This vegan chocolate ice cream recipe is so easy to make because it’s made with only 5 ingredients! Enjoy this uber-rich, thick, and creamy dairy-free ice cream! You’ll love that every bite offers the most perfect chocolate flavor!
I grew up in a super small town. One of my favorite summertime activities was to go swimming at the neighborhood pool. Then, if I could scrounge a few coins from around the house (hello seat cushion divers), I’d walk up to the neighborhood cafe, and get a chocolate ice cream cone.
Even though I’m vegan now, I still have some of the same cravings. That means vegan ice cream is one of my favorite treats, especially in the summer months. I even love using it to make my vegan frozen drumsticks!
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
It’s easy to make Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream! Let’s talk about the ingredients first.
For the full recipe, including specific ingredient amounts, scroll to the bottom of the post.
- Vegan evaporated milk — You’ll want to use a creamy vegan milk. That can be vegan creamer, or you can make your own vegan evaporated milk.
- Full fat coconut milk — I look for coconut milk with 12+ grams of fat in it. Coconut cream is another great alternative to use here. I find this at Sprouts or Trader Joe’s.
- Sugar — I used granulated sugar for this recipe and it’s important to keep things sweet enough because it keeps the ice cream from freezing too firmly.
- Starch — You’ll want to add a little starch to your ice cream mix — it’s my secret sauce to making a smooth vegan gelato type dessert. I used tapioca starch, but you can use cornstarch.
- Cocoa powder — I used natural cocoa powder (the kind easily available at most grocery stores) and it creates just the right touch of chocolate.
What’s missing? Are you used to seeing vanilla extract? You can absolutely add some if you’d like, but I find it unnecessary. My goal is to eliminate all unnecessary ingredients, so no vanilla for me!
Steps to Make this Recipe
Let’s talk about the steps involved to make this recipe. There’s not a lot, so let’s get to it!
Step One: Freeze Your Ice Cream Maker Bowl
Place the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer. You should do this at least 6 – 8 hours at the very minimum. I place mine in overnight to have it ready.
Step Two: Make the Chocolate Ice Cream Batter
Add the vegan evaporated milk and coconut milk to a saucepan, along with the granulated sugar, starch, and cocoa powder. Give this all a good stir and then bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Do not obsess over lumps. Or, you can obsess over lumps if that’s your thing. If so, then you can skip the step with the food processor. But I prefer to stay chill in the kitchen, so let the lumps happen!
Continue cooking and stirring for up to 2 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. Then remove it from the heat.
By the way, this makes an excellent vegan chocolate pudding if you ever want to skip the ice cream part!
Step Three: Transfer to a Food Processor
This is why I don’t stress over lumps, because we’re going to transfer the whole mess into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender. Either way, pulse it in short bursts until it’s nice and smooth.
Voila! Lumps are gone!
Transfer the mixture to a sealable container and refrigerate several hours, up to overnight.
Do NOT proceed without these two things:
- The freezer bowl of your ice cream maker needs to be thoroughly frozen (leaving it in the freezer overnight does the trick).
- The chocolate mixture needs to be thoroughly chilled (again, overnight works). At least several hours in the fridge is required).
Step Four: Make Ice Cream
Once the mixture is chilled and your ice cream maker bowl is frozen, you’re ready to make some vegan ice cream. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the ice cream freezer bowl. Look how thick and fluffy that mixture is! That’s why it’s going to be ultra creamy!
Next, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker and churn until it reaches the desired consistency. This should take 15 – 20 minutes, but churn it for as long as possible to get enough air in the ice cream to make it light and fluffy.
Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe, sealable container and freeze immediately.
Serving & Storing Tips
I like storing the ice cream container deep in the freezer, as far away from the door as possible. This helps keep the ice cream at a consistent temperature in the freezer.
Also, remember that every time you take it out and scoop it, you’re changing the texture of the ice cream. So with each refreeze, there will be a few more ice crystals.
To serve dairy-free chocolate ice cream, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to sit for several minutes at room temperature. This helps it to soften slowly. Once it’s soft enough to scoop, it’s ready to serve.
Serve ice cream on a cone or in a cup with vegan chocolate syrup, chopped nuts, and any of your favorite toppings.
Vegan Frozen Desserts
Do you love vegan frozen desserts? Me too! Here are some more favorites for you to try:
- This vegan no-churn ice cream is all naturally sweetened
- These frozen banana popsicles are drizzled with chocolate fudge
- Enjoy these vegan bomb pops, are colorful and healthy too
- I love a frozen chocolate banana bite on a hot summer’s day
- Speaking of bananas, everyone loves this vegan nice cream recipe!
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
- Place the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer.
- Add vegan evaporated milk and coconut milk to a saucepan, along with the granulated sugar, starch, and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and bring it to a simmer. The mixture will begin to thicken. Don't worry if there are lumps. Continue cooking and stirring for up to 2 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken.
- Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor (or blender) and pulse in short bursts until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a sealable container and refrigerate up to overnight.
- Two things need to happen before you proceed: 1) the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker needs to be thoroughly frozen (leaving it in the freezer overnight does the trick) and 2) the chocolate mixture needs to be thoroughly chilled (again, the overnight thing does the trick, but at least several hours of time in the fridge is required).
- Once the mixture is chilled and your ice cream maker bowl is frozen, you’re ready to make ice cream. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the ice cream freezer bowl and churn until it reaches a desired consistency. This should take 15 – 20 minutes, but churn it for as long as possible to get enough air in the ice cream to make it light and fluffy.
- Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe, sealable container and freeze immediately.
- To serve, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to sit for a few minutes at room temperature to soften. Then serve on a cone or in a cup with vegan chocolate syrup, chopped nuts, and any of your favorite toppings.
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.
We recently updated the recipe to simplify the ingredients and added new photos.
Don’t have an ice cream machine? No problem. Here are some tips for making ice cream without a machine.