Easy No-Churn Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream (Vegan + Paleo)

VeganGluten-FreePaleoSoy-FreeRefined Sugar-FreeEasyKid-FriendlyVegetarianEgg-FreeDairy Free

If summertime has you craving frozen treats and fresh cherries, this is the ice cream for you! It’s a No-Churn Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream that’s loaded with nutrition and decadent chocolate-cherry flavor…plus a secret veggie ingredient that no one suspects!

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

Summer is here, which means it is cherry season! I go a little bit cherry-crazy when they’re in season because I want to enjoy them before they’re gone. Enter this No-Churn Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream, which is so easy to make, only uses a blender, and has such simple ingredients you’ll be whipping up batches all summer long. We all scream for Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream!

Vegan Paleo Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

Ready to celebrate summer with a cherry on top!?

Longtime readers know how much I love shopping at Sprouts for fresh ingredients when I’m testing new recipes! They have the most incredible selection of seasonal produce, and right now that means a gorgeous selection of plump and juicy cherries that I was so excited about for this recipe. Does any fruit transform a recipe quite like sweet, fresh cherries?! I don’t think so! They just scream summertime to me! You can also find unsweetened cocoa powder and cashews in the bulk section of Sprouts, which helps save money while stocking your pantry!

Vegan Ice Cream Ingredients

No-Churn Ice Cream Recipe

One of my favorite things about this ice cream recipe is that it doesn’t require an ice cream maker! No fancy equipment, just your blender and some time in the freezer. I find that it works best to blend everything in the morning, then pop it in the freezer for the day and have ice cream ready for dessert! This is about as easy as homemade ice cream gets.

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream
No-Churn Dairy-Free Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

Vegan Ice Cream Without Bananas

You’ve probably heard about blending frozen bananas to make a creamy vegan “nice” cream, and that’s delicious, but not everyone likes bananas! I made this recipe without any bananas, instead opting for zucchini, cashews, and full-fat coconut milk to bring the creamy texture. You’re getting protein, veggies, and nutritious fats all in a dessert recipe!

All About Cherries

Cherries have a vibrant red color that comes from the antioxidant, anthocyanin, which ranks high on the antioxidant scale! According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, a growing body of science reveals that cherries have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants when compared to other fruits. Plus, they contain important nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate. In fact, emerging evidence links cherries to heart-health benefits including reduced inflammation, total cholesterol and belly fat. Experts suggest that one to two servings of cherries daily can help provide some of these health benefits!

Easy Homemade Ice Cream

Creamy Vegan Ice Cream

What makes this ice cream so creamy without using…well, cream? Enter cashews! This is one of those staple ingredients in my vegan kitchen that I use daily. Give them a long soak before blending and they give your ice cream a silky, thick texture that’s almost addicting, it’s so good. Cashews are also incredibly nutritious! They’re a plant-based protein and considered an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. 

This Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream is gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan (free of dairy and eggs!). It’s also made without grains, legumes or refined sugar so it is paleo as well! I hope you love it. If you make it and tag me on Instagram, it would make my day! A review below also helps other readers find and make this recipe.

More Frozen Treats

No-Churn Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
Creamy Vegan Vanilla Bean Matcha Popsicles
Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
Easy Homemade Mango Sorbet
Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles
Healthy & Creamy Key Lime Pie Popsicles
Vegan “Nutella” Fudge Pops
Red, White, & Blueberry Popsicles
Healthier Dye-Free Copycat Shamrock Shake
No-Churn Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Print
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Fresh Cherry Ice Cream

No-Churn Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream (Vegan + Paleo)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If summertime has you craving frozen treats and fresh cherries, this is the ice cream for you! It’s a No-Churn Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream that’s loaded with nutrition and decadent chocolate-cherry flavor…plus a secret veggie ingredient that no one suspects!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk – refrigerated in advance – 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 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped or halved
  • 3/4 cup vegan, refined sugar-free chocolate chips (I love Hu chocolate gems)

Instructions

  1. Add coconut cream, pre-soaked cashews, zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and salt to a high-speed blender.  Be sure to only use the solid white coconut cream from the canned coconut milk.  This should be about half the can once refrigerated. 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 completely 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, stop and scrape down the sides throughout the blending process to ensure all ingredients get incorporated properly.
  3. Pour the ice cream into a 9 x 5 loaf pan or similarly sizes freezer-friendly container.  Stir in cherries and chocolate chips until well distributed.  If desired, for presentation, reserve a handful of fresh cherries and chocolate chips to sprinkle overtop the ice cream before covering and freezing.  Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Before enjoying, remove the loaf pan from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 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/garnish with more chocolate chips and fresh cherries if desired.  

Notes

*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.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blender + Freezer

Keywords: vegan chocolate cherry ice cream

This post is sponsored by Sprouts. All writing and opinions are my own.

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2 Comments

  1. Lynette Gibson McElhaney

    I plan to make this using Cacao powder. Is there any adjustment that I need to make?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Hi, Lynette. No major adjustments, no. I tend to like to richer chocolate flavor that comes with unsweetened cocoa powder. Whole Foods 365 brand gives the very best results in my opinion. However, you can swap in cacao powder and that will still work fine. If the flavor is not chocolatey enough, you could try adding 1/4 cup melted vegan chocolate to make it a bit richer. I haven’t tried this myself but it should work fine. Please let me know how this goes for you. Best, Elaine

      Reply

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