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Paula M Naranjo/Parent Editor

Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Author: Jeanine and Jack Donofrio

Say hello to the BEST vegan ice cream recipe! Made with just 3 ingredients, it’s super creamy, smooth, rich, delicious, and easy to make.

Vegan ice cream

Meet the BEST vegan ice cream. Ever.

Yep, I said it. Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of vegan ice cream recipes, ones with bases ranging from frozen bananas to cashew milk to almond milk. For me, there’s no contest. As far as dairy-free ice cream goes, coconut ice cream is by far the best. Full-fat coconut milk adds enough richness to create a texture that is super creamy, smooth, and not at all icy. It’s rich, decadent, and every bit as good as the real thing.

Coconut milk, maple syrup, and tahini in bowls

Best Vegan Ice Cream Recipe Ingredients

Lately, this vegan ice cream recipe has become my new favorite. To make it, you’ll need three simple ingredients:

1. Coconut milk – My go-to base for dairy-free ice cream.
2. Maple syrup – It gives this recipe a deep, complex sweetness. I love the maple flavor here!
3. And…tahini! The creamy star ingredient in this recipe.

I know, I know. If you walk into any American ice cream shop, tahini probably wouldn’t be among the ice cream flavors there. However, sesame ice cream is popular in Japan. During our trip to Tokyo last spring, I had the most incredible sesame ice cream, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

Luckily for me, this homemade version is just as good as the delicious ice cream I had on our trip. The toasty, nutty flavor of the tahini pairs wonderfully with the maple syrup and coconut milk, and though the tahini flavor is present here, it’s not overpowering. It mostly lends an extra-creamy texture to the coconut milk base, which makes this vegan ice cream really exceptional.

Dairy-free ice cream

How to Make Non-Dairy Ice Cream

The night before you plan to make your dairy-free ice cream, freeze the base of your ice cream maker. I love my KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment  because it saves space and it does a great job with homemade ice cream. It should be in the freezer for at least 12 hours before you proceed with the recipe!

The next day, whisk together the coconut milk, tahini, and maple syrup to create the ice cream base. If your coconut milk is chunky, use a food processor or blender to whir the ingredients into a smooth puree.

Then, pour the mixture into the base of your ice cream maker and churn until thick! Mine takes about 20 minutes, but the timing will depend on your machine. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for timing guidelines.

When the ice cream is thick, scoop and enjoy, or freeze it for 1-2 hours for an even thicker texture.

Vegan ice cream recipe

Vegan Ice Cream Recipe Tips

  • Spice it up! Try adding a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom or a drop of vanilla to the coconut milk base for an extra layer of flavor.
  • Don’t forget the toppings. I love this dairy-free ice cream on its own, but it’s delicious with toppings as well. I served mine with tart cherries, melted dark chocolate, vegan chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Eat it right away, or freeze it for up to a week. This vegan ice cream has the perfect creamy, smooth texture right after it comes out of the ice cream maker. Enjoy it as soon as it’s done, or store it in airtight containers in the freezer for up to a week. It hardens while it’s in the freezer, so if you’re planning to serve it 24 hours or more after you make it, let it soften at room temperature for 20 minutes before scooping it into bowls.
Vegan Ice Cream

Best Vegan Ice Cream

Prep time: 20 mins

Total time: 20 mins

 This easy dairy-free ice cream is so rich and delicious! The tahini doesn’t have an overpowering flavor here; it mostly lends an extra-creamy texture to the coconut milk base.

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: Dessert Serves: 4


  • 1 (14-ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • (optional) toppings: sesame seeds, tart cherries, chocolate


  1. Freeze the base of your KitchenAid® Ice Cream Attachment for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, tahini, and maple syrup. (If your coconut milk is chunky, you may want to combine the ingredients in a blender).
  3. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn until thick, about 20 minutes. Scoop out and enjoy! If you would like thicker ice cream, freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.

Notes : When you store your ice cream in the fridge for over 24 hours, it’ll harden. Let it sit at room temp for about 20 minutes to soften before scooping.

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Paula M Naranjo

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