Mocha Dairy Free Ice Cream

This dairy free ice cream recipe is a copycat of Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge, a coffee ice cream with chunks of chocolate and toasted almonds.

Jamocha Almond Fudge Dairy Free Ice Cream

The other day, Alex and I listened to a TED talk about “the secret to success.” The speaker claimed to know the key ingredient to being successful. Over time I’ve grown skeptical of empty promises: here’s secret to losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks! 20,000 Instagram followers in 2 days! Though I know it’s not that easy, sometimes I click those links, just to see if there’s something easy I’m missing. (Nope.)  

So, the secret to being successful in this life, according to that TED talk? Grit. Otherwise known as: Perseverance. Tenacity. The ability to hold on when going gets tough, to cling to a vision despite setbacks. I was a little disappointed, wishing the answer were something easier, a quick fix. But it’s stuck in my mind ever since. Grit. The ability to persevere in spite of unexpected obstacles. How does this relate to this dairy free ice cream recipe? Keep reading for more.

Jamocha Almond Fudge Dairy Free Ice Cream

A homemade Jamoca Almond Fudge copycat

A few weeks ago, a friend came to me with a challenge. She wanted Alex and me to create a copycat Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream recipe. It’s her favorite Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor, and she wanted us to try to create a healthier, homemade option. It was an offhand remark, but I was curious so we took it on as an experiment. We decided to make it a dairy free ice cream recipe, since dairy free ice cream is easy to make at home.

That innocent experiment turned to a weekend of four different coffee ice cream attempts, coffee grounds covering our kitchen, coffee-flavored goo behind my ear at one point, and multiple trips to the grocery for coconut milk. My first try had potential, the second a complete fail, the third so-so, and finally the fourth: a sweet, sweet success. We ate way too much, enough to break my “occasional splurge” intention with sweets. (So beware, this is dangerous stuff.) But we have a recipe. And it is my favorite ice cream we’ve made to date.

Much as I hate to admit it, grit just might be that secret key. As we bump along the way, in the kitchen or life, grit helps us persevere–whether it’s navigating an illness, a time of uncertainty, or darn it, coffee ice cream.

Related: How to Make Iced Coffee | How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Jamocha Almond Fudge Dairy Free Ice Cream

Why make this dairy free ice cream recipe

Even if you don’t eat a vegan or dairy free diet, we promise this dairy free ice cream recipe is worth your time. Here’s why to make it:

  • Though it’s vegan / dairy-free, you’d never know it. Since there are oodles of standard ice cream recipes out there, we’ve taken to perfecting a creamy, dairy free ice cream recipe. You’d never know the difference between this vegan ice cream and the real thing.
  • It’s healthyish by being homemade, using plant-based ingredients & natural sweeteners. No preservatives here. The recipe uses no dairy and uses combination of agave sugar and coconut sugar. Of course it’s still filled with sugar so we can’t call it healthy.
  • It’s a chunky ice cream-lover’s dream. I’m a fan of chunks in ice cream, and this has them in every bite. The chocolate is mixed with tahini so it’s a slightly healthier version of a fudge ribbon, and it crisps up in to some seriously heavenly chunks, along with the toasted almonds.
Jamocha Almond Fudge Dairy Free Ice Cream

What ice cream maker to buy

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, wondering which ice cream maker to buy? Here’s the ice cream maker we use. We’ve found a quality ice cream maker is key; we had a lower-end one and it broke after a year! It’s a fun item to have around for the occasional “food project” like ice cream — and a good holiday gift idea for someone who loves to make it.

Notes on coffee ice cream

Here are a few things we learned about coffee ice cream while creating this recipe. The main methods for coffee ice cream include: simmering the cream with whole beans, simmering with coffee grounds, or adding instant espresso powder. For us, simmering the beans had great flavor, but we ended up with about half the ice cream mixture we started with since the beans absorbed much of the liquid.

Adding instant espresso powder was an easy method, but the flavor was not nearly as good as the real beans. What worked? Simmering the ice cream mixture with coarsely ground beans from my favorite coffee, then straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. The amount of liquid was maintained and the flavor was rich and nutty.

Looking for easy vegan dessert recipes?

Here are a few of our favorite easy vegan dessert recipes in addition to this Jamoca Almond Fudge dairy free ice cream recipe:

This dairy free ice cream recipe is…

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

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Mocha Dairy Free Ice Cream

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (30 votes, average: 4.30 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


This dairy free ice cream recipe is a copycat of Baskin Robbins Jamoca Almond Fudge, a coffee ice cream with chunks of chocolate and toasted almonds.


  • 5 tablespoons dark roast coffee, coarsely ground (decaf if desired)
  • 2 15-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 2 ¼ ounces semi-sweet chocolate (¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chocolate chips), vegan if desired
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder


  1. Freeze the ice cream maker base overnight.
  2. Coarsely grind the coffee.
  3. Add the coconut milk to a medium saucepan. Remove ¼ cup of the liquid to a small bowl; mix with the cornstarch and set aside.
  4. Bring the coconut milk, agave syrup, coconut sugar, and coffee to a simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk frequently until thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. 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. While the mixture cools, place the almonds in a dry skillet and toast over medium low heat, shaking often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, then chop and reserve.
  6. Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker until it thickens to the consistency of soft serve.
  7. When the mixture appears nearly the consistency of soft serve, add the chopped nuts. Place the chocolate chips, tahini, and cocoa powder in a glass measuring cup, then microwave at 20-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Drizzle the chocolate into the ice cream, using a spoon to pour since the chocolate mixture is thick. If desired, break up larger chunks with a spoon while the mixture churns. When the chocolate is just incorporated, turn off the ice cream maker (the chocolate step should only take a few minutes).
  8. 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.


