Easy Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream (paleo + refined sugar-free)

VeganGluten-FreeSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyKid-FriendlyVegetarianDairy Free

This homemade, no-churn Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream is ultra-smooth and creamy and couldn’t be easier to make.  It is loaded with sweet vanilla flavor in every bite.  Best of all, this quick and easy frozen dessert recipe is naturally sweetened, contains nutritious ingredients (including a vegetable!) and is completely dairy-free.

Vegan Caramel Ice Cream Topping  

No-Churn Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Knowing how to make this easy Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream is critical to summer survival.  Really though, with just a couple nutritious ingredients and your blender you can have amazing no-churn creamy vanilla ice cream in no time!  We are talking about five minutes of hands on prep (and then of course time for it to solidify in your freezer).  The creamy base is infused with addictive sweet vanilla flavor in every bite.  I almost called Vegan French Vanilla Ice Cream because it is so rich and creamy.  But I didn’t want to scare anyone away that it was complicated or fancy in any way.  I know you guys are going to love this quick and satisfying recipe.  I cannot wait for you to give it a try.

Blender Vegan Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients for the Best No-Churn Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

The ingredients list for this recipe may surprise you.  You will notice in the list below there is no heavy cream or refined sugars.  Just whole foods that are nutrient dense.


  • zucchini – yes really!
  • coconut milk
  • cashews
  • coconut oil
  • pure maple syrup
  • pure vanilla extract

Everything goes into a high-speed blender.  Once everything is smooth and creamy you pour the mixture into a loaf pan or any freezer friendly container.  Then, cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.  That’s it!  While you do have to wait for it to freeze, the actual hands-on time for this recipe is probably less than five minutes.

Making No-Churn Blender Vegan Vanilla ICe Cream

Zucchini in My Ice Cream!?

I know most ice cream recipes don’t contain zucchini.  But, the zucchini actually adds healthy creaminess to the recipe and sneaks in a bunch of beneficial nutrients.  Plus, once you peel the zucchini it is white and won’t alter the color for this recipe.  Zucchini has a mild and slightly sweet flavor profile so you will not notice it at all in this recipe.  I throw zucchini in my smoothies all the time for added creaminess and nutrients.

No-Churn Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Coconut Cream and Cashews for Creaminess

For more thick creaminess I added the coconut cream from canned full-fat coconut milk.  It is so decadent and yet totally dairy-free.  It works perfect in this recipe!

Raw cashews provide even more creaminess in this recipe.  Here, we are using one cup of raw, unsalted cashews.  Cashews offer plant-based protein and are also incredibly nutrient dense.  Cashews are considered an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc.

I buy raw, unsalted cashews in the bulk section of my grocery store and store them in my refrigerator in a large mason jar that is airtight.  In the refrigerator cashews can last up to six months.  They can actually last up to a year if you store them in your freezer.

Best Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Should I Soak My Cashews?

It is up to you and the type of blender you own.  My high-speed blender does a great job of making a creamy ice cream without any soaking.  Some people like to soak cashews in advance to make them easier to blend and also to make them more easily digestible.  I’ve also read that soaking helps make the nutrients more available.

If you do decide to soak you can soak them in room temperature water overnight.  Or, you can use a quick-soak method and cover them in boiling water for an hour or two.  Either way you will want to drain and rinse the cashews before using in this recipe.

Vegan No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream Homemade Recipe

Looking for more quick and easy summer desserts?

Here a few of my most popular summertime treats:

No-Churn Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

No-Churn Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Vegan Nutella Fudge Pops

Mango Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet

Easy Watermelon “Pizza”

Creamy Chocolate Avocado Fudgesicles

Vegan Berries and Cream Popsicles

Vanilla Ice Cream in Ice Cream Cone with Sprinkles

Now, Let’s Make Some No-Churn Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream!

This easy No-Churn Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream recipe will be your new go-to secretly nutritious summer frozen dessert.  It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, legume-free, paleo-friendly and refined sugar-free so it works well for many types of diets.

I cannot wait for you to give this recipe a try!  Let’s get blending!

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vegan vanilla ice cream in a cone

No-Churn Vegan + Refined Sugar-Free Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This homemade, no-churn Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream is ultra-smooth and creamy and couldn’t be easier to make.  It is loaded with sweet vanilla flavor in every bite.  Best of all, this quick and easy frozen dessert recipe is naturally sweetened, contains nutritious ingredients (including a vegetable!) and is completely dairy-free.



