It has been the summer of homemade ice cream around here and on the blog, and I think I may have saved the best for last. That’s assuming this is the last ice cream recipe I share this summer. I was pretty sure it was going to be until I typed that just now. Alright, let’s just say it’s the best so far.
This smooth and creamy ice cream is about to make all of your chocolate + peanut butter dreams come true. A hint of peanut butter is blended into a rich chocolate-y base, with more ribbons of peanut butter laced through-out. I added a little pinch of salt to my natural peanut butter for a sweet and salty flavor sensation. This ice cream is unique to my other ice cream recipes because you don’t need a high speed blender or an ice cream maker to make it. If you have a food processor and ice cube trays, you’re good to go.
I skipped my usual addition of raw cashews and dates in order to keep the recipe from requiring a high speed blender. Coconut cream + a high protein plant milk (Ripple and Silk Protein and Nutmilk were my favorites, but soy milk would work too) made for a winning creamy combination. Maple syrup sweetens everything up without refined sugar, and the entire recipe is only 8 ingredients! After four different trials, and many tweaks, I have learned a few secrets for getting the creamiest and dreamiest results, no dairy, eggs, or ice cream maker needed!
We hope you love this ice cream as much we did! Go grab some cones and get scooping while summer is still here 🙂
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream – Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, No Bananas, No Cashews, No Ice Cream Maker Needed!
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1 cup protein-rich plant-based milk like Ripple, Silk Protein and Nutmilk, or soy milk (other milks like almond can be used, with varying results)
- 1/4 cup + 2-3 tbsp natural peanut butter, divided
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp + a pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp xantham gum (optional)
Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the cream off the top and place in a large bowl. If you have time, use an electric handmixer to whip the coconut cream.* You can skip this step if you wish and simply add the scooped out coconut cream to the bowl of your food processor (or high speed blender). Add all ingredients except the extra 2-3 tbsp of peanut butter and mix on high until smooth. Taste, and add extra cocoa if you like it more chocolatey (I added another tablespoon) or extra maple syrup if you want it sweeter. Pour the mixture into a pitcher (for easier pouring) and then pour carefully into two silicone ice cube trays. Allow to *just* freeze. Rinse/clean out your food processor and set aside for later.
Pop the frozen cubes into the food processor (or high speed blender – Vitamix). If they are really hard and frozen, allow them to thaw for about 15 – 20 minutes before putting in the food processor. Churn the cubes in the food processor (or Vitamix) until the mixture is swirling around smoothly and it’s the consistency of very soft, soft-serve. Scrape half into a glass lidded container or parchment lined bread pan, add in a tablespoon of reserved peanut butter and use a small spatula to swirl around. I sprinkled a little salt into my peanut butter swirls. Scrape in the remaining ice cream and swirl in the rest of the peanut butter, cover and freeze again until scoopable, about 2 hours, depending on the size of your container and the temperature of your freezer. Best enjoyed within 48 hours.
Notes/Secrets to Success:
I found that whipping some air into the coconut cream helped the overall texture of the ice cream. Some of the main components of great ice cream are fat content, protein content, whipping air into the liquid mixture, and an emulsifier or ice crystal reducer. In this case, the xanthan gum acts as an emulsifier/thickener, reducing large ice crystals. Adding a little extra vanilla or a little vodka (about a tablespoon) can also help, as the alcohol will reduce ice crystals as well. If you’re making this for the kiddos, leave out the alcohol, it will still be delicious! I didn’t use any in the batch I made for these photos, just the xanthan gum. If you’re sensitive to xanthan gum you can try guar gum, arrowroot, or tapioca starch, or feel free to leave it out. The ice cream will be slightly icier without it but still really good!