Vegan Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

This deliciously creamy dark chocolate ice cream is so delectable, you won’t miss the dairy! Here’s an easy vegan ice cream recipe to make at home.

Dark chocolate ice cream

We’ve been experimenting with riffs on vegan ice cream for a while. Why vegan ice cream? Neither Alex nor I eat strictly vegan / plant-based. But since there are so many traditional ice cream recipes out there, we enjoy the challenge of experimenting with non-dairy ice cream. Also, vegan ice cream tends to sit better with my stomach. And this one–to us vegan ice cream is just as good as the real thing. While we’ve got quite a bit of other flavor variations: mint chocolate chip, Jamocha almond fudge, and salted chocolate pistachio, we decided we needed another one: a straight up dark chocolate ice cream. Keep reading for the recipe!

How to make vegan dark chocolate ice cream

The secret to this vegan dark chocolate ice cream is…full fat coconut milk! And in this case, the dark chocolate flavor covers it so it’s not too coconut-y, just rich and refreshing. Cornstarch also helps to give the vegan ice cream more of a body. And simmering the mixture until it is thick and using liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup also helps for a creamy texture. And the flavor? Though it’s made of coconut, this version had no trace of coconut taste to my palate, instead overwhelmed by the burst of dark chocolate ice cream flavor.

What’s the best ice cream maker?

What’s the best ice cream maker? Alex and I use this 2 quart ice cream maker and love it: it’s a great holiday or birthday present to ask for if you don’t want to splurge for it. Churning the ice cream takes about 15 minutes. After it’s done you can eat your ice cream right away for a soft serve texture. Or, follow the instructions in the recipe below to freeze it to a hard ice cream texture: it takes about 4 hours to freeze up!

This dark chocolate ice cream is naturally sweet, dairy free, gluten free, and vegan. But mostly to us: it’s just delicious! Would you give it a try! Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for other delicious healthy dessert recipes?

Outside of this vegan dark chocolate ice cream, here are some of our favorite delicious and healthy desserts:

This dark chocolate ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print

Vegan Dark Chocolate Ice Cream


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x

Description

This deliciously creamy dark chocolate ice cream is so delectable, you won’t miss the dairy! Here’s an easy vegan ice cream recipe to make at home. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Freeze the ice cream maker base overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup coconut milk with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and set aside.
  3. Add the remainder of the coconut milk to a medium pan. Warm the coconut milk over medium low heat for a minute or two, whisking to incorporate the solids. Then add 1/3 cup agave syrup and 1/3 cup coconut sugar. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the coconut milk; stir until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the cocoa powder, then the cornstarch mixture. Heat until the chocolate mixture is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
  4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-gallon Ziplock bag. If churning immediately, place the bag in an ice bath for 30 minutes until cool; if churning the next day, refrigerate 4 hours or overnight (either way, the mixture should be as cold as possible before churning).
  5. Churn the ice cream in the ice cream maker until it thickens to the consistency of soft serve. Eat immediately for a soft serve consistency, or for a hard ice cream texture, freeze using the following instructions: press a piece of parchment or wax paper into a sealable container, then scrape the ice cream into the container using a spatula, making sure to scrape in the bits frozen to the edges of the ice cream maker base. Freeze for 4 hours for a hard ice cream texture.

Notes

Note: Due to the need to chill the ingredients before churning, we recommend starting this recipe the night before serving. Adapted from The Kitchn

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Ice Cream Recipe, Vegan Ice Cream, Creamy Dairy Free Ice Cream

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

36 Comments

  • Reply
    Marnie
    August 16, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Hi Sonja and Alex! I have a question – why the regular and light coconut cream? Was there a reason for this, in terms of taste and texture, or did you simply want to cut some of the fat out?

    • Reply
      Alex
      August 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

      We tried several variations and liked this one the best!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 16, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Hi Marnie! My stomach is a bit sensitive to high-fat foods, so I found the combination of light with regular coconut milk was a little easier for me to handle. However, you could make it with all regular coconut milk too! Good question!

  • Reply
    Jess
    August 16, 2012 at 4:36 am

    This is such a brilliant idea! And I love the simplicity and more natural element of this recipe as opposed to using a milk or cream base. Looking forward to trying this over the weekend (although I’m can’t ever pass up mint chip, so that may have to come first). ;)

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    August 16, 2012 at 6:22 am

    This sounds so delicious! Love the flavour combo!

  • Reply
    Laura F
    August 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    YES! I am so excited to try this. I have really been on a roll making ice cream after purchasing a Cuisinart ice cream maker at a rummage sale for $2.50 last summer. I haven’t tried any dairy-free varieties besides sorbet, so this makes my day. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Just gorgeous. Can we come over again? :D

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Please?! :)

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

    This looks incredible! I’ve been a bit smitten with the chocolate coconut ice cream from Trader Joe’s and am excited to try this one at home. YUM! –Meg

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Let us know if you tried it out! I’m dying to see if someone likes it as much as we do or if it’s just us :)

  • Reply
    shanna
    August 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

    From a fellow ice cream fiend… Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Mmmm … my favorite kind of chocolate … dark! This looks amazing. My husband and I have been making fruity ice creams & sorbets this summer with coconut milk/cream, but we haven’t ventured into chocolate yet. I will have to give this a go!

