Velvety Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream

We have taken the dairy out of this creamy, velvety Chocolate Ice Cream–and you would never know the difference! Get out the ice cream maker because it is time to prepare a decadent plant-based dessert that will make your family smile.


  • 3 cups cashew milk*
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup date sugar, finely ground**
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • PREP TIME 60
  • Serves 6


  1. Add cashew milk, cocoa powder, date sugar, vanilla extract, and xanthan gum to a high-speed blender and blend until well combined.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled through, at least a couple hours (optional if using ice cream maker).
  3. Once chilled, pour into pre-chilled ice cream maker*** and follow maker’s directions.
  4. Serve once ice cream reaches a smooth consistency.****


*1 cup soaked raw cashews and 3 cups of water blended in a high-speed blender, then poured into a mixing bowl through a nut milk bag.

**The amount of sugar will depend on the type of cocoa powder used. I use Valrhona cocoa powder, which is very bitter. This amount of date sugar will make the ice cream more bitter than sweet (similar to the taste of 75-80% dark chocolate). You may have to adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference.  An equal amount of date paste also works, but it will change the final consistency of the ‘ice cream’ (date paste has more water in it, and the final dessert will be more like a sorbet).  If using raw cane sugar or sucanat, decrease the amount to 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons. Always ground dried sweetener using a coffee grinder or small high-speed blender.

***I use a Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker, but a more economical option is one of Cuisinart’s Ice Cream Makers. The main difference is that the Breville maker has a built-in compressor (and it only takes 5 minutes to pre-chill the churn bowl) while the Cuisinart maker requires an overnight ‘freeze’ of its churn bowl.  The Breville maker also allows you to select your desired consistency (for sorbet, gelato and ice cream).  If you do not want to use an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze. You may need to check the amount of time it will take for the ice cream to reach the desired consistency.

****Whether you use an ice cream maker or not, once the ice cream is frozen, it will be very hard to scoop.  You should move the ice cream container to the fridge an hour or two before you plan to serve it (or leave it on the countertop for about 30 minutes), and the consistency will be similar to when the ice cream first came out of the maker.  My preference is to use paper ice cream pint containers (each recipe makes 1 1/2 pints).  They will freeze and thaw more evenly, and it is easy to ‘give away’ ice cream to family and friends as you experiment with new flavors!