How to Make Ice Cream Without Cream

If you’re vegan or plant-based, there’s no reason to cut ice cream out of your diet completely. There are lots of dairy-free ingredients that cream can be swapped out for.

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Even for those who are not vegans, creamless ice cream can have lots of benefits. For one thing, as we get older, some of us become a little less able to process dairy foods, especially at night. Since many of us eat dessert at night, dairy-based treats such as ice cream can give our digestive system trouble and cause stomach issues such as acid reflux.

Thankfully, there is a way to enjoy your sweet treat at night without worrying about it returning to haunt you in the middle of the night. Plus, this creamless ice cream recipe is positively delicious!

Even if you’re just trying to reduce your dairy consumption, ice cream is a surprisingly good place to start. There are some dairy products that can be used to replace cream in ice cream.

But they don’t have that same velvety texture and can have a flavor that overpowers the flavoring you have chosen.

So, what can you use instead of cream? One of the best dairy-free ingredients for vegan ice cream is coconut cream. It has a thick and creamy consistency and is absolutely delicious. Coconut milk will also do. The less healthy option is sweetened condensed milk for your homemade vanilla ice cream.

There are also loads of different dairy-free milks that can be used. But, for this recipe, we’re going to focus on coconut cream as it is the closest thing to dairy cream.

Ice Cream Recipe Without Cream

First things first, what exactly do you need to make ice cream? This recipe is best suited for someone with an ice cream machine.

Ice cream machines make the process so much easier. Churning by hand or not churning at all can have a big impact on the consistency and freezing of any kind of ice cream.

But don’t worry if you don’t have an ice cream maker. We’ll include a few tips and tricks for how to alter the recipe and method to accommodate this.

The Recipe


  • 2 cans of full-fat coconut cream. These should be about 14 ounces
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (optional)

Just like any other kind of ice cream, you can make this recipe with whatever flavors you like.

But, just so that we can focus on the basics, we’ve gone with classic vanilla for this recipe.


  • If you’re using an ice cream maker, place the bowl in the freezer a few hours beforehand. Ideally, you should put it in the freezer the night before (just to make sure).
  • In a bowl, blender, or food processor, combine all of the ingredients (ice cream is so simple!)
  • Next, transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker. All ice cream makers are slightly different, so set it to churn according to the instructions. You will know it’s done when it looks thick but still soft. Almost like a soft serve. So it will still be very creamy.
  • Once it is at the right consistency, transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Make sure to smooth down the top (or style it in a cool shape) with the back of a spoon.
  • Now you just need to wait! The ice cream will now freeze like a normal dairy ice cream. This usually takes between 4 and 6 hours.

It’s so easy! Making ice cream without cream is not as difficult as you might have thought. Although cream is obviously a very important ingredient in ice cream.

There are so many different ingredients that you can use instead. Coconut cream is just the closest!

Top Tips

Now you know the basics of making ice cream without cream, here are a few tips for making it perfect.

Not Using an Ice Cream Machine

An ice cream machine will make ice cream making a lot easier. The churning process is very difficult but don’t worry! You can mix all of the ingredients together using an electric whisk or a blender.

The process will be longer and the mix may take longer to freeze. But it will still taste delicious!


One of the most important ingredients in ice cream is, unsurprisingly, sugar. Sugar is one of the ingredients that makes ice cream have such a high number of calories. But it is also what makes it so deliciously sweet!

If you want to make your ice cream a little bit healthier, there are alternatives. You can use organic sugar, coconut sugar, or agave. This may change the consistency a little but it will still taste delicious.

They also will only have a small impact. There aren’t very many ways you can make a healthy version of ice cream. Even if you do manage to make a version of ice cream that is less unhealthy, chances are it won’t taste very nice.

Coconut Flavoring

If the coconut cream is putting you off because you aren’t a huge fan of coconut, don’t worry. Coconut cream will obviously have a coconut flavor. But it isn’t too strong. You can also mask the flavor with a flavor that you prefer.

This is even possible with something as basic as vanilla. Simply add more vanilla essence or even some real vanilla beans. Coconut cream is best because of its consistency. The flavor can definitely be altered.


One additional ingredient that you might want to use is cashew nuts. If you soak cashew nuts in water for around 4 hours, they will become incredibly soft. The cashew nuts can then be blended into a cream. All you need to do is add water.

Start with a small amount of water and then keep adding until it is at the right consistency. Make sure to blend it for quite some time so that the cashew nuts break down properly. Otherwise, you might end up with grit and bits.

This can be added to make the ice cream even thicker and creamier. Or you can even use it instead of the coconut cream! There really are so many ways to make ice cream without dairy cream.

So, there you have it. Ice cream doesn’t really need dairy cream at all! There are so many different ways to make delicious dairy-free ice cream. This is great for reducing the amount of dairy in your diet. But it’s also a great way to just change up your sweet treats and try new things.

Even ice cream can get a bit boring sometimes. So using coconut cream is a great way to change up your dessert making and up your skill level.

Ice Cream Recipe Without Cream

Gluten-free: Yes
Dairy-free: Yes
Suitable for nut allergies: Yes
4.95 from 67 votes
Prep Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 175 kcal


  • Ice cream maker
  • Bowl
  • Whisk


  • 2 cans of full-fat coconut cream. These should be about 14 ounces
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (optional)


  • Place a mixing bowl into the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
  • Remove the bowl and add in all of your ingredients. Blend together until fully combined.
  • Pour your mixture into an ice cream maker. Begin churning until the mixture resembles a soft serve consistency.
  • Remove your ice cream from your ice cream maker and add into freezer safe containers.
  • Place your ice cream into the freezer for 4-6 hours before serving.


Calories: 175kcal
Keyword Ice Cream Recipe, Ice Cream Recipe Without Cream
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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