Nice Cream

Ultimately the easiest and healthiest dessert ever, this two-ingredient, easy banana nice cream recipe (basically banana ice cream) is dairy-free and still full of flavor. Forget about the ice cream maker! All you’ll need is a freezer and a food processor (or blender). The results? A silky smooth frozen banana dessert. Make it today and serve with chocolate syrup.

A bowl of nice cream sits in front of bowls of chocolate nice cream and strawberry nice cream. Bananas are in the background.

Don’t you love a good sweet treat that’s 100% natural and has no added sugars? Me too! In fact, when I discovered that frozen bananas transform into the silkiest, smoothest dessert, I was shocked! I couldn’t wait to share this banana ice cream recipe with you.

A pyrex measuring glass full of sliced bananas sits next to a small bowl of maple syrup.

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Bananas — You’ll need a couple of ripe bananas.
  • Maple Syrup — If your bananas are sweet, you may not need any added sweetener, but I like adding just a bit.
  • Flavors — You can serve this nice ice cream as is, or add your favorite flavorings, such as blueberries, strawberries, peanut butter, and more!

Ingredient Spotlight

A bunch of 3 very ripe bananas sit on a white counter.

What Bananas are Best for Nice Cream?

Use ripe bananas for the most flavorful and sweet banana ice cream. Look for bananas with brown spots. You can use yellow bananas, but you’ll need to add sweetener.

Lucky for me, a recent trip to Costco resulted in a big bunch of ripe bananas. I love vegan shopping at Costco!

How to Make Nice Cream

  1. Slice the bananas and freeze them.
  2. Place frozen banana chunks in a blender. Let them sit for a minute or two to soften.
  3. Add maple syrup for an even creamier, sweeter result.
  4. Pulse until smooth.

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:

Step One: Freezing Bananas

There’s only one secret ingredient to this delicious two-ingredient recipe. If you haven’t already guessed it, bananas are the miracle ingredient here.

  1. Peel the bananas
  2. Slice the bananas and place them on a tray lined with waxed paper
  3. Freeze the bananas for 1 to 2 hours
  4. Remove frozen bananas from the freezer and let them sit for roughly 5 minutes to soften slightly.
A banana on a cutting board with several chopped bananas next to it.
You can use a butter knife to cut bananas.

Step Two: Processing Frozen Bananas

You have two options when it comes to processing frozen bananas to make nice ice cream: use a food processor or a blender. Here, we’ll go through the pros and cons of both.

How to Make Food Processor Nice Cream

It may take a bit longer to make banana ice cream in a food processor and the results may not be quite as smooth as using a high-speed blender.

To make it:

  1. Add frozen bananas to your food processor fitted with an “S” blade.
    Frozen bananas pieces are in the bottom of a food processor bowl.
  2. Allow them to sit for a few minutes so they soften slightly
  3. Pulse in short bursts until the bananas are roughly processed but chunky
  4. Use a rubber spatula to wipe down the sides of the food processor bowl.
  5. Pulse again in longer bursts, until this mixture is mostly smooth.
    A creamy frozen banana mixture is in the bottom of a food processor bowl.

How to Make Blender Nice Nice Cream

It may take a bit longer to make nice cream in a food processor and the results may not be quite as smooth as using a high-speed blender.

To make it:

  1. Add frozen bananas to a blender jar.
    Frozen banana chunks are in the bottom of a bender jar.
  2. Allow them to sit for a few minutes so they soften slightly
  3. Turn your blender to its lowest setting until the bananas are roughly processed but chunky
    Frozen bananas have been pulsed in a blender, leaving lots of texture.
  4. Gradually turn your blender from low speed to higher speed, blending until smooth.
    A creamy frozen banana mixture is in the bottom of a blender.
  5. If the mixture is overly frozen or thick, the blender motor might freeze up. If so, stop the motor and let the mixture sit a little longer to soften. You can also add a bit of almond or soy milk to soften up the mixture. Pausing in this way protects your blender’s motor.

Step Three: Freezing Instructions

As is, this frozen banana mixture is like soft-serve ice cream and it’s delicious! However, you can also freeze it to create more of a scoopable texture. Here’s how:

  1. Spread the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1 to 3 hours, depending on your preference for firmness.
  2. Remove from the freezer and allow it to sit for a few minutes to soften.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out your delicious frozen treat

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Frozen bananas processed in a food processor or blender creates a lovely, creamy texture
  • Adding maple syrup creates a hint of added sweetness, making the perfect frozen dessert
  • Using your favorite flavor add-ins creates nice ice cream made just like you like it.