Due to the amount of time needed for the recipe, we recommend starting the day prior to serving if possible.

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

Keywords: Dairy free ice cream recipe, Jamoca almond fudge, Vegan ice cream, Vegan ice cream recipe

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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.


  • Reply
    September 28, 2015 at 6:10 am

    This ice cream looks insanely amazing! I can hardly believe it’s vegan, but then again coconut milk is miraculous so I shouldn’t be surprise. I want to eat a whole pint.!

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    September 28, 2015 at 7:20 am

    I’m totally digging these dairy free ice cream recipes you guys are doing lately! I agree, coconut milk is just MAGIC when it comes to vegan ice cream, alllmost can’t tell the difference : )

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    September 28, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Loved reading your story. :) And this coconut milk-based ice cream looks seriously good, even if it is already in the 40s here. And I appreciate the reminder on grit and perseverance, thank you!!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Grit and perseverance – those are tough to achieve, but good advice. I love this recipe! Looks incredibly delicious.

  • Reply
    Kristi @ My SF Kitchen
    September 28, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Mocha almond fudge is my FAVORITE ice cream flavor!! Nice job guys :D

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 28, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    So much good stuff packed into this ice cream. Looks great!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Chunky ice cream ftw. If I had an ice cream maker, I’d be making this during our last few warm days.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    This looks so deliciously creamy and I love the mocha almond flavors. Even though it’s ice cream it sounds weirdly cozy to me! Love it :)

  • Reply
    September 30, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Looks fab! but no ice cream machine on my end (vitamix works perfectly well when in need).
    Any tricks to make this without a machine?

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 9:34 am

    This looks so good. I’m totally craving ice cream at the moment thanks to the beautiful fall weather we’re having but the full fat dairy stuff is not really working for me sans gallbladder so I’m all about the alternatives. I literally cannot wait to make this!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    We just finished licking our lips and our spoons! I make ice cream pretty regularly and this recipe is a stunner! Of the dozen or so recipes I’ve tried for various types of ice cream, this is tops. This flavor is my husband’s favorite, so we tried it right away. Full, creamy flavor — perfect for a southern Arizona afternoon.

    • Reply
      October 3, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      What a review – we are honored! SO glad you enjoyed it so much. Looking forward to seeing you again soon :) xo

  • Reply
    March 23, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    So excited to eat this! I mixed it up yesterday and am about to churn it… however I noticed it’s all separated. I had to use 1 can of coconut cream instead of 2 coconut milks. Hoping this doesn’t affect it negatively. I’m currently dairy-free because of my nursing babe, who is just 2 months older than your cute little guy! Your story made my heart so happy. Glad you are enjoying him ?

    • Reply
      September 1, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Leanne, so sorry to have missed your comment! Ideally it would be best to use 2 cans coconut milk. If it does separate overnight, you should whisk it together to incorporate again. Hopefully this worked! I’m excited to hear you have a little babe near Larson’s age too — so fun! Thank you so much for the kind words :)

  • Reply
    September 1, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I made this ice cream…DELICIOUS! It’s especially wonderful when it’s fresh, so don’t freeze it all…have a fresh bowl! Thanks for the recipe and easy to follow instructions. xo

    • Reply
      September 1, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Oh I’m so glad you tried this!!! It’s one of my favorite desserts on our site. Very addicting, for better or for worse :/ Thanks for the comment!

  • Reply
    June 15, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I made this for my vegan son and daughter-in-law. They liked it a lot, although my DIL thought it was a bit too sweet. I was pleasantly surprised by the creamy texture and enjoyed the coffee flavor. I experienced an aftertaste, though, and wondered if that was the agave syrup. Could I substitute coconut sugar or another sweetener for that without affecting the texture too much? If so, can you suggest the quantity of the substitute to try?

    • Reply
      June 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks for the comment and glad that you liked it! I’m not sure what could be causing the aftertaste you mention, maybe even the coconut? You could try using coconut sugar, but we’ve done extensive reading about the creaminess of vegan ice cream and a liquid sweetener helps. Many recipes use corn syrup, but we prefer agave. Perhaps maple syrup could stand in as a liquid sweetener?

  • Reply
    June 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    I really appreciate the alternate sweetener suggestion. Will definitely stick with a liquid option as I wouldn’t want to sacrifice the creamy texture. All in all, this recipe was a big success and a great start for my vegan recipe collection. Thanks again :).

  • Reply
    May 27, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Made this for my mom and then did a blind taste test with 5 dairy free ice creams from various brands that were positively reviewed that were all some form of coffee fudge or toffee nut fudge. This was the winner from all judges. Wasn’t even close! We love it!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2021 at 2:21 am

    I’ve made this ice cream twice now and it’s FABULOUS!! You wouldn’t guess that it’s non-dairy, and we tasted the coffee-flavored ice cream base as we were making it, before adding the almonds and chocolate, and it’s unbelievably rich and delicious. The only thing we changed was using Cacao Powder instead of Cocoa Powder. Absolutely amazing!!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 18, 2021 at 11:15 am

      So glad you love it! :)

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