For the ice cream

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk – white solid coconut cream portion only*
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in advance, drained and rinsed**
  • 1 large zucchini, ends removed, peeled and chopped (2 cups when chopped)
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Topping idea:


  1. Add all ingredient to a high-speed blender.  Be sure to only use the solid white coconut cream from the canned coconut milk.  See notes below.
  2. Blend starting on the lowest speed and slowly increase to the highest speed.  Stay on the highest speed for 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.  If your blender is having trouble blending use the tamper/plunger to safely push the contents into the blades while it is blending.  If you do not have a tamper or plunger then you will have to stop and scrape down the sides throughout the blending process to ensure all ingredients get incorporated properly.
  3. Pour the ice cream into an 8 x 4 loaf pan or freezer-friendly container.  Cover and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Before enjoying, remove the loaf pan from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before scooping.  You can also place the bottom of the loaf pan in warm water to speed up the process.  Scoop and serve like you would regular ice cream.  Top with sprinkles, mini chocolate chips or fresh mint if desired. I love to add my homemade vegan caramel sauce overtop!


*For this recipe, we are only using the solid white coconut cream from the can of full-fat coconut milk.  In order to easily separate the coconut cream from the coconut water, place the can in your refrigerator the day before you plan to make this recipe.  The solid white coconut cream will naturally float to the top of the can.  When you open the can you can easily use a spoon to scoop out just the coconut cream leaving the coconut water behind.  You can save the coconut water for smoothies or popsicles.  I usually get about 1 cup of coconut cream out of one can of coconut milk.

**Soaking your cashews in advance will make them extra creamy, less gritty and more easily digestible.  Soaking cashews also helps to make the nutrients more available.  You can soak in water overnight or do a quick soak using boiling water for an hour or two.  Drain and rinse before using in this recipe.  Measure out the cashews before soaking since they will swell and measure differently post-soak.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blender + Freezer

Keywords: No-Churn Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Did You Try This Recipe?

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  1. Whitney Mullenax

    YUM! I made this yesterday and currently have it sitting out on the counter to thaw for another sugar cone treat! It is definitely creamy and tastes great! Of course I added sprinkles. My husband liked as well!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much! I’m SO happy to hear this! You jumped on this one quickly :). Good job! Glad your hubby loves it too! XO

      • Melinda

        I tried making this today, but it turned out looking almost like cottage cheese! I took a taste and could tell it would be delicious, but can’t deal with the texture. I used my ninja blender, so I couldn’t start blending slow then increase speed. Could that be what happened? Also, I forgot to put the coconut milk in the fridge the night before, so ended up using it “un-separated”. Could that have caused the issue? Any ideas are appreciated…I’d really like to try this again!

        • Elaine Gordon

          Oh no! I’m so sad to hear this… My immediately thought is the cashews might need to be soaked for longer – how long did you soak them for? I’m not familiar with the ninja blender but is it a high-powered one? That also helps. I also let it run for at least a minute and by the time it is finished it is silky smooth (and hot). Regarding the coconut milk, were you using full-fat? Did you chill it in advance? Did you only use the coconut cream solid white portion (not the liquid cloudy coconut water portion)? Please let me know – that could all impact the texture.

  2. Sara

    Unmmmmmmm it’s better than dairy ice cream. Best desert EVER!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Haha! Yes, I agree! And thank you SO much! So happy to loved it! XO

  3. Chantel

    Wow, this recipe is a keeper! My whole family loved it!

    I boiled my cashews for about 20 minutes only and they blended very well.

    Froze for 5 hours and scraped all the sides that were frozen. The middle was still soft so we will save that for tomorrow.

    Seriously, this recipe is great and I love that my children really like it. They added crushed up cones for some crunch.


    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you, Chantel! So happy to hear you and your entire family (including your kids) loved it so much! And thanks for providing details about your experience making it – always helpful to other readers! Love the addition of the crushed up cones for some crunch – how fun! Happy New Year to you and your family! 🙂

  4. Shelley

    Hi Elaine, have you ever tried using oat cream instead of the coconut milk? I made this yesterday and it is amazing but I would love to see if I can get more of a vanilla flavour. Either way it’s a new favourite for us! Thanks for the recipe ?

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi Shelley, I’m so happy you loved the recipe! For more vanilla flavor I would suggest adding fresh. vanilla bean :). I have not used oat cream… my only concern is that oat cream isn’t solid when frozen like the coconut milk is. Coconut milk is made of coconut water and coconut solids and when frozen it gets an ice cream like texture that is not icy. It is super creamy and solid. That is why I use it in this recipe. If you want to try and mask the coconut flavor you could also add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. It works really well here! Please let me know if you have any questions. And please let me know what you end up doing and how you like it! Thanks!