Flavor Options

You can serve your ice cream a la natural, or use these add-ins to make change up the flavor and colors. Add any of these below to the blender or food processor with the smooth, blended bananas. Then process or pulse again until smooth. Here are our favorite nice cream flavors:

  • Chocolate — Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
  • Vanilla — Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or a scoop of vanilla seeds from one bean.
  • Blueberry — Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries.
  • Strawberry — Add 1 cup of frozen strawberries.
  • Cherry — Add 1 cup of frozen cherries.
  • Cookies and Cream — Add 1 cup of crumbled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies.
  • Protein — Add 1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder (make sure it’s dairy-free and vegan)
  • Peanut Butter — Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
  • PineappleCut a pineapple and freeze it. Add 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks to the frozen banana mixture.
  • Mango — Add 1 cup of frozen mango chunks.
  • Caramel — Add 4 to 5 soft medjool dates and blend until mostly combined, leaving the dates marbled throughout.
Looking down on three bowls of ice cream, one plain, one chocolate, and one strawberry. Bananas sit next to the bowls.

When adding any frozen fruit to a blender, be sure to let it sit for a moment or two before blending, to help it soften.

Nice Cream Toppings

I love adding these tasty toppings to a big bowl of banana ice cream:

Storage Tips

Store any leftovers in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just like ice cream, keep it in the back of your freezer because the process of freezing and thawing can add ice crystals. To serve, let it sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes to soften before scooping it into serving dishes.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What is Nice Cream?

NiceCream means “nana ice cream.” It’s basically frozen bananas blended and whipped into ice cream. Is nice ice cream vegan you may ask? Well, yes, it is because it’s made entirely with plant-based ingredients.

Can you use a blender to make frozen banana ice cream?

Yes, you can use a blender to make nice ice cream. In fact, one of the best things about this ice cream banana dessert is you don’t even need a fancy ice cream freezer to make it. No pre-cooking the ice cream mix in a saucepan either. How much easier could this be!

How long does it take for bananas to freeze in the freezer?

I’ve found you need to allow at least two hours for banana slices to freeze in the freezer. Here’s how to freeze bananas for nice cream: place banana slices on a tray and place that tray in the freezer. Then transfer to a freezer bag after an hour, that way the slices won’t get stuck to each other.
Or you can place banana slices directly into a freezer bag, just try to lay the bag flat so the bananas freeze in an individual layer.

A hand holds a spoonful of banana ice cream hovering over a bowl of it. There are different flavors of ice cream and bananas in the background.

More Frozen Desserts

I hope you love this banana nice cream as much as we do! If you want even more frozen desserts, give these a try:

A bowl of vegan nice cream has chocolate chips on top. There are different flavors of ice cream in the background.

Banana Nice Cream

You won't believe how easy it is to make vegan banana nice cream and how delicious and creamy it is to eat! This creamy frozen dessert is a quick and tasty go-to favorite. You can adapt this recipe to add some of your favorite flavors, like chocolate and strawberry.
5 from 4 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
3 hours
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 143kcal

Ingredients

Banana Nice Cream

  • 2 cups sliced frozen bananas (2 large ripe bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

Flavor Options

  • Berry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen berries)
  • Vanilla (Base recipe + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • Peanut Butter (Base recipe + 2 tablespoons peanut butter)
  • Chocolate (Base recipe + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder)
  • Caramel (Base recipe + 4 to 5 medjool dates)
  • Cherry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen cherries)
  • Blueberry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen blueberries)
  • Strawberry (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen strawberries)
  • Cookies and Cream (Base recipe + 1 cup chopped chocolate sandwich cookies)
  • Pineapple (Base recipe + 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks)

Instructions

For Freezing Bananas:

  • Peel bananas and cut them into 1 to 2" slices. Place them in a freezer bag in a single layer and freeze for up to 3 hours.

Food Processor Method:

  • Add frozen bananas to a food processor fitted with an S blade along with any flavorings you desire. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes for the bananas to soften slightly. Pulse until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to wipe down the sides of the bowl. It's a perfect soft-serve texture to serve immediately or you can freeze it and serve it in scoops.

Blender Method:

  • Add frozen bananas to a high-speed blender along with any flavorings you desire. Let it sit for 1 to minutes for the bananas to soften slightly. Blend on low speed to break it down into chunks then gradually turn the speed up, moving gradually toward higher speed. If the blender stammers, stop and let the bananas sit for a minute or two until they soften a bit more. Then continue on low speed, gradually turning the speed up. It's a perfect soft-serve texture to serve immediately or you can freeze it and serve it in scoops.