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    August 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Yum! This looks perfect :) I can’t believe I haven’t tried a chocolate coconut milk ice cream before! Must try :)

  • Reply
    Jessie
    August 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Love your photo! Sounds like a great recipe, I look forward to giving it a try!

  • Reply
    Riley
    August 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I’ve been using coconut milk a lot in smoothies lately. I’d love to try it in ice cream soon!

  • Reply
    Ashlae
    August 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I’ve been making coconut milk ice cream all summer and I just can’t get enough. I, too, have found that the full fat/lite combination works best :) Not to mention, it contains considerably less fat than using two cans of full fat coconut milk – win! I haven’t tried making a version with liquid sweetener, yet. But I’m gonna have to. Your ice cream looks so delicious.

  • Reply
    Katie
    August 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Made this over the weekend- it turned out delicious! Thanks for a perfect dairy-free ice cream that me and my dairy loving husband can both enjoy!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      August 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      Wonderful – so glad to hear it was a success! We can’t stop making it :)

  • Reply
    Cookie and Kate
    August 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Woah, no heating? This sounds too good to be true. I’ll have to test it out soon. ;)

  • Reply
    Karen
    September 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I tried this recipe and it was a hit in our house. Even my toddler son who doesn’t usually like ice-cream loves this. For an extra treat we served sprinkled with dark chocolate chips

  • Reply
    Celine
    February 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I’m sorry to say that this didn’t turn out well for me :(. Did you guys use Dutch-processed cocoa powder to make the flavor more prominent, or a certain mild type of coconut milk? Ours tasted hugely of coconut and barely of chocolate! I was disappointed with the results, but you seem to love it so I was wondering if I did something differently by just using regular cocoa powder. Thanks!
    P.S. Love your spinach and artichoke grilled cheese sandwiches! They are great!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      February 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      I am so sorry to hear this didn’t work out! We’ve made it several times and it has been delicious each time. We just used 2/3 cup regular cocoa powder and 1/2 cup honey, along with normal coconut milk (1 can full fat and one light.) It’s hard to know what might have been the issue here…perhaps try it again? (Though I’d hate for you to not like it the second time!) If you live anywhere close to Indianapolis, we’ll make you a batch!! :)

  • Reply
    Katie Zoppo
    April 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I like the taste but there are little chunks of coconut in it, I only have one type of coconut milk available here in Spain and I have never used it before but when I opened the can there was a chunk of the coconut oil/meat in it and I don’t know if this is normal, should I have only used the liquid part? Also I had to freeze it while stirring because I don’t have an ice cream maker!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Typically there should not be coconut meat within the coconut milk – funny! Having small chunks of coconut in it shouldn’t hurt anything — and actually sounds kind of good :) Did it work out for you?

  • Reply
    Katie Zoppo
    April 18, 2013 at 6:39 am

    i took it out and blended it some more with my hand blender. now when i eat it it kind of feels like there are chunks of chocolate, so it’s not so bad :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Can’t go wrong with chunks of chocolate! Glad it worked out :)

  • Reply
    Anna
    July 15, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Love your recipe! I’ve made it twice in the past month :) Love how simple and easy it is to make!

    • Reply
      Alex
      July 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks for letting us know! So glad you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    Vicki - the Free From Fairy
    February 26, 2014 at 9:46 am

    WOW! This looks amazing! So glad that I found your site and in particular this recipe. I have just started down the route of making my own dairyfree, glutenfree icecreams so it was a pleasure to find your recipe! Thanks for sharing it. Keep up the great work on your lovely website too.

  • Reply
    Keith
    July 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    I know this is an old post but I just wanna thank you for this recipe. I just got an ice cream machine so I could make coconut milk based ice cream which is so expensive in the store. Made this a couple hours ago and with homemade coconut milk and it was really delicious and I provides me with a good base recipe to expiriment with.
    I was low on honey and feeling kind of cheap so I substituted some sugar. Did about a 70/30 honey/sugar split. Even still, the honey really added to the texture of the ice cream. Love that it’s a healthy sweetener too. Unfortunately it adds to the cost. Gonna try coconut sugar at some point. Cheaper, but a healthy choice as well.

  • Reply
    Yvette
    November 28, 2014 at 4:20 am

    This is the first time ever I have made icecream. I found your recipe on Pinterest, not too complicated. So happy with it. Tastes chocolatey. It is wonderful. I love it. Now I can indulge and enjoy on occasions. Thank you for sharing this recipe

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 20, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Please could you tell me what I could replace the honey with? I eat LCHF and honey is a definate no no for me.
    Appreciate your time.

    Cheers
    Christine

    • Reply
      Sonja
      January 20, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Is maple syrup an option for your diet? What sweeteners work for you?

  • Reply
    DavidaRochelle
    January 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    LOVE dark chocolate, and can’t believe it’s that easy to make ice cream. Does it taste anything like a Mounds chocolate bar? Used to love that candy bar, until they started adding way to much garbage to almost all sweets.

    Readers, is dutch process cocoa worth the added expense?

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 23, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Looks delicious!

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