  5. Lynette Gibson McElhaney


    Thank you for this super simple delicious recipe! I made this for my lactose-intolerant, diabetic husband who absolutely loved it. I soaked the cashews overnight and used refrigerated coconut cream. Mine did not come out as white as your picture but it was delicious. On Day 1 we served it after about 7 hours in the freezer. It served up soft-serve like old-fashioned homemade ice cream. The next day I served it to my teenaged, junk-food addicted grandsons to rave reviews. (I didn’t tell anyone about the zucchini. Based on your suggestion above, I’’ll add the almond extract next time. ?

    Now I need a nut-free version for my niece! But this now replaces my churned at home vanilla as our staple dessert.

    I’m so glad I found your website. I’ve shared it multiple times with friends and family.

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Lynette! I’m so happy to hear how much you enjoyed this recipe. It is one of my go-to summer dessert recipes for sure! I’m wondering what might have caused the ice cream to not come out as white… I personally have not had that issue… but maybe your cashews were a bit darker in color than mine? Hard to say… did you adjust anything about the recipe?

      Yes, making a nut-free one would be great! You can always try my Chocolate Nice Cream recipe for your niece (that is nut-free) although not as authentic of an ice cream since it is made from bananas. But my kids absolutely love it! Here is the link: https://www.eatingbyelaine.com/no-churn-vegan-chocolate-banana-ice-cream/

      You could try using more coconut cream in place of the cashews… if you do please let me know if that works for you. I might try experimenting this summer as well!

      Thank you so much for sharing my website with your loved ones! That means so much to me :).

      Best, Elaine

      • Tessa

        This recipe was a disaster! The flavor was decent but the cashews ruined it. The texture was gritty with tiny chunks of cashews since I couldn’t get all the cashews blended. It looked like oatmeal and my whole non-lactose intolerant family was mocking me! 😡 I also believe you were deceiving us with the picture of white ice cream. With the cashews and brown maple syrup there’s no way it could possibly be white. It was tan. I don’t know what I did wrong, or how so many people liked it. I think I’ll still be sticking with vegan dilly bars, even though I wanted something new.

        • Elaine Gordon

          Hi, Tessa: I’m so sorry to hear about this entire experience for you. This is one of my favorite recipes of all time and I feel so awful it wasted your time, energy and disappointed your family. That is the worst. I aim to make my recipes simple and approachable for all.

          A couple of troubleshooting questions I have in case you want to ever try this one again: What kind of blender were you using? It is important for recipes like this to use a high speed blender.

          Second, How long did you soak the cashews for? I have an entire post devoted to the importance of properly soaking cashews (and why to do it) when using them in non-dairy recipes like this one: https://www.eatingbyelaine.com/how-and-why-to-soak-cashews-properly-overnight-and-quick-soak-method/ – it is probably the most important factor for this recipe. When cashews soak in water they absorb the water and swell. If you use cashews that are not properly soak the recipe will not be smooth and creamy.

          Finally, how long did you blend the ingredients for? It is important to blend for 60 seconds on the highest speed to get a smooth, creamy texture.

          As for the color, the pictures were not altered in any way. For me, when properly soaked and properly blended this is what it looks like when frozen.

          Again I’m so sorry for your difficulties. I’m happy to continue to conversation with you as this recipe has been life-changing for me and many of my friends and family members who have tried it.

          If you ever do try it again please come back and have positive results please do let me know.

          Best, Elaine

  6. Deanna

    Unfortunately this did not turn out well for me 🙁 When I blended it up it was like the coconut oil separated and it never blended into a smooth consistency. This has happened to me before with another recipe using maple syrup and melted coconut oil and I’m wondering if it’s because my maple syrup is cold and the coconut oil is warm/room temp?? I’m not sure what it could be!!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi Deanna, I’m so sad to hear this didn’t work out for you. I have never had this happen. I have used chilled and room temperature maple syrup and I didn’t have this result. Was the coconut oil fully melted for you when you added it? It might be worth trying room temperature next time just to be safe… what sort of climate are you in?

  7. Milla

    Hi will it work with japanese cucumber instead of a zucchini?

    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi, Milla. Unfortunately, no I would not recommend using a cucumber in place of the zucchini. It would be a different texture and flavor. Zucchini is flavorless so they work great in this recipe and they also add a creamy texture. Best, Elaine


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