Freezing:

  • To achieve a scoopable ice cream texture, spread the banana ice cream into an airtight container or a loaf pan. Cover and freeze for 2 to 3 hours. Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so to soften, and then scoop with an ice cream scoop and serve with your favorite toppings.
  • You can store nice cream in the freezer for up to 2 months, but the flavors and textures are best when eaten within the first week or so.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

For Soft Serve Nice Cream, serve it immediately after blending.
For Frozen Nice Cream (more similar to ice cream consistency), freeze it after blending. Then sit it on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes to soften slightly, and use an ice cream scooper to serve out scoops into bowls.

Toppings

Add your favorite toppings, such as:
Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2010 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

22 Responses to Nice Cream

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKathy Patalsky Reply

    5 stars
    Yum that looks super amazing. Your website is great — I added it to my Best Vegan Blogs list: https://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2010/07/best-vegan-blogs.html

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Kathy – thanks so much. I’ve checked out your site many times so I’m honored to have my blog listed there!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyryan Reply

    5 stars
    My kids love ice cream, now I can give them ice cream that is also good for them, thanks for a great recipe. Hope Coco enjoyed his.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      It is really good ice cream…especially with some chocolate sauce. Does that take away from the healthy part though? Nahh. Coco? Do you mean Dogba? Sometimes I have to tell him to quit licking the floor. What a strange thing to say to your dog. Usually the floor is clear of any morsels, but I often wonder if that means they’re covered in doggy saliva. Uhh, I need to go. I think I need to mop the floors….

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyReeni Reply

    I have been seeing this ice cream all over. It is genius, really, and I’m finally convinced that I need to try it! Good idea to jazz it up a little with some chocolate. Thanks for trying my sandwich! You’re so good at recreating things. I’m glad you liked the sauce.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      The flavor of this ice cream is really intense. I think coupling it with something else is helpful. Your meatball sandwich looked so good…I just had to veganize it.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStella Reply

    This looks awesome, Marly! I bet reese’s peanut butter cups would be so good on this banana ice cream. No?
    Hey, I thought you were driving. How’d you sneak so many posts in so fast?

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPatty Price Reply

    This looks great Marly, I always have bananas on my counter:)

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Me too! In fact, I have some right now that are in desperate need of being incorporated into a recipe. I was thinking more along the lines of banana muffins. That just really sounds good for some reason.

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGrace Reply

    Hey Marly

    I really love these pics and I can’t believe ice cream using one ingredient, genius! I can’t wait to try this, I’ll probably add chocolate, you know how much I love it or maybe some cherries, what do you think of cherry banana?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I think cherries and bananas are a great combination. You could probably add some coconut milk to that as well. No wait…it’s quickly becoming a 3 or 4 ingredient ice cream. Well, that’s the fun of it anyway. Very versatile!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyFOODESSA Reply

    Marly…a while ago…I too saw the same recipe and was saving my judgement until I got to try it. I was incredibly pleased with this creamy surprise. I’ve already made it twice. Each time it turned out differently due to the sweetness from the level of banana ripeness.
    I also added a few garnishes here and there depending on my mood.
    I’m glad you also got to try this and that more people will adopt this very simple recipe too.

    Your Westie ‘Coco’ is just absolutely adorable ;O)
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

    P.S. Did you get my email on the other ice-cream?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Claudia
      Garnishes are what make life (and food) so fun! Yes, Coco is just adorable. He seriously waits outside the kitchen so that when we’re done he can go in and scour the floor for any stray morsels. I think it’s kind of handy. He’s like our little dogba! Thanks for the reminder about your email. I just responded to you!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTatiana Reply

    That sounds entirely too cool – perhaps frozen grapes would be an appropriate topping also?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I love frozen grapes. Haven’t had them in awhile, so I’m going to pop some in the freezer now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJennifer Reply

    It’s so wonderful that not only is this delicious, but it’s healthy too. I’m putting some banana pieces in the freezer right now!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I hope you like it!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMonet Reply

    Marly! I love this idea! I can only imagine how good this must taste. Maybe I could add a 1/2 cup of peanut butter before I process the bananas to add another layer of flavor. Thanks for sharing this love!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Bananas and peanut butter are one of my favorite blends of flavor. Sometimes if I have a day when I’m hungry in the morning, I eat that for breakfast. But I’m picky about my bananas. They can’t be too ripe. I actually like them right after they leave the green phase. I know, it’s weird.

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