate sauce– it will harden when cold, which is why I recommend spooning the chocolate sauce over the ice cream bar, so you don’t get all of the chocolate cold at once.
would a silicone tray work with freezing the mixture?
and similarly would it work with the “chocolate mold” after the bars are frozen for 6 hours
This looks amazing. My husband and I have started a low carbs way of living. This helps with my gluten problem. With this being all new to me, I’ve been trying to keep a log of carb intake as well as watching calories.
Do you have a nutrition information on this recipes?
I don’t, but you can calculate any numbers you need using a free website like Fitday.com or MyFitnessPal.com. Hope you enjoy them!
I have a nut allergy. What would you substitute for the cashews?
Perhaps sunflower seeds would work? They won’t have the same taste, so you’ll have to play around with the flavoring a bit.
I made the chocolate mixture but the moment I added the maple syrup to the coconut oil and cocoa it changed from a liquid and become almost solidified. What did I do wrong?
Was the maple syrup chilled? That would cause the mixture to solidify. You would just need to slightly warm it again to make it liquid.
I absolutely love these! And I am not even following the paleo diet. Just a healthy eater and getting sick of my larabars, so this is a great alternative. Just wanted to say I am freezing these in ice cube trays and I stick thick toothpicks in while they are still somewhat soft. Then I use butter knife to pop them out and dip the entire thing in the chocolate. It is just easier, less messy and perfect bite sized portion. Not that I was ever able to eat just one 🙂 i wish I could post a photo, but definitely try it that way! Also for the choco, I put everything in a glass measuring cup, with coconut oil not yet melted and then heat it all together, stirring half way. Then you need to let it cool a bit, but I found that it works best this way as there aren’t any clumps and it is all a smooth and even consistency. Thanks for a great recipe, I just made a fresh bunch today.
Help! My husband just told me he does not like coconut, or the flavor coconut oil adds to all the new things I’ve been cooking and baking! What would you recommend I use as a sub, especially in this recipe?
Try refined coconut oil. It takes all the flavor out of the oil but still gives you all the benefits. I cook and bake with refined coconut oil all the time when I want something with no coconut flavor.
I made these a few weeks ago and they were incredible. We all loved them. I added a little mint extract to the ice cream portion and they were delicious. My only difficulty was when I spoooned the coating over the ice cream, it solidified very quickly and started to melt the ice cream. I did half, put it back in the freezer, then did the other half. I think just taking tongs and dunking the bar into the chocolate mixture would make an easier and more uniform coating (I will try next time).
These were so delicious and I will definitely make this again and can’t wait to try your other deserts for my kids.
Hi Megan, I’m soaking my cashews now. Can’t wait! I just wish that people would’nt be so rude on your website trying to ride on YOUR COAT TAILS by advertising for their own sites!! They need to know, that I would never go to their site because it’s so rude how they are doing it!!! And really, to argue about details of a recipe. How childish. I love your recipes!!!! Keep up the good work and ignore people trying to ADVERTISE ON YOUR WEBSITE!!!!
My son is lactose intolerant and these look great, however he is deathly allergic to coconuts. What could I use in place of coconut oil?
What a GREAT recipe! This is the first time I used cashews as a base for ice cream, wow! I was impressed and so were my 2 little girls. They said “better than dairy queen!”
Thanks! This recipe is a keeper!
I love this recipe. I made it. My ice cream mixture came out very thin. I don’t know why. I used a standard pan. I need up throwing it out. I’m so disappointed.
I made these and they didnt come out right. Also do you need to use coconut oil alreay melted because i had coconut oil in solid form and I melted it but let it cool before using. I had a standard pan but it wasn’t a loaf pan it was a regular size pan big enough where the ice cream batter should have been thicker. can you tell me exactly what kind of pan you used/ From your pictures my pan looked the same as yours. I want to make this again but I dont want this to happen again.
Looks amazing!! I can’t wait to make these. Maybe I just missed it but do you have the full nutritional value breakdown like the other recipes have? Thanks!! 💗
How do I keep the extra sauce/shell coating? Refrigerate?
I have always wanted to try to make ice cream with coconut milk! What a great recipe, looks so yummy. Going to try it in the coming week and post my feedback.
I just made these! I used a metal popsicle mold and stand. Only took like 4 seconds for pop to come out of mold. I doubled the chocolate recipe so I could use a bowl to lay pops in and coat them without spoon. The last 2 I used a spoon.Ice cream melts quickly so I put each one on sheet of parchment in freezer as I worked on them one at a time. I did strain a bunch of the pieces out after blending. I don’t have the vitamix blender. I tried a different recipe in the past and left pieces in and it was a big no no.
These pops taste delicious! There is more coconut taste but in a delightful way. I ran out of maple syrup so I did 50/50 maple and light agave syrup. Enjoy!
I want to add that I used a good brand of coconut milk with full fat. Mixed it all up evenly. Makes a difference.